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Glossary of insurance terms

Here is a list of some of the frequently used insurance terms found throughout the pages of this web site. If you can't find a term you would like defined in the alphabetical list below, feel free to email us anytime at We would be happy to help you with any insurance questions you may have.

All definitions provided are examples. Consult your policy for the terms that apply to your coverage.

For a definition, click on the letter that the insurance term begins with:

  • Age
    Depending on the policy of insurance, either your actual age or your age as of a specified date (i.e., the policy anniversary date) may be used when determining your eligibility for coverage, your premiums or your termination date.
  • Application
    A signed document of personal and health-related information supplied by a person applying for insurance. An insurer uses the information on the application (and sometimes additional information the insurer requests) to decide whether or not to provide coverage to that person.
  • B
  • Benefits
    The amounts paid to a claimant or beneficiary under the coverage of a policy of insurance.
  • C
  • Cancellation
    The termination of coverage when, at the request of the insured or by the right of the insurer, the insurance coverage is made void before its normal expiration date.
  • Certificate
    A document issued to a group member insured under a group insurance policy.
  • Claim
    A request for benefit payment under the terms of an insurance policy or certificate of insurance.
  • Claimant
    The person(s) making a request for payment of benefits under the terms of an insurance policy or certificate of insurance.
  • Coverage
    Another term for the protection offered under an insurance policy. Coverage is used interchangeably with the terms insurance or protection.
  • E
  • Effective date
    The date when insurance coverage begins.
  • Exclusions
    Circumstances and health-related conditions or any other losses for which an insurance policy does not provide benefits.
  • Extended Health and Dental Insurance
    Health and dental benefits provided under an insurance policy. Benefits may include payment for prescription drugs, vision care and optional dental care and treatment.
  • G
  • Grace period
    A period of time which acts as a cushion to ensure coverage is not cancelled if a payment of premium is missed. If a payment is not received within this period of time (or grace period) from the date a payment is due, the insurance policy is cancelled.
  • I
  • Insured
    A person and/or other parties covered under the terms of an insurance policy or certificate of insurance.
  • Insurer
    The company providing the insurance coverage (e.g., Manulife).
  • P
  • Policy
    The legal document issued by an insurance company to a policyholder, which outlines the conditions and terms of the insurance.
  • Policyholder or Policyowner
    The person, group or association who owns the insurance policy.
  • Premium
    The cost of insurance coverage. A premium can be paid monthly or annually.
  • Protection
    The insurance provided under the terms of an insurance policy. Also referred to as coverage.
  • U
  • Underwriter
    The person or company which decides the risk level of a potential insured applying for insurance protection. Also, the person or company that ensures money is available to pay for claims under the insurance policy. Manulife is the underwriter of the insurance plans described on this site.
  • Underwriting requirements
    The requirements used to assess whether an insured is eligible for insurance coverage. A person's age, the amount of coverage requested, medical records and physical examinations are generally used to decide if an insured will pass the underwriting requirements necessary for the insurance coverage and amount they have applied for.

Have we missed an insurance term that you would like defined? Contact us to let us know at any time.