What do you know about insurance?

Insurance is a kind of security that covers almost every kind of occurrence that results in loss. In Britain, there are two kinds of insurance:

Compensation for loss (insurance)

A company can insure property or goods against fire or other damage. For example, if a building is insured for € 2 million, the insurance company will pay this amount to the company if the building is destroyed.

A company can take out travel insurance for any employee going on a business trip. If the person suffers an injury, loses his or her luggage or some company property, the insurance company will pay compensation.

Security for events that are certain to occur (assurance)

This kind of insurance provides for payment of a fixed sum in advance to a person when they reach a certain age, or to any dependents upon their death.

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The insurance contract

There are two parties involved in an insurance contract:

  • The insurer is the party who agrees to accept the risk.
  • The insured is the party who seeks protection from the risk.

If you want to take out life assurance or accident or fire insurance, you submit a proposal form containing questions which must be answered truthfully, including any information that is likely to influence the insurer’s judgement regarding the risk. If the insurer discovers that the questions were not answered honestly, he may void the contract. If the proposal is accepted, the insurer issues a policy. The policy sets out the terms of the contract including the risk to be covered, the sum insured and the premium to be paid. The insured agrees to pay a premium to the insurer. This is the payment made for insurance. It includes Insurance Premium Tax (IPT).

If the terms of the insurance are changed at a later date, this is done by endorsing the existing policy.

If you have to make an insurance claim, the insurance company usually sends a claims adjustor to assess the damage. The claims adjustor will also advise you what to do with the salvage.

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Test your insurance vocabulary

Do you know what these words mean? Match them with the definitions on the right, then see if you know the German translation.

1policyagoods that could be rescued from damage
2depositba written agreement between the insurer and the insured
3to curtailca reduction in the cost of something you are buying
4loss adjustordan application for insurance
5premiumesomeone who examines an insurance claim
6liabilityfan addition to an existing insurance policy
7covergthe money you pay regularly to an insurance company
8salvagehto cut something short
9discountia sum paid as a first instalment
10exceedjinsurance against damage, injury, etc.
11IPTkmore than a fixed number or amount
13to void a contractmfamily members
14proposalnInsurance Premium Tax
15compensationomake a contract become invalid
16dependentsp money paid to cover a loss


1 – b (Police); 2 – i (Anzahlung); 3 – h (kürzen); 4 – e (Schadenssachbearbeiter); 5 – g (Prämie); 6 – l (Risiko); 7 – j (Versicherungsschutz); 8 – a (Bergungsgut); 9 – c (Rabatt); 10 – k (übersteigen); 11 – n (Versicherungssteuer); 12 – f (Nachtrag); 13 – o (für ungültig erklären); 14 – d (Antrag); 15 – p (Entschädigung); 16 – Hinterbliebene)

New service: Vocabulary in this tip

cover                       Schutz
occurrence              Vorkommen
compensation         Entschädigung
assurance               Lebensversicherung
dependents             Hinterbliebene
proposal                  Antrag
likely to                   wahrscheinlich
to influence             beeinflussen
to void a contract    Vertrag für ungültig erklären
salvage                    Bergungsgut