The definitions presented on this page are one interpretation as to how the word may generally be used in the life insurance industry. These definitions should not be used to interpret any Securian policy or certificate you may have. Consult your policy or certificate to determine the words and definitions applicable to your coverage.

Actively at work*

A condition that you must be at work on the day your group insurance coverage would normally become effective. Otherwise your insurance will not become effective until you return to work.

Administrative services only*

An arrangement under which an insurer or another third-party administrator contracts to provide specific record keeping and claim payment functions to a self-funded group insurance plan.


A signed statement of facts requested by an insurer for the purpose of deciding whether or not to issue a policy.


Transfer of the ownership or benefits of a policy.

Benefit duration*

The maximum period during which disability income benefits are payable.

Capital sum*

The maximum amount payable on a sum in the event of accidental dismemberment. When a contract provides benefits for kinds of dismemberment, each benefit is an amount equal to, or a fraction of, the capital sum.

Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)*

A professional designation offered by the American College to persons who: (1) pass a series of professional examinations on subjects related to life-health insurance, (2) have at least three years of life-health insurance experience, and (3) subscribe to a code of ethics.

Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA)*

Federal law which requires employers to allow employees to continue group health coverage at the employee's expense for up to 36 months following certain events that would otherwise lead to termination of coverage.

Experience approach

The experience approach means that a unique price is determined for every group insurance customer. One price isn’t developed and offered to every customer. Rather, a group life carrier essentially starts from scratch to build a price that reflects the demographics and the claims experience of each insured group.

Insurable interest* 

If the occurrence of a loss will affect you adversely, you have an insurable interest.


The person whose life or health is insured.

Interest-Adjusted Net Payment Cost Index*

A measure of the cost of protection, including the time value of money for a life insurance policy if it is kept in force until an assumed date or death.


To die without a will.

Irrevocable beneficiary

A beneficiary designation that cannot be changed without the beneficiary’s consent.


The termination of insurance coverage due to premiums not being paid or due to insufficient net cash value to pay premiums which are due.

Level premium

A premium that does not change throughout the paying period.

Life insurance

Insurance that provides a specific payment to a beneficiary when the insured dies.

Morbidity table*

Shows the average number of illnesses or injuries for a large group of persons. It indicates the incidence of sickness and accident the way a mortality table shows the incidence of death.

Mortality rate*

The percentage of people expected to die at a specified age.

Mortality table*

Shows the number of persons living or dying at a certain age. It is used to calculate the probability of dying in, or surviving through, any period.

Policy term* 

The period for which an insurance policy provides coverage.


The person who purchased the insurance policy and has all rights of ownership under the policy.

Pre-existing condition* 

A physical and/or mental condition of an insured person which existed prior to the initial date of coverage.


The payment made for an insurance policy.

Primary beneficiary

The first person to receive proceeds from an insurance policy when the insured dies.

Principal sum*

The amount payable in one sum in event of accidental death and, in some cases, accidental dismemberment.


The process of settling an estate either in accordance with a will or in accordance with state law if no will exists.

Probationary period*

In group insurance, the probationary period is the period during which a new employee is ineligible to participate in the plan.


A document explaining the terms of a securities offering, mutual fund or variable insurance product.

Schedule of benefits

A list of all the benefits provided in an insurance policy.

Single premium

The payment of the entire premium for an insurance policy in one lump sum.

Term Life insurance

Insurance that pays benefits when the insured dies within a certain time period.

*From Risk Management and Insurance, 7th edition, by T. Pritchett, J. Schmit, H. Doerpinghaus, and J.L. Athearn, ©1996. Reprinted with permission of South-Western College Publishing, a division of Thomson Learning. Fax 1-800-730-2215.