Business insurance jargon buster Business insurance jargon buster

A back to basics glossary of insurance terminology and jargon becuase insurance doesn't need to be complex.

Why so much jargon?

Like anything steeped in so much history, insurance is often not the most simple industry to understand.

But at Superscript, we don't hide behind jargon. We want it to be as simple as possible for you to protect your business quickly.


Act of God

This is an uncontrollable natural disaster, such as a typhoon or tsunami. Most policies don’t insure for acts of God.


Assets are things you own, such as property, tools, equipment, stocks, shares and intellectual property.

Bad actors

Also known as "cyber threat actors", bad actors are individuals that intentionally harm or attack computer systems and networks. Essentially, they're hackers who aim to break into computer systems or infect them with a virus with the intention of either compromising the data, holding it to ransom or selling it on.


A broker is a middle-person who places its customers' insurance with an insurer. They can be a singular person or a company. Often, brokers provide advice to their customers and sometimes provide other services like risk management, handling contracts and processing insurance claims. Learn more about our specialist brokers, who can provide custom cover for high-growth tech companies with complex risk.

Business interruption insurance

Business interruption insurance is designed to cover the loss of revenue you suffer following an unexpected event causing downtime to your trading.


Insurance is there as a form of protection, and so should the worst happen, you would make a claim to cover the costs that have occurred, such as if your equipment has been damaged or stolen.

Contract works cover

Designed to cover accidental damage to a structure you — or a contractor you hire — are building, along with the materials you're using.

Cyber insurance

Cyber insurance, also known as cyber liability insurance or cybersecurity insurance, is designed to cover risks that come with storing and handling data when running a business.


Sometimes called ‘meaning of defined terms’, this section really does what it says on the tin. It clearly defines what important terms mean so that whenever they’re used throughout the rest of the document, you can refer to the definitions section to know exactly what they mean.

Directors' and officers' insurance

This is also known as management liability insurance, or D&O insurance for short. It exists to protect entrepreneurs from alleged wrongful acts and the risks associated with running a business. It is available for businesses of any size, whether it’s a small startup or a large organisation.

Employers' liability insurance

A legal requirement for most businesses with their own staff, employers’ liability insurance is designed to provide financial cover in case one of your employees is injured at work.


Endorsements are a list of add-ons, extensions or amendments to your policy wording. They trump everything that comes before or after in the document so it’s important that when you read through your policy docs, you make sure that you pay attention to the endorsements.

Errors and omissions insurance


Excess is what you have to pay before a claim you make can be paid out. With some insurance policies, it could also be a sum that's held back in the event of a claim. When you take out a policy, you'll have pre-agreed to the amount you will have to pay, or that'll be held back. All Superscript issued policies have a compulsory excess which will be due on every claim you make.


This is when an insurer will tot up the potential cost of an insured risk or event, like a flood. If your business is situated on a flood plain, the insurers' exposure to a flood claim is high, and therefore, your premium might be higher as a result.

Financial Conduct Authority

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is a public body that oversees the UK financial markets. Their role is to protect consumers and the financial markets, keep the industry stable, as well as promote competition. Superscript is authorised and regulated by the FCA.

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is a UK-based scheme for customers of firms authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. If a regulated firm is unable to pay for a claim made by a customer, the FSCS can step in to pay the compensation.

Force majeure

Similar to an Act of God, a force majeure is an event beyond anyones control.

Goods in transit insurance

Goods in transit is a type of insurance that provides protection if you or your customers' property or goods are lost, damaged or stolen while they’re being moved from one place to another. It's built for companies that provide courier services, deliveries and removals.

Gross written premium

This is the total cost of your insurance premium before any discounts or brokerage fees have been paid out.


Like in the real world, in the insurance world, a hazard is something that introduces or increases the risk. This could be a situation, action, circumstance, habit or condition.


This money paid by the insured to compensate for loss or damage to someone else - such as professional indemnity insurance.

Indemnity period

This is the period in which an insurance company must make payments to the insured following a disruption to your business. Take, for example, business interruption insurance. Your policy will state how many months are covered should your business need to make a claim.


The insured is the person or the business whose property is insured.


An insurer is a Lloyd's underwriter or an insurance company that assesses and takes on the risk of paying out to the insured should loss or damage occur. They do this in return for a premium from the insured, as long as certain conditions are followed.

Insuring clauses

Referred to in your policy document as 'What we cover' or 'What is covered', this section quite simply lays out what your policy actually covers and what the insurer will pay for.

Intellectual property insurance

Intellectual property covers everything from ideas and inventions, designs and artwork, symbols and logos, stories and brand names. Depending on the cover you get, intellectual property (IP) insurance may cover legal costs and any damages involved in defending or settling a claim of infringement. It could also cover legal costs if you want to take action against another party for infringing on your IP.

Landlord insurance

This is cover specifically designed for commercial and residential landlords and can cover the myriad of risks they face.

Legal protection insurance

Legal protection insurance, also known as legal expenses cover, this cover gives businesses without an in-house legal team access to legal expertise in the event of a claim or other dispute.

Legal expenses cover


Liability is a term that covers negligence. Liability insurance is designed to cover business owners and the self-employed against the cost of compensation claims brought against them by a range of people from employees, clients, customers, or members of the public.


When you take out a policy, you’ll have specified limits. This is the maximum amount your insurer could pay out for a covered claim.

Lloyd's of London

This is the largest insurance and reinsurance market in Britain.


Loss is damage or Injury to an insured person or property from accident or misfortune.

Management liability insurance

Material fact

An important fact or facts about you or your business that would sway an insurer's decision as to whether to agree to insure you or your business or not. You will have to attest to material facts before your insurance contract is binding, and any non-disclosure or misrepresentation could lead to your policy being declined or cancelled.

Media liability insurance

If you’re in the media industry, or publish lots of content as part of your business, media liability insurance can protect you against IP infringement, breach of confidentiality, right to privacy, and breach of comparative advertising regulations.

Mid-term adjustments

If make a change to the terms of your insurance policy before the end of your policy, this is known as a mid-term adjustment. At Superscript, we offer fee-free policy adjustments.


Negligence is a failure to take proper care of something. Under a professional indemnity claim, this could mean that you have been — or your client claims you have been — negligent in the services you have provided.


This is a situation, incident or event that causes damage or loss. Theft, fire, vandalism, flood or lightning are common perils.

Personal accident cover

If you’re seriously injured at work, it could put you out of action for weeks. Personal accident insurance is designed to support you financially if you suffer a serious injury, become totally and permanently disabled or die as a result.

Policy conditions

Every policy document will include a section called the 'policy conditions' and often, each different cover within your policy will have its own 'section conditions' that refer to that cover specifically. These are essentially a set of rules or requirements that need to be met for your cover to be valid.

Policy schedule

Your policy schedule is an overview of the cover provided by your insurance policy. It usually sits at the top and essentially lists:

  • Your business details (name, business activity and registered address)
  • Your policy's anniversary date
  • The monthly or annual price of your premium.


Your premium is what you pay for your insurance policy.

Professional indemnity insurance

Professional indemnity insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance, this can protect your business from a range of exposures including mistakes in your service provided, compensation claims, contract disputes and intellectual property disputes.

Public liability insurance

Public liability insurance is designed to cover claims made against you by members of the public for property damage and accidental bodily injury, illness, disease or even death as a result of your work.


A quote is an estimate of the premium you will pay for the cover you've selected based on the information you've provided. Learn more about the quote process in our guide.


Insurance policies usually run for 12 months. A renewal is the process of continuing with the same insurance company and the same policies after the first policy comes to an end.

Stock cover

You can’t get a job done without the right materials, so business stock can cover damage, theft, or loss to materials such as wood, paint and tiles.

Statement of fact

This is a document detailing all the information you've given to the insurer, and will be signed by you before the insurance policy is binding.

Sum insured

The total sum payable in the event of a claim.

Third party

The first party is the insurer. The second party is the insured. And the third party is a person claiming against the insured.

Third party liability

This is designed to cover compensation costs in the event of injury, illness, death or damage to property of a person that isn't named on the insurance contract or an employee of the insured. Public liability insurance, for example.

Tools and equipment cover

Lost, stolen or damaged tools and specialist equipment is no joke — it’s one of the biggest concerns for tradespeople in the UK. From everyday essentials like hammers and saws, to power tools and expensive specialist equipment, tools and equipment insurance can cover the equipment you need to get your job done.


An underwriter is a person whose job it is to evaluate risk. They work for insurers and brokers to understand limits and set prices.


A warranty is a promise in the form of a statement that the information provided to the insurer by the insured is true. If a warranty is breached in any way it could lead to your policy being declined or cancelled.

Wear and tear

General wear and tear is a term for those common things that happen to a property over time — thinning carpets, stains or scuff marks. Wear and tear is not usually covered by insurance policies.

Without prejudice

You'd use this term if you wanted to settle a claim without making a formal admission of liability or wrongdoing. It's used if you're trying to make a compromise in a dispute.

Need help navigating your policy documents?

The wordings of your policy documents are your legal contract of cover and can be long and complex to read.

We break through the jargon and dense legal language to help you find exactly what you need, when you need it.

We insure thousands of innovative businesses

Authorised by the FCA

The FCA supervises UK financial services firms to protect consumers. We are directly authorised and regulated by the FCA and our Firm Reference Number is 656459. These details can be confirmed on the Financial Services Register at or by calling the FCA on 0845 606 1234.

A-rated financial strength

Our insurance products are underwritten by Standard & Poor’s A-rated financial strength or higher. This means the underwriter has been independently assessed by the world’s leading credit rating provider and found to have a strong capacity to meet financial commitments (pay claims).

Protected by the FSCS

If you are a business with an annual turnover under £1m, charity with an annual income under £1m, or trust with net assets under £1m, then you will be entitled to compensation from the FSCS in the unlikely event we cannot meet our obligations. Full details and further information on the scheme are available at