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Comparative Negligence A more modern system of allocating damages between two or more persons than the method of contributory negligence, which remains effective in many states (under which one cannot collect damages for bodily injury or property damage caused by another party's negiglence if one were oneself in any way negligent). Under comparative negligence, the damaes collectible in relation to another person are diminished in proportion to one's degree of negligence. In most instances, damages cannot be collected at all if the claimant's negligence was greater than that of the other party. Currently, in a few instances, the courts have awarded both parties damages as a percent of the total damages, depending on respective degrees of fault.
Compensation Insurance Protection which provides various benefits to employees for any injury or contracted disease arising out of and in the course of employment. All states have laws which require such protection for workers and prescribe the length and amount of such benefits that are provided. Originally, workers ceded their rights to sue in exchange for workers compensation benefits, but in recent years lawsuits have successfully eroded this concept.
Compensatory Damages Not to be confused with punitive damages, which are additional damages requested by an injured party to punish the party responsible for the loss, compensatory damages are normally monetary damages alleged by the claimant to compensate for actual injuries or expenses sustained. These may include all types of medical expenses, as well as other expenses such as lost wages, legal fees, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, etc.
Competitive Medical Plan (CMP) This refers to permission given by the federal government that allows an organization to write a Medicare risk contract.
Composite Rate One rate for all members of the group regardless of their status as single or members of a family.
Comprehensive Major Medical A plan of insurance which has a low deductible, high maximum benefits, and a coinsurance feature. It is a combination of basic coverage and major medical coverage which has virtually replaced separate hospital, surgical and medical policies with each having its own deductible requirements. Also see Major Medical Insurance.
Comprehensive Personal Liability A form of liability insurance which reimburses the policyholder, if liable to pay money for damage or injury caused to others. This form does not include automobile liability but does include almost every activity of the policy holder except such as may arise from the operations of a business, hence "personal" liability. The coverage is a part of either homeowners or tenants policies and is almost obsolete as a separate policy.
Compulsory Insurance Coverage required by certain states of certain people in certain circumstances, e.g., workers compensation and automobile liability.
Concealment In insurance, failure to disclose a material fact which may void an insurance policy.
Concurrent Review A case management technique which allows insurers to monitor an insured's hospital stay and to know in advance if there are any changes in the expected period of confinement and the planned release date.
Conditionally Renewable A contract that provides that the insured may renew it to a stated date or an advanced age, subject to the right of the insurer to decline renewal only under conditions stated in the contract.
Condominium A form of real estate ownership becoming increasingly popular. It is the individual ownership of a single unit in a multiple-unit building or group of buildings, together with a percentage interest in that part of the total property owned jointly by all unit owners. In an apartment building, each apartment would be a unit and the stairways, pathways and parking areas would be in common ownership. Condominium property requires special insurance treatment.
Confining A form of disability or sickness that confines the insured indoors, usually at home or in a hospital. Many policies state that coverage is afforded only if the insured is confined.
Consequential Loss A reduction in value of property (not physically damaged) caused by damage to other property. Examples are food spoilage from a change in temperature due to the damage of a refrigerator by fire, while the food itself is not damaged by the fire, or the reduction in the value of suit jackets whose trousers have been damaged.
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1986 Legislation providing for a continuation of group health care benefits under the group plan for a period of time when benefits would otherwise terminate. Continuation rights apply to enrolled persons and their dependents. Coverage may be continued for up to 18 months if the insured person terminates employment or is no longer eligible. Coverage may be continued for up to 36 months in nearly all other cases, such as loss of dependent eligibility because of death of the enrolled person, divorce, or attainment of the limiting age.
Constructive Total Loss Damage to property which is so great that the cost of recovering and repairing the property would exceed the insured value.
Contingency Cover A reinsurance agreement applying to casualty insurance. This is an excess of loss agreement where the underlying amount to be retained by the ceding insurer is at an amount which is highter than the limit on any one reinsured policy. This agreement provides payment of loss in unusual circumstances when two or more casualty policies experience the same occurrence of loss and the total amount of the payment of losses for the multiple policies exceeds the clash cover retention amount. This is sometimes known as clash cover.
Contingent Beneficiary The party designated to receive the benefits or proceeds of a life insurance policy or retirement plan should the primary beneficiary die.
Contingent Business Income The insurance against loss due to interruption of business by fire or other insured cause of loss occurring at the premises of another on whom the continuation of the business is dependent, such as the premises of a supplier or a large customer.
Continuation Allows terminated employees to continue their group health insurance coverage under certain conditions.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) Residential communities set up to provide residents with easy access to health care.
Contract Carrier A cargo transport operation that contracts with only one or a limited few shippers. This type of operation often has consistent delivery routes and rarely contracts with other operations.
Contract Year This period runs from the effective date to the expiration date of the contract.
Contribution Clause The clause in a policy which describes how much its issuer must pay if there is insurance in more than one company on a given loss.
Contributory Negligence A common law defense in which the plaintiff must be entirely free from fault in order to recover from a negligent defendant. If the plantiff has in any way been guilty of neglect, the plaintiff cannot recover from the defendant. This principle has been modified in some states by legislation and interpretation by the courts.
Contributory Value Clause Used in ocean marine hull, cargo and freight policies, setting forth the insured's responsibilities and the underwriter's obligations, with respect to the insured's interest, when involved in a general average and/or an act of salvage. The insured can be a coinsurer if the insured's interest is underinsured.
Conversion Privilege Conversion privilege is a concept related primarily to the life and health insurance sector, whereby an insured is permitted to change from one type policy to another or to increase limits, at times substantially, without having to take additional physical examinations or prove insurability.
Cooperative One type of ownership arrangement for an apartment building. It is owned by the cooperative or cooperative association, a group of individuals, each of whom owns shares in the building, rather than the person's individual units or apartments as with a condominium.
Coordination of Benefits (COB) A group policy provision which helps determine the primary carrier in situations where an insured is covered by more than one policy. This provision prevents an insured from receiving claims overpayments. Also see Nonduplication of Benefits.
Copay This is an arrangement where the covered person pays a specified amount for various services and the health care provider pays the remainder. The covered person usually must pay his or her share when the service is rendered. Similar to coinsurance, except that coinsurance is usually a percentage of certain charges where the co-payment is a dollar amount.
Copay Provision Often used with major medical policies. The copay provision states what percentage of a claim the company will pay and what percentage the insured will pay. For example, an 80 percent copay provision would provide that the insurer pay 80 percent of claims and the insured pay 20 percent.
Copayment See Copay.
Corridor Deductible A corridor deductible is exclusive to the health insurance industry. Once a major medical policy has paid the full stated amount of limits or benefits to an insured, if additional expenses still exist, the corridor deductible is the amount that must be borne by the insured before additional coverage is available.
Corridor Deductible A Major Medical deductible that provides for a deductible, or "corridor," after the full payment of basic hospital and medical expenses up to a stated amount. In the event of further expenses, payment is on the basis of participation or coinsurance, such as 80%-20% or 85%-15%, and the deductible is that portion paid by the insured.
Cosmetic Procedures Procedures which improve the appearance, but are not medically necessary.
Cost Contract An agreement between a provider and the Health Care Financing Administration to provide health services to covered persons based on reasonable costs for service.
Cost of Living Benefit An optional disability benefit where the monthly benefit will be increased annually once the insured is on claim for 12 months.
Cost Sharing A situation where covered persons pay a portion of the health costs such as deductibles, coinsurance, or copayment amounts.
Cost, Insurance & Freight (CIF) Often called CIF, this term refers to a common term in a sales contract that may be encountered in international trading when ocean marine travel is used. In this type of contract, the selling price includes the cost of the goods, all shipping charges and the cost of marine insurance. Although the seller is obligated to purchase marine insurance, the responsibility of the seller for the goods ends when the goods have been delivered to the marine carrier or have been delivered on board the shipping vessel depending upon the terms of the contract.
Coverage The extent of insurance protection afforded by a policy of insurance.
Covered Expenses Health care expenses incurred by an insured or covered person that qualify for reimbursement under the terms of a policy contract.
Covered Person A person who pays premiums into the contract for the benefits provided and who also meets eligibility requirements.
CPCU-Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter The professional designation conferred by the American Institute for Property and Liability Underwriters.
Credentialing This involves approving a provider based on certain criteria to provide or participate in a health plan.
Credit for prior coverage Any pre-existing condition waiting period met under an employer's prior (qualifying) coverage will be credited to the current plan, if any interruption of coverage between the new and prior plans meets state guidelines.
Credit Health Insurance A group disability income insurance contract whereby a creditor is protected in the event of the total disability of a debtor. The policy will pay benefits equal to the monthly installment of the debtor.
Custodial Care Care that is primarily for meeting personal needs such as help in bathing, dressing, eating or taking medicine. It can be provided by someone without professional medical skills or training but must be according to doctor's orders.
Cut-Through Clause The cut-through clause is a provision in a reinsurance agreement which clarifies that should the primary insurer become insolvent, the reinsurer is still liable for its stated share of the loss but that payment will be made directly to the insured and not to the insurer as is normally done.
Cut-Through Endorsement An addition to an insurance policy between an insurance company and a policyholder which requires that, in the event of the company's insolvency, any part of a loss covered by reinsurance be paid directly to the policyholder by the reinsurer. The cut-through endorsement is so named because it provides that the reinsurance claim payment "cuts through" the usual route of payment from reinsured company-to-policyholder and then reinsurer-to-reinsured company, substituting instead the payment route of reinsurer-to-policyholder. The effect is to revise the route of payment only, and there is no intended increased risk to the reinsurer. Similar to the guarantee endorsement, the cut-through endorsement is also known as an assumption endorsement.
Date of Service The date that the health service was provided.

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