Insurance comes with its own language and can often be confusing. We want to ensure that you feel comfortable and confident in purchasing insurance. Read on for common insurance terminology you will likely come across during your insurance purchase.

Do I need General Liability or Professional Liability?

General liability covers risks associated with business, such as clients and others who come into contact with the business and/or employees. General Liability usually includes bodily injury and property damage – like a client falling in the office. Professional liability covers services and actions provided by a professional, such as an improper advice.

What is the difference between a Claims-Made policy and an Occurrence policy?

Claims-Made is a policy that only covers claims made during the policy period (the effective dates). Tail coverage is a provision within a claims-made policy. It allows you to report a claim that was made against you after a policy has expired or been canceled, if the incident took place during the time the policy was active.

Occurrence policies protect you from a covered incident, even if a claim is made after the policy is no longer in effect.

Polices differ, and the type you purchase can have a huge impact on your livelihood, so be sure and review the language of your policy carefully.

Am I personally liable for a claim against me?

Consulting an attorney is key – forming an LLC or other legal entity can add an additional layer of protection. While insurance is required by the state you practice in, your personal assets can be at risk without the right coverage and legal protections.


What are some other terms I should know to be an informed policyholder?

Claim – An allegation brought against you by a customer or client or other 3rd party. Even if unfounded, time and money can be wasted defending yourself if you don’t have the proper coverage.

Carrier or underwriter –The insurance company that is ultimately providing the policy and handling the execution and support of that policy.

Endorsement – An addendum or anything else added to an existing insurance policy.

Covered Services – These are acts you undertake as a professional in your field that are covered by your insurance policy. Covered means your insurance will pay and/or support if a claim is made against you. Exclusions are services or acts not covered, such as offering advice outside of the realm of your profession.


In general, it’s always a best practice to protect yourself against the unknown with the proper insurance. Being informed is the best approach – don’t let a misunderstanding get in the way of your options.

Contact Lockton Affinity at 913.652.7500 for more information. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions about insurance terminology and make sure you get the coverage you need.