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Glossary

This glossary is intended as a general aid to help you understand some of the commonly occurring phrases and jargon used in the insurance world.  If you have any questions about the use or meaning of a term or expression in any particular product or literature, you should raise them with the provider concerned.

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Decarbonisation
This is the process of removing harmful carbon emissions from the economy.
Declined risk
An insurer may refuse to provide insurance as the customer / event may not meet certain standards.
Decreasing term insurance
A term insurance policy where the amount of money you have insured your life for reduces steadily every year to the end of the term – in line with a repayment mortgage – but the premium stays the same.
Decumulation
When saved funds or assets are turned into an income, for example when you convert the pension assets you’ve built up during your working life into a pension income that you can spend in retirement.
Deductible
This is a specified amount that has to be paid before an insurance company will pay a claim.
Default fund
Your pension contributions will be invested in a default fund if you do not make a decision on where your funds are invested, or if you choose it over the other funds available. All pension schemes being used for automatic enrolment have offer a default fund (also called default investment fund).
Deferred premium
This is the waiting time (agreed when the policy is taken out) before an income replacement policy starts to pay out. The longer the waiting period the less expensive the policy will be.
Defined ambition
The Government is considering whether to introduce a new type of pension called defined ambition. These would be new pension products that are not defined benefit or defined contribution. The Government is developing detailed policy proposals on this issue. For more information see the Department for Work and Pensions website.
Defined benefit pension scheme
A type of scheme where what you get when you retire depends on your pensionable earnings and years of membership of that pension scheme. (Also called final salary pension scheme).
Defined contribution pension scheme
A pension scheme that provides retirement benefits based on the amount of money paid in and investment growth on this money. At retirement you should shop around to choose how your regular retirement income will be provided from the scheme. All personal pension schemes, including stakeholder schemes, are defined contribution pension schemes. (Also called money purchase pension scheme).
Dependant
Someone who is reliant on you, such as a family member, child, wife or husband.
Depreciation
A fall in the value of assets / belongings over time, for example due to wear and tear.
Direct sales
Insurance sold directly by an insurer without the involvement of intermediaries such as comparison websites, brokers, advisers, retailers and banks. Direct sales include those carried out online, through newspaper advertisements, telephone sales, and may also include business through a branch office.
Distribution bond
A single premium (a single one-off payment) investment policy. The funds are invested in different assets (such as equities, gilts, stocks and shares) to provide a regular income.
Distributor
This is another name for an intermediary or a broker. It means a third party that sells insurance products to customers.