Financial Glossary

U

Underwrite
The assumption of the risk of buying a new issue of securities from the issuer and reselling them to the public directly or through dealers.
Underwriter
This could be the person (broker or agent) who helps you choose the proper type of life insurance or disability insurance and the insurance company for your particular needs. This could also be the person at the insurance company's head office who reviews your application for coverage to determine whether or not the insurance company will issue a policy to you.
Underwriting
The process by which an insurer determines whether or not, and on what basis, it will accept an application for insurance.
Underwriting Fees
A sum of money collected by some lenders to offset expenses incurred in the lending transaction.
Uniform Premium
A rating structure in which one premium applies to all insureds, regardless of age, sex, or occupation.
Uninsurable Risk
One not acceptable for insurance due to excessive risk.
Universal Life Insurance
A flexible premium life insurance policy under which the policyholder may change the death benefit from time to time (with satisfactory evidence of insurability for increases) and vary the amount or timing of premium payments. Premiums (less expense charges) are credited to a policy account from which mortality charges are deducted and to which interest is credited at rate that may change from time to time.

V

Vancouver Stock Exchange (VSE)
The company incorporated in 1907 by a special act of the B.C. legislature; unlike the ME and TSE, trades on the VSE are cleared through the Vancouver Stock Exchange Service Corporation; under a restructuring agreement between Canada's exchanges, the VSE and ASE combined to form the Canadian Venture Exchange (CDNX); in 2001, the TSE (Toronto Stock Exchange) acquired the CDNX.
Variable Annuity
An annuity contract in which the amount of each periodic income payment may fluctuate. The fluctuation may be related to securities market values, a cost of living index, or some other variable factor.
Variable Life Insurance
Life insurance under which the benefits relate to the value of assets behind the contract at the time the benefit is paid. The amount of death benefit payable would, under variable life policies that have been proposed, never be less than the initial death benefit payable under the policy.
Variable Rate Mortgage
A mortgage loan for which the rate of interest changes with market conditions. Usually the monthly payment amount is fixed for a stipulated period but the amount of principal reduction varies according to the rate of interest.
Vendor Financing (Balance of Sale)
The seller sometimes takes the mortgage at a rate lower than market rates. Most of these arrangements are not renewable or transferable to the next owner.
Vest
A provision that a pension participant will, after meeting certain requirements, retain a right to all or part of the accrued benefits, even though the employee may leave the job before retirement.
Viatical Settlement
A dictionary meaning for the word viatica is "the eucharist as given to a dying person or to one in danger of death". In the context of Viatical Settlement it means the selling of one's own life insurance policy to another in exchange for an immediate percentage of the death benefit. The person or in many cases, group of persons buying the rights to the policy have high expectation of the imminent death of the previous owner. The sooner the death of the previous owner, the higher the profit.
Voting Right
The common stockholders right to vote their stock in the affairs of a company.

W

Waiting Period
The length of time an employee must wait from his/ her date of employment or application for coverage, to the date his/ her insurance is effective.
Waiver of Premium
A provision in some policies to relieve the insured of premium payments falling due during a period of continuous total disability that has lasted for a specified length of time, such as three or six months.
Waiver
An agreement attached to a policy which exempts from coverage certain disabilities or injuries that otherwise would be covered by the policy.
Warrant
A certificate giving the holder the right to purchase securities at a stipulated price within a specified time limit; often issued with a new issue to entice customers to purchase the security.
Whole Life Insurance
A plan of insurance for the whole of life. It includes straight life on which premiums are payable until death.
Will
The legal statement of a person's wishes concerning the disposal of his or her property after death.
Workers' Compensation Insurance
Insurance against liability imposed on certain employers to pay benefits and furnish care to employees injured, and to pay benefits to dependents of employees killed in the course of or arising out of their employment.

Y

Yearly Renewable Term Insurance
Sometimes, simply called YRT, this is a form of term life insurance that may be renewed annually without evidence of insurability to a stated age.