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Definition of Claim

Claim Image 1

Claim

Request for payment of benefits under the terms of an insurance policy.



Related Terms:

Claim dilution

A reduction in the likelihood one or more of the firm's claimants will be fully repaid,
including time value of money considerations.


Claimant

A party to an explicit or implicit contract.


Claimant

Person or party making request for payment of benefits under the terms of an insurance policy.


Contingent claim

A claim that can be made only if one or more specified outcomes occur.


Disclaimer of opinion

An auditor's statement disclaiming any opinion regarding the company's financial
condition.



Equity claim

Also called a residual claim, a claim to a share of earnings after debt obligation have been
satisfied.


Marketed claims

claims that can be bought and sold in financial markets, such as those of stockholders and
bondholders.


Claim Image 2

Nonmarketed claims

claims that cannot be easily bought and sold in the financial markets, such as those of
the government and litigants in lawsuits.


Preferred Stock Stock that has a claim on assets and dividends of a corporation that are prior

to that of common stock. Preferred stock typically does not carry the right to vote.


Residual claim

Related: equity claim


Unclaimed Pay

Net pay not collected by an employee, which is typically transferred
to the local state government after a mandated interval has passed from
the date of payment.


accounting equation

An equation that reflects the two-sided nature of a
business entity, assets on the one side and the sources of assets on the
other side (assets = liabilities + owners’ equity). The assets of a business
entity are subject to two types of claims that arise from its two basic
sources of capital—liabilities and owners’ equity. The accounting equation
is the foundation for double-entry bookkeeping, which uses a
scheme for recording changes in these basic types of accounts as either
debits or credits such that the total of accounts with debit balances
equals the total of accounts with credit balances. The accounting equation
also serves as the framework for the statement of financial condition,
or balance sheet, which is one of the three fundamental financial
statements reported by a business.


American shares

Securities certificates issued in the U.S. by a transfer agent acting on behalf of the foreign
issuer. The certificates represent claims to foreign equities.


Asset

Something that is owned; a financial claim or a piece of property that is a store of value.


Beneficiary

This is the person who benefits from the terms of a trust, a will, an RRSP, a RRIF, a LIF, an annuity or a life insurance policy. In relation to RRSP's, RRIF's, LIF's, Annuities and of course life insurance, if the beneficiary is a spouse, parent, offspring or grand-child, they are considered to be a preferred beneficiary. If the insured has named a preferred beneficiary, the death benefit is invariably protected from creditors. There have been some court challenges of this right of protection but so far they have been unsuccessful. See "Creditor Protection" below. A beneficiary under the age of 18 must be represented by an individual guardian over the age of 18 or a public official who represents minors generally. A policy owner may, in the designation of a beneficiary, appoint someone to act as trustee for a minor. Death benefits are not subject to income taxes. If you make your beneficiary your estate, the death benefit will be included in your assets for probate. Probate filing fees are currently $14 per thousand of estate value in British Columbia and $15 per thousand of estate value in Ontario.
Another way to avoid probate fees or creditor claims against life insurance proceeds is for the insured person to designate and register with his/her insurance company's head office an irrevocable beneficiary. By making such a designation, the insured gives up the right to make any changes to his/her policy without the consent of the irrevocable beneficiary. Because of the seriousness of the implications, an irrevocable designation should only be made for good reason and where the insured fully understands the consequences.
NoteA successful challenge of the rules relating to beneficiaries was concluded in an Ontario court in 1996. The Insurance Act says its provisions relating to beneficiaries are made "notwithstanding the Succession Law Reform Act." There are two relevent provisions of the Succession Law Reform Act. One section of the act gives a judge the power to make any order concerning an estate if the deceased person has failed to provide for a dependant. Another section says money from a life insurance policy can be considered part of the estate if an order is made to support a dependant. In the case in question, the deceased had attempted to deceive his lawful dependents by making his common-law-spouse the beneficiary of an insurance policy which by court order was supposed to name his ex-spouse and children as beneficiaries.


Best-interests-of-creditors test

The requirement that a claim holder voting against a plan of reorganization
must receive at least as much as he would have if the debtor were liquidated.


Claim Image 3

Common Stock

A financial security that represents an ownership claim on the
assets and earnings of a company. This claim is valid after the
claims of the debt providers and preferred stockholders have been
satisfied.


Common Stock

That part of the capital stock of a corporation that carries voting rights and represents
the last claim on assets and dividends.



Common stock ratios

Ratios that are designed to measure the relative claims of stockholders to earnings
(cash flow per share), and equity (book value per share) of a firm.


Contingent Beneficiary

This is the person designated to receive the death benefit of a life insurance policy if the primary beneficiary dies before the life insured. This is a consideration when husband and wife make each other the beneficiary of their coverage. Should they both die in the same car accident or plane crash, the death benefits would go to each others estate and creditor claims could be made against them. Particularly if minor children could be survivors, then a trustee contingent beneficiary should be named.


Current Ratio

Current assets divided by current liabilities. This ratio indicates the extent to which the claims of short-term creditors are covered by assets expected to be converted to cash in the near future.


Debenture bond

An unsecured bond whose holder has the claim of a general creditor on all assets of the
issuer not pledged specifically to secure other debt. Compare subordinated debenture bond, and collateral
trust bonds.


Depreciation Allowances

Tax deductions that businesses can claim when they spend money on investment goods.


Dividend

As the term dividend relates to a corporation's earnings, a dividend is an amount paid per share from a corporation's after tax profits. Depending on the type of share, it may or may not have the right to earn any dividends and corporations may reduce or even suspend dividend payments if they are not doing well. Some dividends are paid in the form of additional shares of the corporation. Dividends paid by Canadian corporations qualify for the dividend tax credit and are taxed at lower rates than other income.
As the term dividend relates to a life insurance policy, it means that if that policy is "participating", the policy owner is entitled to participate in an equitable distribution of the surplus earnings of the insurance company which issued the policy. Surpluses arise primarily from three sources:
1) the difference between anticipated and actual operating expenses,
2) the difference between anticipated and actual claims experience, and
3) interest earned on investments over and above the rate required to maintain policy reserves. Having regard to the source of the surplus, the "dividend" so paid can be considered, in part at least, as a refund of part of the premium paid by the policy owner.
Life insurance policy owners of participating policies usually have four and sometimes five dividend options from which to choose:
1) take the dividend in cash,
2) apply the dividend to reduce current premiums,
3) leave the dividends on deposit with the insurance company to accumulate at interest like a savings plan,
4) use the dividends to purchase paid-up whole life insurance to mature at the same time as the original policy,
5) use the dividends to purchase one year term insurance equal to the guaranteed cash value at the end of the policy year, with any portion of the dividend not required for this purpose being applied under one of the other dividend options.
NOTE: It is suggested here that if you have a participating whole life policy and at the time of purchase received a "dividend projection" of incredible future savings, ask for a current projection. Life insurance company's surpluses are not what they used to be.


Financial assets

claims on real assets.


financial assets

claims to the income generated by real assets. Also called securities.


Foreign Exchange Reserves

A fund containing the central bank's holdings of foreign currency or claims thereon.


Claim Image 4

Group Life Insurance

This is a very common form of life insurance which is found in employee benefit plans and bank mortgage insurance. In employee benefit plans the form of this insurance is usually one year renewable term insurance. The cost of this coverage is based on the average age of everyone in the group. Therefore a group of young people would have inexpensive rates and an older group would have more expensive rates.
Some people rely on this kind of insurance as their primary coverage forgetting that group life insurance is a condition of employment with their employer. The coverage is not portable and cannot be taken with you if you change jobs. If you have a change in health, you may not qualify for new coverage at your new place of employment.
Bank mortgage insurance is also usually group insurance and you can tell this by virtue of the fact that you only receive a certificate of insurance, and not a complete policy. The only form in which bank mortgage insurance is sold is reducing term insurance, matching the declining mortgage balance. The only beneficiary that can be chosen for this kind of insurance is the bank. In both cases, employee benefit plan group insurance and bank mortgage insurance, the coverage is not guaranteed. This means that coverage can be cancelled by the insurance company underwriting that particular plan, if they are experiencing excessive claims.



Intangible asset

A legal claim to some future benefit, typically a claim to future cash. Goodwill, intellectual
property, patents, copyrights, and trademarks are examples of intangible assets.


Junior debt (subordinate debt)

Debt whose holders have a claim on the firm's assets only after senior
debtholder's claims have been satisfied. Subordinated debt.


Mortgage Insurance

Commonly sold in the form of reducing term life insurance by lending institutions, this is life insurance with a death benefit reducing to zero over a specific period of time, usually 20 to 25 years. In most instances, the cost of coverage remains level, while the death benefit continues to decline. Re-stated, the cost of this kind of insurance is actually increasing since less death benefit is paid as the outstanding mortgage balance decreases while the cost remains the same. Lending institutions are the most popular sources for this kind of coverage because it is usually sold during the purchase of a new mortgage. The untrained institution mortgage sales person often gives the impression that this is the only place mortgage insurance can be purchased but it is more efficiently purchased at a lower cost and with more flexibility, directly from traditional life insurance companies. No matter where it is purchased, the reducing term insurance death benefit reduces over a set period of years. Most consumers are up-sizing their residences, not down-sizing, so it is likely that more coverage is required as years pass, rather than less coverage.
The cost of mortgage lender's insurance group coverage is based on a blended non-smoker/smoker rate, not having any advantage to either male or female. Mortgage lender's group insurance certificate specifies that it [the lender] is the sole beneficiary entitled to receive the death benefit. Mortgage lender's group insurance is not portable and is not guaranteed. Generally speaking, your coverage is void if you do not occupy the house for a period of time, rent the home, fall into arrears on the mortgage, and there are a few others which vary by institution. If, for example, you sell your home and buy another, your current mortgage insurance coverage ends and you will have to qualify for new coverage when you purchase your next home. Maybe you won't be able to qualify. Not being guaranteed means that it is possible for the lending institution's group insurance carrier to cancel all policy holder's coverages if they are experiencing too many death benefit claims.
Mortgage insurance purchased from a life insurance company, is priced, based on gender, smoking status, health and lifestyle of the purchaser. Once obtained, it is a unilateral contract in your favour, which cannot be cancelled by the insurance company unless you say so or unless you stop paying for it. It pays upon the death of the life insured to any "named beneficiary" you choose, tax free. If, instead of reducing term life insurance, you have purchased enough level or increasing life insurance coverage based on your projection of future need, you can buy as many new homes in the future as you want and you won't have to worry about coverage you might loose by renewing or increasing your mortgage.
It is worth mentioning mortgage creditor protection insurance since it is many times mistakenly referred to simply as mortgage insurance. If a home buyer has a limited amount of down payment towards a substantial home purchase price, he/she may qualify for a high ratio mortgage on a home purchase if a lump sum fee is paid for mortgage creditor protection insurance. The only Canadian mortgage lenders currently known to offer this option through the distribution system of banks and trust companies, are General Electric Capital [GE Capital] and Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation [CMHC]. The lump sum fee is mandatory when the mortgage is more than 75% of the value of the property being purchased. The lump sum fee is usually added onto the mortgage. It's important to realize that the only beneficiary of this type of coverage is the morgage lender, which is the bank or trust company through which the buyer arranged their mortgage. If the buyer for some reason defaults on this kind of high ratio mortgage and the value of the property has dropped since being purchased, the mortgage creditor protection insurance makes certain that the bank or trust company gets paid. However, this is not the end of the story, because whatever the difference is, between the disposition value of the property and whatever sum of unpaid mortgage money is outstanding to either GE Capital or CMHC will be the subject of collection procedures against the defaulting home buyer. Therefore, one should conclude that this kind of insurance offers protection only to the bank or trust company and absolutely no protection to the home buyer.


Non-Smoker Discount

In October 1996 it was announced in the international news that scientists had finally located the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. In the early 1980's, some Canadian Life Insurance Companies had already started recognizing that non-smokers had a better life expectancy than smokers so commenced offering premium discounts for life insurance to new applicants who have been non-smokers for at least 12 months before applying for coverage. Today, most life insurance companies offer these discounts.
Savings to non-smokers can be up to 50% of regular premium depending on age and insurance company. Most life insurance companies offering non-smoker rates insist that the person applying for coverage have abstained from any form of tobacco or marijuana for at least twelve months, some companies insist on longer periods, up to 15 years.
Tobacco use is generally considered to be cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, nicorette gum, snuff, marijuana and nicotine patches. In addition to these, if anyone tests positive to cotinine, a by-product of nicotine, they are also considered a smoker. There are some insurance companies which allow moderate or occasional use of cigars, cigarillos or pipes as acceptable for non-smoker status. Experienced brokers are aware of how to locate these insurance companies and save you money.
Special care should be taken by applicants for coverage who qualify for non-smoker rates by virtue of having ceased a smoking habit for the required period before application, but for some reason, fall back into the smoking habit some time after obtaining coverage. While contractually, the insurance company is still bound to a non-smoking rate, the facts of the applicant's smoking hiatus may become vague over the subsequent years of the resumed habit and at time of death claim, the insurance company may decide to contest the original non-smoking declaration. The consequence is not simply a need to back pay the difference between non-smoker and smoker rates but in reality the possibility of denial of death claim. It is therefore, important to advise the servicing broker as well as the insurance company of the change in smoking habits to make certain that sufficient evidence is documented to track the non-smoking period.


Planned amortization class CMO

1) One class of CMO that carries the most stable cash flows and the
lowest prepayement risk of any class of CMO. Because of that stable cash flow, it is considered the least risky CMO.
2) A CMO bond class that stipulates cash-flow contributions to a sinking fund. With the PAC,
principal payments are directed to the sinking fund on a priority basis in accordance with a predetermined
payment schedule, with prior claim to the cash flows before other CMO classes. Similarly, cash flows
received by the trust in excess of the sinking fund requirement are also allocated to other bond classes. The
prepayment experience of the PAC is therefore very stable over a wide range of prepayment experience.


Pre-existing medical condition (Credit Insurance)

A medical condition that existed before you became insured. Most policies exclude benefits if the condition is related to the event that triggers a claim if occurs within a certain period (6-12 months) after you became insured.


Preferred stock

A security that shows ownership in a corporation and gives the holder a claim, prior to the
claim of common stockholders, on earnings and also generally on assets in the event of liquidation. Most
preferred stock pays a fixed dividend that is paid prior to the common stock dividend, stated in a dollar
amount or as a percentage of par value. This stock does not usually carry voting rights. The stock shares
characteristics of both common stock and debt.


Preferred Stock

A type of equity security where holders have a claim on the assets
and earnings of a company after the debt providers but before the
holders of common stock. Preferred stock generally pays a fixed
or floating rate dividend each year.


Realizable Revenue A revenue transaction where assets received in exchange for goods and

services are readily convertible into known amounts of cash or claims to cash.


Realized Revenue

A revenue transaction where goods and services are exchanged for cash or
claims to cash.


Reclamation

A claim for the right to return or the right to demand the return of a security that has been
previously accepted as a result of bad delivery or other irregularities in the delivery and settlement process.


Recourse

Term describing a type of loan. If a loan is with recourse, the lender has a general claim against the
parent company if the collateral is insufficient to repay the debt.


reorganization

Restructuring of financial claims on failing firm to allow it to keep operating.


Reserve currency

A foreign currency held by a central bank or monetary authority for the purposes of
exchange intervention and the settlement of inter-governmental claims.


Reserve Ratio

This calculation is used by states to determine the unemployment contribution rate to charge employers. The ongoing balance of a firm’s unclaimed
contributions from previous years is reduced by unemployment claims for the past year and then divided by the average annual payroll, resulting in a "reserve ratio".


Residual assets

Assets that remain after sufficient assets are dedicated to meet all senior debtholder's claims in full.


RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) (Canada)

A savings plan registered with Revenue Canada, which allows you to set aside a portion of your earned income now for use in the future. When you contribute to your RRSP, you are eligible to claim a tax deduction. However, cashing RRSPs at a later date will result in the payment of tax.


Secured debt

Debt that, in the event of default, has first claim on specified assets.


secured debt

Debt that has first claim on specified collateral in the event of default.


Shareholders' Equity

The residual interest or owners' claims on the assets of a corporation
that remain after deducting its liabilities.


spousal RRSP (Canada)

The RRSP rules allow you to contribute to an RRSP for your spouse and claim the deduction yourself. Your total contribution (to your own and your spouse's plan) is still subject to your normal contribution limits, minus any personal pension adjustment and any past service pension adjustment, plus any unused contribution room from prior years and any pension adjustment reversal. Generally, the advantage is that your spouse will ultimately be the one who reports the income for tax purposes when the funds are withdrawn on retirement or otherwise (certain restrictions apply). If your spouse will have a lower income than you when the funds are withdrawn, significantly lower taxes may be payable on the withdrawn amount.


STOCK

Certificates that signify ownership in a corporation. A share of stock represents a claim on a portion of the company’s assets.


Stockholder's equity

The residual claims that stockholders have against a firm's assets, calculated by
subtracting total liabilities from total assets.


Structured Settlement

Historically, damages paid out during settlement of personal physical injury cases were distributed in the form of a lump-sum cash payment to the plaintiff. This windfall was intended to provide for a lifetime of medical and income needs. The claimant or his/her family was then forced into the position of becoming the manager of a large sum of money.
In an effort to create a more financially stable arrangement for the claimant, the Structured Settlement was developed. A Structured Settlement is an alternative to a lump sum cash payment in the resolution of personal physical injury, wrongful death, or workers’ compensation cases. The settlement usually consists of two components: an up-front cash payment to provide for immediate needs and a series of future periodic payments which are funded by the defendant’s purchase of one or more annuity policies. Those payors make payments directly to the claimant. In the unfortunate event of the claimant’s death, a guaranteed portion of the settlement may be directed to a beneficiary or his/her estate.
A Structured Settlement is a guaranteed source of funds paid to the claimant or his/her family on a tax-free basis.


Subordinated Debenture

A bond having a claim on assets only after the senior debt has been paid off in the event of liquidation.


Subordinated debenture bond

An unsecured bond that ranks after secured debt, after debenture bonds, and
often after some general creditors in its claim on assets and earnings. Related: Debenture bond, mortgage
bond, collateral trust bonds.


Subordinated debt

Debt over which senior debt takes priority. In the event of bankruptcy, subordinated
debtholders receive payment only after senior debt claims are paid in full.


Subordination clause

A provision in a bond indenture that restricts the issuer's future borrowing by
subordinating the new lender's claims on the firm to those of the existing bond holders.


Subrogation

Conditional payments may be made by an insurance company to a disability insurance claimant who has a loss of income claim against a third party who caused or contributed to their disability, however, the insurance company has a right to seek reimbursement of any payments they made to the claimant either from the third party or from any judgement or settlement received by the claimant from the third party.


Tax-timing option

The option to sell an asset and claim a loss for tax purposes or not to sell the asset and
defer the capital gains tax.


Underwriting income

For an insurance company, the difference between the premiums earned and the costs
of settling claims.


Unencumbered

Property free and clear of all liens (creditors' secured claims).



 

 

 

 

 

 

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