Most of the definitions below are provided courtesy of the Insurance Institute of Canada. Definitions provided by Insurance Bureau of Canada are indicated with an asterisk ("*").
The language of insurance can be quite complex and confusing. Below are some commonly used insurance terms and their meanings. Insurance professionals with whom you may come into contact should be prepared to explain these terms. If you don't understand, ask!
This information is for educational purposes only and should not be relied upon to form professional opinions on coverage issues.
- Vacant Building
- A building with no occupants or furnishings. See also Unoccupied.
- Valuable Papers Insurance*
- Insurance that protects a business's valuable documents, such as architectural drawings, law libraries, medical reference books, etc.
- Appraisal estimation of the value of an item.
- Valued Policy
- A policy which provides that a special amount shall be paid in the event of a total loss of the property.
- Vandalism and Malicious Mischief
- The wilful injury or destruction of property. Insured against by the extended coverage endorsement of a property insurance policy.
- Vehicle identification number (VIN)*
- This is the number usually found on the dashboard of a vehicle on the driver's side, and is usually listed on the vehicle registration and title. The VIN is a combination of letters and numbers 17 characters in length that can be used to identify the make, model, and year of a car.
- Vicarious Liability
- Liability imposed upon a person even though not a party to a particular occurrence, e.g., the owner of a motor vehicle is vicariously responsible for injuries even though he is not driving the car at the time of the occurrence.
- See Vehicle identification number.
- VIN Switch*
- VIN switching is a technique used by car thieves to disguise the identity of a stolen car. The VIN of a stolen vehicle is replaced with the VIN from a legitimate vehicle, one that is not registered as stolen. The criminal then tries to sell the stolen vehicle. Often, criminals will also develop false registration papers for the vehicle.
- 1) Invalid, not legally binding.
2) An insurance contract that is prohibited by law and thus cannot be held to be a valid contract.
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