Actuary. A highly skilled professional used by insurance company management to enable it to show profits in down markets or losses in up markets.
Bankers Blanket Blonde. What some bankers like to curl up with on a cold winter’s night.
Barium. What a doctor does with his mistakes.
Barker. Little furry, sharp-nosed creature; one of the genus seducer. Named for the sharp vocal sounds made when asked to compete in the open market.
Cancer Ration Craws. What Tokyo Fire and Marine invokes when it doesn't want to continue on a policy.
Certificate of Insurance. Evidence either that insurance exists, exists with insufficient limits, or may have existed at one time.
Coinsurance Claws. What claims adjusters use on claimants.
Compensation. Something that applies to slightly injured workers, as in "his injury was minor, but then compensation set in."
Coverage. What umbrella insurance policies used to supply. Now obsolete.
Fire Prediction Engineer. One who tells where the next fire will occur.
Insolence. Provides protection against laws.
Insultant. One who is given a large fee to insult the rest manager, seducer, and undertaker.
Insurance Commissioner. Product of a taxpayer-supported farm system, designed to train people for more exalted positions with insurance companies, law firms, etc.
Jewelers Block. Condition of jewelers after a burglary when asked if the alarm had been turned on.
Laws. What the rest manager must guard against.
Lessee. Person or firm that rents out or leases property to another—or is it a person or firm that rents or leases property from another? Oh, hell, see Lessor.
Lessor. Person or firm that rents out or leases property to another—or is it a person or firm that rents or leases property from another? Oh, hell, see Lessee.
Liability. A highly prized ability often used by CEO's of insolence companies when reporting reserves and value of investments.
Lutine Bell. An old ship’s bell which hangs at Lloyd’s. Rings once for good news, twice for bad news, and three times if a slip for a U.S. liability risk appears on the floor.
Maureen Cargo. Fiery Irish protester renowned for her opposition to the $500 package limit. Daughter of the legendary O'Sean Cargo.
McCarran-Ferguson Act. An old vaudeville act of Sammy McCarran and Frankie Ferguson. Applauded by insurance company people. Booed by consumer advocates.
Nader. The ultimate bottom, according to insurers. As opposed to zenith.
Nose coverage. Jimmy Durante bought it from Lloyd’s. See Tail coverage.
Reserve. An infinitely flexible number constituting the best tool of an actuary (q.v.) to achieve the goals of management.
Rest Management. Origin obscure. Some say it is management of "the rest" of all the organization's activities, while others think it comes from the fact that its practitioners rest so much.
Rest Manager. A rapidly proliferating type of manager, best known for opposition to insolence and long lunches with barkers.
Retroactive insurance. A policy accidentally dropped into a nuclear reactor.
Retrospective premium. A premium higher than standard, so named because in retrospect the underwriter says "I need more money."
Seducer. One who stands between the rest manager and undertaker, seducing each into a contract detrimental to both.
Sudden and accidental pollution. According to the courts, all pollution.
Surplus lines. What all insurance policies have.
Symmetry. Where they barium.
Tail coverage. Special policy written for Disneyland. See Nose coverage.
Uberrima Fides. (1) Freely translated from the Latin as "You bury my fee days," a heartfelt plea from commission brokers. (2) The way relations used to be between insurers and insureds in ancient times.
Undertaker. Literally, one who takes under. Sometimes known to go under and never come up, taking the rest manager with him. With today's legal currents, he sometimes also takes the seducer under.
Risk management regularly touches the fringes of the legal system, so it seems only fit that we include some legal terms we are likely to encounter.
To help us in this regard we are pleased to be able to tap the professional acumen of Ms. Cybil Wright, Esq., of Threlkeld, Mindelfarb, Throg, Nokyasoksoff, Skadden, Urps, Tortwaffler, Merkin, Glotferble, Crotchlofty, Pookwhistle, and Gorb. Here is her summary of legal definitions:
Appeal. What lawyers don’t have but love to do.
Complaint. Finnegan never returns my calls.
Criminal lawyer. A redundancy.
Cross complaint. That sniveling cur Finnegan won’t return my bleeping phone calls.
Contingent fee. A clever concept of plaintiff’s attorneys to give a windfall to the plaintiff and a gold-lined honey pot to themselves.
Deposition. Snarling contest between attorneys.
Dram shop. Where you buy drams.
Esquire. An honorific after a name; e.g., Mary Jones, Esq. means "Ha, ha, I’m a lawyer."
Fungible. Capable of being funged.
Isuzu. Make of auto favored by belligerent, but grammatically limited, plaintiff’s attorneys.
Lawyer’s brief. An oxymoron.
Lawyer. A clever juggler of words who can infer any desired meaning from a group of words, irrespective of facts or ultimate consequences.
My esteemed opponent. Euphemism for "that contemptible cur."
Pain and suffering. A concept which converts ordinary vicissitudes of life into income for lawyers.
Paralegal. An attorney just retired with a golden parachute.
Statue of Limitations. A monument in downtown Hartford memorializing the many exclusions and limitations of insurance policies which have contributed so greatly to insurer profitability.
Summary judgment. A warm, friendly judgment, as opposed to the colder wintry judgment.
Superior court. One where you win your case.
Supreme court. One where you win your case and get punitive damages, too.
Accounts payable. Payments to be made in 120 days or whenever funds become available, whichever comes last.
Accounts receivable. Money due immediately.
B.S. Business school.
Brokee. Someone who buys insurance on the advice of a broker.
Business ethics. An oxymoron, analogous to military justice or government intelligence.
Calculator. A gadget so handy that executives carry two at all times, so if one fails they won’t have to admit they can no longer do long division.
Committee. A group that keeps minutes but wastes hours.
Computer. A device to absorb rough estimates, then, by the magic of technology, produce answers accurate to 8 decimal places.
Déjà vu. The feeling you get when the insurance market hardens.
Headhunter. In South America, someone who shrinks heads. In North America, someone who swells them.
Windfall profits. Profits made by your competitor. Opposed to your own "earned income."
Xerox machine. A wonderful fringe benefit useful to senders of party invitations and to those who disseminate cartoons or funny stories to the staff.