Life Insurance Glossary of Terms

The following is a collection of terms with their definitions to be used in conjunction with viewing an individual’s University sponsored life insurance coverage and beneficiary designations and updating such information online using the Self Service Portal.

Basic Life Insurance

The University (employer) paid life insurance plan.

Beneficiary

The person (parent, spouse, child or other relative or friend) designated to receive life insurance benefits in the event of the death of the covered individual. A beneficiary may also be a trust.

Beneficiary Allocation

Method for the life insurance benefit distribution to beneficiaries by a percent or dollar amount.

Beneficiary Designation

An individual who an employee specifies to receive life insurance benefits in the event of his or her death.

Contingent Beneficiary

An individual who will receive life insurance benefits only if the primary beneficiaries are deceased. For example, an individual who has a spouse and two children may designate benefits to be paid first to the spouse and then to the children if the spouse is deceased. The children are considered contingent beneficiaries. It is not mandatory to designate a contingent beneficiary though is recommended.

Dependent Child Life Insurance

The employee paid life insurance plan covering the employee’s eligible dependent children.

Evidence of Insurability

A form made available by the sponsoring company for the life insurance plans to apply for life insurance coverage after hire or initial eligibility. Applies to the Basic, Supplemental and Spouse plans.

Primary Beneficiary

An individual who is designated to receive life insurance benefits, in the event of the employee’s death, before other beneficiaries. For example, an individual who has a spouse and two children may designate benefits to be paid first to the spouse and then to the children if the spouse is deceased. The spouse is considered the primary beneficiary.

Spouse Life Insurance

The employee paid life insurance plan covering the employee’s spouse or partner.

Supplemental Life Insurance

The employee paid life insurance plan covering the employee.

Trust

A legal and financial arrangement used to manage an individual’s assets in the event of his or her death. There are a variety of trust arrangements. If an individual is interested in learning more about trusts or establishing a trust, he or she should consult a licensed attorney experienced with trusts and estate planning.

Trustee

The manager of a trust, usually a bank or trust company.

Will

  • A legal document that provides instructions on how an individual wishes his or her personal property, financial assets and personal belongings are to be distributed in the event of his or her death.
  • It may also specify instructions for funeral and related arrangements.
  • An individual should write a will in order to appoint guardians for any minor children, and trustees to manage their property.
  • If an individual does not leave a will, the court may appoint a guardian.
  • A will should be updated following family and other status changes.
  • A will must be witnessed and signed by an individual who is not a spouse, beneficiary or executor.