A clause whereby the insurers do not generally forfeit all the premia paid, in case of a lapse of policy. This benefit is accorded to policy holders because of higher premia paid during the early years and the interest earned on these premia by the insurance companies.

Insurance cover guaranteeing certain benefits but for which the policyholder bears no investment risk and does not gain or lose if returns differ from expectations. Pure risk business, such as term assurance, annuities, health insurance and disability cover, is normally written on a non-profit basis.

The technical name given to an initial depletion of cash and/or erosion of shareholders' net assets at the moment an insurance contract is sold. This "strain" arises because, in addition to meeting costs associated with the sale of contracts, insurance companies must make actuarial provisions at the outset of a contract that are often significantly higher than the premiums received. To begin with, therefore, cash outflows exceed inflows, creating a strain.

The amount left over after deducting tax, interest, depreciation, fees, minority interests and extraordinary charges from sales revenue. Also known as net earnings, or net income.


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