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Glossary of Insurance & Financial Terms

The following glossary provides a brief description of some of the terminology used with insurance and financial products.

To make it quicker for you to find the specific term you are looking for, or if you are just trying to learn about a specific type of financial product this glossary is organized by type of financial product. The following glossary is not specific to any individual insurance carrier or financial services company. Each company may use different definitions in their respective contract which may be different from the following.

Dental Insurance

Class of Service

Dental plans usually break down dental services into 3 or 4 different categories or classes of service. The expenses in each category or class of service are paid at different amounts and may be subject to different waiting periods and annual or lifetime benefits. As an example the classes may be broken down between Diagnostic Services, Preventive Services, Basic Services, Major Services and Orthodontic Services. The dental expenses that fall under each class of service may vary between insurance plans.


The amount of covered dental expenses an individual must pay out of pocket before the insurance contact starts to pay. The deductible amount starts over either on a calendar year basis or on the plan anniversary.

Probationary Period or Waiting Period

The period after an employee is hired in which the benefits from the plan are not available.

Balance Billing

Billed for services you received from a dentist that were over and above the usual and customary charges allowed by your insurance plan for the particular service you received. Balanced billing may occur when you have a fee for services plan or an indemnity plan.

Maximum Contract Benefits

The maximum amount the plan pays for those expenses covered under the plan benefit year.

Coordination of Benefits

When an insured is covered by two or more dental plans the insurance carrier will coordinate benefits between the plans. The insured will not be reimbursed more than the cost of the dental services.


This is a percent of the covered charges that an insured will pay after he/she has met their deductible. The insurance carrier will also pay a percent of the covered charges The coinsurance the insured pays is usually 20 % for basic services and 50 % for major services.


A predetermined amount an insured pays for each type of dental service obtained. May also be referred to as a fee.

Disability Insurance

Health Insurance

Life Insurance

Long Term Care



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