Wagering contract

A policy of insurance where the insured has no bona fide insurable interest and no reasonable expectation of acquiring one. Such a policy is void.

Wages declaration

A return by an insured of wages paid during a period of insurance, for the purpose of calculation of the appropriate premium.


A uniformed attendant at Lloyd's.

Waiting period

A period elapsing after the inception of an insurance during which, if the event insured against occurs, the insurers will be under no liability for its occurrence / A period of employment before an employee becomes eligible to join his employer's life assurance or pensions scheme.


The surrender of a right by express words or by the conduct of one who, after he has become aware of the right, fails to exercise it.

Waiver clause

A clause in a marine insurance policy which preserves the respective rights of the insurer and the insured if either takes action to preserve the insured property from loss. The clause provides that any such action shall not be construed as a waiver or acceptance of abandonment.

Waiver of premium

An agreement by an insurer to forgo a premium in certain circumstances, e.g., under a life assurance policy if the assured is totally disabled.


The employment of force between governments or entities essentially like governments.

War (and Civil War) exclusion clause

A clause in non-marine insurance policies, other than life, excluding liability for losses consequent on war, invasion, act of foreign enemy, hostilities (whether war be declared or not), civil war, rebellion, revolution, insurrection, or military or usurped power.

War etc.

In marine insurance this term is taken to mean the perils of war, strikes, riots, civil commotions and malicious damage.

War perils

In marine insurance this term is taken to mean the perils of capture, seizure, arrest, restraint or detainment of princes or peoples, men of war, engines of war, mines, torpedoes or any hostile act.

War risk cancellation

War risk is often covered by marine insurance policies but they may contain a provision for cancellation of war risk cover after 7 (or 14) days' notice. Hull war clauses provide for instant termination of cover if a major war breaks out. In aviation insurance war risk cover on cargo is subject to 7 days' notice of cancellation. On hulls cancellation is at 48 hours' notice or is immediate in the event of a major war.

War risk insurance

Not available for land risks on property or liability. It is presumed that in the event of war the Government will make provision. War risk is not at present excluded from life assurance policies in general. It can be covered in respect of marine and aviation. Cf. War risk cancellation.

War risks agreement

An agreement among insurers not to insure property on land against war risks.

War Risks Insurance Act 1939

An Act empowering the Government to insure business stocks against war risks.

Warehouse bond

A bond issued to a warehouse keeper to secure the payment of duty on goods in store when they leave the warehouse.

Warehouse risk

The insurance of goods whilst in warehouse by a marine insurer. The risk is covered if within the ordinary course of transit. A marine insurance cargo policy may be extended to cover warehouse risk (often fire risk only) outside the marine policy cover, customarily for up to 30 days.


In a contract of insurance, either (a) a promissory undertaking by the insured that some particular thing shall or shall not be done, or that some condition shall be fulfilled, or that a particular state of facts is affirmed or negatived. It must be exactly complied with. A breach entitles the insurer to deny liability; or (b) a requirement by the insurer as to some limitation of cover, e.g., "Warranted free of capture and seizure" / In a contract other than a contract of insurance, a collateral stipulation, the breach of which gives a right to claim damages but not to avoid the contract.

Water damage insurance

Insurance against damage caused by storm, flood or bursting or overflowing of water tanks, apparatus and pipes. Damage resulting from sprinkler leakage is separately insurable.

Waterborne Agreement

An agreement by marine insurers not to insure goods against war risk except when on board an ocean-going vessel with a time limit after arrival of port of destination.


Inserting a sheet of paper in a folded policy.

Wear and tear

In property insurance damage by wear and tear is excluded.

Weather insurance

Insurance against loss caused by adverse weather conditions such as rainfall causing the cancellation of an outdoor sporting event or wind leading to the abandonment of ballooning or hang-gliding.

Weight and height table

A table used in life assurance underwriting showing the average weight of a man or woman of a given height. Appreciable overweight in particular increases the hazard and may lead to rating up.

Wet risks

A Lloyd's term for non-marine risks connected with the sea.

Whole account treaty

A reinsurance treaty covering all the insurances written in a section of the ceding insurer's business. Thus if an underwriter had reinsured his marine account on a whole account basis the reinsurance would apply to incidental non-marine business (q.v.) written in his marine account.

Whole life assurance

Permanent life assurance under which the sum assured becomes payable only on the death of the life assured. The premium is usually payable annually throughout life but the policy may provide that it shall cease after a given number of years or at a given age. Alternatively a single premium may be charged.

Whole turnover insurance

Credit insurance may be effected either on the whole of the insured's business (whole turnover) or in respect of specified accounts only.

Widower's pension

A pension payable to a widower on the death of his wife who has been a member of a pension scheme.

Widow's annuity

An annuity payable to a married woman under a pension scheme after the death of her husband.

Widows' benefits

National insurance benefits for widows. Benefits in pension arrangements for employed persons or the self-employed, providing pensions and lump sums for widows.

Widow's option

An option in many pension schemes for a male member to agree to accept a reduced pension in exchange for an increased pension to his widow.

Wilful misconduct

By the Marine Insurance Act 1906, s.55(2)(a), an insurer is not liable for any loss attributable to the wilful misconduct of the insured.

Winding up

The termination of a company by order of the court.


Cyclones, hurricanes and high winds (U.S.).

With average

Term used to describe a marine insurance which covers both total loss and partial loss from perils specified in the policy.

With profits

Term used to indicate that the policy to which it is applied is entitled to share in any surplus shown in a valuation of the insurer's relevant fund or funds.

With proportion

Term used to indicate that if an annuity is in course of payment and the annuitant dies before the next payment is due the assurers will make a proportionate payment in respect of the period during which he was alive.

Withdrawal option

A choice open to someone withdrawing from a pension scheme as to what should be done with the rights that have accrued to him under the scheme.

Withdrawal plan

A plan allowing for the assured under a single premium bond to make periodical withdrawals of money thereby reducing the value of the bond. For annual withdrawals up to 5% for 20 years income tax liability is deferred.

Without benefit of salvage

By the Marine Insurance Act 1906 (s.4), a marine policy effected "without benefit of salvage to the insurer" is deemed to be a gaming or wagering contract. The issuing or effecting of such a policy is a criminal offence under the Marine Insurance (Gambling Policies) Act 1909.

Without prejudice

Term used in discussion and correspondence. Where there is a dispute or negotiations for a settlement and terms are offered "without prejudice" an offer so made or a letter so marked and subsequent letters in an unbroken chain cannot be admitted in evidence without the consent of both parties concerned.

Without profits

Term used in life assurance to denote that the policy is not entitled to share in the profits of the assurance company.

Without proportion

Term used to indicate that if an annuitant dies no payment is due to his estate in respect of the period elapsing between the last payment of the annuity and his death.

Work in progress cover

Credit insurance to protect a manufacturer who has to incur expense or enter into contracts with suppliers against the default of the prospective purchaser of the finished product.

Working cover

An excess of loss reinsurance with a stratum of cover in which frequent losses are expected as distinct from isolated exceptional losses.

Working layer

A layer of excess of loss reinsurance in which frequent claims are likely to arise.

Working member (or Working Name)

An underwriting member of Lloyd's who occupies himself principally with the conduct of business at Lloyd's by a broker or underwriting agent, or who, having retired, did so before his retirement.

Workmen's clause

A clause in a fire insurance policy permitting the presence of outside contractors on the insured's premises.

World to World

A provision in a marine insurance open cover permitting declarations from any place in the world to any destination.

Wrap-up insurance

Same as Omnibus insurance.

Wrap-up insurance cover

A single insurance construction project. Also called overall insurance cover.


Same as Underwrite.

Written line

The amount of insurance that an insurer has agreed to accept when signing a slip. It may be more than the amount actually insured which is known as the closed line or signed line.

Written premiums

Total premiums received or due from all sources, including premiums for reinsurance assumed, during a period.

Written-paid basis

An (unreliable) basis for calculating an insurer's loss ratio by comparing the premiums on insurances written during a period with the claims paid during the period.

Yacht insurance

Insurance of yachts, usually comprising accidental loss or damage to the craft, salvage charges and sue and labour charges, and liability to third parties including passengers.

Year free of premium

Some insurers offer insurance, especially household, under which every xth year's insurance is given free of premium.

Yearly renewable term assurance

Temporary life assurance which the assurer agrees in advance may be renewed at the assured's option during a specified number of years.


The rate of return on an investment or investments.

Yield to maturity

The rate of return on a security that is held until it matures

York-Antwerp Rules

A set of rules applicable to the adjustment of general average. There are numbered rules and lettered rules. They stipulate that except as provided by the numbered rules general average shall be adjusted according to the lettered rules.


A process whereby in an actuarial valuation some acquisition costs of long-term business are not amortised but are set against mathematical reserves.


Dividing a territory into zones for the purpose of rating, e.g., earthquake insurance, or for the insurer's help in deciding how much insurance he can safely accept in a zone.