Browse the glossary by topic or alphabetically.


Death benefit
Intended to pay the policy limit for persons named on the policy who are killed in an automobile accident
Decreases in an account, such as when a check is written against that account
Debit card
Card that allows one to pay for goods in shops and withdraw money at ATMs; unlike a credit card, a debit card takes the money from the person's current account when it is spent
Debt financing
Financing in which one gets a loan from someone or somewhere and goes into debt; that person is obligated to repay the money at some predetermined interest rate
Debt ratio
Total debt divided by total assets; used by financial lenders as a rule of thumb to give a preliminary assessment of whether a potential borrower is already in too much debt
Declarations page
Summary page of an insurance policy that identifies the policyholder, the property covered, the coverages, and the premium amounts; usually serves as the cover page of a policy document
Amount which the insured agrees to pay as his/her part of a loss; the insurance company pays on an excess basis over the deductible amount under certain coverages
Failure to make timely payment of interest or principal on a debt security
Deferred annuity
Annuity that can be paid either with a single premium or a series of installments, providing for income payments to begin at some future date
Deferred compensation plan
Benefit plan that allows an employee to save pre-tax dollars; many are set up similar to a 401(k) plan, including multiple investment options, but without regulated limits on the amount that can be deposited
Defined benefit plans
Pension plans that guarantee a specific retirement benefit
Defined contribution plan
Benefit plan under which contributions are fixed in advance by formula; benefits to retiring employees may vary
Demand deposit
Deposit that can be withdrawn at any time without advance notice; most common type is the checking account
Person who is dependent for support upon another, to be distinguished from one who merely derives a benefit from the earnings of another
Process of paying cash and checks into one's account
Deposit insurance
U.S. government backing of bank deposits up to a certain amount-currently, $100,000
Decrease in the value of an item or property over time due to wear, age or other cause
Severe decline in general economic activity in terms of magnitude and/or length
Lifting of government controls over an industry
Direct deposit
Electronic deposit of wages or benefits, such as pension or Social Security, into a personal bank account; deposits are handled through the automated clearinghouse (ACH)
Direct rollover
Distribution of eligible rollover assets from a qualified retirement plan; reportable but not taxable
Incapacity which results from bodily injury or disease and prevents the insured from performing his or her regular occupation
Discount rate
Interest rate paid by commercial banks to borrow funds from Federal Reserve Banks
Money earned on stock holdings; usually, it represents a share of profits paid in proportion to the share of ownership
Dow Jones Industrial Average
Stock price index, based on 30 prominent stocks, that is a commonly used indicator of general trends in the prices of stocks and bonds in the U.S.
Drop shipment
Shipment that comes directly from the manufacturer to the end user
Due diligence
Process by which a person conducts inquiries for the purposes of timely, sufficient and accurate disclosure of all material statements/information or documents which may influence the outcome of the transaction; is a critical component in mergers and acquisitions
DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System)
Database maintained by Dun and Bradstreet that is used by the government to identify each contractor and their location(s); number is required to register with the Central Contractor Register (CCR) that is used by the government's electronic commerce/electronic data interchange (EC/EDI) system called FACNET