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Glossary (A to D)
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Adjusted Cost Basis (ACB)
The basis on which the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA, formerly Revenue Canada) determines accrued income and policy gains (e.g., premium deposits will increase the ACB; loans and partial withdrawals will decrease it).


'Alternate Residual' Definition of Disability
A definition of disability that's applied for individual disability insurance plans if you're unable to perform some important duties in your job, or can only work half your regular hours.

'Any Occupation' Definition of Disability
Some individual disability insurance plans use this strict definition of disability, which requires that you be unable to work at ANY job (generally for which you are qualified).
Group plans can also include an 'any occupation' disability clause under which benefits are paid if you're unable to perform the duties of any occupation for which you are or become reasonably qualified for by virtue of training, education, and experience. (Check your group contract to confirm if such a clause is included.).


The annuitant is an individual on whose life the annuity and guaranteed death benefit are based. The annuitant can be the policyowner an individual you so designate. If the plan is registered, the policyowner and the annuitant must be the same individual.
If the plan is registered, you can name your spouse as a successor annuitant; if this option is chosen, any guaranteed benefits will be based on the life of the surviving spouse.

Annuities provide the assurance of a guaranteed retirement income for a specified period. You can depend on receiving a regular income at the same time each year, and there are no more investment decisions to be made.

Annuity Benefit (Maturity Guarantee)
For investment plans offered through life insurance companies, an annuity benefit is the value of your investments held within the plan on your annuity date and subject to various guarantees provided within your contract.

Annuity Date (Maturity Date)
Simply stated, it's the date your plan matures, or the date on which your annuity or maturity benefit applies for investment plans offered through life insurance companies.

Assumed Total Disability
You're considered totally disabled, regardless of ability to work or the medical care required, if you suffer the total and permanent loss of sight, hearing, speech, hands or feet.


A beneficiary is the individual who is entitled to receive the value of the plan upon the death of the life insured or annuitant. Beneficiaries are designated when you become a policyholder of any life insurance, segregated funds and/or accidental death & dismemberment plans. If the beneficiary is of a certain family class, for example, spouse, parent or child, or is named irrevocably, the plan may be exempt from seizure by creditors or a trustee in bankruptcy.
You can name an irrevocable beneficiary. If this option is chosen you will generally need to obtain the written consent of the irrevocable beneficiary to make changes or otherwise deal with your policy. Where a minor is named irrevocably, this consent may be impossible to obtain.

Buy/Sell Agreement
A legal contract with your fellow shareholders or partners to buy out the business interest at death, disability or retirement.


Capital Gains

A profit from the sale of investments or property. Capital Gains can be 'realized' (the sale took place) or 'unrealized' (growth on paper only - no sale took place). Taxes are generally due on realized capital gains.

Cash Value - Investments
The amount that's available for redemption and sometimes referred to as the 'redemption value'. It's equal to the accumulated value (or market value) of your investments less any applicable plan expenses or deferred sales charges.

Cash Value - Life Insurance
The working capital, less any applicable market value adjustment, outstanding premiums, surrender charges and any outstanding loan balance.

A consumer protection plan for insurance companies. Retirement plans invested in GICs are protected up to $ 60,000.00 per person.

Consumer Price Index
An index that tracks the change in price over time of a set list of consumer goods.

Contingent Life
Similar to joint-first-to-die coverage, but with different insurance amounts on each life.

Coverage Rider
Additional insurance coverage that you can purchase in conjunction with the insurance on the main life or lives (e.g., term rider, children 's coverage rider, disability waiver rider).

Creditor Protection
Provided certain members of a family class are named as beneficiary or that a beneficiary designation is made irrevocable, some policies may be protected from claims of the policyowner's creditors.

Critical Illness
This is a strict list of serious medical conditions that are deemed debilitating and are covered by critical illness insurance. Our basic list includes cancer, heart attack, stroke, and coronary artery by-pass surgery, which will be clearly defined in the policy for benefit purposes.

Critical Illness Insurance
An individual insurance plan specifically to help offset the unexpected costs that can arise if you're diagnosed with a critical illness. Basic coverage includes cancer, heart attack, stroke, and coronary artery by-pass surgery, which will be clearly defined in the policy for benefit purposes.


'Disability' is specifically defined in each insurance policy or group contract. In reference to individual life insurance, depending upon the benefit, disability refers to total disability, occupational disability, or a critical condition.

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