Sensitive Insurance Wording

There are certain important insurance terms you should know and sensitive insurance wording you should avoid when filing a claim. Insurance companies are particular about the term “flood” and you should avoid using the word “whiplash” during any part of your insurance claim process. Scroll down for more important insurance terms to avoid when filing a claim.

Free Insurance Comparison

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about home, life, and car insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and C...

Full Bio →

Written by

Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent Laura Walker

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single insurance company.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different insurance companies please enter your ZIP code above to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by insurance experts.

We all have words or phrases that set us off or cause discomfort. Your insurance company is no different when it comes to word or phrase sensitivities. There are some words that are so important to insurance companies that an incorrect usage of the word could result in non-payment on a claim or other confusion. It always helps to know the sensitive words, so you can approach any conversations with your insurance provider the right way.


There is water damage and there is a flood. A flood is when a body of water overflows its banks. If there is a rain storm and your house fills up with a couple of feet of water, this is not considered a flood, it is considered water damage. If you get this word wrong you could end up with a fraudulent claim. Consider the fact that most insurance policies dont even include flood coverage. If you bring mention the word flood when it is not valid you could end up reducing your insurance companys helpfulness on the claim.


Insurance companies dont like to hear about their policy holders being Guinea Pigs. Not that you ever would be, but it is best to avoid terms like experimental treatment, clinical trial or investigative procedure when talking to your insurance company. They just dont like covering these types of practices. Be aware that if you misrepresent what is going on, you may end up with your insurance company unwilling to pay the costs associated with the procedure.


Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but your insurance company is not interest in yours about the circumstance of your claim. They want the facts and the facts are just what you should give them. Before you can give them the facts you need to know them, so make sure you do know them.

Insurance companies are very used to stories that shift and change and are always suspicious of these stories. They are looking for facts that match up consistently with the evidence supplied.

If you are interviewed and an agent asks for your opinion, it is best to decline and offer just the facts. Personal opinions and emotions can begin to jumble up facts about a case, and can result in a denial of payment.

Apologetic Phrases

Avoid unnecessary apologizing. If you immediately begin a profuse apology, the insurance company will become suspicious, and closer scrutiny of your case may ensue. Even if your apology is sincere it could be interpreted as an admission of guilt or blame. Insurance company employees tend to perk up their ears when they hear apologies that may be masked admissions of blame.


Whiplash is a word that you should avoid using in discussions with an insurance company, at all costs. Quite simply, you should never utter this word. Whiplash can be associated with a diverse range of back or neck injuries that cost insurance companies a lot of money.

There are legitimate cases of whiplash, but there are also a lot of bogus claims filed and people tend to throw the word out as a catch-all for any injury, real or fabricated.

You can be sure that mentioning the word whiplash will result in a delay of payment on your claim. It will probably also trigger a thorough investigation into the case until all the evidence can be completely evaluated. You may find yourself in a process that drags on for years or is completely rejected, if you use the word whiplash with an insurance representative.

Free Insurance Comparison

Compare quotes from the top insurance companies and save!

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption