Deposit accounting

An accounting method originating in US accounting principles for the recognition of short-term and multi-year insurance and reinsurance contracts with no significant underwriting risk transfer. The standard includes inter alia provisions relating to the classification of corresponding contract types as well as the recognition and measurement of a deposit asset or liability upon inception of such contracts.

Deposits with ceding companies / deposits received from retrocessionaires (also: Funds held by ceding companies / funds held under reinsurance treaties)

Collateral provided to cover insurance liabilities that a (re-)insurer retains from the liquid funds which it is to pay to a reinsurer under a reinsurance treaty. In this case, the retaining company shows a deposit received, while the company furnishing the collateral shows a deposit with a ceding company.

Derivatives, derivative financial instruments

These are financial products derived from underlying primary instruments such as equities, fixed-income securities and foreign exchange instruments, the price of which is determined on the basis of an underlying security or other reference asset. Notable types of derivatives include swaps, options and futures.

Direct business

Business focused on narrowly defined portfolios of niche or other non-standard risks.

Direct insurer (also: primary insurer)

Company which accepts risks in exchange for an insurance premium and which has a direct contractual relationship with the policyholder (private individual, company, organisation).

Disaster finance concept

Disaster risk financing programmes guarantee rapid financial assistance for countries impacted by natural catastrophes.

Discounting of loss reserves

Determination of the present value of future profits through multiplication by the corresponding discount factor. In the case of the loss reserves this is necessary because of the new profit calculation methods for tax purposes applicable to German joint-stock corporations.


Orientation of business policy towards various revenue streams in order to minimise the effects of economic fluctuations and stabilise the result. Diversification is an instrument of growth policy and risk policy for a company.

Dread disease (also: critical illness) coverages

Personal riders on the basis of which parts of the sum insured which would otherwise only become payable on occurrence of death are paid out in the event of previously defined severe illnesses.