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A 2008 study by the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education and learning discovered that Hispanics significantly consider it essential to possess life insurance. Yet, virtually half assume they do not have sufficient insurance coverage. Among the main factors mentioned for this variation was a fundamental lack of understanding of insurance policy items. For many years, insurers have replied to this gap via various kinds of area outreach, consisting of offering items in the Spanish language.

Life insurance in Spanish
Life insurance in Spanish

Although such initiatives are admirable and make excellent business sense, converting policies and relevant disclosures right into Spanish is an endeavor stuffed with potential lawful troubles. Some states have enacted customer protection laws covering translated service documents. All states have laws forbidding unjust company practices and fraudulence in the incentive of agreements.

Such lawful theories could be grist for efforts to provide inadequate the obligations of insureds under all types of insurance plans– from credit report insurance to personal home loan insurance policy to property and casualty insurance. Some examples are instructive:

At its core, insurance coverage is a contract. Yet, in English, people talk about “acquiring an insurance policy” or “getting” a policy. Neither idea straight converts right into Spanish: to acquire insurance is to “agreement” for it (contratar un Seguro); securing a plan is the term formalize un Seguro (to “enter into” an insurance policy agreement).

A policy may supply “individual liability” protection for “residential property damages.” Such responsibility insurance coverage is not cobertura de responsabilidad personal, however instead cobertura de responsabilidad civil. Likewise, residential or commercial property damages are usually converted as daños a propiedad, but this is wrong since Propiedad means “possession,” in addition to “property.” The right translation is daños materiales.
In the insurance context, the term compensación is associated with “offsets” (e.g., offsets of premiums) or a “harmonizing” of variables (e.g., a harmonizing of portfolio threats).

Translators, however, occasionally inaccurately state that uninsured motorist insurance coverage pays compensación if a vehicle driver hurts one without an insurance policy. Instead, such insurance coverage pays una indemnización por daños y perjuicios (legal compensation for damages and losses) endured in an accident.

Thorough insurance coverage should not be equated as Seguro de Cobertura completa (an instead meaningless declaration worrying “total insurance coverage”); rather, it is Seguro de Cobertura multi-Riesgo (“multi-risk” insurance).
If we claim that existing protection has been customized right into “paid-up insurance,” we do not imply that it is un Seguro red imide (“retired” or “retrieved”); however, instead, that is un Seguro liberado de prima (insurance coverage for which no added premiums are due, given existing or prospective money values).

The syntax of a translation can have a subtle yet possibly sweeping repercussion. Allow’ claim an insurance provider divulges that “exclusive flooding insurance policy might be available on a restricted basis in Special Flood Threat Areas (SFHA).” The translator after that places words “restricted” as follows: Puede ser que un seguro privado converse inundación limitada esté disponible en las áreas SFHA.

This suggests the actual protection is limited when it is the accessibility of such insurance that might be limited. Relocating the word “limitada” to the appropriate place makes a precise translation: Puede ser que un seguro privado converse inundación esté disponible en forma limitada en las áreas SFHA.

Can a selection of mild translation mistakes spread among a policy or disclosure statement reveal an insurer’s obligation? Maybe not, yet even a few substantial mistakes within essential provisions, such as incontestability, will most likely stimulate future insurance claims brought by an entire course of affected insureds.

In addition, if vital wording from the English language file is missing from the translation– e.g., words “not” or “optimum” are accidentally omitted from the original translation– the potential for obligation might enhance, regardless of the precision of the staying translation.

Insurance companies must constantly take particular like ensuring that Spanish translations of insurance records fully follow the intent of their English equivalents. It is suitable for business and an intelligent coverage against needless obligations.

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