self-insured retention (SIR)

Self-insured retention is a dollar amount specified in a liability insurance policy that must be paid by the insured before the insurance policy will respond to a loss.

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Under a policy written with a self-insured retention (SIR) provision, the insured (rather than the insurer) pays the defense and/or indemnity costs associated with a claim until the SIR limit is reached. After that point, the insurer would make any additional payments for defense and indemnity that were covered by the policy.

In contrast, a policy written with a deductible provision, the insurer pays the defense and indemnity costs associated with a claim on the insured's behalf and then seeks reimbursement of the deductible payment from the insured. For example, assume that two policies are identical except for the fact that Policy A is written with a $25,000 deductible, while Policy B contains a $25,000 SIR. Also assume that defense and indemnity payments for a given claim total $100,000. In the event of a claim under Policy A, the insurer would pay the $100,000 in defense and indemnity costs that were incurred. After the claim is concluded, the insurer will bill the insured for the $25,000 in payments made on the insured's behalf. In the event of a claim under Policy B, the insured will pay the first $25,000 of defense/indemnity costs, after which, the insurer will make the additional $75,000 in defense and indemnity payments on the insured's behalf.


retained loss

Related Terms

The deductible is the amount the insurer will deduct from the loss before paying up to its policy...

Assumption of risk of loss by means of noninsurance, self-insurance, or deductibles.