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Legal Translation for the Insurance Industry

Legal document Translation Services for the Insurance world

Last updated on June 14th, 2023 at 03:48 pm

Legal Translation Services for the Insurance Industry

Legal Translation for Protection

Legal translation is not only the translation of legal documents from a source language to a target language, but from one legal language to another. Legal translation gives people an understanding of the legal process in their preferred language and protects individuals and businesses. If a person is involved in a legal conflict and does not understand the legal documents completely, they can easily lose their case.

Legal translation services are required in many industries since contract are present in multiple commercial transactions at home and abroad.

How Insurance Works
Insurance policies are an agreement between an individual or group and an insurance carrier. The insured pays a premium to the carrier in return for the promise of help should the insure be affected by a situation covered by the carrier. In many cases, carrying a certain level of insurance is mandatory. For instance, New York law requires vehicle owners to purchase liability insurance on their vehicles.

The insurance industry originated to protect buyers and sellers. Insurance was and is closely linked to the preservation of commerce. In the Middle Ages, business owners would join a guild to which they would pay dues. These monies accumulated and were used to reimburse a craftsman who had suffered a misfortune like a fire or a robbery. Ships’ captains would insure their vessels, and merchants would insure the cargo they carried against the dangers of the open sea.

Coverage began as a gentlemen’s agreement, evolving to be handled by specialized underwriters and overseen by governments. Federal regulation on insurance was first enforced in the USA in 1944 with the passing of the United States vs South-Eastern Underwriters Association verdict. The Supreme Court ruled that insurance policies were commercial contracts and thus subject to the same kind of rigor as any other contract between individuals or entities.

Translation of Insurance Documents

Today, insurance is a multi-trillion-dollar industry across the globe. Professional translation of insurance documents is a must for international business deals. In every nation, a long list of insurance documents need translation by a legal expert.

Here are a few:

  • Insurance policies must be translated so that the policyholder understands what they are purchasing and how it can help them.
  • Claim documents are essential for insurance to do its work, and without accurate document translation, countless cases could be mishandled or not even processed. That is the case for example of a claim that happens in a German hospital and needs to be processed in the USA.
  • Brochures should undergo insurance document translation to give an accurate representation of the insurance company’s values and offerings.
  • Certificates of insurance are necessary for business deals so that each party can prove possession of coverage


Insurance and the Law
Insurance is a major subject of concern for the law and is subject to close legal oversight. If we are sued as part of another party’s claim or treated unfairly by an insurance company, we rely on the law to back us up and help us seek satisfaction.

Just as the legal industry requires a large amount of legal translation, the insurance industry requires translation of insurance documents, and those insurance documents must be compliant with the law. In 2016, an amendment to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974 was passed dictating that insurance companies must offer translation services when required. Specific situations are outlined by the Department of Labor.

Insurance is complex and can be intimidating even if you speak the language the carrier is using. If you do not, it is easy to fall prey to people seeking to take advantage of those left vulnerable by lack of accurate translation. Without professional translation for your insurance documents, it is easy to make honest mistakes like buying the wrong type of policy, providing inaccurate information, or not selecting an important piece of coverage. Legal translation services for the insurance industry are important in a multilingual world at a personal and business level.

Let’s look at a few different areas of the insurance industry and how translation services fit into them.

  • Health insurance: We purchase health insurance for ourselves and our loved ones to help us bear the costs of medical treatment when we are sick or hurt. Insurance companies use detailed forms for their records and provide written descriptions of coverage to the patient. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandated that all health insurance notices must be translated into the patient’s language, expanding on the precedent set by ERISA. We can see an example in the information that we received where they offer services in several languages as in the images
  • Life insurance: Life insurance is a resource for people to provide for those they leave behind. A life insurance policy is highly personal, planned according to the needs, budget, and plans of the policyholder. Without professional insurance document translation, families could be negatively affected when they need help most.
  • Business insurance: Most businesses cannot operate without a certain level of professional liability coverage and worker’s compensation. A business buys liability coverage to protect it against litigation. For instance, if someone trips on their steps and sues the company. Businesses buy commercial auto coverage to protect their vehicles, and many buy company health plans or term life insurance for their employees. All of these insurance documents are subject to legal scrutiny and must undergo legal translation in case of multilingual needs.
  • Personal liability insurance: As mentioned before, we buy insurance for our cars to protect ourselves and other drivers’ property and health. We also buy coverage for our houses, rental properties, land, boats, motorcycles, valuables, and more. An insurance company that wishes to serve its policyholders with integrity must employ professional legal translators for their insurance documents.

Insure Your Documents with Professional Legal Translation

Lack of expert legal translation in the insurance industry can lead to lost claims, lawsuits, and wasted resources. JR Language is a translation company that uses only the best translators with backgrounds in the legal, insurance, and medical industry for translating insurance documents.
For your personal and commercial needs in a multilingual environment, be sure to have your insurance documents protected with professional legal translation.


Sergio Ruffolo
Sergio Ruffolo
Sergio has more than 25 years of multinational experience providing consulting services and leading IT organizations in Africa, Asia and America, which has given him plenty interesting and insightful lessons to teach about global business. He is fluent in Spanish and English, in addition to conversational Portuguese. He has lived in more than 12 cities around the world, moving around and working in different cultures has left him with a real global perspective. Sergio is a real citizen of the world.