DEFINITION of 'Incurred But Not Reported (IBNR)'

A type of account frequently used in the insurance industry to refer to reserves that are established for claims and/or events that have transpired, but have not yet been reported to an insurance company. In these instances, an actuary will estimate the potential damages to a region; the insurance company may decide to set up reserves to allocate funds to those expected losses. To an actuary, these types of events and losses are said to have been incurred, but not reported.

BREAKING DOWN 'Incurred But Not Reported (IBNR)'

This term is frequently used by insurance companies, particularly along the East and Gulf Coasts of the United States, where hurricanes are common. After a storm hits, actuaries estimate the potential damage to infrastructure and the claims that may be anticipated. Based on this analysis, money is then set aside (in a reserve) to pay for claims. Again, in this example the actual losses have been incurred, but have not officially been reported.

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