Commonly Used Auto Insurance Terms

car insurance definitions

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Commonly Used Auto Insurance Terms Defined


Actual Cash Value - The current market value or cash value of the vehicle if sold today.

Collision - Pays for loss to your insured vehicle when it collides with something or rolls over. You can expect to have a deductible for this coverage as well. If you finance or lease your auto, you will probably be required to carry comprehensive coverage. Collision auto insurance defined.

Comprehensive - Pays for loss or damage to your insured vehicle that is caused by any event other than collision. This includes damage caused by events such as fire, flood, theft, storm or vandalism. If you finance your car or lease it, your finance company usually requires you to carry comprehensive coverage. You can expect a deductible for this coverage. Once again, the higher your deductible is, the lower your premium will be. Comprehensive auto insurance defined.

Declarations Page - The report from your insurance company listing:
  • the limit for each coverage;
  • the cost for each coverage;
  • the types of coverage you have elected;
  • the specified vehicles covered by the policy;
  • the types of coverage for each vehicle covered by the policy;


Deductible - The dollar amount of each loss you agree to pay before your insurance coverage starts paying. In most cases, choosing a higher deductible will lower your premium amount. Auto insurance deductible defined.

Driver Education Course - A driver education course sponsored by a recognized secondary school, college, university, or other school approved by the State Department of Education or other responsible agency.

Liability - Liability coverage usually pays for bodily injury and/or property damage when you are the party responsible for the accident. The dollar amount you are required to carry for at a minimum will vary from state to state. Liability coverage usually also pays for a legal defense and court costs, if needed. Liability auto insurance defined.

Occasional Driver - The person who is not the primary or principal driver of the vehicle.

Personal Injury Protection - Usually pays the medical costs for persons, regardless of fault, resulting from an accident an accident. Personal Injury Protection is required in some states. Check local laws for compliance requirements.

Principal Driver - The person who drives the car most often.

Rental Reimbursement - Pays rental car expenses if your vehicle is disabled due to an accident. Reimbursement amounts are usually figured on a daily basis.

Second Named Insured - The named insured or listed agent on a policy may request to designate any other person listed on the policy as a "second named insured". The second named insured has the same coverage under the policy as the named insured.

Uninsured Motorist - Protects you and occupants of a covered vehicle if any of you sustain bodily injury, including any resulting death, from an accident in which the owner and/or operator of a motor vehicle, who is legally liable, doesn't have insurance. Uninsured Motorist auto insurance defined.

Underinsured Motorist - Similar to Uninsured Motorist, but applies to injury/death caused by an underinsured operator. State laws vary as to requirements and application of this coverage. Underinsured Motorist auto insurance defined.

VIN - The vehicle identification number (VIN) on your vehicle. This number is usually found on the dashboard of your vehicle on the driver's side, and is listed on the vehicle registration and title. The VIN number is a combination of letters and numbers 17 characters in length that can be used to identify the make, model, and year of your car.

Saving money is now more important than ever. 2013 has been predicted to see auto insurance rates rise nationwide. Spending a few minutes of your time comparing instant online auto insurance quotes can save you money over the coming year.


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