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Insurance Glossary

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Anti-Theft Recovery System

These systems consist of an electronic device that's installed in a concealed area of your car. If your car gets stolen, you can activate the device and it will emit a signal that can be used to locate your car. Such systems can be effective over a radius of several miles, depending on local geography. Ask your car dealer or nearby police department which brand of recovery systems are supported in your area. By installing an anti-theft recovery system, you may be eligible for an auto insurance discount.

Agent/Broker

Agents and brokers both sell and manage insurance for their customers. Agents are the authorized representatives of an insurance company or companies, while brokers are the authorized representatives of people looking for insurance.

Adjuster

An adjuster is the person who investigates and settles auto insurance claims.

Accidental Death Coverage

Accidental death coverage is sometimes a part of your auto insurance policy's Personal Injury Protection or First Party Benefits plans. If someone who's covered dies from accident-related injuries, this type of auto insurance coverage may provide a payment to the insured's designated beneficiary.

Benefit

A benefit is the amount paid by an auto insurance company to you or your beneficiary when you file an auto insurance claim.

Business/Commercial Use

This classification means that you mainly use your car for business purposes (such as sales, service, and delivery calls) or work-related errands (like trips to the bank or post office), and other work-related driving. Commuting to and from work is not considered business use. Esurance doesn't currently provide auto insurance coverage for vehicles driven primarily for business/commercial use. (Not sure if this applies to you? We show you a checklist to help you figure out if business/commercial use applies to you when you get your car insurance quote.)

Broadform Collision Coverage

This auto insurance coverage is available only in the state of Michigan. Broadform works like standard collision coverage, but also pays for collision damage to your insured car regardless of who's at fault. Although this auto insurance coverage will pay up to your car's actual cash value regardless of fault in an accident, you'll be responsible for the deductible amount you select if you're found to be more than 50 percent responsible for the accident. If you're less than 50 percent responsible, you won't have to pay this deductible.

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

Bodily injury liability coverage protects you if you are held responsible for injuring someone in a car accident. This coverage helps pay for the injured party's medical expenses and lost wages. Bodily injury liability may also help pay your expenses in a related lawsuit. The amount covered is capped at the limits you select when you buy your auto insurance policy.

Continuously Insured

The length of time you've been continuously insured is the number of years you have been covered by one or more insurance companies without a lapse in your auto insurance coverage.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage helps pay for damage to your car resulting from fire, certain natural disasters, falling objects, and vandalism. Theft's also covered. The maximum amount paid for repair or replacement is the car's actual cash value, minus the amount of the deductible you choose when you buy your auto insurance policy.

Commuting

If you primarily use your car for commuting, this means that you mainly use the car to drive it to and from work or school.

Collision Deductible Waiver

This auto insurance coverage pays the deductible for your collision coverage if you're involved in an accident in which an uninsured motorist is held legally responsible. This particular auto insurance coverage isn't available in all states. If it is available, you have to buy this coverage with collision coverage when you buy your auto insurance policy.

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage helps pay for auto repair or replacement costs if your car hits another vehicle/object or if your car rolls over. The maximum amount paid for repair or replacement is the car's actual cash value, minus the amount of the deductible you choose when you buy your auto insurance policy.

Claim

An auto insurance claim is a policyholder's request to be reimbursed for a loss that's covered by car insurance.

Card ID Number

When you pay for your auto insurance policy with a credit or debit card, we ask for the card's ID number. This 3-digit number is printed on the signature strip of cards with the MasterCard, Visa, and Discover logos. American Express card ID numbers are 4 digits long, and are printed on the card's front side, immediately above the actual card number. To better safeguard your security, many businesses like ours are starting to ask for a card ID number. The card ID number helps ensure that no one is able to make a purchase without having an actual credit or debit card in their possession.

Deductible

For some types of auto insurance coverage, you're asked to choose a deductible. A deductible is the amount of damages you agree to pay for if you file an auto insurance claim. Though choosing a higher deductible can substantially lower your auto insurance premium, if you file an auto insurance claim, you'll have to pay the full, pre-established amount of the deductible out of your own pocket in order to receive payment from your auto insurance company.

Declarations

The declarations page of your auto insurance policy summarizes the factual information essential to your auto insurance coverage: the policyholder's name and address, a description of the insured vehicles, the auto insurance premium, as well as the coverages, limits, and deductibles.

Depreciation

Depreciation is the decline in an object's value due to age, wear and tear, or obsolescence.

Defensive Driver and Driver Improvement Courses

These courses consist of defensive driving training for drivers of all ages as well as 'mature driver safety courses' intended for drivers age 55 and over. In certain states, you may qualify for an auto insurance discount if you're in the eligible age range and if you've taken one of these safety courses.

Exclusions

Exclusions are situations that are not covered by a given auto insurance policy. Specific exclusions are listed in your auto insurance policy.

Endorsements

Also known as riders, endorsements are changes to the original insurance contract. In auto insurance coverage, endorsements may include changing your deductibles or adding a new car to your auto insurance policy.

Emergency Road Service

This optional coverage, sometimes called towing coverage, pays a fixed amount toward towing, tire changing, gas, oil and water delivery, battery services and lockout services.

Effective Date

The effective date is the date your auto insurance coverage begins. You are not covered by car insurance prior to an auto insurance policy's effective date.

Extraordinary Medical

Extraordinary medical coverage is sometimes a part of Personal Injury Protection or First Party Benefits plans. Extraordinary medical coverage protects you in the event you suffer accident-related injuries that require serious and/or long-term medical care. Extraordinary medical coverage begins once you have exhausted the limit on your standard medical benefits coverage.

Funeral Benefits

Funeral benefits coverage is sometimes a part of your auto insurance policy's Personal Injury Protection or First Party Benefits plans. If a covered individual dies from accident-related injuries, this auto insurance coverage pays for a portion of funeral expenses, regardless of who is at fault in an accident. Covered costs are subject to the limits you choose when you buy your auto insurance policy.

Full Coverage Auto Insurance

Full coverage auto insurance denotes an insurance policy containing all auto insurance coverage legally required in a given state. The term “full coverage” does not imply the policyholder will always be fully covered.

First Party Benefits

First Party Benefits, or FPB, is a kind of optional auto insurance coverage available in Pennsylvania. Depending on the specific FPB coverages you select, if you're injured in an accident, FPB covers you and relatives residing in the same household for medical expenses, lost income, accidental death, and/or funeral costs. The amounts covered are capped at limits you select when you buy your auto insurance policy.

Garaging Location

The garaging location is where your insured car is parked most of the time. This location is usually indicated by the ZIP Code of the policyholder's primary residence. Notify Esurance if you normally keep your car in a town other than the one you live. Your garaging location will affect your auto insurance rates.

Homeowners Insurance

If your car is vandalized or stolen, it should be reported to your auto insurance company; however, items stolen from your vehicle are usually covered under your homeowners insurance.

HEV

Hybrid Electric Vehicles are powered by a combination of battery and fuel. By using less gas, HEVs emit fewer pollutants and receive better gas mileage than standard vehicles.

Indemnity

An indemnity is a pre-determined sum paid for a covered loss.

Income Loss

Income Loss coverage is sometimes a part of your auto insurance policy's Personal Injury Protection or First Party Benefits plans. Income loss coverage protects you if you're unable to work due to accident-related injuries. This auto insurance coverage helps you recover portions of your lost salary and other expenses you may incur as you try to return to work.

Insurance Claim Report

Insurance claim reports provide details about auto insurance claims you or other insured drivers have filed with insurance companies. These reports are provided by independent consumer reporting agencies that collect auto insurance claim information from a variety of insurance companies. One of the most common agencies issuing such reports is C.L.U.E., the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange.

Insurance Score

Insurance scores are based on analytical models that objectively measure the relative likelihood of future insurance losses based on your credit history. These scores and analyses of their significance are provided by independent consumer reporting agencies.

Insured

The insured is an individual covered by a given auto insurance policy.

Judgment

A judgment is a final decision rendered by a court of law. For example, in a lawsuit related to an auto accident, where Kate hit Eric’s fence, the court determined that Kate was wholly responsible for the accident. The judgment determined that Kate should pay for the costs of repairing Eric’s fence.

Limits

Limits are the maximum amount an insurance company will pay for a covered loss. Though you can choose your limits for certain coverages, some states require you to buy certain levels of auto insurance coverage. In such states, you'll have to choose limits that at least meet your state's auto insurance requirements

Liability Coverage

Liability coverage protects you from having to deplete your assets to pay for damages if you're held responsible for injuries or damages arising from a car accident. The two main types of liability coverages in an auto insurance policy are bodily injury and property damage.

Liability

Liability is a term that broadly means legal responsibility. If you run a stop sign and hit another car, you may be found liable for the damages to the other driver's car.

Medical Benefits

Medical Benefits coverage is sometimes a part of your auto insurance policy's Personal Injury Protection or First Party Benefits plans. Medical expenses that are the direct result of accident-related injuries are covered. Covered medical expenses are capped at the limits you choose when you buy your auto insurance policy.

Motor Vehicle Report

A Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) provides information on your driving record. This report includes accidents and moving violations. Auto insurance companies obtain MVRs from states where you or other insured drivers have been licensed to drive.

Medical Payments Coverage

This auto insurance coverage pays medical bills and/or funeral expenses if a covered driver and/or accompanying passengers are injured or killed while in an insured vehicle, regardless of fault in an accident. This may also cover policyholders and their family members when in others' vehicles, or when policyholders and their family members are on foot and hit by a car. The amount paid by medical payments coverage is capped at the limit you choose when your buy your auto insurance policy.

Non-Passive Alarm

A non-passive alarm has to be manually activated every time you leave the car. If someone attempts to open your car, the alarm sounds, and the system disables the automobile's starter, ignition system, and/or fuel circuit. You may qualify for an auto insurance discount if your car is equipped with such an alarm.

Primary Use

A vehicle's primary use is how the car is typically used. Auto insurance companies usually classify primary use as commuting, business/commercial, or pleasure use.

Property Damage Liability Coverage

Property damage liability coverage protects you if you are held responsible for damaging someone else's property in a car accident. Property damage coverage helps you reimburse another person for their damaged property (such as a car, a fence, or a home). This type of auto insurance coverage also helps pay your expenses in a related lawsuit. The amount covered by property damage liability is capped at the limit you choose when you buy your auto insurance policy.

Passive Alarm

Passive alarms are automatically activated and emit warning sounds when someone tries to get into your car. Once the passive alarm has been triggered, the system disables the automobile's starter, ignition system, and/or fuel circuit. You may receive an auto insurance discount if your car is fitted with such an alarm.

PayPal

PayPal is a system that allows you to make online payments without revealing your financial information to individual businesses. PayPal accepts credit or debit cards, bank account information, or your PayPal balance.

Personal Injury Protection

Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, is a kind of auto insurance coverage available only in certain states, where it's often mandatory. PIP generally includes expanded coverage of accident-related medical costs. In some states, PIP also pays for lost wages and similar losses. Specific protections afforded by this type of auto insurance coverage and limits on PIP payments vary widely from state to state.

Pleasure Use

If you use your car for pleasure, this means that you typically drive it for fun, with no regular commuting or business use.

Policy Expiration Date

Your auto insurance policy's expiration date is the date when auto insurance coverage ends if your auto insurance policy isn't renewed. The expiration date can be found on the declarations page of your auto insurance policy, on a proof of insurance card, or on a recent auto insurance renewal notice.

Policy Term

A policy term is the length of time an auto insurance policy is valid. Auto insurance policies from Esurance have a policy term of 6 months or 12 months, depending on where you live.

Primary Driver

The primary driver is the person who drives a car most frequently.

Primary Policyholder

The primary policyholder is the person who serves as the main point of contact with Esurance. Since he/she is the main point of contact, we need the primary policyholder's valid email address so that we can send account updates, auto insurance renewal notices, and other policy-related communication. Typically, the primary policyholder is also the person billed for your auto insurance policy from Esurance. If you prefer, any other person listed on your auto insurance policy can also be billed for your auto insurance premium.

Rental Car Reimbursement

Rental car reimbursement is an optional kind of auto insurance coverage that helps pay for your rental car expenses if an insured car is damaged or stolen and you need a rental car.

Secondary Driver

A secondary driver is one of the drivers listed on your auto insurance policy who's insured for driving an insured vehicle. However, this driver is not a car's primary driver. A secondary driver is also sometimes known as an occasional driver in auto insurance terminology

SR-22

An SR-22 is an official document that shows proof of financial responsibility. Motor Vehicle Departments may require an SR-22 or a similar form for people convicted of certain traffic violations.

Stacking - Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage

Stacking is an option available when you buy uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage. Stacking changes the limits for this type of auto insurance coverage. When you choose stacking, uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury limits increase by the number of cars you're insuring. If you buy $50,000/$100,000 limits for uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage, choose stacking, and insure 2 cars, stacked limits for this coverage then equal $100,000/$200,000.

Steering Restraint

A steering restraint is a durable collar or shield fitted to the upper and lower casing of your car's steering column. The collar makes it harder for potential thieves to access, or 'hotwire,' your car's ignition system. You may qualify for an auto insurance discount if your car is fitted with a steering restraint.

Tort

Tort is a legal term used to describe instances when someone is deemed legally responsible for injuring another person or damaging his/her property. Some states ask you to select a tort provision. In these states, you can limit your right to sue for non-monetary damages (like pain and suffering) in exchange for a reduced auto insurance premium.

Towing Coverage

This type of auto insurance coverage is optional, and pays a fixed amount toward towing if your car breaks down or if it's disabled in an accident.

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage

Uninsured motorist property damage coverage is available in some states, where it's often mandatory. This kind of auto insurance coverage protects you if your vehicle is damaged in an accident caused by a driver who has no car insurance. Other protection afforded by this type of auto insurance coverage varies from state to state. The amount covered by uninsured motorist bodily injury is capped at the limit you choose when you buy your auto insurance policy. In some states, you'll need to pay a deductible each time you file an auto insurance claim.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage

In some states, both uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury are bundled into a single coverage. In the states where this type of auto insurance coverage offered, it may be mandatory. This kind of auto insurance coverage pays for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages when you or your passengers are injured in an accident caused by a driver who doesn't have enough car insurance, or who completely lacks auto insurance coverage. This type of auto insurance coverage also pays for injuries sustained in hit-and-run accidents. The amount covered by uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury is capped at the limit you choose when you buy your auto insurance policy.

Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage

Underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage is available in some states, where it's often mandatory. This type of auto insurance coverage pays for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages when you or your passengers are injured in an accident caused by a driver who has insufficient auto insurance coverage. This kind of auto insurance coverage typically pays the difference between the coverage limit you select and the other driver's bodily injury coverage limit. The amount covered by underinsured motorist bodily injury is capped at the limit you choose when you buy your auto insurance policy.

Underinsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage

Underinsured motorist property damage coverage is available in some states, where it's often mandatory. This type of auto insurance coverage protects you if your car is damaged in an accident caused by a driver who has insufficient auto insurance coverage. Other specific protection afforded by this type of auto insurance coverage varies from state to state. This kind of auto insurance coverage pays the difference between the coverage limit you select and the other driver's property damage coverage limit. The amount covered by underinsured motorist property damage is capped at the limit you choose when you buy your auto insurance policy.

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage

Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage is available in some states, where it's often mandatory. This kind of auto insurance coverage pays for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other general damages when you or your passengers are injured in an accident caused by a driver who has no car insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage also pays for injuries sustained in hit-and-run accidents. The amount covered by uninsured motorist bodily injury is capped at the limit you choose when you buy your auto insurance policy.

VIN

The VIN, short for Vehicle Identification Number, is the unique 17-digit number found on every car. The VIN contains the vehicle's serial number, as well as abbreviations for the make, model, and year. The VIN appears on your vehicle registration card. It's also engraved in your car, near the base of the windshield on the driver's side dashboard and/or on the edge of the driver's side door. Though you don't need to enter your VIN when you get a car insurance quote from Esurance, you will need to provide your car's VIN when you buy your auto insurance policy.