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INSURANCE TERMS, EXPLAINED – January 2021

MED PAY? PIP? DEC PAGES?

WITH ALL KINDS OF DIFFERENT COVERAGES FOR ALL KINDS OF DIFFERENT NEEDS, INSURANCE

CAN BE VERY CONFUSING.  AND TO MAKE IT EVEN MORE CHALLENGING, AT TIMES IT

PROBABLY SEEMS LIKE INSURANCE WEBSITES AND POLICY DOCUMENTS ARE WRITTEN IN A COMPLETELY FOREIGN LANGUAGE.

HERE IS A LITTLE BASIC KNOWLEDED ABOUT INSURANCE.  BELOW ARE DEFINITIONS FOR SOME COMMON TERMS THET WILL HELP YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR COVERAGE A LITTLE BETTER.

GENERAL INSURANCE TERMS

. ACTUAL CASH VALUETHIS TYPE OF COVERAGE PAYS ACCORDING TO WHAT AN ITEM WAS WORTH AT THE TIME IT WAS DAMAGED-IT TAKES DEPRECIATION AND WEAR AND TEAR INTO ACCOUNT. FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU COULD HAVE SOLD YOUR COUCH FOR ABOUT $200 JUST BEFORE IT WAS DAMAGED, THAT IS THE ACTUAL CASH VALUE, EVEN IF A SIMILAR NEW COUCH WOULD COST $1000.

. ACTUAL REPLACEMENT COST: THIS PAYS THE AMOUNT IT WOULD COST TO REPLACE A DAMAGED ITEM WITH A NEW ONE (SUCH AS THE $1000 COUCH ABOVE). IT DOES NOT FACTOR IN DEPRECIATION OR WEAR AND TEAR.

.ADDITIONAL INSURED: SOMEONE WHO IS NOT THE POLICYHOLDER, BUT IS STILL COVERED BY AN INSURANCE POLICY.

ADJUSTER: A PERSON WHOI WORKS FOR AN INSURANCE COMPANY TO EVALUATE LOSSES AND SETTLE CLAIMS.

DECLARATION PAGE: THIS IS WHAT CREATES A CONTRACT BETWEEN YOU AND THE INSURANCE COMPANY. IT DESCRIBES WHO OWNS THE PROPERTY, WHAT PROPERTY IS COVERED AND FOR HOW MUCH, ETC.

DEDUCTIBLE:  THE AMOUNT YOU AGREE TO PAY OUT OF POCKET BEFORE YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE KICKS IN. FOR EXAMPLE, IF THE COST YOU TO FIX YOUR CAR IS $2000, BUT YOUR DEDUCTIBLE IS $1000, YOU WILL PAY $1000 OF THE TOTAL COST. TYPICALLY, A HIGHER DEDUCTIBLE MEANS A LOWER PREMIUM.

EXCLUSION:  SOMETHING SPECIFICALLY LISTED IN YOUR POLICY THAT IS NOT COVERED BY THE POLICY.

LIABILITY: YOUR RESPONSIBILITY FOR INJURIES OR DAMAGE TO OTHER PEOPLE OR PROPERTY. YOU PURCHASE INSURANCE TO PROTECT AGAINST LIABILITY AND OTHER RISKS.

MED PAY: THIS PAYS FOR MEDICAL EXPENSES FOR THOSE COVERED BY YOUR POLICY IN THE EVENT OF AN AUTO ACCIDENT, REGARDLESS OF WHO IS AT FAULT. IT ALSO COVERS MEDICAL EXPENSES FOR GUEST IF THEY ARE INJURED ON YOUR PROPERTY, BUT UNLESS IT IS A CAR ACCIDENT, IT USUALLY DOES NOT COVER INJURIES SOMEONE  SUFFERS ON THEIR OWN PROPERTY.

LOSS OF USE: WHEN DAMAGE FROM AN ACCIDENT OR OTHER CAUSE PREVENTS SOMEONE FROM BEING ABLE TO LIVE IN THEIR HOME OR DRIVE THEIR CAR.

PREMIUM: THE AMOUNT YOU PAY FOR AN INSURANCE POLICY.

TERM: THE PERIOD OF TIME YOUR INSURANCE POLICY IS IN EFFECT, USUALLY 12 MONTHS.

SUBROGATION: WHEN AN INSURANCE COMPANY PAYS A CLAIM, AND THEN SEEKS DAMAGES FROM A THIRD PARTY WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR CAUSING THE DAMAGE OR LOSS. FOR EXAMPLE, YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY MIGHT PAY FOR YOUR CAR TO BE FIXED EVEN THOUGH AN ACCIDENT WASN’T YOUR FAULT-AND THEN PURSUE REIMBURSEMENT FROM THE PERSON WHO IS AT FAULT.

UMBRELLA: A POLICY THAT PROVIDES ADDITIONAL LIABILITY COVERAGE. IT KICKS N AFTER YOUR OTHER INSURANCE POLICIES HAVE REACHED COVERAGE LIMITS.

UNDERWRITING: THE EVALUATION PROCESS INSURANCE COMPANIES USE TO DETERMINE IF THEY WILL PROVIDE COVERAGE TO A CUSTOMER.