Glossary: Understanding Personal Insurance Terms


October 1st, 2019

We at Gunn-Mowery know the language used by the insurance industry can be confusing. We want to make sure that you clearly understand your personal lines insurance program. Here are some terms we use for types of coverages. There are also a variety of other terms that might be unfamiliar to you. We hope this glossary helps make the world of insurance a little easier to understand. 

 

Insurance Glossary

 

Additional Living Expenses: If you can’t live in your home because of a covered loss, your insurance company may pay the necessary increase in living expenses while damage is assessed and your home is repaired or rebuilt.

 

Broad Form Liability Coverage: Helps protect you from expenses related to injuries or property damage you or your watercraft cause in an accident. Some policies also cover certain accidental fuel spill liabilities and wreckage removal.

 

Collision Coverage: Pays to repair your auto, classic auto, motorcycle, RV damages caused by an accident. Your agent can help you determine the limits you need based on the agreed value of your vehicle.

 

Comprehensive Coverage: Pays to repair or replace your vehicle if it is stolen, vandalized or damaged in some way other than in a collision. May include loss from fire, cracked windshields, floods, falling objects, and wind.

 

Deductible: When you get insurance, you agree to pay up to a certain amount out-of-pocket in case of a loss. This amount is called your “deductible.” The deductible you choose often affects how much you pay for your premium. For example, a higher deductible usually means a lower premium. In the case of a covered loss, you’ll only be required to pay your deductible, and the insurance company usually covers the excess, up to the applicable limit for that loss under your policy.

 

Emergency & Roadside Assistance: For auto, boat and personal watercraft, emergency assistance pays for the cost of towing or emergency service. For RVs, it also covers housing and transportation costs if your RV becomes uninhabitable and covers the loss of personal property in your RV. Some policies also provide roadside assistance for motorcycles.

 

Excess Liability: Sometimes used interchangeably with “umbrella”, “excess liability” refers to extended liability coverage. This coverage is meant to supplement your insurance coverage if the damages exceed your liability coverage. Be sure to talk to us about what your excess liability covers.

 

Identity Theft: Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information and uses it to open accounts or incur charges without your permission. Thieves can access your personal information in a variety of ways, such as stealing your personal mail, your wallet, or hacking your computer files. The thief then uses your identity to rack up debt in your name or perhaps to issue fake IDs.

 

Indemnity: Providing indemnity means to financially restore someone after a loss, through payment, repair or replacement.

 

Liability & Personal Liability Coverage: For homeowners, this coverage applies if someone is injured or property is damaged and you are to blame. The coverage applies anywhere in the world. When choosing liability coverage for your home, auto, boat, personal watercraft, or RV, consider things like how much money you make and what you own. Your liability coverage should be high enough to protect your belongings if you are sued.

 

Personal Property Coverage: Your home is filled with furniture, clothes, sports equipment, and other items that mean a lot to you. This coverage helps repair or replace these items if they are lost, stolen or destroyed as a result of an insured event.

 

Personal Watercraft (PWC): A personal watercraft (PWC) is a recreational watercraft that the rider sits or stands on, rather than inside of, as in a boat. Models have an inboard engine driving a pump jet that has a screw-shaped impeller to create thrust for propulsion and steering.

 

Physical Damage Coverage for Watercraft: Pays to repair the damage done to your watercraft due to an accident. It also generally pays to repair or replace your watercraft for insured situations such as theft, fire, vandalism or other non-collision damages that occur in or out of the water.

 

Premium: Simply put, a premium is the payment you make in exchange for one term of policy coverage.

 

Property or Dwelling Coverage: Typically pays to repair or rebuild your home if it’s damaged or destroyed by an insured event.

 

Scheduled Personal Property Coverage: If you have special possessions such as jewelry, art, antiques or collectibles, you may want to talk to your agent about this additional coverage.

 

Umbrella Insurance: Umbrella insurance is the coverage that may kick in when your losses under other insurance policies, such as homeowner’s and auto coverage, have exceeded policy limits.

 

Underwriter/underwriting: Underwriting is the process of assessing risks when deciding whether to issue a policy of insurance.

 

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Pays for damages associated with bodily injury or death from an accident caused by an uninsured, underinsured or hit-and-run driver, as defined by the law in the jurisdiction where the accident occurred, who is at fault. It also covers you if you are hit as a pedestrian.

 

Unattached Equipment Coverage: Pays to repair or replace equipment that isn’t permanently attached to your boat or personal watercraft. This includes items like life jackets and water-skis.

 

There are, of course, many insurance terms. However, we thought this was a good start on some of the most popular personal lines phrases and terms that you might hear regularly. As always, if you have ANY questions, please contact us and we would be happy to help you. 

 

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