Auto Insurance Terms

These definitions are offered as aids to understanding. They do not change the formal definitions found within any insurance policies.

Adjuster The insurance company representative who helps you with your claim.

Appraiser A specialist used by an insurance company to determine the current value of your car and the amount needed to repair it after an accident.

Comprehensive This refers to a very broad range of things that can happen to your car that are not collision. It includes loss by fire, theft and colliding with an animal.

First Party Benefits This coverage is the first insurance available to pay your medical bills if you are injured in a car accident, no matter who is at fault. The law requires a $5,000 minimum benefit, but you can increase that up to $1,000,000. Loss of wages, death benefits and funeral expense options are available.

Lease Gap/Replacement Cost Comprehensive and collision coverages may not be enough to pay off a loan or buy out a lease. These specialty endorsements are available on a limited basis for new cars and could save thousands of dollars. Ask us for details..

Stacking Uninsured & Underinsured Motorists  This is an optional approach to Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists Protection. The limit chosen is multiplied by the number of vehicles on the policy to increase the coverage available to you. Yes, this option costs more, but the limits are higher.

Tort Options  The Full Tort coverage option allows you to sue an at-fault driver for all your damages, including pain and suffering. Under a Limited Tort Option, you give up the right to sue for pain and suffering, unless your injuries are “serious”. Your choice of tort options affects your premium and your UM and UIM benefits.

Underinsured Motorists Protection (UIM)  Similar to Uninsured Motorists, this coverage, also called UIM, can pay you for bodily injury caused by a driver who has insurance, but whose limits are not sufficent to cover all your expenses.

Uninsured Motorists Protection (UM)  Often referred to as “UM coverage” this optional coverage allows you to collect damages for bodily injury from your own insurance policy if you are injured by a driver who has no insurance.

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