Understanding Auto Insurance Jargon

by Amy Nutt

When reading through an auto insurance policy, it can seem almost impossible to understand. This is because there are various words that we do not use in our everyday language. Actually, those words are not really used outside of the insurance industry or outside of a conversation involving insurance. If you don’t have an understanding of those words, then it can seem as if someone is speaking a foreign language to you. That is why you should learn some of the insurance jargon that is thrown around because insurance happens to be a large part of your life.

Without auto insurance, you do not have any type of protection in case you are in a car accident. If you don?t have protection, then you can be sued. Being sued means you’ll have to pay for any damages sustained in an accident if the accident was your fault. Even if the accident wasn’t your fault, you still have to worry about your medical bills, replacing your car and the medical expenses of anyone in the car with you. This in itself makes it obvious why auto insurance is a necessity. Luckily, states mandate that people must have a minimum amount of auto insurance.

Basic terms

There are really only five basic terms that you need to know when talking about car insurance. Those terms are:

– Liability coverage – Physical damage coverage – Medical coverage – Emergency assistance coverage – Unattached equipment coverage

A few of these may look a bit familiar to you, but there are a couple of them may not. We frequently hear the terms liability coverage, physical damage coverage, and medical coverage when talking about car insurance and reading our policies. What we don?t hear much of is emergency assistance coverage and unattached equipment coverage. These are, of course, not as important as the other aspects of your coverage, but that does not mean that they should be ignored since they are great add-ons to your policy.

The most common of the terms you will hear is liability coverage. Liability insurance coverage is the part of your policy that covers damages caused by you in the case of an accident. You should always make sure this coverage is enough to cover damages. If not, then you may have to pay an out of pocket expense to the person who was the victim in the crash. Medical coverage covers you and any passengers within your vehicle as a result of a crash. Physical damage coverage will help you repair or replace your vehicle.

As for the two terms that are a bit different, emergency assistance coverage is like a type of roadside assistance. Adding this to your plan provides you with tow service so that you?re not stranded on a highway in unfamiliar territory. Lastly, unattached equipment coverage provides coverage for that equipment that is not a permanent attachment to your car. That may include something such as a satellite radio system. If you have expensive attachments on your car, you want to make sure that you insure those as well so that you don?t have to pay for their replacement or can have those items repaired by your insurance.

Having an understanding

Knowing these terms is the first step in understanding some of the confusing but important terms that you will see and hear. If you don?t understand them, you cannot understand what type of insurance coverage you have or even how it works. Knowing how it works helps you determine if what you have is adequate enough for your particular needs.

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