A Typical Glossary for Auto Insurance Policy

This article is intended to discuss various terms in an auto policy that follows a typical ISO standard. The terms are usually indicated in the “definitions” section of any policy from your insurance company. So, let us look at some of them.

Accident 

A standard auto policy uses the terms ‘accident’, ‘auto collision’ and ‘accidental’, specifically defining those terms in detail. Other policies that do not conform to ISO personal auto policy may define only ‘accident’. They are usually preceded with some form of ‘unexpected’ language, which means the coverage applies to unintended or unexpected losses.

Bodily Injury

This term refers to physical injury, illness, disease even death because of an accident. Occasionally, variations in defining this term may be seen in some policies, but basically they mean the same. The coverage applies to injuries because of collision.

Covered Auto

Any vehicle mentioned in your auto policy comes under this term. Covered autos include all vehicles that you own that needs to be protected against liability. Covered autos may be a car, motorcycle, bus or RV. It may also include private passenger autos, vans or pickup truck that qualify for this provision. It is easy to figure out which vehicles are covered if you own one or two vehicles mentioned above. However, things may get complicated when one vehicle is covered with multiple policies. In such a case, the term ‘covered auto’ may mean two different things to different insurance company.

Declarations

This is the portion of your auto policy that identifies the policy to the insured. The declarations page contains information of the insurer, the policy number, policy period, the name of the insure, mailing address, coverage that are afforded, vehicles that are covered, deductibles and limits applicable to each coverage.

Family Member

Almost all auto insurance policies contain this term in at least one place. Family member means a person who is related to you by blood, adoption or marriage and is a resident of your household. Some insurance policies may specifically mention who is not considered to be a family member in the policy. Where you need to be careful is if you have a member of the family living elsewhere (outside your house). So, if you want your family member to be covered under your policy, you need to make sure that the policy extends to them.

Premium

This is the amount charged by your insurance company to issue a policy. The amount is determined by many factors such as age, location, qualification, driving record and so on. For example, an insurer for auto insurance Aurora CO might charge a different rate for a person who drives less than someone who commutes daily.

Property Damage

Property damage is the partial or full destruction of tangible assets, including its loss of use. This definition is essentially the same across all types of auto policies – standard or not. The detail about what is property and what is not included can be found in each policy that you are buying.