Insurance Definitions

Actual Cash Value

Your car's actual cash value is calculated by determining its original value, minus the amount your car has depreciated since you bought it. Most auto insurance coverage reimburses you only for the actual cash value of your car.

Application

A request for insurance, giving information about the prospective policyholder.

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

Pays for another person's bodily injury or death in an accident that you may be found legally liable to pay.

Business/Commercial Use

This classification means that you mainly use your car for business purposes (such as sales, service, and delivery calls) or work-related errands (like trips to the bank or post office), and other work-related driving. Commuting to and from work is not considered business use.

Cancellation

Termination of a policy before its normal expiration date.

Claim

Your request for the insurance company to pay you an amount under the terms of your policy.

Collision Insurance

Pays for damage to your vehicle when it collides with another vehicle or object or if it overturns. Your lender may require this coverage if you have a loan on your vehicle.

Comprehensive Coverage

Coverage that pays for damage to or the loss of your vehicle from causes other than collision (example: hail, vandalism, flood, fire, theft, etc.). Your lender may require this coverage if you have a loan on your vehicle.

Declarations Page

A document your company sends you to show your premium and coverage. Some insurance companies only send a new declarations page at renewal unless there's a change to your policy. You should get a revised declarations page whenever there's a change to your policy.

Deductible

The dollar amount you must pay out-of-pocket for each claim before the insurance company begins paying.

Endorsement

Amendment to the policy used to add, change, or delete coverage.

Insured

The policyholder or person(s) protected in case of a loss/claim.

Insurer

The insurance company.

Liability

Liability is a term that broadly means legal responsibility. If you run a stop sign and hit another car, you may be found liable for the damages to the other driver's car.

Liability Coverage

Insurance protection that pays for claims or judgments brought against the insured.

Medical Payments Coverage

Coverage that pays for limited medical expenses if you, a member of your family, or a passenger in your car is hurt in a car accident.

Motor Vehicle Report

A Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) provides information on your driving record. This report includes accidents and moving violations. Auto insurance companies obtain MVRs from states where you or other insured drivers have been licensed to drive.

Non-renewal

A notice of the insurance company's refusal to renew your policy prior to the end of the policy term.

Policy

The contract form issued by the company to explain the coverage provided. It is a legal document.

Premium

The price charged for insurance.

Property Damage Liability Coverage

Pays for damage to another person's car or property such as fences, buildings, utility poles, signs, and trees.

SR-22

An SR-22 is an official document that shows proof of financial responsibility. Motor Vehicle Departments may require an SR-22 or a similar form for people convicted of certain traffic violations, such as driving without insurance, driving under the influence, your driver's license is suspended/expired/revoked, or your license plates are expired.

Total Loss

When the cost to repair a vehicle approaches or exceeds the vehicle's actual cash value.

Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UIM)

Coverage pays the difference between your UIM limits and the liability limits of the at-fault driver, if lower than your UIM limits.

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UM)

Coverage covers you for your bodily injury caused by a hit-and-run driver or an at-fault driver who has no auto liability insurance.

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Insurance (UMPD)

Covers damage to your vehicle caused by an identified, at-fault, uninsured driver. This option is only offered if you choose not to purchase collision coverage.

Note: Information obtained from Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Insurance.