Key Insurance Terms You Need to Know if You’ve Been in a Car Accident

  • Accident Forgiveness – In most states, if you get in an accident, your insurance company won’t add a surcharge to your premium after your next accident
  • Adverse Carrier – Used to refer to the other party involved in the accident’s carrier
  • Appraisal – Estimation of the amount of damage to property and the cost to repair or the determination of a complete loss following an accident
  • At-Fault – The party that is legally liable for the damages in an accident
  • Binder – A temporary insurance contract that provides proof of coverage until a permanent policy can be issued
  • Bodily Injury – Any injury sustained by a person
  • Claim – Formal request for payment to an insurance company following an accident or situation resulting in bodily injury or property damage
  • Comparative Negligence – In Florida, claimants are able to recover part of their damages even when they are partially at fault, or negligent. Each party's negligence is compared to the others and a claimant's recovery can be lessened based on the percentage of his or her own contribution to negligence
  • Coverage – Protection and benefits provided in an insurance contract
  • Covered Person – This refers to the individuals insured under a policy contract (i.e. Eligible drivers of insured vehicle – children, spouses, etc.)
  • Damage – Loss or harm to a person or property
  • Deductible – Dollar amount the insured must pays on each loss that incurs. The insurance company pays the remainder of each covered loss up to the policy limits
  • Financial Responsibility Law – The financial responsibility laws requires every owner and operator of a motor vehicle to maintain enough money to compensate those they injure in an accident
  • Indemnification – Providing compensation for a loss with the intent to restore a party to the approximate financial position prior to whatever loss occurred
  • Liability – A legally enforceable obligation for the injury or damage suffered by another person
  • Liability Insurance – Insurance coverage that protects against claims alleging that a vehicle owner’s negligence resulted in the bodily injury or property damage to another
  • Limits – The maximum amount of benefits your insurer will pay for a loss as agreed upon in your insurance policy
  • Loss – The dollar amount associated with a claim
  • Negligence – The failure to exercise due care that is expected of a reasonable person in similar circumstances
  • No-Fault Insurance – Pays for medical treatment, lost wages, or other accident-related expenses regardless of who is at-fault in an accident.
  • Per Occurrence Limit – Maximum amount an insurance company will pay for all claims arising from a single incident. In an automobile accident, it comprises bodily injuries sustained by all parties. When Bodily Injury coverage is purchased in split limits, the second limit is the "per occurrence" limit: e.g. $100,000(per person)/$300,000(per occurrence)
  • Per Person Limit – Maximum amount an insurance company will pay for any one person's injuries arising from a single incident. In an automobile accident, it comprises bodily injuries sustained by each person. When Bodily Injury is purchased in split limits, the first limit is the "per person" limit: e.g. $100,000(per person)/$300,000(per occurrence)
  • Personal Auto Policy (PAP) – Most common auto insurance policy sold. Policy is written in simple wording and provides coverage for liability, medical payments, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and physical damage protection
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – Pays for your medical treatment, lost wages, or other accident-related expenses regardless of who is at fault (Equivalent to No-Fault Insurance)
  • Policyholder – Person who maintains ownership in an insurance policy. This can refer to the policy owner or those covered by the policy
  • Premium – The dollar amount paid for an insurance policy
  • Property Damage Liability Coverage – Pays for all damages to someone else's property resulting from an accident for which you are at fault and may provide you with legal defense
  • Replacement Cost – The total cost of replacing property without a reduction for depreciation as a result of an accident
  • Underinsured – A policyholder who does not maintain sufficient limits to cover all damages. An underinsured policyholder may only receive a part of the cost of replacing or repairing damaged items
  • Unsatisfied Judgment Fund – Established law to reimburse those injured in auto accidents that have been unable to collect from the responsible party ( Florida Statute 320.781 )