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May 7th, 2014 by


Massachusetts Auto Insurance1 - Master the Car Insurance Lingo Master the Car Insurance Lingo Take the wheel with confidence with our helpful car insurance glossary: • Assistance: Helpful support from your insurer in the form of roadside or home assistance, and vehicle recovery. • Certificate of insurance: Your insurance company would have issued you a document that states you have valid car insurance. • Claim: What you would file if you are involved in an accident that has caused damage to either your vehicle, another person’s property, or caused injury to another person. This is a request you make to your insurer for financial cover if your goods or property needs to be replaced or repaired.

• Cover and Cover Note: Cover is simply another term for insurance and a cover note is temporary proof of insurance cover issued after you sign up while you wait for your official insurance certificate. • Comprehensive insurance: Usually the most expensive form of insurance, this covers you for third party claims, fire and theft, and would even repair or replace your car regardless of who caused the accident. Some insurance companies offer additional features such as medical assistance, legal cover, and replacing personal items in your car that were damaged in the accident.

• Endorsement: A written amendment to your insurance policy that will become part of your policy. • Excess: A prerequisite for all insurance companies, it’s the amount you have to pay each time for the cost of filing a claim. It can range in value between insurers, shop around for quotes and keep the amount of excess in mind as it may increase your premium. • Exclusion: Your insurer will not be willing to pay for certain events or circumstances but don’t fret, this will be outlined in your policy. This may also refer to specified property or a person. For example, if your friend or family member is involved in an accident in your car but is not insured to drive your car, you may be liable for the full repair.

• Immobolizer: A great anti-theft electronic device that is built into the car and is activated when the ignition key is removed. This form of anti-theft may decrease your monthly premium. • Insurance: Financial compensation from your insurance company if something unexpected happens, like a fender bender. • Insurance Schedule: Your insurer will give you a document that will provide all the necessary details of your insurance policy including the information you have given them. Keep this handy in case of an accident. • Insured and Insurer: You are the insured, you may also be referred to as the ‘policyholder’ or ‘proposer’. Your insurance company that provides you with cover is the ‘insurer’. • Market Value: The price of replacing your car with another car that is identical to your car’s brand, model and of a similar age and condition. • No-claims Bonus: If you don’t file a claim for an allotted period of time (insurer dependent), your insurer may either give you a discount for the following year’s premiums or a lump sum amount after a few years of no claims. • Policy: The document issued by your insurer outlining the legal rights and obligations agreed to between you and the insurance company. • Policyholder: This is the same as the ‘insured’ or ‘policyholder’, it refers to the person that holds the insurance policy. • Premium: Your monthly insurance payment to your insurance company. • Proof of Ownership: You may need to provide documents proving that you own the vehicle through an invoice or legal document. • Rate: The cost of your insurance per unit of cover, R1000 to cover one vehicle.

• Regular Driver: The driver that spends the most time driving the insured car but does not insure the car themselves. For example, this refers to a parent who may insure their child’s car. • Renewal Notice: This is a notice issued by your insurance company to tell you that your insurance cover is up for renewal. • Salvage: Your insured vehicle that is replaced by your insurance company now belongs to your insurance company through the settlement of your claim. • Subrogation: A legal term referring to one person replacing another person with regards to a lawful claim. This means that your insurance company, according to your contract, would supersede your rights in relation to debt or claim from a third party. Essentially, your insurance company would handle the legal ramifications of an accident if your car is written off due to the fault of another driver. • Sum Insured: This refers to the sum total of money that your insurance company will pay when you make a claim. • Third Party: A person involved in the claim that is neither the insurer nor the policyholder.

• Third Party Car Insurance: Usually the cheapest option of car insurance. Your insurance company will pay for the damages to third party property or persons but not cover the damage incurred to you or your vehicle. • Third Party, Fire and Theft Car Insurance: The above policy applies with an additional policy benefit of cover for fire or theft of your car. • Underinsurance: The sum of money the insurance company will pay out according to your policy is not sufficient to cover your entire claim. This means you will probably have to fit part of the bill for repairs or replacements. • Underwriter/Underwriting: An employee of the insurance company will assess the company’s potential risk of insuring you.

They decide whether the company will insure you or not by weighing up pros and cons like anti-theft devices, storage of the car etc. • Write-off: Your insurance company will deem your car to be a write-off when the damage is not repairable or if the cost to repair the vehicle costs more than the value of the vehicle. ©Diane Moalem for Compare Guru