Learn the Lingo: Get Definitions of Words Commonly Used in Auto Insurance Policies and Claims

It’s important to understand your car insurance policy, yet most people do not understand all the terms used. If you fall into this category, keep reading to get definitions of some of the most commonly misunderstood terms. If you are involved in a car accident, contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 to request a free legal consultation with a personal injury attorney.

Auto Liability and Bodily Injury Liability Insurance

Auto liability is a type of coverage designed to protect you in the event that you are held responsible for damage to property or injury as the result of being involved in an auto accident. Bodily injury liability is a subset of auto liability insurance that is designed to pay for injures to other parties if you are at fault. It is not required in California, though it is required in some states, including New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah.

Collision and Comprehensive Coverage

Both optional coverages, collision covers you if your vehicle hits another object. This could be a brick wall, a bad pothole, or something else that causes significant damage to your vehicle. Comprehensive coverage offers protection in the event your vehicle is damaged without a collision or being stolen. For example, if there is a storm, fire, hail, or earthquake, comprehensive would cover damage to your vehicle.


There is a certain amount of money you will be required to pay before your insurer pays for the damage. This amount is called the deductible. The higher your deductible is, the lower your insurance rates will be. However, if you do not have several thousand dollars to pay to repair your vehicle, then you may want a lower deductible.

Medical Payments Coverage

This policy pays for the medical bills and funeral expenses for injuries that you or your passengers sustain, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. This is optional coverage.

Personal Injury Protection

This policy offers coverage for various benefits including lost wages, medical costs, loss of essential services the injured party provided (i.e. housekeeping, cooking, childcare, etc.), and can cover funeral costs in the event of a fatal accident.

Property Damage Liability

This type of coverage pays for damage done to someone else’s property. This will include vehicles but could also include garage doors, buildings, fences, utility poles, and many other types of property that may be damaged during a collision.

It is important to talk to your insurance provider if you do not understand all the terms of your policy. If you are involved in an accident, you should – at a minimum – take advantage of a free legal consultation with a personal injury attorney. You can contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 now to get started.