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Car Insurance Glossary

Accident Benefits (also known as Statutory Accident Benefits)
Benefits for if you are injured in a car accident. This may be for the driver or passengers. Accident benefits vary depending on policy and may include benefits for loss of income, medical expenses, and some policies will pay out regardless of if you were at fault or not. However, you need to either speak to your broker or read your policy to find out what benefits you have.
Adjuster
The representative assigned by the insurance company to determine the value of your claim for the insurance company. They will investigate the details of the accident and damage to ensure that your claim is accurate.
Agent
An insurance agent will work for one company. If you go to an insurance agent you will not have your insurance needs shopped around to multiple insurance companies to ensure that you receive the best rates possible. You will want to use an insurance agent if you have already shopped the market and already know who you want to go with.
All Perils
The covers you entirely for theft, fire, and collision. Great option for coverage if you have a new car that you want to ensure no matter what happens to it you are covered. May be more expensive than other forms of coverage.
At-Fault
If the accident investigation by your insurance company rules that you contributed to the cause of the accident you will be considered at fault. You may be anywhere from 0%-100% at fault and it is not uncommon for the fault to be split. For example you may be 25% at fault and the other driver 75% at fault.
Broker
An insurance broker will shop you around to a variety of different insurance companies. Using a broker will ensure that you're able to get more than one quote for the type of coverage you require, and often results in making it easier to comparison shop than if you deal with just an insurance agent.
Claim
The process of requesting to take advantage of your insurance benefits. You generally for car insurance file a claim to have your car repaired or replaced after damage, theft or to cover you for liability in the event of an accident.
Chargeable Loss
A chargeable loss is based on the governmental regulations for how insurance companies decide who pays what for a car accident. This will be based on information such as who is at fault and the local rules and regulations as to who has to pay what.
Collision or Upset Coverage
Collision or upset coverage will cover you for damage caused to your car in the event of an accident. This is very important coverage to have if you are financing a new car and your finance agreement dictates that you have benefits that will include repairing any damage caused to the car during an accident.
Comprehensive Coverage
Comprehensive Coverage provides you with insurance benefits in the event that someone steals your car, it catches fire, or gets swept away in a flood. This type of coverage can vary depending on where you live as certain areas have higher rates of theft than others.
Deductible
A deductible is the amount of money you need to pay before you insurance coverage will kick in. If you have a $1000 deductible and someone hits your car and it causes $1001 worth of damage you will pay $1000 and the insurance will pay $1. Often your premium will depend on the size of your deductible and some insurance companies will lower your deductible over time if you maintain a claim free history.
Driving Convictions
These are any convictions under either the provincial highway act or the federal highway act. These can range from minor such as speeding to major such as street racing to causing a major accident. Amassing driving convictions are a sure fire way to increase your premium. Obey the rules of the road to ensure that you have cheap car insurance.
Driving Record
Is similar to a background check. The insurance companies will look at your driving record to see if you have any driving convictions, moving violations or a history of causing accidents. If you have a clean driving record you will generally have lower rates than an individual with a history of crashing his car and driving over the limit.
Endorsement
Is when your insurance company modifies your original policy in writing. This may include discounts for maintaining a clean driving record or provisions for a rate increase if you amass speeding tickets.
Fault Determination Rules
are what are used to determine who caused an accident. The fault determination rules will outline the percentage of fault associated with each driver according to the local rules and regulations.
Premium
is how much the insurance company will charge you. This may also be referred to as the price of your policy.
Private Passenger Automobile
A private passenger automobile is not to be used for commercial purposes. Generally if your vehicle is a private passenger automobile you have lower rates than if your car is being used as a taxi or delivery vehicle.
Property Damage
Is when your car is involved in an accident where someone else property is damaged. This may be if you crash into their house or their car.
Settlement
The amount of money that the insurance company agrees to pay you as a result of a claim.
Underwriting
Is when an insurance company will review your file to decide what to charge you.
VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
The unique identification number for your car. Your vin will include details as to the year of manufacture, the model of car and the manufacturer. Your insurance company will use the VIN to calculate the part of the premium which is associated with the make and model of car.
Write-off
When the insurance company considers the damage of your car to be too great to warrant repair. Often referred to as totaled. For example if your car is worth $15,000 but it would take $20,000 to repair the damage your insurance company will consider your car to be totaled. It does not necessarily mean that the car can not be repaired.