Questions and Answers

What is a declaration page?

Think of a declaration page as a summary of the most important parts of your policy.  It goes into the details of who and what is covered, and for how much.  It also shows your bank, mortgage company or lender if you are financing your auto or have a mortgage on your home.  You want to make sure that it is always up to date, so if you change addresses, vehicles, or add additional drivers you’ll want to let your insurance company know.

What is an ID card?

This is the card that you use to show proof of insurance.  The company will often either send this to you by mail, or more recently will upload it to your smartphone.  You’ll want this for when you are updating vehicle tags and for when you are required to show it to the police if pulled over or in an accident.

What is Actual Cash Value coverage?

This is the total cost to replace your property or vehicle minus depreciation.  On a vehicle, for example, the condition of the vehicle, mileage and age are three of the biggest factors that can cause the value of your car to lose value over time.  Think of it this way – you wouldn’t pay the full price for a brand new vehicle for a car that is 8 years old because it would be a used vehicle.  Insurance companies view this the same way.

What is a binder?

A binder is essentially another term for a declaration page.  They are usually requested at the time of purchasing a new home or a new vehicle.

What is bodily injury liability?

In an auto accident, this is any physical injury suffered by the other party, including the driver, their passengers, and/or any pedestrians.  The amount you see on the policy is the maximum your plan would pay if you were found to be responsible for the injuries.  For example, if you had Bodily Injury Liability Limits of $100,000/$300,000, that means that your policy would pay up to $100,000 per person for their injuries, rehab costs, lost wages, etc.  The most they would pay for the full accident (meaning multiple injuries) would be $300,000.

What is an insurance carrier?

This is just another name for an insurance company.

What is a claim?

You’d file a claim after an incident or accident.  It’s essentially you asking the insurance company to help pay for the damages.  It’s what you’re paying them for, isn’t it?

What is a CLUE report?

Short for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, it is verification of any claims you may have had in the past.  It is normally run before the insurance company issues your policy.  Most carriers have a look back period of 3 to 5 years.

What is collision insurance?

Collision covers damage to your vehicle from you colliding with another inanimate object.  This would include fender benders, trees, poles, potholes etc but would not include animals.

What is a deductible?

A deductible is the amount you have to pay before your insurance kicks in.  This is agreed upon when you buy your policy.  As an example, let’s say you have a $1,000 deductible on your homeowners policy.  A big storm comes in and causes $3,500 worth of roof damage.  You would pay the first $1,000 and then the insurance company would pay the rest.


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