Glossary of terms associated with a Merriam Auto Policy

The following are terms are associated with an Automobile Policy at Merriam Insurance Agency.

A person’s responsibility to another for injury he/she caused or damages he/she caused to another’s property.

Bodily Injury:
Your insurance company will pay for Bodily Injury to another that you are legally responsible for because of an accident. The limits are usually shown as 100/300. This means that the policy will pay up to $100,000 per person and up to a maximum of $300,000 for any one accident resulting in Bodily Injury. Some insurance companies offer a Single Limit of Liability such as $300,000 which means they will pay up to a maximum of $300,000 for any one accident for Bodily Injury and/or Property Damage.

Property Damage Injury:
(aka the two letters, “PD”)

Your policy will pay up to the limit stated in the policy, say, $100,000 for damage to some else’s property that you cause in an accident.

Personal Injury Protection:
(aka “No-Fault”, or “PIP”)

This one’s for YOU! In NY you must buy $50,000 of PIP. This varies by company-NYCM Drive can only go to $125,000. This necessary medical and rehabilitation expenses, 80% of last earnings from work up to $2,000 for Work Loss, a $2,000 Death Benefit and $25/day for Essential Services. This is paid to YOU by YOUR insurance company for injuries you or your passenger(s) sustain in an accident. (It also covers you if you are a pedestrian who is injured by a hit-and-run driver).

WAIT A MINUTE! You just said I had to buy Liability coverage for Bodily Injury I caused someone else, doesn’t everybody have to buy it? I can collect from the person who caused my injury, why do I need Personal Injury Protection?

GOOD QUESTION! In an effort to unclog the court system and keep it that way, the Personal Injury Protection coverage was created so that people can have minor injuries paid for by their own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault in an accident. (Thus, the term: No Fault). If death, disability, disfigurement or fracture occur, a suit can be brought and then the Bodily Injury Liability coverage of the person who caused the accident will pay.

Medical Payments:
This coverage is in addition to PIP and will pay up to the amount shown on the policy, for necessary and reasonable medical expenses incurred by you or an occupant of your vehicle, if accident occurs involving your car. If you are charged with DWI or DWAI at the time of an accident, your PIP coverage will not pay. The only recourse for medical expenses may be this coverage. The coverage is relatively inexpensive.

You agree to be responsible for when “Other than Collision” coverage is used. Deductibles can range from $50 to not all – offer $2500. The higher the deductible amount you choose, the lower the premium is for that coverage.

Other than Collision:
(aka “Comprehensive”) This coverage is for your car(s). It always has a deductible for any claim that is made. It will pay for accidental damage. If your car is stolen, vandalized, bums in a fire, if any of the glass gets cracked, even if your dog eats the upholstery, your insurance company will pay for the damage. You can buy it with a ZERO deductible for damage to any of the glass, including the windshield (this is called “Full Glass Coverage”). The price for this coverage is generally based upon the value of the vehicle insured.

This coverage has a deductible. If your car is damaged by colliding with another vehicle or a fixed object, if your car overturns or is damaged by a hit-and-run driver, this coverage will pay for your damage. One advantage to this coverage is that when an accident occurs that was caused by another car, you can get your car fixed right away by collecting the damage expenses from your own insurance company (less your deductible). Then your insurance company will attempt to collect from the insurance company of the responsible party. If and when they do, your deductible will be returned to you.

Roadside Assistance:
(aka “Towing & Labor’) Insurance companies provide coverage. ANYTIME your car needs to be towed, for ANY REASON, up to the limit you choose. The cost and limits available vary by company. Other than Collision coverage must be purchased along with this coverage.

Transportation Expenses or Rental Reimbursement:
This coverage pays a flat amount per day toward renting a car if your own car is not drivable due to the damage it suffered in a covered accident. You can buy amounts-from $15 to $100 per day up to a maximum of 30 days of coverage.

There are many credits available on an Automobile Policy:

Anti-Lock Brakes , Air Bags or Automatic Seat Belts
Anti-Theft Devices , Defensive Driving Course Credit, Mature Driver Credit, Account Credit, Glass Etching (When auto & home policies are in same company), Daytime Running Lights, Students over 100 miles from home, Good Driver Discount (accident free for a certain number of years), Renewal or Retention Credit (after a certain number of years w/same ins. company).