Insurance Terms

Insurance terminology can be confusing. We’re here to help with definitions of insurance terms that are used on this website. Some of these coverages are optional and may not apply to your policy. Talk to your local Safeco agent to learn more about different types of insurance coverage and for personal advice about coverage that’s right for you.

Accident forgiveness

Applies to: auto, classic car and RV insurance.

If you have a Safeco auto, classic car or RV policy with no at-fault collision or traffic violations in a set number of years, you may qualify for accident forgiveness. If you do have an accident while accident forgiveness is in effect, we’ll forgive you. Your accident won’t be used to recalculate how much you pay for your insurance. In other words, we won’t raise your rate and you won’t have to pay more for your coverage. Accident forgiveness applies only to your first accident while the reward is in effect.

Actual cash value

Applies to: auto, home, condo, renters, Landlord Protection®, motorcycle, and RV insurance.

Actual cash value is determined by calculating the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property, less depreciation and the effects of wear and tear over time. If an item is damaged beyond repair, actual cash value reflects the market value of the item before the damage took place, less depreciation and the effects of wear and tear over time.

If your couch was worth about $200 dollars in a yard sale before it became damaged, but would currently cost $1000 to replace with a new couch of similar size and style, the actual cash value of your couch would probably be around $200, not $1000. Actual cash value is calculated by subtracting the effects of wear and tear over time, and depreciation, from the actual replacement cost.

Actual replacement cost

Applies to: home, condo, renters, Landlord Protection® and motorcycle insurance.

Actual replacement cost is the amount of money it would cost to replace a damaged item with a new one at the time of the claim. Actual replacement cost does not factor in an item’s age and depreciation, or the effects of wear and tear over time.

If your couch was worth about $200 dollars in a yard sale before it became damaged, but would currently cost $1000 to replace with a new couch of similar size and style, the actual replacement cost of your couch would be around $1000.

For motorcycles: Replacement cost only applies to new Harley-Davidson® motorcycles less than two years old.

Also see: personal property replacement cost coverage

Additional fishing equipment

Applies to: boat insurance.

Additional fishing equipment coverage is available in most states if you need more coverage than what is provided automatically for fishing equipment with personal effects coverage.

Additional living expenses

Applies to: home, condo and renters insurance.

If you’re unable to live in your home while it’s being repaired or rebuilt after a covered loss, Safeco additional living expenses helps pay the cost of temporary housing and living expenses, for up to 24 months.

Also see: loss of use.

Agreed value

Applies to: boat and classic car insurance.

When you take out or renew your insurance policy, we agree on a value your boat, personal watercraft or classic car is worth. If we agree your boat is worth $10,000 and it is declared a total loss after an accident or theft, we’ll pay you $10,000. There’s no complicated formula involving the effects of age, wear and tear that will make a total loss payment less than the agreed value. It’s simple.

Bodily injury liability

Applies to: auto, motorcycle and umbrella insurance.

Helps pay for bodily injury expenses, like hospital bills and medical care, that you may be held responsible to pay if you cause an accident that injures someone else.

Broad form liability

Applies to: boat insurance.

Helps pay for expenses related to injuries or property in a covered loss involving your boat or personal watercraft. Safeco broad form liability also covers some accidental watercraft fuel spills and wreckage removal.

C.L.U.E.

Applies to: home, condo, Landlord Protection® and motorcycle insurance.

C.L.U.E. (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) is a claims history database that contains up to five years of personal auto or personal property claims history. It’s used by insurance companies, like us, to research the claims history of a property they’re considering underwriting or rating for an insurance policy. If you’re a prospective home buyer, you can request a copy from the seller of a home you’re interested in buying.

You can order a C.L.U.E. report from: LexisNexis Personal Reports or call 866-312-8076.

Collision coverage

Applies to: auto, classic car, motorcycle and RV insurance.

Pays to repair damage to your vehicle that is caused by an accident involving other vehicles and objects like guard rails, sign posts, trees and buildings. It does not cover damage to another driver’s vehicle.

Comprehensive coverage

Applies to: auto, classic car, motorcycle and RV insurance.

Pays to repair or replace your vehicle if it is stolen, vandalized or damaged in some way other than in a collision. Includes loss or damage from fire, flood, falling objects, wind, hail and collision with an animal.

Compulsory coverage

Applies to: auto, classic car, motorcycle and RV insurance.

Compulsory coverage is any insurance required by state law. Requirements for different types and amounts of insurance coverage vary from state to state.

Custom parts and equipment coverage

Applies to: motorcycle insurance.

Helps pay for repairs or replacement of your motorcycle’s aftermarket parts and accessories.

Deductible

Applies to: auto, home, condo, renters, boat, classic car, motorcycle, RV , Landlord Protection® and umbrella insurance.

The amount of money you agree to pay out-of-pocket for a claim is called your deductible. The deductible you choose often affects how much you pay for your insurance. A higher deductible usually means a lower insurance bill. In the case of a covered loss, you’ll only be required to pay your deductible, and the insurance company will cover the excess, up to the amount specified in your policy.

For example, if the total cost to repair your boat is $1,000 and you have a $500 deductible on your boat insurance policy, you’ll need to pay $500 of the $1,000.

Emergency assistance

Applies to: auto, classic car, boat and RV insurance.

For auto and classic car: Emergency assistance for your auto or classic car includes the towing and emergency services of Roadside Assistance and enhances it with coverage for transportation costs like taxi fare, emergency lodging and damage or theft of your personal property.

For RV: Emergency assistance for your RV includes all the features of Roadside Assistance plus adds coverage for personal property, temporary living expenses and alternative transportation costs if your RV becomes uninhabitable.

For watercraft: Emergency assistance will reimburse you for the cost of on-water towing, labor and emergency services like delivery of fuel, oil or loaned battery to your watercraft while disabled on the water.

Equipment breakdown coverage

Applies to: home insurance.

Equipment breakdown coverage is a type of home warranty that extends to your essential home systems and appliances. It provides protection in the event of an unexpected mechanical or electrical breakdown not caused by normal wear and tear or corrosion. Equipment breakdown coverage can be used to replace costly and confusing coverage provided by home warranties and big-box retailer extended warranties. It’s an alternative way to protect both your belongings and your budget.

Extended dwelling coverage

Applies to: home and Landlord Protection® insurance.

Extended dwelling coverage provides a choice of up to an additional 25 percent or 50 percent more coverage to help pay for unexpected repair or rebuilding costs that exceed the amount covered by your base homeowners or Landlord Protection policy.

Fuel spill liability and wreckage removal

Applies to: boat insurance.

Helps pay for the cost associated with cleaning up fuel spills and removing wreckage debris after an on-water accident. If your boat sinks or is seriously damaged, there is a chance that it could leak oil or fuel into the water. As the boat's owner you are required by law to have this cleaned up, which can be time consuming and expensive. Safeco will also help pay costs related to having your sunken or sinking boat raised and removed when required.

Guaranteed auto protection (GAP)

Applies to: auto.

GAP is loan and lease protection. It covers the difference between how much is left on your loan or lease and how much your car is actually worth if it’s declared a total loss.

Also see  Loan and lease protection

Guest passenger liability

Applies to: motorcycle insurance.

Motorcycle guest passenger liability helps cover the cost of hospital bills and medical care that you may be held responsible to pay if you cause an accident that injures your guest passenger. It is similar to bodily injury liability, but specifically for a guest passenger. In most states, guest passenger liability is mandatory on all street bikes, and optional for off-road bikes.

Identity theft

Applies to: home, condo and renters insurance.

Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information and uses it to open accounts or incur charges without your permission. Thieves can access your personal information in a variety of ways, such as stealing your personal mail, your wallet or hacking your computer files. A thief can use your identity to rack up debt in your name or get a fake driver’s license. For more information on identity theft and tips on prevention visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Fighting Back Against Identity Theft website.

Indemnity

Providing indemnity means to financially restore someone after a loss, through payment, repair or replacement.

Insurance score

A Credit-Based Insurance Score (CBIS) is derived from information on your credit report. It is a number that measures the likelihood of having an insurance claim, not a measure of credit worthiness. Insurers use CBIS along with a number of other factors, including driving records, claims history, and the type of home or vehicle you own, to evaluate new and renewal auto and homeowner insurance policies.

Insurance to value

Applies to: home, condo and Landlord Protection® insurance.

Insurance to value is a ratio that reflects the relationship between insurance coverage limits and the actual cost to completely rebuild, repair or replace a covered item after a total loss. Safeco typically requires 100 percent insurance to value, meaning your policy limits are sufficient to replace the covered property in the event of a total loss.

Liability limits

Applies to: auto, home, condo, renters, boat, classic car, motorcycle, RV , Landlord Protection® and umbrella insurance.

Liability limit is the maximum dollar amount your insurance policy will cover for liability. For example, if your auto insurance has liability limits of 25/50/25, the maximum dollar amount your policy will pay is $25,000 for a person injured in an accident, a combined total of $50,000 for all people injured in a single accident, and $25,000 for property damage. Minimum liability limit is the compulsory, or the minimum amount of auto liability insurance you’re required to have in your state.

Loan and lease protection

Applies to: auto, motorcycle and RV insurance.

Loan and lease protection covers the difference between how much is left on your loan or lease and how much your car, motorcycle or RV is actually worth if it’s declared a total loss. It is also called guaranteed auto protection (GAP) when applied to auto insurance.

Also see  Guaranteed auto protection 

Loss assessment coverage

Applies to: condo insurance.

Loss assessment coverage helps protect you from paying out of pocket for damage or liability that exceeds your condominium association master policy limits. When you own a condominium, and damage to community owned property costs more than it’s insured for, you and other condo owners could be responsible for paying the difference out of pocket. Loss assessment coverage helps compensate for this out-of-pocket difference.

Loss of use

Applies to: auto, classic car, RV , home, condo and renters insurance.

For property: Loss of use means you are unable to live in your home while it is being repaired or rebuilt.

For vehicles: Loss of use means you are unable to drive your car or RV while it is being repaired.

Additional living expenses and rental car reimbursement are two types of loss of use coverage.

Market value

Applies to: home, condo and Landlord Protection® insurance.

The market value of your home is based on current economic conditions, school districts, the value of the land, location, and other factors. It’s the price your home would sell for if you put it up for sale. Market value should not be confused with your home’s replacement value.

Medical payments (MedPay)

Applies to: auto, classic car, boat, motorcycle, RV , home, condo, renters and Landlord Protection® insurance.

For auto, classic car, boat, motorcycle and RV: Medical payments helps cover hospital bills and medical care expenses for you or your passengers injured in an accident, no matter who is at fault. MedPay for boat also includes injuries from water-skiing and wake-boarding.

For home, condo and renters: Medical payments help cover hospital bills and medical care expenses for guests if they are injured on your property. In certain situations it also helps cover people who are injured off of your property. It does not cover healthcare costs for you or other members of your household.

For Landlord Protection: Medical payments is part of premises liability and helps cover hospital bills and medical care expenses for guests if they are injured on your rental property.

Personal effects coverage

Applies to: boat insurance.

Personal effects coverage protects your clothing, scuba and snorkeling gear, fishing equipment and other personal items from damage and theft.

Personal injury protection (PIP)

Applies to: auto and motorcycle insurance.

Personal injury protection or PIP helps pay for hospital bills and medical care expenses for you and your passengers injured in an accident, no matter who was at fault. Some states require personal injury protection as part of your auto or motorcycle insurance coverage.

Personal liability coverage

Applies to: home, condo and renters insurance.

If someone other than a family member is injured or property is damaged and you are held legally responsible, personal liability coverage helps cover the cost of hospital bills, medical treatment or repairs you may be obligated to pay for.

Personal offense coverage

Applies to: home insurance.

Personal offense coverage is an optional coverage on a homeowners policy to protect against libel or slander liability.

Personal property replacement cost coverage

Applies to: home, condo and renters insurance.

Your home is filled with furniture, clothes, sports equipment, and other items that mean a lot to you. Personal property replacement cost coverage will help pay for the actual cost to replace your personal belongings that are lost, stolen or destroyed as a result of an insured event.

Also see: actual replacement cost.

Personal watercraft (PWC)

Applies to: boat insurance.

A personal watercraft, or PWC, is a floating recreational vehicle on which you ride by sitting or standing, as opposed to riding inside a cabin or cockpit like with a boat. Models have an inboard engine driving a pump jet that has a screw-shaped impeller to create thrust for propulsion and steering. Popular personal watercraft include Jet Ski®, WaveRunner®, Sea-Doo® and AquaTrax®.

Pet coverage

Applies to: auto, classic car, RV and boat insurance.

For auto, classic car and RV: Pet coverage pays for veterinary expenses or a death benefit if your cat or dog is injured or dies in a collision, even if they’re in someone else’s car.

For watercraft: Pet coverage for your dog or cat provides for veterinary expenses or a death benefit if your cat or dog passes away or is injured as a result of upset, collision or theft of your watercraft.

Physical damage coverage

Applies to: auto, motorcycle, classic car, RV and boat insurance.

For auto, motorcycle, classic car and RV: Physical damage is a general term that includes both comprehensive and collision coverage.

For watercraft: Physical damage helps pay to repair damage to your watercraft caused by an accident. It also generally pays to repair or replace your watercraft for insured situations such as theft, fire, vandalism or other non-collision damages that occur in or out of the water.

Premises liability coverage

Applies to: Landlord Protection® insurance.

Premises liability coverage includes both personal injury protection and medical payments. Personal injury covers wrongful eviction or entry, invasion of privacy, libel and slander. Medical payments helps cover hospital bills and medical care expenses for guests if they are injured on your rental property and you’re held responsible.

Premium

Applies to: auto, home, condo, renters, boat, classic car, motorcycle, RV , Landlord Protection® and umbrella insurance.

Your insurance premium is the total cost or amount you pay in exchange for one term of policy coverage. One term of policy coverage is usually six or 12 months.

Property or Dwelling coverage

Applies to: home and Landlord Protection® insurance.

Helps cover the cost to repair or rebuild your home if it’s damaged or destroyed by something your insurance policy covers, like a kitchen fire or a tree falling through the roof. This is the main component of home insurance and Landlord Protection insurance.

Roadside Assistance

Applies to: auto, classic car, motorcycle, RV and boat insurance.

For auto, classic car, motorcycle and RV: Safeco Roadside Assistance will help you change a flat tire, deliver gas, oil or other essential fluids like radiator and brake fluid, jump start your battery and send out a locksmith if you’re locked out of your car. Motorcycle Roadside Assistance also includes trip interruption coverage which helps pay for lodging, food and alternate transportation.

For watercraft: Roadside Assistance is part of our Captain’s Package and provides coverage for your boat or PWC trailer, and the car or truck you’re towing it with while on your way to or from the water.

Single loss deductible

Applies to: home and condo insurance.

Single loss deductible means that if your car, motorcycle, boat or RV insured with Safeco is damaged in the same event as your home, you may only have to pay one deductible. For example, if a fallen tree damages both your garage and your car, we’ll waive your auto deductible after your home deductible is paid. The Safeco Package is required in order to qualify for this coverage.

Total loss

Applies to: auto, home, condo, renters, boat, classic car, motorcycle, RV and Landlord Protection® insurance.

A total loss is declared when the cost of repairs will be greater than the total current market value of your vehicle or property. Safeco works with an independent company to make this determination. Model, year, mileage, condition, options, school districts, land value, location and your local market area are all factors in deciding if your property or vehicle is a total loss. Sometimes a total loss is simply called totaled, as in “My car was totaled.”

Umbrella insurance

Applies to: umbrella insurance.

An umbrella insurance policy is an additional layer of liability coverage that may cover you when your other insurance policies, such as homeowner’s and auto, have exhausted the maximum amount they will pay for liability claims.

Unattached equipment coverage

Applies to: boat insurance.

Pays to repair or replace equipment that is not permanently attached to your boat or personal watercraft. This includes items like anchors, oars, life jackets, water skis and sports equipment but is different than personal effects like clothing, scuba gear and fishing equipment.

Underlying insurance policy

Applies to: umbrella insurance.

When an umbrella policy is adding protection to another insurance policy, like your auto insurance for example, your auto insurance is the underlying insurance policy. Any and all of your other policies being protected by umbrella insurance are considered underlying insurance policies.

Underlying liability coverage

Applies to: umbrella insurance.

When an umbrella policy is adding protection to another insurance policy, like your auto policy for example, the underlying liability coverage is the maximum amount your auto policy will pay for liability claims.

Underwriter/underwriting

Underwriting is the process your insurance company uses to assess risk when deciding whether to issue a policy of insurance to a customer.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM)

Applies to: auto, classic car, motorcycle, RV and umbrella insurance.

Helps pay for damages associated with bodily injury or death from an accident caused by an uninsured, underinsured or hit-and-run driver. Specifics of what is covered by these terms can vary from state to state. It may also cover you if you are hit as a pedestrian.

Valuable articles coverage

Applies to: home, condo and renters insurance.

Your new ring is worth more to you than just money, but it's still smart to make sure it has extra protection. Other special possessions, such as fine art, antiques and collectibles may also need to have this type of additional coverage. There is no deductible applied to valuable articles coverage claims.

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© 2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116

Insurance is offered by Safeco Insurance Company of America and/or its affiliates, with their principal place of business at 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116. This website provides a simplified description of coverage. Nothing stated herein creates a contract. All statements made are subject to the provisions, exclusions, conditions and limitations of the applicable insurance policy. Please refer to actual policy forms for complete details regarding the coverage discussed. If the information in these materials conflicts with the policy language that it describes, the policy language prevails. Coverages and features not available in all states. Eligibility is subject to meeting applicable underwriting criteria. 36 USC 220506