Phoenix, AZ Auto Insurance Terms

Anauto accident only takes moments to occur, but the effects of the collision can last a lifetime. No one ever expects a car crash to happen, but when it does, youll be happy that you have car insurance coverage to aid in recoveringdamages. As with any industry, insurance adjusters have their own jargon that the average person may not understand. These commoncar insurance termscan help you make sense of confusing policy documents.

After a car accident, the insurance company will try to get you to settle as quickly as possible. But before signing anything, you MUST make sure that you fully understand what your provider is saying. Quite often, injury victims will sign documents believing that the insurance company is acting in good faith, but will ultimately limit the amount of compensation they can be awarded, regardless of the severity of their losses.

With the help of this glossary – and some advice from an experienced Arizona auto accident lawyer,your chances of receiving a fair verdict or settlement for your accident increase significantly.

To get help with your auto accident litigation, simply fill out the form on the right for a free case evaluation.

Commonly Used Auto Insurance Terms

Automobile Liability Insurance

A type of coverage that is available if the insured motorist is legally responsible or liable for damages, which may include physical injury or property damages caused by an auto accident.

Collision Insurance

Additional coverage for property damages that may not be covered under through Comprehensive policies.

Comprehensive Coverage

A type of policy that provides coverage for property damages that are caused by other events, such as a fire, theft or extreme weather.


The amount the insured motorist must pay before the insurer provides coverage.

Economic Benefits

Types of damages that include quantifiable, out-of-pocket expenses such as medical expenses, future medical costs, lost wages and lost earning capacity.

Financial Responsibility Law

The law requiring all drivers to carry some type of car insurance coverage. In some cases, drivers can choose to forego an auto insurance policy by purchasing a bond or providing a cash deposit to demonstrate their ability to pay in case they become liable for negligent driving.

Liability Coverage

A type of insurance coverage that compensates for damages that have been caused by the insured motorist’s actions.

Medical Payments Coverage (MP or Med Pay)

A type of coverage that provides for medical bills and/or funeral expenses for the insured motorist and their passengers, regardless of who was at fault in the car accident.

Monetary Threshold

A cutoff point for damages that allows an accident injury victim to file a lawsuit in order to recover economic and non-economic damages after the threshold has been met.

Multi-Car Discounts

A discount often available if the insured has more than one vehicle on their auto insurance policy.

No-Fault Insurance

A type of coverage that allows insured motorists to recover economic damages from their own insurer, even if they were at fault in the car accident.

Non-Economic Benefits

Types of damages regarding a loss of quality of life, which can include pain and suffering, mental anguish or loss of consortium.These types of damages can be difficult to quantify.

Personal Auto Policy (PAP)

The most common type of auto insurance policy, which covers the insured motorist for personal liability, property damages and medical costs, as well as uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.


The cost of an insurance policy for a specific risk over a specified time frame, or “term”.

Property Damage Liability (PD)

A type of coverage available to pay for damages in case the insured is at-fault for property damages to another person’s property.Scenarios where PD coverage may come in handy include damage to anothers vehicle, structures, telephone or utility poles, fences and garage doors, among others.


The period of time for which a car insurance policy is effective, usually 6 months to 1 year.

Umbrella Policy

A type of coverage available to cover losses that exceed the dollar amount limit of an insurance policy.


The process used to accept or reject an application for insurance, which includes risk selection and classification of the applicants suitability as a policyholder.

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UM)

A type of coverage for damages that are caused by a motorist who is uninsured or has inadequate coverage to provide for the damages caused in an accident.


The purpose for which a motorist most frequently uses their vehicle, which is considered during the underwriting process that proceeds once a driver has applied for auto insurance coverage.

Verbal (or Descriptive) Threshold

Similar to a monetary threshold, a verbal or descriptive threshold refers to the phrasing used to describe the type of injury that must be sustained in order to file a lawsuit.

If you need help with an auto accident claim, contact us now!