What the insurance terms really mean

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com

1 min read

Does the terminology on your car insurance policy have you confused? Here’s the plain-language translation for some of the categories you’re likely to encounter:

Collision: If you do have an accident, this covers your car. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium. Best bet: Set the deductible for the highest amount you could manage to pony up out of pocket. And if you can, bank that amount so that you have it handy.

Comprehensive: This covers loss or damage that doesn’t involve a collision. So if the neighbor’s kid hits a baseball through the windshield or your sport utility vehicle is stolen, the comprehensive portion of the policy covers you. Like collision, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium.

Property damage liability: This covers the damage that you cause to another car or any other property.

Bodily injury liability: This will cover the injuries that you cause in an accident.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: Just like it sounds. If the person who hit you doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough liability insurance, this will pick up the difference. Some states require it; others don’t.

Personal injury protection: This will pay if someone in your car is injured in an accident.