Buying auto insurance in Calgary can be a confusing affair, especially if you are not aware of the terminology associated with your policy. Once you understand the terms of your car insurance, you will be in a much better position to compare policies and coverage, shop around and save hundreds of dollars on your premiums. In addition, in the unlikely event of making a claim, being informed about these terms can make the process easier and less intimidating. We bring you the top 10 terms related to auto insurance:

1. Actual Cash Value

This the market value of your vehicle, which is derived by calculating the replacement cost minus depreciation.

2. Collision Coverage

If your vehicle is damaged in an accident, this coverage will pay for the fixes or repairs, whether another car or any stationary object like a streetlight or a tree damaged your car.

3. Comprehensive Coverage

Many car owners mistake this coverage to be a complete coverage due to its name. However, comprehensive coverage pays for the damages caused to your car due to any event other than a collision. These may include natural disasters like fire, hailstorms, floods or even vandalism/theft.

4. Deductible

This is similar to the deductible you pay for your health insurance. It is the amount of money you will pay from your pocket to cover the damages until your insurance payment kicks in to cover the rest of the expenses. For instance, if your deductible is $1000 and you incur damages worth $4000, you will have to pay $1000 and your insurance company will pay $3000. Many companies also offer a $0 deductible but it will increase your premium prices immensely. By upping your deductible amount from $500 to $1000, you can actually reduce your premiums by 9%.

5. Liability Coverage

As per Alberta’s provincial law, you must have a minimum of $200,000 third-party liability coverage. In case you damage someone else’s property or cause personal injury in an accident, your liability coverage will help cover some of the expenses. This coverage will pay for any medical expenses, death benefits in case of a fatality and repair costs for vehicles, buildings or other property.

6. Personal Injury Protection

This coverage will pay for your medical, hospital and funeral expenses within the specified limits. It is a no-fault coverage, as the insurance will pay for the expenses irrespective of who caused the accident. Normally, many drivers consider this a boon as they get compensated without having to wait for the insurance company to determine blame.

7. Premium

This is the amount of money you will pay to your insurance company to buy your policy. You can choose to pay your premiums either monthly, every six months or even annually. The premium costs are based on your age, gender, address, type of vehicle, driving record and other factors. Normally, the premium will reflect the kind of coverage you receive. By paying a higher premium, you can opt for a greater coverage.

8. Occasional Driver

If your friend, spouse or child borrows your car occasionally, you might want to list the person as an occasional driver on your policy.

9. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

If a driver without insurance hits you, this coverage will help you pay for the damages. This is especially useful in case of hit and run accidents and offers additional money if the driver that caused the accident has a liability coverage that does not cover your injury expenses or property damage.

10. Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

The VIN is found on the driver’s side of the dashboard and is a combination of 17 letters and numbers that help identify the make, model and year of the car for accurate quotes from insurance companies.

Knowing these terms will definitely help you choose the right insurance and save time and money while buying or renewing your policy.

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