Insurance Terms

What does that mean?



Accident Free Discount

Customers who have been insured with us for 3 consecutive years and have had no accidents may qualify for this discount. (Discount availability varies by state)

Additional Insured

An individual or company, in addition to the insured, who is listed on the Declarations Page. They are provided coverage under the policy for losses where they have a financial interest.

Auto/Home Discount

A valuable discount on your homeowner premium is available when you insure your auto and home with us.

A.M. Best Company

An organization that rates the financial stability of insurance companies doing business in the United States.


Document changing the provisions of an insurance contract. Also known as an endorsement.

Anti-Theft Device Discount

Insured vehicles equipped with an anti-theft device qualify for this discount. (Discount availability varies by state).

Automatic Sprinkler Discount

If your dwelling is equipped with Automatic Sprinkler protective devices, either totally or partially covering all areas of your dwelling, you qualify for this discount.


Bodily Injury Coverage

Pays for injuries you cause to third parties as the result of an accident involving a covered motor vehicle. Generally expressed as "split limits" (i.e. 25/50), the first limit ($25,000) applies per person and the second limit ($50,000) applies per accident.


College Graduate Scholastic Achievement Discount

Customers who are unmarried, are under the age of 25, and have graduated from a 4-year college or university, and whose cumulative scholastic records show a grade average of "B" or higher if letter grades were used or had at least a 3 point average on a 4 point scale (or equivalent) may qualify for this discount. A copy of the graduate's grades is required to apply this discount.

Collision Coverage

Pays for physical damage to a covered motor vehicle caused by collision of that vehicle with another object or by upset of the vehicle. The amount paid is subject to the deductible you choose.

Comprehensive Coverage

See Other than Collision Coverage.

Computer Special Coverage

Covers computer equipment and peripherals beyond the normal coverage provided in homeowner's insurance policies. With more people owning expensive computers and peripherals, and even using them for home-based businesses, endorsements are becoming more popular. Some endorsements are also designed to cover damage and/or theft of portable equipment, such as laptop computers, and even the costs of data recovery.


Declarations Page

That portion of the insurance contract which contains such information as: name and address of the insured, description of the property covered, coverage limits and premium amounts.


Amount that must be paid by the insured before benefits will be paid by the insurer.

Defensive Driver Discount

Insured drivers who successfully complete an approved Motor Vehicle Accident Prevention Course qualify for this discount. (Discount availability varies by state).

Driver Training Discount

Insured drivers under age 21 who provide evidence of successful completion of a certified driver education course qualify for this discount. (Discount availability varies by state).


Earthquake Insurance

Earthquake policies are similar to regular homeowner's policies but without the liability coverage. You choose a dollar ceiling for the dwelling coverage, and a percentage of this ceiling is then applied to coverages for personal property and additional living expenses (hotel expenses if your home becomes uninhabitable). Premiums for these policies are usually rather steep in the places where you would need to buy one. Until recently, the only place Californians could buy the coverage was from the California Earthquake Authority, which offered limited coverage. But the market is opening up again and some other companies are offering policies with better coverage (at higher rates).

Effective Date

Date when insurance coverage begins.


See amendment.

Excess Electronic Equipment Coverage

If you have sound reproduction and/or other electronic equipment in your vehicle, which is not factory installed, the basic policy only provides $1,000 coverage for such equipment. If the value of such equipment exceeds $1,000, you may purchase an additional amount of coverage with this optional endorsement.

Expiration Date

Date when insurance coverage ends.


Fire Resistive Discount

This discount is given if your dwelling's exterior walls are constructed of masonry materials, such as adobe, brick, concrete, gypsum block, hollow concrete block, stone, tile, or other similar materials, and your dwelling's floors and roof constructed of metal or other non-combustible materials able to resist igniting at temperatures below 1,000 degrees if not exposed for more than one hour. Evidence of such construction materials is required.

Floaters (Personal Articles Floaters)

Floaters are used to insure certain items of personal property which have limited coverage under the standard property policies. This includes items of jewelry, coin and stamp collections, cameras, silverware, computer equipment and some other valuables. Not only do floaters insure such items for their appropriate value, they also expand the list of perils insured against.

Flood Insurance

A regular homeowner's policy will not pay for damages caused by flooding. Companies that write for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provide coverage. Outside of fire, flooding is the most widespread natural disaster. If your community participates in NFIP's floodplain management program, you should be eligible to buy the coverage. Residents of "coastal barrier resource system" areas and communities that do not participate in NFIP's programs may have trouble finding flood coverage. Flood insurance is also available to renters, condominium owners, and co-op owners.

Full Glass Coverage

With Full Glass Coverage, your glass claims will be paid in full regardless of your other than collision deductible. (Availability varies by state).


Garaging Location

The physical location (postal code) where your vehicle is parked or garaged when not in use. This is usually your primary residence.

Good Driver Discount

Insured drivers with three (3) years U.S. driving experience and a good driving record qualify for this discount. (Discount availability varies by state).

Good Student Discount

High school and full-time college (12+ academic units for undergraduates; 9+ academic unit for graduates) students who have achieved a "B" average (3.0 GPA) or better in the most recent grading period are eligible for this discount. We require a copy of the student's grades each year before renewal to apply the discount.


Home Alert Protection Factor

If your dwelling is equipped with Home Alert protective devices, either a fire/smoke alarm and/or a burglar alarm, you qualify for this discount.  The amount of discount will vary depending on the type(s) of devices installed on the property.


Liability Coverages

These coverages pay for bodily injury to others (Bodily Injury Liability) and for damage to the property of others (Property Damage Liability) caused by an automobile accident, for which you are legally liable. These coverages are mandatory in almost every state.

Loan Lease Gap Coverage

If your vehicle is a total loss as the result of a covered accident or theft, this coverage will pay the difference between the value of the vehicle and your loan or lease obligation. Certain aspects of loan or lease contracts are excluded from this payment.

Loss Of Use Coverage

If a covered loss makes your dwelling unfit to live in, this coverage pays for the necessary additional living expenses you incur during the time your dwelling is being repaired. These expenses must be related to your household maintaining its normal standard of living.


Mature Driver Discount

Customers who are 55 years of age or older and have completed a Mature Driver Improvement Course approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles qualify for this discount. This course needs to be renewed every three (3) years. (Discount availability varies by state).

Medical Payments Coverage

Pays medical and funeral expenses for you and your passengers while occupying a covered motor vehicle that's involved in an accident. You're also covered if struck by a motor vehicle as a pedestrian or bicyclist. Coverage is usually offered from $1,000 to $25,000.

Medical Payments To Others Coverage

This coverage will help pay the medical expenses of others, such as a guest, when they accidentally injure themselves at your home. For example, the daughter of a guest trips over a sprinkler during a backyard barbecue and injures her foot.

Mid-Term Rate Reduction

While not a discount, if circumstances regarding your driving record change, we will reduce your rate mid-term if you qualify.

Multi-Policy Discount

Customers who have both an Auto policy and a Homeowners, Renters or primary Condominium Unit-Owners policy with California Casualty receive this discount.

Multi-Car Discount

This discount is available when you insure two or more vehicles with us and the vehicles are insured under the same customer policy.


Named Insured

The person designated in the policy as the insured and named on the declarations page.

New Home Discount

Up to a 20% discount is available for homes originally constructed within the past eight years.

No-Fault Insurance

No-fault insurance is designed to pay for the financial losses associated with minor accidents as quickly as possible. Under a no-fault system, your own insurance company will pay medical expenses and lost wages caused by an accident, regardless of who was at fault. In exchange, no-fault systems limit the right to sue under certain circumstances. Not every state has no-fault, and systems vary quite a bit from state to state.

Non-Smoker Discount

Save 5% when all residents of your household are non-smokers.


Other Than Collision Coverage

Pays for loss of or damage to a covered motor vehicle by theft, fire, vandalism glass breakage or collision with a bird or animal. The amount paid is subject to the deductible you choose. In some states, you may choose no deductible for glass losses. This is known as "full coverage glass" (FCG).


Persistency Factor

Customers who have demonstrated insurance persistency are automatically given a discount based on the number of consecutive years of renewal and depending upon loss history.

Personal Articles Floaters

Floaters are used to insure certain items of personal property which have limited coverage under the standard property policies. This includes items of jewelry, coin and stamp collections, cameras, silverware, computer equipment and some other valuables. Not only do floaters insure such items for their appropriate value, they also expand the list of perils insured against.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal Injury Protection coverage is available to auto policyholders in no-fault states. Coverage options and limits vary from state to state. Basic personal injury protection coverage provides reimbursement for medical expenses and wage loss incurred by insured as the result of an auto accident, regardless of who is at fault in the accident. Your own insurance company makes the payments and the coverage limits and deductibles you select determine the amount you can collect. Some states also require reimbursement for replacement services. Those are expenses you incur to perform services you normally would have performed had it not been for the injury. Housekeeping is a good example.

Policy Term

The period for which an insurance policy provides coverage.


The payment, or one of the regular periodic payments, that a policyholder makes to keep an insurance policy in force.

Property Damage Coverage

Pays for damage you cause to property of third parties as the result of an accident involving a covered motor vehicle.


Rental Reimbursement Coverage

See Transportation Expense Coverage.

Retired Discount

Named insureds who are age 55 or older, are not gainfully employed or actively seeking employment (retired) and principally reside at the insured premises, qualify for this discount.



The property in which an insurance company secures an ownership interest as a result of paying a total loss claim.

Snowmobile Accessories

Equipment, devices, enhancements and changes, other than those that the manufacturer originally installs, that alter the appearance or performance of your snowmobile. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Any electronic equipment, antennas and other devices used exclusively to send or receive audio, visual or data signals or play back recorded media, other than those originally installed by the manufacturer, and that are permanently installed on your snowmobile using bolts or brackets, including slide-out brackets.
  • Trailers designed to be pulled behind a snowmobile.
  • Custom paint, engine modifications, and suspension/springs.
  • Exhausts, racks, saddlebags, hitches, seats/backrests, and windshields.
  • Safety apparel, including helmets. (Coverage is provided in the event of a Collision loss. Theft is not covered.)
  • Plow blades or winches. Please note: Retain photos of your snowmobile and all receipts for your snowmobile accessories.

Towing Coverage

Pays for towing a covered motor vehicle to the nearest place of repair from the place of disablement. Also covers the cost of roadside assistance (excluding the actual parts or fuel).

Transportation Expense Coverage

If you carry Collision and Other Than Collision coverages, your policy automatically includes basic coverage for temporary transportation expenses you incur when your covered auto is being repaired due to a covered loss. This optional coverage allows you to increase that coverage to a higher amount per day, so that you can rent a larger, more comfortable car if yours is being repaired due to a covered loss.


Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists (UM/UIM) Coverage

Uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage will pay bodily injury costs caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. It's a required coverage in some states, and a prudent coverage anywhere. Usually, the limits are the same as the bodily injury portion of your auto liability coverage. UM/UIM coverage can supplement the benefits you can receive under a no-fault system.


Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

The unique identification number assigned to each new automobile by the manufacturer. It can generally be found on a plate affixed to the top of the dashboard on the driver's side of the vehicle. It can also be found on your Declarations Page, insurance ID card and your vehicle registration.