McCoy & Hiestand Attorneys at Law
insurance file

Shopping for or using our auto insurance is something we hope we don’t have to do very often. Unfortunately, that means many aren’t knowledgable when it comes to auto insurance.

Understanding your policy or deciphering which policy you need begins with learning the basic types of insurance coverage.

Types of Car Insurance

  • Liability – required in most states, this type of insurance will help cover damages for injury and property damage of the other vehicle’s involved if you are responsible for an accident
  • Collision – provides coverage for damage to both your car and the other vehicle if you are responsible for the accident
  • Comprehensive – provides coverage for damages to your vehicle in weather events, vandalism, or accidents involving animals
  • Underinsured Motorist Coverage – although the law requires every driver have car insurance, not everyone does. This will bridge the gap if you’re in an accident without insurance or their policy does not fully cover your damages.
  • Personal Injury Protection – with this coverage your medical bills along with any passenger medical bills will be paid, no matter who is responsible for the accident

Insurance Vocabulary

Once you start to dive into insurance policies you will notice jargon that you may not be used to. Here’s a list of definitions to get you through the basics:

  • Adjuster – They evaluate each claim and then make payment based on the coverage available in its policy contract.
  • Appraisal – A formal, written estimation of the value of property. Appraisals may be completed by an adjuster or repair specialist.
  • Claim – The amount a person believes they should be paid as a result of an accident. This can include the cost of property damage, bodily injury or both.
  • Deductible – The amount the insured must pay in a loss before any payment is due from the company.
  • Indemnity – The principle which all auto insurance contracts are based. It states that the objective of insurance is to restore the insured to the position they were in prior to the loss.
  • Premium – The payment required to maintain an insurance policy
  • Underwriting – The process used to decide whether to accept or reject an application for a policy.


After you’ve learned the basics, auto insurance doesn’t seem too tricky. But if you have been seriously injured due to someone else’s negligence you may need help from a personal injury attorney. Negotiating a personal injury settlement can be a complex process but our attorneys have more than 50 years of combined personal injury experience and are ready to help you every step of the way.

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Court costs and case expenses will be the responsibility of the client only if we win or settle your case.