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Insurance Jargon Explained and Decoded

Accidents happen. It is just a fact of life. Safety is the best prevention, but sometimes the inevitable cannot be avoided. Having insurance is a worthwhile investment for protecting you and your loved ones. However, getting insurance of any kind can involve a lot of jargon that is not always easy to grasp. Before taking the leap into monthly payments, educate yourself so that you get a plan that works best for you. An insurance agent can help fill in the gaps, but below is a group of terms to become familiar with. Even if you already have a plan, this guide can help you better understand the terminology.

General Terms

A premium is the amount of money that must be paid to the insurer who provides coverage. This fee is usually due on a monthly basis. To achieve a lower premium, shop around for the best possible quote and try to maintain a good credit record. The deductible is the portion of money that you, the policyholder, must pay in the case of an accident. The insurer is then responsible for covering the remainder of costs. Generally, higher deductibles result in lower premiums. If you decide to go this route, make sure that you have enough money set aside to cover your higher deductible. A claim is a request made by the policyholder if an accident occurs. This request is for costs to be covered by the insurer. The adjuster is the person who analyzes a claim and provides recommendations for a settlement based on the damage and policy. Preferred Risk is the term for when an applicant shows lower risk for accident or injury than the average person. These applicants tend to be eligible for rate discounts.

Auto

Accident forgiveness is an option provided by some companies to protect drivers. This option prevents the driver’s premium from increasing after their first at-fault accident. It is especially helpful when the company extends this forgiveness to others on the policy, such as teen drivers. Other potential discounts to look into include low annual mileage on your vehicle, having no accidents in three years, and having multiple cars on the same plan.

Health

There are several different ways of getting health coverage. Group Health is when an employer provides health insurance plan options for its employees and their dependents. The policies are normally at a reasonable or discounted rate. Many people take advantage of this opportunity because it is convenient and secure. Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) is when the insured person pays a fixed membership fee ahead of time. In return, they receive comprehensive health care from a list of approved providers in a certain area. HMOs are usually more affordable, but they do not provide as much coverage. Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) is a health plan that lists preferred health care providers. When patients visit the preferred providers, they may receive incentives such as a lower copay. Copay is a flat rate that the patient must pay each time they receive services from their healthcare provider. Another way to lower copayment is through a cost sharing reduction subsidy that lowers out-of-pockets expenses.

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Hopefully, this guide has helped to clarify some of the terms that can be found in the fine print of policies. Although insurance can be expensive, there are options available to help lower premium rates. For example, if you are a college student who gets good grades, you may be eligible for a good student discount on your auto policy.

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