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null Your Car Insurance Glossary

Just as you wouldn’t apply for a mortgage without being clear on important mortgage terms, it’s important to become familiarized with car insurance terminology before choosing your auto insurance policy. Use this glossary as your guide to help clarify important car insurance terms:

Accident Benefits

This is the part of an auto insurance policy that provides those that have been injured in a car collision with income replacement and medical care benefits. These benefits are available to injured party members regardless of whether or not they were the cause of the accident.

At-Fault Accident/Driver

If your car has been damaged in an accident, your insurer must assign a percentage of “fault” to each driver involved in the accident. This is determined by rules a set of provincial rules used by all insurance companies.

An at-fault accident is one in which you are considered 100% at-fault, for example if your vehicle was the only one involved. An at-fault driver is the one who, in the event of an accident, is deemed legally responsible for damages.

If involved in an accident, the percentage of fault that an insured driver is deemed to have determines the percentage of the other driver’s damages that their insurer will pay. Any amount ontop of this must be paid by the at-fault driver.


A claim is a formal request to an insurer of compensation for injury sustained during a car accident.

Collision coverage

If a driver is involved in an accident in which their car rolls over, or hits another object or vehicle, then their collision coverage will help to pay for replacement or repair costs for their own vehicle.

Comprehensive coverage options helps to protect you against damage or loss to your vehicle for reasons that are beyond your control, such as fire, theft, vandalism, or floods. Although this type of coverage is optional, it may be required if you lease your vehicle or purchase it with financing.


Your deductible is a pre-determined sum, which you set when buying your policy, that you agree to pay out of pocket when filing a claim. If you have a higher deductible, your monthly premium will be lower, because you are agreeing to assume more financial risk in the event of an accident.

Liability coverage

In the event that you cause an accident and another party member sues you for property damage, then this type of coverage will cover you for the cost of legal fees and claim settlements.


A premium is the amount of money that you pay to your insurer for your pre-determined type of insurance coverage, for a specific policy term. Typically, auto insurance premiums are paid on a monthly or semi-annually basis. While there are many factors that influence the amount of your car insurance premium – such as your age and city of residence – there are also ways to lower your premium, such as driving carefully and insuring your car and home with the same provider.


Underwriting is the process of reviewing, then subsequently accepting or rejecting insurance risks. An underwriter, in this case, is the person responsible for reviewing your situation, evaluating risks, and calculating how much you will pay for your premium.

At Desjardins, we work hard to provide you with the right kind of auto insurance coverage suited to you and your family’s unique needs. What’s more, we understand that safe drivers should be rewarded – that’s why we offer benefits for drivers with clean driving records and safe driving practices. Take a look at all of the auto insurance savings and benefits offered by Desjardins Insurance – switch and you could save a bundle!

Your Car Insurance Glossary

From “At-Fault” to “Underwriter,” auto insurance terms can be confusing. The good news? They don’t have to be!

These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.

In Quebec, Desjardins Insurance refers to Desjardins General Insurance Inc. In Ontario and Alberta, Desjardins Insurance refers to Certas Direct Insurance Company, underwriter of automobile and property insurance.

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