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Insurance Glossary

Insurance Terms


Accident forgiveness

In most states, customers who have not had an at-fault accident in the previous five years qualify for this program. Accident forgiveness means that GEICO won't add a surcharge to your premium after your next at-fault accident.


A statistician who computes insurance risks and premiums. Actuaries keep GEICO profitable and financially stable by setting prices, assessing trends, and determining how much to hold in reserve to pay claims.

After-Market Parts

After-market parts (also called competitive auto repair parts) are made by a company other than the manufacturer of the auto. The after-market parts we authorize meet or exceed the quality of the manufacturer's parts but cost less. GEICO guarantees these parts for as long as you own the car.

American International Underwriters

GEICO offers overseas insurance from American International Underwriters through GEICO's International Insurance Underwriters agency.

Anti-theft device

A device that deters auto theft. Autos equipped with these devices may entitle you to a discount on your insurance premiums.


The party that is legally liable for the damages in an accident.

Auto Insurance

Auto Insurance provides protection from losses resulting from owning and operating an auto. The insurance covers losses to the insured's property and losses for which the insured is liable as a result of owning or operating an auto.

Auto Theft

The theft of an auto is a type of loss that is covered under comprehensive coverage.

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Berkshire Hathaway

The parent company of GEICO. Other companies in the Berkshire Hathaway group are listed at the Berkshire-Hathaway website.

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

Pays damages for bodily injury or death resulting from an accident for which you are at fault and provides you with a legal defense.

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When an insurer or policyholder decides to stop coverage before the policy expires.


A demand to recover for damages as a result of a loss.

Claims Adjuster

The person responsible for investigating and settling a claim.

CLUE® Report

Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) reports provide claims history information.

Collision Coverage

Pays for damage to your car when it hits or is hit by another car or object, or if the car overturns.

Competitive Auto Repair Parts

Competitive auto repair parts, or after-market parts, are generic parts made by a company other than the manufacturer of the auto. These parts meet or exceed the quality of the manufacturer's but cost less. GEICO guarantees these parts for as long as you own the car. If we authorize these parts, we show this on the estimate you receive.

Comprehensive Physical Damage Coverage

Pays for damage to your car from theft, vandalism, flood, fire or other covered perils.

Condo insurance

A type of homeowners insurance that meets the special needs of condominium owners.


The scope of the protection provided in your insurance contract as well as any of several risks covered by a policy.

Customized Vehicle

An auto that has been altered or has additional equipment and accessories that were not factory-installed.


The motorcycle insurance policy developed by GEICO Indemnity Company to meet the special needs of bike owners.

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Loss or harm due to an injury to a person or property.


Money that one party becomes legally obligated to pay to another party because of a loss or harm to their person or property.


The part of your policy that includes your name and address; the property that is being insured, its location and description; the policy period; the amount of insurance coverage and the applicable premiums.


The portion of a claim you pay out-of-pocket before the insurance company pays. Choosing a higher deductible will lower your insurance premiums.

Defensive driver discount

Certain drivers (usually over age 50) who have voluntary taken a defensive driving course may qualify for this discount on their auto insurance premiums.

Direct Check

Direct Check is GEICO's electronic payment method that lets you to pay your premium online with an electronic check.

Direct Pay

Direct Pay is GEICO's electronic payment method that lets you pay your premiums with automatic deductions from your checking account.


A reduction in your premium if you or your car meet certain conditions that reduce the insurer's losses or expenses. For example, auto insurance discounts are given for cars with auto theft devices and for drivers and passengers who use seatbelts.

Driver training discount

A discount for people who have taken an approved driver training course. This discount is not available in all states or for all individuals.

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An electronic version of your bill that you can review online. Everyone who has registered to use GEICO's Policyholder Service Center can choose to receive eBills.

Emergency Road Service Coverage

Protection for problems that are not typically handled by your auto insurance such as:
  • being locked out of your car,
  • having a dead battery re-charged,
  • inflating a flat tire, or
  • filling an empty gas tank.


    Any change made to the policy.


    GEICO's electronic system that allows you to review your policy documents online.


    The initial assessment of the cost to repair your damaged property.


    Restriction in your insurance policy that denies coverage for certain perils, persons, property, or locations.

    Expiration Date

    This date, found on your declarations page, indicates when your policy coverage runs out. Your renewal policy will start on this date.

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    Financed Car

    An auto purchase financed by a loan. The lender retains a lien on the auto until it has been paid off.


    Two types of forms are important in insurance: 1. preprinted contracts that form your insurance policy, 2. questionnaires or coverage selection forms that a policyholder is required to fill out.

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    Government Employees Insurance Company and its affiliates GEICO General Insurance Company, GEICO Indemnity Company and GEICO Casualty Company market collectively under the trademarks GEICO and GEICO Direct.

    GEICO Direct®

    A brand name that includes all of the GEICO companies.

    GEICO Overseas

    A program provided by International Insurance Underwriters, Inc. that provides automobile and property insurance outside the United States.

    Good student discount

    May be awarded to full-time students who maintain a grade average of "B" or better.

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    Anything that increases the chance of an accident occurring.

    Homeowners Insurance

    Insurance that protects the homeowners from losses to the insured's personal property and any damages for which the homeowner is liable.

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    In some instances, GEICO policyholders will be asked to have their auto inspected. This inspection is not a safety inspection but is intended to reduce insurance fraud by verifying the condition of the auto and making sure that the auto exists.


    Insurance is a system in which groups of people who have similar chances of suffering a loss transfer their risk of loss to an insurer who pools the risk of many people together. In exchange for payment of premium, the insurer promises to reimburse the person for their covered losses.

    Insurance Fraud

    A variety of crimes that range from staging accidents, inflating medical bills, to falsifying an application for insurance.

    Insurance ID Card

    A card issued by your insurer containing basic information about your insurance policy. Some states require you to keep an ID card in your vehicle.

    Insurance Score

    Used in the underwriting process in some states. An individual's insurance score is based, in part, on a person's credit history.


    A person or organization covered by an insurance policy.


    An organization that provides insurance.

    International Insurance Underwriters, Inc.

    A GEICO-owned subsidiary that provides insurance through American International Underwriters.

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    Leased car

    An auto rented under a long-term contract (lease). The leasing company retains ownership of the auto and must be shown on your insurance policy.


    Any legally enforceable obligation or responsibility for the injury or damage suffered by another person.

    Limits of Liability

    The amount specified in your policy up to which the insurance company will protect you.

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    Maps and More

    A companion product available to GEICO policyholders that provides travel club services such as: Trip Routing Services, Discounts on Hotel and Car Rentals, No-Fee Traveler's Checks, and more.

    Mechanical Breakdown Insurance

    Covers repairs to all mechanical parts of the car, protecting you from expensive repair bills.

    Medical Payments

    Pays medical expenses (and in some cases lost wages) of the driver and passengers in your car.

    Motor Vehicle Report (MVR)

    A report from the agency that issues your driver's license, listing accidents and violations that appear on your driving record. This report is used to verify information provided by insurance applicants and policyholders.

    Motorcycle Insurance

    GEICO's Cycle-Gard insurance provides protection from losses resulting from owning and operating motorcycles.

    Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF)

    A national, nonprofit organization. Some applicants who complete MSF courses qualify for discounts on GEICO's Cycle-Gard motorcycle insurance.

    Multi-car discount

    Available to policyholders who insure more than one vehicle at the same location.

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    An insurance system where your own insurance pays for your injuries regardless of who caused the accident.


    When an insurer decides not to renew a policy at the end of its policy period.

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    Original Equipment Manufacturer Parts

    Auto parts obtained from the original manufacturer of the car or the supplier of the original part.

    Overseas Insurance

    Auto and Property Insurance for those living abroad is available from American International Underwriters through GEICO's subsidiary, International Insurance Underwriters.

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    Payment Plans

    Your auto insurance premium can be paid using one of our installment payment plans; you make several smaller payments but incur a service fee.


    A danger or hazard that can cause a loss, for example, a car collision with an object, or a fire.

    Personal Injury Protection

    Pays medical expenses (and in some cases lost wages) of the driver and passengers in your car.

    Personal Property

    Property that is not land or connected to land (real estate), such as furniture or jewelry.


    A contract between you and the insurance company.

    Policy Change

    Any change made to your insurance policy during the period that the policy is in force.


    The person who took out the insurance policy and is named in the policy declarations.

    Policyholder Service Center

    Refers to's online system for managing your car insurance policy online, also known as


    The price of the insurance policy that the insured pays in exchange for insurance coverage.

    Property Damage Liability Coverage

    Pays when you are legally liable for damage to the property of others caused by your auto. This coverage pays for property damage up to the dollar amount you selected plus the cost of any legal expenses.

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    A statement of the premium that will be charged for insurance coverages based on specific information provided by the person requesting the quote including drivers, vehicles, and driving record.

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    Often used as a synonym for premium but actually refers to the base rating units that are used to determine the final premium.

    Rating Plan

    The rules that determine the cost of your insurance premium. These rules modify the base rates by applying discounts and surcharges based on your personal characteristics, for example, using your seat belt, insuring more than one car.

    Renewal Date

    The date that your insurance policy expires and the date that your renewed policy will begin.

    Renters insurance

    Insurance that provides protection from losses that arise out of the rental of a home. Protection covers losses to the insured's property, not to losses that occur as a result of owning a home.

    Replacement Parts

    Several types of parts may be used when your vehicle is repaired: new parts, both original equipment manufacturer and after-market; [link to definition] and recycled parts. New or after-market parts will be used if we can't find like-kind and quality recycled parts. A 5-year-old car, for instance, would be repaired with parts at least as good as the parts that had been in the car. We guarantee the after-market parts used for these repairs for as long as you own the car.


    In motorcycle insurance, a rider is someone who will operate the insured motorcycle.


    The chance of suffering a loss.

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    Self-Insured Retention

    In umbrella insurance, self-insured retention is similar to a deductible in other types of insurance. The self-insured retention is the amount of damages for which the policyholder is responsible before the umbrella coverage begins to cover a loss.

    Special Investigation Units

    GEICO helps fight fraud through its special investigation unit, staffed with experts in fraud detection and investigation.


    If your car is damaged because of another driver's negligence and you ask GEICO to settle the claim for damage to your car, we will seek payment recovery (including your deductible) from the other party. This process of payment recovery is called subrogation.

    Sunny Day Riding Program

    Cycle-Gard's Sunny Day Riding Program gives riders who don't normally use their cycle in the winter a credit on their premiums, but it covers the rider and cycle year round.

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    Towing and Labor Coverage

    Provides insurance if your auto needs to be towed or requires roadside assistance.

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    Umbrella Insurance

    Provides high limits of additional liability coverage above the limits of your homeowners and auto policy. In addition, it provides coverage that may be excluded by other liability policies.


    The process an insurer goes through to determine whether or not it will provide coverage for an applicant.

    Uninsured Motorist Coverage

    Pays for your injuries and, in some circumstances, certain property damage caused by an uninsured or a hit-and-run driver. In some cases it also includes coverage for underinsured motorists-an at-fault driver with insufficient insurance to pay your claim.

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    Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

    A 17-digit number assigned to each vehicle manufactured in the United States after 1980. This number is used for identification purposes and is visible on the dashboard when viewed from the outside of the vehicle.

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