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Insurance Terms

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Insurance Terms 101

Here are some common terms that you might come across when discussing insurance.

Actual Cash Value (ACV)

In case of a total loss to the structure, the fair market value of the structure. In case of a partial loss to the structure, or loss to its contents, the amount it would cost to repair, rebuild or replace the things lost or injured less a fair and reasonable deduction for physical depreciation based upon its condition at the time of the injury.

Additional Living Expenses (ALE)

If you have a covered loss and your home is rendered uninhabitable, ALE coverage will reimburse you for the necessary increases in living expenses you incur to maintain your normal standard of living while your home is being repaired, such as meals, hotel accommodations and more. Be sure to save your receipts!.


An insurance company representative who will work with you and necessary experts to investigate your claim, determine if the claim is covered, and if so, how much you will be paid.


The amount that you are responsible to pay out of pocket in the event of a covered loss. For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible on your policy and your home sustains $3,500 worth of damages from a covered loss, you are responsible to pay $1,000 and your insurer will pay $2,500 (the amount that exceeded your deductible).

Dwelling Coverage (Coverage A)

The part of your policy that covers the cost to repair or rebuild the physical structure of your home in the event of a covered loss.


Also known as a Rider, an amendment to an insurance policy that changes the terms of the policy by adding or subtracting coverage.


A provision in the policy that eliminates coverage. Examples include earthquake and flood, which both require separate policies, or intentional loss, maintenance, and intended injury.

Medical Payments to Others

Medical costs associated with injuries sustained by guests.

Other Structures

Coverage for structures on the property but not attached to the home, such as a driveway, fence, or detached garage.

Personal Liability

Personal liability coverage protects you and your household against claims and lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage to others, up to the limits of your policy. If you need higher personal liability limits than available on a typical policy, you may want to purchase an Umbrella Policy (see below).

Personal Property

Contents of your home, including electronics, furniture, appliances, etc. Expensive belongings such as jewelry or fine art may require an additional policy depending on the value.


The amount a policyholder pays for the insurance policy across the term of the policy, usually 1 year.

Replacement Cost

The amount that it cost to repair, replace, or rebuild damaged property after a covered loss, without deducting for depreciation.

Umbrella Policy

A policy that provides additional liability protection above your homeowners policy.

Please Note: The above insurance terms and explanations are for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions, provisions or information contained in individual insurance policies. Availability and qualification for coverage, terms, rates, and discounts may vary by jurisdiction. In the event of loss, the actual terms and conditions in your policy will determine your coverage. Please read your policy for exact details on coverage and exclusions.