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By: Arlette Measures
Glossary of Key Commercial Auto Insurance Terms

Actual Cash Value

This is what it would cost to replace your vehicle with one in the same condition. Wear and tear of the vehicle, age, and mileage all determine the actual cash value.


An appraisal determines the value of a vehicle or property, or determines the extent of damage. Appraisals are usually conducted by an impartial expert.


If you cause an accident, you are “at-fault” and legally liable for the damages in an accident.

Assigned Risk

Someone who cannot qualify for insurance in the regular market is considered an assigned risk, and must get coverage through a state assigned risk plan that specifies each insurance company must accept an equal share of these drivers.


If you cause an accident, you are “at-fault” and legally liable for the damages in an accident.

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

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


The company providing the business auto insurance is called the carrier.


Events such as tornadoes, hurricanes, flood, fires and hailstorms are examples of catastrophes.

Certificate of Financial Responsibility

This varies from state to state and has different names, but essentially this is a form certifying that specific insurance has been purchased to meet a state’s particular financial responsibility laws.

Certificate of Satisfaction

A form signed by the insured when the insured takes delivery of a car from the repair shop indicating satisfaction with the repairs.


This consists of a demand or request for payment under the terms of the policy.

Claim Adjuster

Employed by the insurance company, an adjuster investigates and settles claims.


Damages consist of money that one person is legally obligated to pay another.

Declarations Page

This is a page in your policy that includes basic information, such as your name and address and a description of the vehicle(s) insured; the effective dates of the policy; the amount of insurance coverage and the premiums.

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