Car insurance jargon guide

Our car insurance jargon guide will simplify the car insurance slang!

Annual Premium

The payment you make each year for your insurance. Insurers will allow you to pay this on a monthly basis.

Certificate of insurance

This certificate is proof you have taken out car insurance. You may need to show it when taxing your car. If the police ask to see your insurance documents, this is the one to show them.

Cover – different types

  • Third party – Covers any claim by third parties. It doesn’t cover damage to your car or injuries sustained by you.
  • Third party fire & theft – Covers a claim if your car is stolen or damaged in a fire.
  • Comprehensive – The highest level of cover available. Cover includes for damage sustained by you, your car, and any third parties involved in an accident, as well as fire or theft regardless of blame.


A car insurance claim is an application you make to your insurer for payment for a loss that’s covered by your policy.

  • A no-fault claim – is when you are not at fault – your insurer will be able to claim back the cost from a third party.
  • A fault claim – is when your insurance company cannot claim back the cost – usually where you are considered to be to blame – also if your parked car is damaged and the offender not found this would count as a fault claim.

Cover note

The cover note is a temporary document in place of the certificate of insurance and the policy document.

Excess Compulsory

Excess is the amount of money you need to pay in the event you are at fault in a claim. For example, if you have an Excess on your policy of £250 and make a claim for £1000 you will have to pay the first £250 and the insurer will pay the remaining £750.


An immobiliser is an electronic device which when activated should stop a car from being driven away.


The principle reason for having insurance – You have insurance to “Indemnify” against something that has been lost or damaged – Indemnity seeks to restore the insured person to the same position after the loss as immediately before.

No-claims bonus

No claims bonus (NCB) is critical to reducing the cost of your car insurance – each year you have car insurance and do not make a claim – your policy has added a further year NCB.

No-claims bonus protection

You can take out a no claims bonus protection to protect your NCB should you need to make a claim.


The document that sets out the legal and the obligations of you and your insurer.


The person that holds the insurance policy is the policyholder.

Renewal notice

The offer from your insurer for you to renew your policy with them – it will also show any increase in the cost of your premium.

Schedule of insurance

The document that describes the details of the cover your insurer provides – as well as the information that you’ve given them.


The underwriter works for the insurer and uses data to assess the risk of potential car insurance policyholders – They decide whether or not to accept the potential policyholder’s risk and provide them with insurance cover.

Use types

When applying for car insurance, you need to be sure you choose the right Use for your vehicle, or you may find your insurance company will not pay out on a claim.

The following are the standard types of use for car insurance in the UK

  • Social -Domestic and Pleasure – is normal day-to-day driving – such as driving to visit family or doing the shopping.
  • Commuting – driving to work and back – or driving to the railway station.
  • Business Use – driving in connection with your job – such as to different sites away from your place of work.
  • Commercial Travelling – when used for such things as door-to-door sales.

Voluntary excess

On an insurance policy, you need to pay a Compulsory excess in the event of a claim when you are deemed to be at fault. A Voluntary excess is an additional amount you decide to pay and will reduce the cost of your insurance premium.

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