Glossary of Car insurance Terms

ABI group – Association of British Insurers group – each make and model of car is given a risk category and put in groups 1 to 20 with the lowest risk cars being group 1 and the highest risk being group 20.  Each make and model is then insured accordingly.

Any driver – Allows anybody to drive the vehicle with the policyholder's permission – not just the person named on the insurance documents.

Approved repairer – Each insurance company will have a list of garages that they want you to have your vehicle fixed with, this is their approved repairer and repairs at an approved repairer will normally be guaranteed and the cost of the repairs will normally be settled directly with the approved repairer.  Some insurers will not cover the cost of repairs if you do not use their approved repairer or you will have to settle the bill directly and then reclaim the cost from the insurance company.

Breakdown cover – Provides recovery and repair services for drivers and is sometimes included in car insurance policies.

Broker – An independent 'go between' who sells policies from several different car insurance companies.

DOC (Driving other cars) – Means you are covered to drive other people’s cars as long as you have their permission.

Excess – The amount you agree to pay in the event of an accident, before the insurance company pay out.

Fault claim – When you are considered to be to blame for an accident or loss, or where your insurer is unable to recover costs from somebody else because of lack of evidence.

Non-fault claim – When you are considered to be the innocent party and your insurer is able to recover the costs.

FSA (Financial Services Authority) – the UK’s financial regulator who monitor all financial services providers including car insurance providers.

Fully comprehensive – The highest level of insurance available – covering most aspects of accidents and losses.

Indemnity – Where you are placed in the same financial situation after a claim as you were before.

Insured value – The amount you said your car was worth on taking out your insurance policy.  This is not necessarily what the insurance company will pay you in the event that your car is deemed to be irreparable.

Material fact – Any information that could influence your insurers’ decision to offer you cover or the terms of that cover.

No Claims Bonus – For each year you have been insured and not made a claim you gain one year no claims bonus, subject to a maximum (often 4 years no claims discount) depending on your insurer. The more you have, the cheaper your car insurance is.

Policy – The document drawn up between you and the insurer.

Premium – The amount you pay your insurer for your insurance policy.

Renewal Notice – When your car insurance is about to run out you will be sent a reminder from your car insurance provider prompting you to refresh your policy.

S, D&P (Social, domestic and pleasure) – a description of how you plan to use your vehicle; as opposed to for work purposes.

Settlement – When your insurer pays out for a claim you have made.

TPO (Third party only) – when your policy only covers the cost of damages you have done to third parties (somebody else or their vehicle, or property).

TPFT (Third party fire and theft) – the same as third party only but the policy covers for the theft of your car and if your car is damaged by fire.

Underinsurance – When your car is not insured for as much as it is worth.

Uninsured losses – Areas that are not covered by your insurance policy such as the excess you agreed to pay.

Underwriter – The person who decides whether to offer you cover based on your details and risk and who then calculates your car insurance premium.

Write off – A vehicle that is beyond repair or would cost more to repair than it would to replace.

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