Glossary of car insurance terms

  • Accident

    An unexpected event which occurs and causes damage to your vehicle. For example, another car running a red light and hitting yours.

  • Accidental Damage Cover

    Insurance which protects you against accidental and unexpected vehicle damage. There are multiple types of insurance; Comprehensive, Third Party Fire & Theft and Third Party Only. Accidental Damage claims are not covered if cover is only Third Party or Third-Party Fire & Theft.

  • Accident Forgiveness

    A feature of your insurance policy which ensures that you won’t lose your full no claims discount if you, make a claim or someone makes a claim against you.

  • Accidental Damage

    Unexpected and undeliberate damage which occurs to your vehicle. For example, a stone hitting your window as you drive and cracking the windshield.

  • Additional Drivers

    An additional driver is any driver who you have named on your car insurance policy in addition to you, the policyholder.

  • Amendment

    Any change which is made to your original insurance policy is classed as an amendment.

  • Approved Repairer

    A specialist repair centre which is approved by the insurance company will help keep repair costs down. When you use an AXA approved repairer, they will supply you with a courtesy car while your car is off the road.

  • Average

    If your sum insured is less than the replacement cost, then any claim will be paid in proportion. For example, if your sum insured is only 75% of the replacement cost, then you would only receive 75% of the cost of any claim for loss or damage to property.

  • Basic Cover

    The basic level of car insurance which is required by law. See Third Party Only for more information.

  • Betterment

    The amount which you pay towards a claim if the car will be worth more after any repairs completed as part of the claim.

  • Beyond Economic Repair

    Goods are deemed to be beyond economic repair where the cost of repairing the insured property exceeds the value of that property. In such cases we would pay the claimant the market value of the insured property at the date of loss, subject to the terms of the policy.

  • Breakdown

    Not being able to use your car due to a mechanical failure, or it not having enough fuel.

  • Breakdown Cover

    An optional extra on your insurance premium. This will give you roadside assistance if your car has broken down, where someone can come and restart your car.

  • Broker

    A broker is an intermediary between you and the insurance company. These professional advisors will speak to the insurance company on your behalf and get you the best deal for your insurance.

  • Cancellation

    Choosing to end your insurance policy. You may be charged an administration fee depending on when you cancel your policy.

  • Car

    The vehicle which is insured under your policy and identified by its registration number. See Car Registration for more details.

  • Car Alarm

    A security device which can help prevent theft of your car. The alarm will respond to various security threats such as damage from impact and break-in via car door or window.

  • Car and Key Rescue

    Car and Key Rescue is an optional extra on your insurance premium. Car Rescue will cover you when your car breaks down, with roadside assistance. Key Rescue provides lock and key replacement in the event of lost or stolen keys.

  • Car Insurance

    Car Insurance protects you against financial loss in the event of a car accident, damage or theft.

  • Car Insurance Comparison

    Examining different car insurance premiums in order to find the one which is best suited to your needs.

  • Car Registration

    The number which is used to identify vehicles and their registered owners.

  • Certificate of Insurance

    This document provides proof that your car is covered by insurance, as required by law. The certificate shows who is entitled to drive your car and the classes of use permitted.

  • Claim

    An application made to your insurance provider when looking to recover damages from an incident, as covered by your policy.

  • Claimant

    A party who has undergone a loss, which they believe to entitle them for compensation under the terms of an insurance policy.

  • Contribution

    If a claim is covered by two or more insurers, then each shall pay an equitable proportion of that claim.

  • Comprehensive Car Insurance

    This level of car insurance provides you with the highest level of cover. This covers damage to your car in addition to third party fire and theft cover.

  • Compulsory Excess

    The amount of a claim which you are responsible for and which is not covered by the policy. See Excess for more information.

  • Compulsory Insurance

    The basic level of car insurance which is compulsory and required by law. See Basic Cover for more information.

  • Courtesy Car

    If your car is repaired by one of our approved repairers, we will supply you with a courtesy car until the repairs are completed. If your car cannot be repaired or is stolen and not recovered, you will also be provided with a courtesy car for a period of 21 days. This may not be covered under all levels of cover.

  • Cover Note

    A cover note is a temporary proof of insurance which you can use until you get your certificate of insurance.

  • Damages

    The sum of money which is paid to the claimant as compensation for either injuries or damages to their vehicle.

  • Date of Issue

    The date on which your insurance company issues your policy.

  • Discount

    A reduction on the usual price of your insurance policy. See No Claims Discount for more information.

  • European Insurance Cover

    If you take your car to Europe, it is covered under European Insurance Cover. AXA private car insurance policies are extended to cover you to travel to EU member states for up to 31 days of your insurance period. This does not apply to van policies.

  • Excess

    The agreed amount of a claim that must be borne by the insured. Excess may be compulsory or voluntary. See Voluntary Excess for more information.

  • Exclusion

    A term in an insurance contract, which excludes the insurer from liability for specified types of loss. An exclusion may apply throughout a policy or it may be limited to specific sections of it.

  • Fault Claim

    A claim which is made when you are to blame for an accident, and you are liable for damages. If your insurer is unable to recover the costs from a third party, it is also considered to be a fault claim.

  • First Time Driver

    A beginner driver who has not had previous car insurance cover.

  • Foreign Use

    AXA Insurance policies cover you to drive in the following countries: Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Great Britain, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. For other European use, see European Insurance Cover.

  • Fronting

    Fronting occurs when policyholder has declared to an insurance company that they are the main driver of a vehicle when it is actually someone else who is the main driver. This is illegal and considered as a form of fraud if done to obtain a lower level of premium.

  • Full Licence

    This allows you to drive alone and unsupervised in your car, once you have passed your driving test.

  • Territorial Limits

    The region in which your car insurance policy operates.

  • Green Card

    An internationally recognised document which is evidence of the minimum level of cover legally required when travelling abroad. It is not required by EU/EEA residents travelling in other EU/EEA states.

  • Hire Car

    A rental car which your insurance company may provide for you while your car is off the road following an accident, fire or theft. See Replacement Car for more information.

  • Indemnity

    On the happening of an event insured against, the Insured will be placed in the same monetary position that he/she occupied immediately before the event taking place.

  • Insurance Confidential

    Insurance Confidential is a confidential helpline run by the Irish insurance federation for the reporting of Insurance Fraud.

  • InsuranceLink

    InsuranceLink is an industry database of claims used for the prevention and detection of fraud.

  • Insurance Premium

    The amount which you must pay to be covered by your insurance policy.

  • Insured

    The person in whose name the contract of insurance is issued. This person is also referred to as the policyholder.

  • Learner Permit

    Also known as a provisional license. This allows you to drive your car once you have a fully licensed driver present with you in the car.

  • Legal Cover

    An optional extra on your insurance premium, legal cover can cover part of your legal fees for approved solicitors to recover uninsured losses if you were not at fault in an accident.

  • Liability

    A policy which covers the insured against third party claims or, in the case of liability insurance, claims by employees (Employers Liability) or members of the public (Public Liability).

  • Licence Type

    A permit which allows you to drive your car. The type of license you have may affect your insurance premium. There are two types of driving licence, Learner Permit and Full Licence.

  • Loss Adjuster

    Usually employed by the insurance company, the loss adjuster investigates the claim and gives his confidential opinion of the amount of compensation the insurance company should offer to the claimant under the terms of the policy. The Loss Adjuster is paid by, and reports to the Insurance Company.

  • Loss Assessor

    Employed by the claimant to ensure that they receive fair compensation for their loss. The loss assessor does the same research as the loss adjuster, but with the claimants' interests in mind. The Loss Assessor will negotiate with the Loss Adjuster until he or she is satisfied that sufficient compensation is being offered in settlement of the claim.

  • Loss or Injury

    Loss or Injury, harm, damage or financial detriment that a person sustains. Losses may be insured or uninsured. Whether a loss is covered by a policy of insurance depends on the terms of that document and local law.

  • Uninsured Losses

    Uninsured Losses are things which are not covered by your insurance as a result of an accident. They include things such as your excess, personal injuries, and loss of use of your car.

  • Main Driver

    The main driver is the person who uses the insured car the most.

  • Market Value

    This is the cost of replacing your car with another car of similar make, model, mileage and condition at the time the accident or damage occurred.

  • Material Facts

    A material fact is a fact which would influence the mind of a prudent underwriter in deciding whether to accept a risk for insurance and on what terms.

  • MIBI Levy

    Contribution levied on insurers by the Motor Insurance Bureau to cover the cost of uninsured drivers.

  • Mileage

    The number of miles/km that a vehicle covers per annum. The mileage can have an effect on your premium.

  • Misfuelling

    This occurs when you accidentally fill your cars fuel tank with inappropriate fuel for your car. For example, filling a petrol car with diesel.

  • Modifications

    Any change made to your car from the standard specification, for example tinted windows or a more powerful engine.

  • Multi Car Insurance

    If you already have one car insured with us, you can apply for our Multi Car Insurance discount for other cars registered at your home address.

  • My AXA Account

    This is your own secure online area, hosted by us, where you can access your policy details at any time of day.

  • Named Driver

    A person other than the policyholder who is named on the car insurance certificate and is entitled to drive the vehicle.

  • NCT

    The NCT is Ireland’s National Car Test. This is a compulsory roadworthiness test which applies to all cars registered in the Republic of Ireland over four years old.

  • New Car Replacement

    This is where insurers will pay the replacement cost, as new, in the event of a total loss. Nowadays, insurers prefer to replace through their pre-selected suppliers.

  • Negligence

    This is when a person behaves carelessly and has caused a collision. A person can be negligent by doing something that they should not have done, for example speeding.

  • No Claims Bonus

    Your No Claims Bonus is a percentage reduction you get on your insurance premium for every year that you do not make a claim on your car insurance policy. The longer that you do not claim, the higher your discount will be. The maximum discount is reached after 5 years.

  • Ombudsman (FSPO)

    This is a statutory body appointed to represent the interests of the public to investigate and address unresolved complaints reported by individual citizens.

  • Open Driving

    This means that other people driving your car with your permission are covered by your policy as long as they hold a valid full driving licence and meet the age criteria (25-70). Open driving is an optional extra on your car insurance policy which will have an additional charge.

  • Optional Extra

    Optional Extras are additional features which you may want to buy and add to your car insurance policy for additional cover.

  • Penalty Points

    If you are convicted of a motoring offence, for example speeding, a number of penalty points will be added to your licence. You must make your insurer aware of these as they may affect your premium.

  • Period of Cover

    The period of cover is from the start date to the end date of your current policy. This is shown on your schedule and certificate of motor insurance.

  • Personal Belongings

    Small personal items in your car that were lost or damaged as a result of accident, fire or theft may be covered under your insurance policy. This is an optional extra.

  • Policy

    Documentry evidence of a legal contract, which states the terms of the agreement between the insured party and the insurance company. This document will contain exclusions of warranties and other clauses, which may require to be interpreted by professionals.

  • Policyholder

    The person in whose name a contract of insurance is issued.

  • Premium

    This is the amount which you pay for your insurance policy. The amount will depend on the type of cover you have, it can be a once-off lump sum or it can be a monthly or yearly payment.

  • Proximate Cause

    An insurer will only be liable to pay a claim under an insurance contract if the loss that gives rise to the claim was proximately caused by an insured peril. This means that the loss must be directly attributed to an insured peril without any break in the chain of causation.

  • Quote

    Your quote is the premium and terms which your insurance company offer you to insure your car for a certain period.

  • Recovery Vehicle

    The vehicle which is used to transport cars which have broken down or been involved in an accident.

  • Recycled Parts

    Recycled Parts are car parts which are recycled from other cars, including parts denoted by the motor trade industry as "green".

  • Reinsurance

    The practice of insurers transferring portions of risk portfolios to other parties by some form of agreement in order to reduce the likelihood of having to pay a large obligation resulting from an insurance claim. The intent of reinsurance is for an insurance company to reduce the risks associated with underwritten policies by spreading risks across alternative institutions.

  • Reinsurance Premium

    In effect, insurance that insurers buy for their own protection. The risk of loss is spread so a disproportionately large loss under a single policy doesn't fall to us alone. Reinsurance Ceded - the unit of insurance transferred to a reinsurer by us.

  • Reinsurance Recoveries

    Partial recovery of claims when the claims or event (catastrophe) exceeds the reinsurance treaty threshold.

  • Renewal Date

    Your renewal date is the date on which you must renew your policy and pay your premium to continue with your cover as the insurance period is coming to an end.

  • Renewal Notice

    A renewal notice is a letter or email which your insurance company will send you at least 21 days before your policy is up for renewal and due to expire.

  • Replacement Car

    A car which you will be provided with until your car has been repaired and returned to you. Please note, you must meet certain requirements in your policy to qualify for a replacement car.

  • Replacement Locks

    AXA will pay up to €750 towards replacing your car locks and alarms if your keys are stolen. Please note, you must meet certain requirements in your policy to qualify for replacement locks.

  • Risk

    Your car insurance premium is calculated based on how likely you are to make a claim. Insurers will weigh up a number of factors, such as the type of car, where you live, your claims history, your age and experience. This all combines to form a risk profile.

  • Schedule

    The schedule is a document which identifies the policyholder and sets out details of their policy cover including excesses and optional extras which they have selected.

  • Settlement

    The sum of money which an insurance company is willing to pay out if your claim is successful.

  • Step Back No Claims Discount Protection also known as Accident Forgiveness

    A feature of your insurance policy which ensures that you won’t lose your full no claims discount if you make a claim or someone makes a claim against you.

  • StudentFirst Policy

    An insurance policy designed specifically for third level students ages between 17-26, ensuring maximum savings on their insurance.

  • Subrogation

    A term denoting a legal right for an insurer to pursue a third party that caused an insurance loss to the insured. This is done as a means of recovering the amount of the claim paid by the insurer to the insured for the loss.

  • Sum Insured

    The maximum amount that an insurer will pay in respect of the insured vehicle under a contract of insurance. You must be careful to adequately insure otherwise you may find yourself subject to average.

  • Third Party

    A person who makes a claim against the policy other than the insured or a driver covered under the policy.

  • Third Party Fire & Theft

    Insurance which extends Third Party Only cover to include protection for your car in the case of fire and theft.

  • Third Party Only

    This is the minimum level of car insurance required to drive on Irish roads. Third Party Only covers your legal liability to others in respect of injuries and/or damage caused by your vehicle.

  • Total Loss

    Total loss is said to have occurred when the subject matter of an insurance is lost, destroyed or damaged beyond repair.

  • Uninsured Driver Cover

    If you have comprehensive cover and are involved in an accident where the other driver is identified but is uninsured, you will not have to pay your excess or lose your no claim bonus as long as you are not at fault.

  • Uninsured Losses

    Uninsured losses are items which are not covered by your insurance policy.

  • Utmost Good Faith (Uberrimae Fides)

    It is the proposer / insureds duty to disclose all material facts to the risk being covered. A material fact is a fact which would influence the mind of a prudent underwriter in deciding whether to accept a risk for insurance and on what terms. The duty to disclose operates at the time of inception, at renewal and at any point mid-term.

  • Void Policy (Abinitio)

    A contract is treated as if it never existed due to non-disclosure or misrepresentation of material facts and so has no legal effect and is therefore unenforceable in a court of law.

  • Voluntary Excess

    A voluntary excess is an agreement with your insurer, where you agree to be responsible for a higher part of each claim in return for a lower premium. The excess is the amount of your claim which you are responsible for.

  • Windscreen Cover

    Windscreen cover is an optional extra (included as part of AXA Comprehensive cover) which covers breakage or damage for your car’s windscreen.

  • Women Driver

    As of 2012, European Commission rules on gender discrimination were put in place to ensure that insurance rates in the EU were the same for men and women.

  • Write-Off

    A car is considered to be a write off if it is damaged beyond repair or would cost more to repair than the value of the car.

  • Young Driver

    A young driver is classed as a driver aged.

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