Insurance Jargon Buster

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The glossary provided is intended to describe insurance terminology generally. These are not a full legal description or definition of the terms but just a general interpretation. 

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A  

Accident (Insurance)
An unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury. Accident insurance does not cover the consequences of an illness, the psychological effects of a traumatic experience or in general the consequences of a suicide attempt.

 

Accidental Damage

This provides cover for damage caused by unexpected incidents, so let’s say your plasma screen TV is knocked off the wall or paint is spilled all over your new floor then you would be covered by your household policy if you have accidental damage cover within your policy. But check the excess out to see how much you’re required to pay.

 

Additional Perils
Sometimes known as special perils, these are additional perils to the standard fire perils. They can be as follows aircraft, explosion, riot and civil commotion, malicious damage, earthquake, storm, burst pipes, flood, Impact, subsidence etc...

 

Approved repairer
The garage approved by the insurance company to carry out any required work.

 

Administration fee

A fee payable to a financial services firm for a service or product, all regulated entities must outline any fee’s or charges from the outset.

 

Average clause
Included in some household insurance policies that restricts what you can claim if you are underinsured. An example would be if the contents of your home are worth €50,000 but you insure them for just €25,000 you are under-insured by 50%. If your contents are damaged, destroyed or stolen, the maximum you will receive from your insurance company is 50% of the total damage.

 

B

 

Broker
An independent insurance agent who will provide you with impartial insurance advice on a wide range of insurance related matters.

 

Buildings Insurance
Buildings insurance covers damage to buildings including fixed glass, sanitary ware and signs, landlords' fixtures and fittings, central heating systems, and concrete, paved or asphalt forecourts, yards and terraces.  The rebuild cost can be found on www.scs.ie for the square footage cost for different geographic locations.

 

Business Interruption
Insurance against loss of net operating profit, fixed costs, staff costs, etc. arising from damage to property caused by fire, natural forces etc. Have a look at our Business Insurance rates here. 

 

 

Breakdown Cover
Some Insurers offer it as part of the policy or as an add on to your motor policy. Breakdown cover will usually cover the policy holder Europe wide depending on Insurer, where policyholder will be brought to the nearest approved repairer.

 

C

 

Cancellation of Motor cover
To cancel a policy, you have to send back your certificate and disc of insurance with a written request to your Insurer.

 

Car Insurance Class 1 A
This restricts the use of the vehicle to social, domestic & pleasure use. It allows policyholder to drive to & from work, but business use is excluded. Have a look at our Car Insurance offers. 

 

Car Insurance Class 1 B
This class of use gives the social, domestic & pleasure use and also gives an extension to use the vehicle for business use, but restricted to personal business use and not business of anyone else, excludes carriage goods. Have a look at our Car Insurance offers. 

 

Car Insurance Class 2
Class 2 use covers social, domestic & pleasure use, and use in the connection with the business of the insured, but excludes commercial travelling or the solicitation of business. Have a look at our Car Insurance offers. 

 

Car Insurance Class 3
Class 3 will cover for social, domestic & pleasure purposes and use in connection with the business of the insured including commercial travelling. Have a look at our Car Insurance offers. 

 

Caveat Emptor
This means Buyer beware in common Law.

 

Certificate of Insurance
Proof of the existence of insurance as set by law.

 

Claim
Formal request for payment, usually requiring completion of a claim form.

 

Commission
Insurance agents receive commission for the inception and renewal of insurance contracts. The amount of commission depends on the line, type of contract and amount of premium paid.

 

Comprehensive
Comprehensive insurance will cover you for any damage to your vehicle, sustained in an accident, malicous damage, fire, theft or attempted theft. If you are involved in an accident you are covered for damage you cause to other people's vehicle, property or injuries caused to them.

 

Comprehensive Insurance
Comprehensive insurance usually relates to Motor insurance and provides cover for accidental loss or damage to the vehicle.

 

Compulsory Insurance
The law requires certain risks to be insured. These include Private Motor Third Party.

 

Conditions
Rules stated within the policy that you and the insurer must abide by.

 

Contents insurance
This insurance covers for the loss or damage of property within your home. i.e. clothing, furniture, personal etc. Have a look at our House Insurance offers here.  

 

Cover
The precise description of an insured risk in the insurance contract that determines those losses or occurrences in the event of which insurance benefits are due.

 

D

 

Deductible
A deductible or excess is the fixed amount agreed in the insurance policy that is paid by the insured per claim or per period.

 

Discounts
Household Insurance, a NSAI approved Burglar Alarm, if it's attached to a Central Monitoring station will reduce your premium and also standard Burglar alarms, smoke detectors will also provide a discount and reduce your premium. With Car insurance you may get a discount depending where the vehicle is kept, in the drive way on the street etc. If you are claims free, if you have an immobilizer, tracker or alarm fitted. All these safe guards can reduce premiums further.

 

Due Diligence
You are obliged to exercise due diligence. The infringement of self-evident loss prevention measures may result in a reduction in insurance benefits.

 

Duty to Minimise Loss
In the event of a claim you must do everything possible to restrict the damage as far as possible, and in particular to avoid any consequential damage.

 

E

 

Employers' Liability
An employer's legal responsibility to protect employees in the event of injury whilst at work.

 

Excess
This is the first part of any insurance claim that you have to pay yourself. It is usually a fixed sum. For motor insurance you may not have to pay any excess on certain types of claim such as windscreen replacement on a motor policy. Excess is often called standard excess on many insurance policy documents.

 

Exclusions
Exclusions, or restrictions, are events or situations that are not covered by your insurance policy. Standard exclusions are contained in every policy. Specific exclusions are restrictions your insurer adds to your policy only.

 

Exclusions All Risks
In an All Risks insurance contract, the exclusions in the insurance contract are based on the principle that 'everything that is not specifically excluded from the insurance is considered to be included'. This should prevent any queries arising regarding the intention of the wording to pay in any circumstance giving rise to an insurance claim.

 

Expiry Date
The time and date on which cover ceases.

 

F

 

Financial Loss Insurance
This covers financial loss as a result of an insured event. Examples of this insurance are Liability insurance, Legal Expenses insurance and Business Interruption insurance.

 

Financial Services Ombudsman
Financial Services Ombudsman deals with complaints and disputes between policyholders and their insurance companies when the company's complaints procedure fails to resolve the problem.

G

 

General Conditions
The general conditions set out the rights and obligations of both you and the insurer with regard to all contracts for a specific type of insurance.

 

Government Levy
An Irish Government 3% tax on your insurance premium.

 

H

 

Health Insurance
Health insurance covers the material consequences of a disease. The main benefits paid by the Health insurance are daily sickness benefits, a hospital allowance, and medical expenses (inpatient and outpatient treatment).

 

Household contents insurance
Household Contents insurance covers loss or damage to all household items that are not part of the building or building installations. Cover will usually be provided on a fire and perils or all risks basis, and on a "new for old" basis. The sum insured will usually be subject to average so it's important that your sum insured is up to date. Have a look at our Home Insurance offers here. 

 

I

 

Illness
Disease is a medically determinable, involuntary disorder of the insured's normal bodily functions caused by pathological processes.

 

Inception Date
This is the time and date on which cover starts.

 

Insurance Agreement
An insurance agreement is an agreement between the policyholder and the insurer to pay regular or single premiums and provide insurance benefits in the event of a loss respectively.

 

Insurance Certificate
In several lines, the insurer issues a confirmation of the insurance contract to the policyholder as proof that insurance cover exists e.g. Employers' Liability.

 

Insurance Line
Insurance segments that each cover a specific risk, such as Accident or Life insurance.

 

Insurance value
The value of the insured item upon conclusion of the insurance contract. This amount usually has to be adjusted during the term of the policy due to inflation, new acquisitions etc., so that the insured sum always corresponds to the replacement value (see Replacement Value and Underinsurance).

 

Insurer

This is the insurance company.

 

L

 

Legal Expenses Insurance
Legal Expenses insurance protects your interests in the event of legal disputes and provides cover for the costs of attorneys, experts and court proceedings as well as any amount paid to the claimant.

 

Loading
This is a charge added to an insurance premium because of some specific risk factor such as the health of an individual looking for a life insurance policy.

 

Loss
An event which triggers insurance cover.

 

Loss Adjuster
Independent professional appointed by the insurer to negotiate claims payment.

 

Loss Assessor
Independent professional appointed by policyholder to negotiate claims payment.

 

M

 

Material Fact
This is any fact that would influence the judgement of anyinsurer in fixing the premium or determining whether they will take the risk, any fact in relation to the risk you are asking the insurer to cover, must be disclosed to the insurance company even if you think a particular fact is irrelevant. If you are not sure if a fact is relevant or, please refer to your Insurance Company or Broker.

 

Motor Liability Insurance
The law requires the liability of the owner of a motor vehicle to be insured. This liability arises when a person is killed or injured or damage to property is caused by the use of the motor vehicle.

 

Moral Hazard
Relates to the behaviour and character of the insured person, an example of this is if a person has convictions for Insurance Fraud, They would be considered a moral hazard by the insurer. That’s why full disclosure of material facts when filling in a proposal form is very important, non disclosure can result in a policy be made invalid or null and void.

 

N

 

No-claims bonus or discount
This is a percentage reduction you get on your car or home insurance premium. It is based on the number of years since you made a claim.

 

New for Old
This is an extension to the principle of indemnity where no allowance is made for wear and tear. The new for old cover will most commonly be seen in household policies where replacement of household items will be new and no depreciation will apply.

 

O

 

Obligation to Notify
You must provide all information necessary for the insurer to analyse the risk and issue an insurance contract.

 

Over insurance
Over insurance occurs when the sum insured is higher than the replacement value. In the event of a claim only the replacement value is paid out.

 

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 driving license licence. Have a look at our Car Hire Excess Insurance here. 

 

P

 

Passenger Insurance
In the event of an accident, passenger insurance covers injuries suffered by both the driver and passengers of a motor vehicle.

 

Peril
A term describing an event for which insurance cover is provided e.g. fire and theft.

 

Permanent Substitution
This basically applies to Motor Insurance and means that you have changed your vehicle  permanently from the originally insured vehicle.

 

Personal Liability Insurance
Personal Liability insurance (individual or family insurance) protects the insured against civil law claims that are brought against them on the basis of statutory liability provisions.

 

Policy
The document describing the cover provided by the insurer

 

Policyholder
A person or company who purchased an insurance policy, equally known as the Insured.

 

Premium
The amount paid by the policyholder to the insurer as a consideration for covering the risk.  It can be a once-off lump sum or it can be a monthly or yearly payment.

 

Proposal Form
A form used to gather information and signed by you which describes any details specific to you or the property and all material information relevant to the cover which you have requested.

 

Protected No Claims Bonus
This cover can be purchased for an additional premium or with some Insurers be contained as standard within policy. This cover allows you to make a claim without reducing your no claims discount. The number of claims in any one period varies from Insurer to Insurer.

 

Public Liability Insurance
This protects you from loss or damage resulting from a claim for damages by a third party arising from negligence on your part.

 

R

 

Reinstatement Cover
Reinstatement cover is a form of Property insurance that covers an insured item for its new replacement value if it is lost or damaged. The new item should be substantially the same as but not better than the lost or damaged item.

 

Replacement Cost
Paying a claim without deducting an amount for wear and tear.

 

Replacement Value
Replacement value is the value of the insured items at the time when the loss occurred.

 

Risk
This is specified misfortune or loss that may be incurred by an insured.

 

S

 

Schedule of Insurance
This is part of the insurance policy outlining who is insured, what is insured, and the cover provided.

 

Subrogation
The insurance company that makes the initial payments (e.g. in the case of Motor Liability insurance) has recourse to the person responsible for the loss, or to the policyholder. The motorist who is insured under his own comprehensive policy has two sources of compensation if the vehicle is damaged as a result of a negligent motorist. The insured can claim from his own insurer or he could claim from the motorist who’s at fault. If he claims against his own policy, his Insurers are subrogated to his rights against the negligent motorist. Well the insurers recoup the money from the Negligent Driver's Insurers.

 

Sum Insured
The Maximum amount paid out by the insurer when an insured event occurs. The policy is limited by the sum insured stated in the schedule.

 

Step back bonus protection
If you have this protection and you claim on your car insurance, you will only lose part of your no-claims discount.

 

T

 

Third Party Fire & Theft
Third Party Fire & theft will pay if your vehicle is stolen and/or set on fire.

 

Third Party Only
This is the minimum level of car insurance cover required by law. It just covers legal liability for injury to other people and damage to other people’s property.

 

Travel insurance
Pays out if you unexpectedly have to cancel your holiday, are taken ill while away, damage somebody else's possessions while on holiday or lose your own possessions. You will need to check your individual policy's terms and conditions to see when it pays out and what exclusions are within the policy. Some may cover for example delay or cancellation relating to volcanic ash now. Have a look at our Travel Insurance section here. 

 

 

U

 

Under Insurance
when the policy limit is lower than the replacement value of an item. In the case of Property insurance this can have serious consequences for the policyholder, as he/she is not fully compensated for the damage. In the case of partial damage, the insurance benefits are also reduced in proportion to the underinsurance.

 

Unspecified All Risks
A lot of consumers presume this is cover for all eventualities. Under Household it's actually for cover for contents outside the home. Unspecified all risk – In general this covers for the likes of: Golf Clubs, Camcorders, Cameras, watches, you can set an amount on unspecified all risks up to €5,000 in total.

 

Utmost Good Faith
You have a duty to accurately and fully disclose all facts to the risk being proposed, whether requested or not. An insurer takes it in utmost good faith that all information provided has been complete and accurate and there is nothing that adversely affects receiving a policy or an increase in premium.

 

V

 

Voluntary Excess
An excess for which the insured volunteers to increase the excess (Monies they pay) to reduce the premium.

 

W

 

Water Damage insurance
This covers damage to the insured items by water leaking from water pipes, rainwater, melted snow and ice coming in through the roof, backwater from the sewage system and ground water, frost damage to water pipes.

 

Windscreen Cover
Usually comes as standard within most Comprehensive car insurance policies provided by Insurers approved providers. This won’t affect your No Claims Bonus.