Car Insurance glossary

Car insurance can be a complicated business. At times it can seem like it has a language all its own. Here are some of the key car insurance terms, explained, to help you get the most from your policy:

  • Act of God: an event not caused directly by an individual that causes damage to your vehicle. This could be a meteor strike. Acts of God are not usually insurable.
  • Aggravated theft: the forceful or violent theft of your vehicle while you or your spouse is inside the car.
  • Betterment: the payment by the insured party (i.e. you) towards a claim in recognition of the fact that the vehicle will be worth more following repairs pursuant to an insurance claim than it was beforehand.
  • Car: any motor vehicle that you have given us details of and for which we have issued a certificate of motor insurance.
  • Car alarm: an anti-theft device installed in your car.
  • Certificate of Insurance: proof of the motor insurance you need by law. The certificate of motor insurance shows: what car is covered; who is allowed to drive the car; and what the car can be used for. If your certificate of motor insurance allows driving by any driver, please refer to your schedule for any restrictions.
  • Claim: a formal application by the insured party to recover damage from the insurance company under the policy.
  • Comprehensive insurance: cover for you and your car and third parties and their cars when you're at fault.
  • Compulsory excess: most car insurance policies have a compulsory excess. This is the amount you have to pay to your insurer if you’re ever in an accident. How much this will be depends on the type of policy you have, the type of car you drive and your claim history.
  • Endorsement: a clause that alters the standard cover provided by the policy.
  • Excess: the part of a claim you must pay. Excess payable can include compulsory excess and voluntary excess.
  • Exclusion: an event or circumstance in which the insurance company is not obliged to pay out under the policy.
  • Fault claim: when you're considered at blame for an accident or when your insurer can't recover costs from a third party.
  • Financial Conduct Authority (FCA): as the UK's financial watchdog, the FCA regulates financial services companies, including insurance companies.
  • Fully comprehensive cover: the widest-ranging type of coverage. Including Third Party, Fire and Theft insurance, this covers your car against any damage caused by an accident or someone else, whether you were at fault or not.
  • Geographical limits: the areas where your insurance policy is valid.
  • Indemnity: after you make a claim, indemnity ensures that you're returned to the same financial position that you were in before the insured loss.
  • Insurance Premium Tax: a tax levied on nearly all non-life insurance policies including car insurance policies that's payable by the policy holder.
  • Insured value: the total your insurer will pay out for your car if it's damaged beyond repair. This might be how much you told your insurer the car was worth or your car's current market value at the time you made the claim.
  • Market value: the cost of replacing the car with one of a similar age, type, mileage and condition, immediately before the loss or damage happened.
  • Period of insurance: the length of time that a contract of insurance applies for.
  • Physical assault: an intentional violent act committed by another person that causes death or serious bodily injury.
  • Policy: the contract or document between the insurance company and the policy holder.
  • Premium: the amount paid by the policy holder for insurance.
  • Renewal notice: the notice sent by the insurance company to the policy holder inviting him/her to renew the policy.
  • Schedule: this forms part of the contract of insurance and gives detail of the period of insurance, the parts of the policy that apply to you, your car details and information on your excess and endorsements.
  • Settlement: the amount your insurer pays out for a claim.
  • Statement of fact: a form showing the information you gave us, or was given on your behalf. The statement of fact forms part of the contract of insurance.
  • Telematics: technology that can remotely monitor your driving. Insurers can use the information to assess your car’s risk and calculate your premium.
  • Terrorism: terrorism as defined in the Terrorism Act 2000.
  • Third party only: someone who is involved in the claim but isn't the policy holder or the insurer.
  • Third party fire and theft: cover which provides the same level of cover as third party but protects you against damage to your vehicle from fire, theft or vehicle as long as you're not at fault.
  • Total loss: when the insurance company thinks a car is incapable of being repaired or that it will cost more to repair than to replace.
  • Uninsured losses: any losses not covered by your insurance policy. This would include excess, expenses following an accident – loss or damage of jewellery for example – or compensation for injury caused by the accident.
  • Van insurance: insurance specifically for vans.
  • Voluntary excess: insurers will often offer you a reduction in your premiums if you agree to pay a voluntary excess in the event of an accident, along with your compulsory excess. Generally, the higher the voluntary excess the lower your premium.
  • You, your: the person shown in the policy details.

Tesco Bank Car Insurance

For more information about Tesco Bank Car Insurance.

Search our FAQs