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Sainsbury's Bank

Car Insurance Customer Support

Car insurance glossary

Accident recovery

When a breakdown service or garage collects you and/or your car following an accident


Alarms are fitted to your car and will make a loud noise to alert you if someone tampers with it.

Approved windscreen repairer

A repairer the insurer has approved and authorised to repair or replace your windscreen.

Approved/unapproved repairer (authorised / nominated repairers / approved garage)

A repairer/garage that has been approved by your insurer to carry out repairs to your car.

Black box

Some insurers have black box policies and will fit the box to your car. These use a satellite tracker to check how you're driving by monitoring things like your speed, acceleration and braking.

Breakdown assistance / roadside recovery

A service that can collect your car and/or yourself following a breakdown and perform small roadside repairs.

Breakdown cover

A type of insurance that covers you to various degrees when you breakdown. There are many different types of cover, from roadside only to European cover, recovering only the car to paying for onward travel for you and your passengers.

Car insurance / cover

Primarily, it gives you financial protection against physical damage and/or bodily injury resulting from traffic collisions. It can also offer financial protection against theft of the vehicle and damage caused by things other than traffic collisions, like keying and damage caused by hitting stationary objects.

Car insurance groups / bands

The Group Rating Panel (GRP), administered by Thatcham Research, puts new car models in to an insurance group from 1 (cheapest to insure) to 50 (the most expensive). Cars in the highest groups, typically high performance models, are likely to cost insurers the most if a claim is made. Insurers might use the GRP's recommendations when they calculate your car insurance premiums, or they might choose to use their own groupings.

Certificate of Car insurance

The proof of the Car insurance you need to have by law. The certificate of Car insurance shows what car is covered, who is allowed to drive the car and what the car can be used for.

Child car seat replacement (car seat protection cover)

Part of your policy that covers damage or potential damage to any child car seats in your car if you have an accident, the car is stolen, or there is a fire.


This is the process of making a formal request to your insurance company asking for payment under the terms of your insurance policy

Claims history

A list of claims you have made against the relevant types of insurance policy (like car, home, etc.)

Collision damage waiver

This is when a rental company waives their right to make you pay for damage to the hire vehicle.

Commercial travelling

Travel as a permanent part of your job, for example taxi drivers, delivery people, travelling salesmen.

Comprehensive cover/insurance

Insurance that covers you for damage to your car, and also covers damage to others as the result of an accident that was deemed your fault.


An amount of money that has to be paid or spent to buy or obtain goods or services

Courtesy car

A car that is given to you to use while yours is being repaired.

Credit report / score / footprint / check /

A credit score is a tool used by lenders to help determine whether you qualify for a particular credit card, loan, mortgage or service. Using the information on your credit report and any additional information you supplied as part of your application, lenders use a mathematical model to calculate a score that represents your credit history. This helps to indicate what kind of borrower you are, and how likely it is that you will manage your repayments. Any credit or financial product you take out will appear (or leave a footprint) on your report and some credit applications - even if they aren't successful - will appear on your report too.


When something that's covered under the terms of your insurance policy comes to physical harm that impairs its value or usefulness.

DVLA (or DVA in Northern Ireland)

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is the organisation of the UK government responsible for maintaining a database of drivers in Great Britain and a database of vehicles for the entire United Kingdom. Its counterpart for drivers in Northern Ireland is the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA). They issue driving licences, organise collection of vehicle excise duty (also known as road tax and road fund licence) and sells personalised registrations.

EU country / European Economic Area

The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 28 countries. It operates an internal (or single) market which allows free movement of goods, capital, services and people between member states. The EEA includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. It allows them to be part of the EU's single market.

European Motoring Assistance (European breakdown cover / European car breakdown insurance)

A service that can collect your car and/or yourself following a breakdown and perform small roadside repairs in Europe.

European/Europe car insurance

Car insurance that extends to countries in the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Andorra and Liechtenstein as well as the UK.


The excess is the amount you must pay towards any claim. The insurer may set a compulsory excess, and you can choose to add a voluntary excess as well to help reduce your premiums. If you have both, the insurer will add them together and ask you to pay the combined amount towards any claim you make.

Fixed Penalty Notice

A ticket that the police can issue on the spot for minor traffic violations like speeding or a faulty break light.


When you take out an insurance policy and add someone as a named driver and you know they'll be using the car more than you as a way of bringing down the cost of the insurance.

Gender Directive

Gender Directive came into force in 2012 in the European Union and means that insurance companies can't use gender to decide on insurance prices.


Immobilisers are electronic security devices fitted to a car that stop the engine from running unless the correct key has been used. This prevents the car from being "hot wired" after someone has broken in to it.

Inexperienced driver

A driver who's aged 25 or older and holds a provisional driving licence or who has only held a full driving licence for less than 12 months.


The company that underwrites your car insurance.

Key Protection (key cover/insurance)

A type of insurance that covers loss or damage to your keys.

Liability / legal liability

When you are legally responsible for something.

Market value

The cost of replacing your car with another of the same make, specification, model, age, mileage and condition as your car immediately before the loss or damage occurred.

Mis-fuel Rescue

When a repairer or garage drains the car's tank and entire fuel system of contaminated fuel then flushes the system through with clean fuel and supplies an amount of fuel to get you on your way.

Mobile phone / Gadget cover

Insurance cover that extends to your mobile phone and gadgets. This is usually part of your contents or personal possessions cover.

MOT and MOT certificate

MOT stands for Ministy of Transport and the test is a legal requirement to show that your car is roadworthy. During an MOT, important parts on your vehicle will be checked to make sure they meet the legal standards.

Motor Insurance Database (MID)

The MID is the central record of all insured vehicles in the UK. It is managed by the MIB and is used by the Police and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to enforce motor insurance laws.

Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB)

The Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) is a UK Guarantee Fund that compensates victims of hit and run accidents. Everybody who has a car insurance policy contributes to the running of the MIB as part of their premiums -the typical cost is £15-30 per policy

Motor Legal Protection (MLP, car insurance legal cover / motor legal cover)

Motor Legal Protection is what's known as an insurance ancillary or add-on. It provides additional benefits that are not usually included under your standard motor insurance policy. Motor Legal Protection provides legal assistance to recover the out-of-pocket expenses that you may experience as a result of an accident that was not your fault. These can include the cost of loss of earnings, damage to personal possessions or even personal injury to you or your passengers. As an insurance policy, this cover provides an affordable way to minimise the expense and inconvenience that a motoring accident can cause.

Named driver / other insured drivers

Someone that you add to your car insurance policy so that they can drive your car from time to time and benefit from the same level of cover that you have as the main policy holder.

Named driver no claims discount

If your named driver doesn't make a claim on your policy, they can build up their own no claims discount and they can benefit from this if they take out their own policy - usually it's only if it's with the same insurance provider though.

NCD proof

A letter from your previous insurer confirming how many years you have been claim free for.

No claims discount (NCD or No Claims Bonus)

A discount that you can get on your insurance premiums when you haven't made a claim for one or more years.

No claims discount protection

A type of insurance that protects your no claims discount - so for example, if you claim for the first time in 5 years, you would still benefit from 5 years No Claims Discount next time you renewed your policy.

Nominated repairer

A repairer/garage that has been approved by your insurer to carry out repairs to your car.

Period of insurance, insurance period, policy period or current cover period

The length of time that you are insured for under an insurance policy, it's usually 12 months.

Personal accident

When you suffer bodily injury or die as a result of an accident or unforeseen event.

Personal belongings

Your 'moveable possessions', so things you might have in your pockets, handbag or rucksack when you leave the house.

Personal injury

This is a legal term for an injury to your body, mind or emotions.


The insurance product

Policy documents

These are the documents you will receive with details of your insurance, the terms and conditions, and an explaination of what the policy does and doesn't cover you for.

Policy Schedule

The latest Policy Schedule the insurer has issued to you. This gives details of the period of insurance, the sections of the policy wording that apply, the premium, your car which is insured and details of any excesses and endorsements.


The person who has bought the insurance and is named in the policy document.

Pool car

A company car that is used by more than one employee.

Premium / monthly premiums

The amount you pay for your insurance policy.


RAC are the company that provide our breakdown cover.

Social, domestic and pleasure

This is when a car is used only for these reasons and not for commuting or business use.

Soft search

A soft search is when we take a look at your credit report to see if we can offer you insurance, but the fact that we looked doesn't show up on your report - we don't leave a 'footprint'.

Statutory Off Road Notification/Notice (SORN)

You use this to tell the DVLA you're taking your vehicle off the road - keeping it on a driveway, in a garage, or on private land and have no need to take it on a public road.

Telematics / telematics policies

These use a satellite tracker to check how you're driving by monitoring things like your speed, acceleration and braking. The steadier you go, the lower your insurance will cost. This isn't something we offer, but there are some insurers that do.

Territorial limits

These are the areas or countries that you are insured to drive in. Our territorial limits are Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man including transporting your car by sea within or between them.

Third party car insurance

Insurance that covers damage to others as the result of an accident that was deemed your fault.

Third party, fire and theft

Insurance that covers damage to others as the result of an accident that was deemed your fault and theft or fire damage to your own car.


Trackers are fitted to your car and send out signals so you or the tracking service provider can locate your car if it's stolen.


When nobody is in your car.

Uninsured driver promise

If you make a claim for an accident that wasn't your fault and the driver of the car that hit you doesn't have insurance, you won't lose your No Claims Discount or have to pay an excess.


Valuables is usually a defined term in your insurance policy. It differs from one insurer to another but normally it's any item worth more that £2,000-£3,000.

Vehicle tax

A tax that must be paid for most vehicles that are driven or parked on public roads in the UK.

Vehicle/car registration

All cars in the UK must be registered with the DVLA. They issue each vehicle with a unique identifying number, or registration number

Windscreen cover/insurance

Insurance that covers damage to your windscreen that, if it was left unrepaired, would make your car fail it's MOT.

Write off (total loss)

When it's not economical to repair your car following an accident because the cost to repair it is the same as or greater than the market value of your car, or the car is so badly damaged that it can't be fixed.

Young driver

Somebody under 25