Car Insurance Terms Explained


Insurance – The most basic insurance is “third party” and this is the minimum required by law. However, third party is only one of three main types of insurance policies.

Types of motor insurance policies

  • Comprehensive – This is the most expensive type of insurance and covers you for almost every eventually. It is recommended that a brand new car should be comprehensively covered.
  • Third-party, fire, and theft – This is the most popular form of motor insurance in Ireland. It covers you for loss of the vehicle through fire and theft and for any loss as a result of attempted fire or theft.
  • Third-party – This is the minimum required by law. It does have limitations and restrictions leaving you open to substantial loss in the event of an accident. If you are at fault only your passengers and the driver and passengers from the other vehicle will be covered.


What do insurance companies take into consideration?


Licence – Whether you’re driving on a full or provisional licence

Size and Age of Car – The engine capacity and the age of the car play a large part in determining the cost of your premium. The older the car the more difficult it is to insure, as insurance companies see older cars as more accident prone.

Value of Car – What you have your car insured for, however is not always what the insurance company will pay out in the event of a claim. They will only pay out what they believe the car is worth.

Profession and use – A standard policy covers the vehicle for social, domestic and pleasure purposes but not for the carriage of goods. If you indeed on using your vehicle for business use, then you must inform your insurance company of this.

Where the car is kept – Those living in a major city, particularly Dublin will normally have a loading imposed. Some companies will also impose loading if the car is not kept in garage at night.

Excess and extras – Most insurance policies contain some type of an excess clause. This means the policyholder is liable for an agreed amount towards the cost (e.g. €250). Be sure to shop around for the best deal.

Experience – All insurance companies will ask if you have ever had insurance in your own name. If not they will ask you if you have ever driver under someone else’s name.

No claims discount – A no claims discount (also known as no claims bonus) is built up over the years and gives the policyholder a substantial reduction in the cost of his or her premiums. The ceiling for a no claims bonus is usually 60%, leaving someone who has never had a claim with only 40% to pay.

Rules – You must have motor insurance to drive a car in your own name or as a named driver on someone else’s policy.

Age of the Driver – The young and old represent high-risk categories and pay more for insurance.

If you are refused motor insurance – Individual insurers have the right to refuse you cover, but they must provide you with a reason for refusal. You are entitled to go to the Declined Cases Committee of Insurance Ireland who will obtain a quotation for you.

Rate – It is possible to make considerable savings by ringing around for the best quote. Information on the types of motor Insurance there are, and the differences between them is available on the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission’s website.

How to apply – You can apply for motor insurance over the phone, in person or through a motor insurance broker. If you want to drive as a named driver on someone else’s policy, then that person must contact their insurance company and arrange insurance.

Renewing your motor insurance – Your motor insurance company must issue your insurance renewal notice no less than 15 working days before the date of expiry of your insurance policy. It is also required to include with the notice of your no claims discount certificate. You will need this certificate to renew your policy.


You can try to Keep costs down by using Telematics (a BlackBox).

This is an excellent way for new drivers to prove they are a safe drivers and should be rated on how they drive, not on how the rest of their age group have driven in the past. The simple fact is that safer drivers will be rewarded for better driving and that can only be a good thing. Each insurer will offer different terms for good driving. Some offer a large upfront discounts, whilst others give cashback based on quarterly targets being met. Read more.