happy driver woman sitting in car confident in grasp of car insurance terminology

Car insurance jargon buster: your guide to the terms

More than half of the drivers recently surveyed by the RAC say they struggle to understand motoring language, and this is especially true of car insurance terms. In this article we take away the jargon and make it clearer and easier for you to understand.

To help make it as easy as possible to understand the insurance cover you get on the Motability Scheme, when you place an application to lease a car, we will send you an Insurance Product Information Document (often referred to as an IPID). The IPID is a summary of the key information relating to your insurance cover with the Motability Scheme, the complete information on your insurance cover can be found in your insurance cover booklet, which gets sent to you with your Scheme handbook. 

As insurance is included in your lease, you might have heard terms such as ‘certificate of motor insurance’ and ‘insurance cover note’ from your dealer, but you may not be familiar with other common terms used in car insurance. Here are some of the common terms you may hear If you ever need to make an insurance claim.  

Duty of disclosure

If you make any changes that affect your insurance policy you need to let your insurer know straight away. This can include changing your address, your name, occupation or a medical condition. If there are any changes in your life, it’s always best to let your insurer know as it could affect your cover. If you have points added to your licence for road traffic offences such as speeding you must disclose these to your insurer. 


A change made to an existing insurance policy during the term of cover that adds to or restricts the original cover terms.


The excess is the amount you must pay towards any claim. You can find the excess amount for your Scheme insurance on your certificate of motor insurance.

Many car insurance policies include windscreen cover, which will often require an excess if the glass needs replacing. Your insurance policy with the Scheme includes windscreen repairs, but if your windscreen needs replacing then this will require an excess payment of £50.


Insurance companies won’t pay out for certain risks or types of loss or damage. These exclusions will be clearly set out in your insurance cover booklet.

More information on the insurance cover provided for Motability Scheme customers


An agreement between motor insurers to cover the costs of damage to their own policy holders’ car regardless of which driver is to blame, however you would still need to pay the excess.

No claims bonus/discount

This is a discount that can be applied to an insurance policy holder based on the number of consecutive years of no claims. 

Motability Scheme customers don’t accrue any personal no claims bonus as the car is owned by Motability Operations. If you leave the Scheme, our insurance provider may be able to provide a claims history letter which details any claims made by you and your nominated drivers along with the period of time you have had claims-free driving. Many insurance companies will accept this a proof of your claims history. You can request a claims history letter by calling 0300 037 3737.

Non-fault claim

A non-fault claim is any claim for which the insurer has been able to recover all of their costs against a third party.


Should you be convicted of a motoring offence, such as speeding offence, a number of points will be added to your licence. You have a duty to inform your insurer of any points on your licence.

Third Party

A person involved in a claim who is neither the policyholder nor the insurer. So it could for example be a passenger or a pedestrian. 

Total loss/Write-off

In insurance a total loss or write-off is when an insurer deems the repair cost of a damaged car exceeds the value of its policy.

Uninsured losses

Uninsured losses are expenses not covered by your insurance policy, these could be personal possessions damaged as a result of the accident such as a child’s car seat.

Untraced/Uninsured Drivers Agreement

These are agreements in place to protect those drivers who have been hit by an unknown or uninsured third party.

Within the agreement those drivers who have been involved in an accident may have the right of recovery for their injuries for example from the Motors Insurers Bureau. However as a Scheme customer, uninsured loss recovery is included as part of your insurance cover. Your insurer or your assigned solicitors will talk you through this should it be required.

About the Motability Scheme

The Motability Scheme makes leasing a car an easy, hassle-free experience. With the Scheme, you can exchange your qualifying mobility allowance to lease a brand-new vehicle of your choice.

If you’d like to find out more about the Motability Scheme, request an information pack below and we’ll send you all the information that you need to make the right choice.

Get a free information pack

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