Insurance renewals: we all know they can be a pain. When someone throws around acronyms like FCA and DOC, do you really know what they’re talking about?

When trying to organise your car insurance, the number of terms and phrases thrown about is enough to confuse anyone. We’ve put together a handy glossary of the most used insurance terms that could trip you up.

Car insurance terms explained

What is an Act of God legally?

In legal terms, an Act of God refers to any unpreventable accident or event. This usually means a natural disaster, like a storm, flood, or earthquake.

What is annual mileage?

There is not a specific number to report for annual mileage, meaning it can be a confusing phrase if you’re not previously aware of it. It’s not the exact figure, but rather, an estimate of how many miles you’d expect to travel in a year.

What is a black box in a car?

A black box is a device that you can attach to your car to potentially decrease your insurance. The box measures your speed, as well as other intricacies of how you drive. The data gets sent back to your insurance provider, and if you’re proven to be a good driver, they may charge you less for your insurance. Black boxes are often popular among young or new drivers.

What is breakdown cover?

Breakdown cover is an optional add-on to your car insurance, with which you can get assistance in the event of a breakdown. Instead of being stuck on the side of the road, you’d be able to call someone out to either tow you home or provide roadside assistance.

What is car insurance excess?

Car insurance excess is the charge you’ll pay when you make a claim, and there are two types.

Compulsory excess is a non-negotiable figure set by your insurance provider. There is then also a voluntary excess, which is the amount you choose to pay. You’ll typically decide your voluntary excess when you take out your insurance policy. The higher this figure is, the lower your premium will typically be.

What is comprehensive car insurance?

Comprehensive car insurance is the most cover you can get with your premium. It covers any damage done to yourself, your car, and any third party involved in an accident. It also covers you in the circumstance of theft or fire damage on top of road collisions.

What is a courtesy car?

A courtesy car is a vehicle loaned to you by your insurance provider to drive while your car is being repaired, whether this be after an accident or a failed MOT. Always check your insurance to see if you’re eligible for a courtesy car, as they’re not included in all kinds of cover. While they’ll usually be included in comprehensive car insurance, this still isn’t a guarantee.

What is DOC cover?

When it comes to car insurance, DOC stands for ‘driving other cars’. Make sure you have DOC cover before trying to drive any car that you aren’t named on, as you otherwise won’t be covered in the event of an accident.

Even if your cover does include DOC, you won’t have full comprehensive cover in someone else’s car. If it’s a car that you drive frequently, it would be worth being added to their car insurance policy as a named driver, rather than having DOC cover, as this will give you better coverage.

What is the FCA?

FCA stands for the Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates the conduct of 50,000 UK firms to make sure that financial markets remain both fair and competitive. It used to be known as the Financial Services Authority.

What is an insurance premium?

Your premium is the amount that you pay for your insurance policy, which will typically be either a monthly or annual payment.

What is a loss adjuster?

A loss adjuster is someone who, on behalf of the insurance provider, investigates claims to make sure that they’re legitimate. This then ensures that the insurance provider is only paying as much as they should.

What is a No Claims Discount?

Also known as an NCD, a no claims discount, or no claims bonus, is an amount calculated when you renew your policy. This amount will then be discounted in the next year of your insurance.

What is an Ogden Rate?

If you’ve had an extreme injury, the Ogden rate is a rate of compensation used by insurance providers and courts to calculate how much you should be paid by your insurance provider.

What is telematics car insurance?

Telematics car insurance monitors is the type of car insurance that will give a black box, explained above. It takes the form of either an in-car device or app, which monitors your driving.

Find out more at findandfund

At, we have a huge range of used cars from trusted dealerships across the UK. Once you’ve got a solid understanding of all the different insurance terms, it's time to find your next set of wheels.

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