Home Insurance Terminology Explained

The following terms are some common insurance terms that you may encounter when buying Home Insurance.

Accidental Damage

Accidental damage cover is available on the both contents and buildings and covers damage to property as a result of an accident e.g. spillage of wine on a carpet.

Act of God

An event that could not have been foreseen, avoided or safeguarded against, usually natural causes and without human intervention.


An individual or organisation acting on behalf of another party. Brokers are sometimes know as agents.


Court alternative to resolving dispute. Usually a mutually approved independent arbitrator helps two or more disputing parties arrive at a mutually acceptable agreement.


Company or individual appointed by the insurer to asses a claim.


An agent who brings insurer and insured together to enter a contract.

Cancellation Clause

A contract provision which allows insurer or insured to cancel before a specified expiration date.


Submitting details of accident/loss for insurance company to review if part of agreed policy terms and pay compensation as agreed.

Cooling Off Period

Legal period extended by any financial institution, including insurers, in which the customer may cancel without incurring a penalty.

Effective Date

The date insurance cover commences


Agreed amount that insured pays in the event of a claim before insurer pays balance.


Those events or items which are not covered by policy e.g. bicycles aren't included in many household policies unless specified.


Person covered by an insurance policy.


Provider of the insurance contract.


Person or organistion that offers advice and organises policies for clients. AonInsure.ie is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland as a multiagency intermediary.

Irish Brokers Association

Professional body governing Insurance brokers in Ireland.

Lapsed Policy

A policy terminated for non-payment of premium.


An extra cost added to a premium by insurance company usually as a result of bad claims history, age, occupation or other demographic information.

Market Value

Based on the value of property at a specific time, the amount the market would be willing to pay.

Material Fact

If the insured fails to disclose all circumstances or give incorrect details and it results in a lower premium being offered this will result in insurance company refusing to payout in the event of a claim.

No Claims Bonus

Discounts earned up to a period of 5 years for not claiming on previous policies.


Legally binding document issued to the insured by the insurer which states agreed terms and conditions of contract.


Individual who is issued the policy.


Payment made to insurance company.

Public Liability Policy

Liability cover for damage or injury caused to others on the insureds property.


Estimation of cost of providing insurance cover based on information provided to the insurer.

Rebuild Value

Estimation of amount required to rebuild property.


Extended cover over agreed time period.


Amount agreed and paid by Insurer, in the event of a claim.

Voluntary Excess

Amount the insured chooses to pay additional to the standard policy excess.