We have identified a number of Motor Insurance FAQ which we have answered for your convenience below. Simply click on one of the question’s and further information will be provided.

Please Note: If you have any question relating specifically to your own Insurance Company and the level of cover provided by them please refer to the Insurers own Policy Document for full details of the policy cover, terms & conditions.

What are the main differences between Comprehensive & Third Party Fire & Theft Cover?

The main difference between Comprehensive and Third Party Fire & Theft cover is that in addition to covering the costs and expenses incurred as a result of a road accident involving your vehicle or if your vehicle is stolen or damaged by fire you will also be covered for the Accidental Damage of your vehicle caused by you or others.

An example of this would be where you reverse your vehicle into your gatepost and cause damage to your car. In this scenario if you have Comprehensive cover you would be able to claim for the damage to your vehicle however if you only had Third Party Fire & Theft cover you would be unable to claim.

Insurers that provide Comprehensive cover would also generally provide additional benefits such as Windscreen Cover or  Breakdown Assistance as standard whereas they may not be available on Third Party Fire & Theft cover or may only be available subject to an additional charge.

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Does Comprehensive cover provide a benefit if I am injured myself?

Usually not. A comprehensive policy will cover injury to Third Parties, damage to Third Party Property and loss of or damage to your own car including fire and theft, a separate “Personal Accident” policy must be arranged to cover you in the event of an injury.

Some Comprehensive policies have Personal Accident Benefits automatically included, or this cover may be available for an additional charge, which would pay set amounts following a severe injury or death as a result of an accident involving the Insured vehicle. However, the benefit applicable would tend to be fairly nominal ie €5000 following the loss of a limb but a separate Personal Accident policy could be purchased providing more generous limits.

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Do I lose my No Claims Discount after a claim?

This will depend on the nature of the claims and the Motor Insurer that you are with. As a general rule if you have an Accident and you are at fault ie. You run into the back of a stationary car, your no claims discount will be affected by a set amount. There could also be circumstances where you have an Accident and both parties are deemed to be partially responsible for the Accident and in this scenario both yourself and the Third Party’s no claims discount would be affected. If you are covered for Windscreen Breakage a claim of this type would generally not affect your no claims discount.

There could also be situations where you in no way responsible for the incident but your no claims discount may be affected because your Insurance Company are unable to recover there outlay from the person responsible. Examples of this type of claim would be when your vehicle is Stolen, damaged by fire or where your vehicle is parked and someone damages your car and drives off.

Most policies automatically include what is known as “Stepback No Claims Discount” which means that you will not lose all of your no claims discount following a single claim or for an additional charge the policy could also include a “Protected No Claims Discount” which would allow a certain amount of claims within a set period of time without affecting your no claims discount.

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What is Stepback No-Claims Discount?

Most policies automatically include what is known as “Stepback No Claims Discount” which means that you will not lose all of your no claims discount following a single claim. The levels of no claims bonus with which you will be stepped back will depend on the Insurer concerned and nature of the claim.

For example,  some Insurers may not reduce your discount if you have a Theft Claim but would reduce your no claims discount by two years if you have an Accident ie if you have a five year no claims discount your discount will reduce to three years at your subsequent renewal.

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Can I protect my No Claims Discount and what does it mean?

This will depend on the Motor Insurer concerned and in certain circumstances the level of no claims bonus you have attained. As a general rule most Insurance companies have an option to include a this cover for an additional charge which would allow you to incur a set amount of claims within a certain period without affecting your no claims discount. A typical Protected No Claims Discount would allow you to incur two claims irrespective of amount during any three year renewal period and your no claims discount will not be affected.

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What is a policy excess?

An Insurance excess is the first amount of a claim that you must pay if you make a claim. For example, if you have an excess of €250 and you damage your car and the cost of the repair amounts to €1,200 the Insurance Company would pay €950 and you pay €250. You should always refer to your Insurance Policy or Schedule to see what excesses apply on your policy.

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What should I do in the event of a motor accident?

Firstly you must ensure your own safety and that of others and then make the area safe. Assess all casualties but do not move any casualties unless absolutely necessary and summon any necessary help.

Note the Registration Number(s) of the vehicle(s) involved. Note the name of the Insurance Company insuring any vehicle(s)involved. This will be available from the Insurance Disc on each windscreen. Ask for the names, addresses and contact phone numbers of other people involved and any witnesses.

If you have a camera available photograph the scene paying particular attention to the position of the vehicles, skid marks etc.

Make a sketch plan of the scene of the accident showing the positions of the vehicles involved, any road signs, marking or traffic signals and approximate road measurements and record in writing the circumstances which caused the accident.

Keep Your Car at the scene of the accident for a reasonable time but, to avoid obstruction, the positions of the vehicle(s) should be marked and the vehicles moved off the carriageway as quickly as possible.

Do not admit responsibility or sign any statement to this effect or negotiate the settlement of any claim without Our written agreement.

You must if requested, give your name and address, the name and address of the car owner (if not Yourself), the registration number of Your car, evidence of Insurance to the Gardai / Police, or if they are not present, to anyone who was involved in or affected by the accident.

In any other case the information must be given if requested to anyone who was present at the time of the accident. Where a person or persons are injured, the accident must be reported to the nearest convenient Gardai / Police Station if they are not present at the scene of the accident.

In the Republic of Ireland where damage to property only is involved, it is not necessary to report the accident at a Garda station except where Your car is stolen or damaged maliciously or as a result of theft provided You exchange the necessary particulars listed above with the person whose property has been damaged.

If You are involved in an accident with a visiting motorist from outside the country, You should also report the accident to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland, 39 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2. Email: info@mibi.ie

Please report the incident to Glennon, Charlemont House, Charlemont Place, Dublin 2 or to your Insurers Motor Accident Helpline. A Motor Incident Report Form will be issued for Your completion and immediate return.

Please refer to our sections Make a Car Claim or Seek Breakdown Assistance
How to make a Motor ClaimMotor Claims & Breakdown Assistance Numbers and Claims Involving Uninsured Drivers for further Information.

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Am I entitled to a discount if I have been a named driver on someone else’s policy in the past?

This will depend on the Insurer concerned but in general most Insurers would offer a discount for the period you are currently, or have previously been insured as a named driver on another private car policy without any breaks so long as there were no claims during the period.

In order to obtain a named driver discount you would need to provide a letter from the insurer which you were a named driver providing the above information.

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Am I covered to drive someone else’s car? 

There are three ways that you can be covered to drive another car which does not belong to you.

1) If you are covered named driver on someone else’s policy. The cover provided would generally be the same as the policyholder enjoys ie if the Policy is Insured Comprehensively you will also be Insured Comprehensively. However, some policies may restrict cover to Third Party Fire & Theft benefits if you are under a certain age.

2) The person who’s car you are borrowing has “Open Driving” which allows any driver between a certain age (Usually 25 – 70 and has a Full EU licence and accident/conviction free) to drive their car with the policyholders permission.

3) Your policy allows you to drive anyone else’s car not belonging to you forTHIRD PARTY BENEFITS only which is otherwise known as the “Driving other Cars” extension. This cover is normally included free of charge however certain Insurers may only provide this cover if you are over a certain age and/or have a Full EU license, certain occupations may also restrict cover. Always refer to your Motor Insurance Certificate to ascertain if you have this cover on your policy.

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Can I drive another car if I am a named driver on a Motor policy?

No.  The policyholder is the only person who can drive other cars not owned by them if they have the driving other extension on their policy.

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I have a query or want to make a change on my existing motor policy. How Can I contact you?

Please contact our dedicated Motor alterations team on 1890 81 22 21 and we will be happy to assist you or alternatively please Get In Touch with us.

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Can I add someone to my policy?

Most Insurance Companies would allow you to add additional drivers to your policy. In certain circumstances if you add your co-habiting partner or Spouse to your policy it could even reduce the cost of your Insurance Premium. However, some specialist Lady Driver policies may not allow male drivers on the policy or they may only include them if they also have a car.

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Is windscreen cover included on Motor Insurance policies and what exactly does it cover?

If your Insured on a Comprehensive basis, Windscreen cover is normally included free of charge and covers the cost of replacing or repairing the broken or cracked windscreen including glass in windows and resulting damage to the bodywork of the car.

Some Insurance companies have approved windscreen repairers and they may advise that if you do not use one of these repairers a limit may apply. For example an Insurer may have a windscreen claim limit of €250 if their approved agent is not used.

If you are only Insured for Third Party Fire & Theft benefits, Windscreen cover may not automatically be included but it may be available for an additional charge.

Windscreen claims do not generally affect your No Claims Bonus.

Please refer to our sections on How to Make a Motor Claim and Motor Claims & Breakdown Assistance Numbers for further information on Windscreen cover.

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Am I covered for Breakdown Assistance on my policy?

This will depend on the Insurer concerned and may only apply if you have Comprehensive Insurance. Cover would typically include Breakdown Assistance services to an insured driver following an electrical or mechanical breakdown of the car. Services can include on-site repair, provision of a courtesy car, contribution towards the costs of onward transportation using public transport or the costs of overnight accommodation.

Please refer to our sections on Make a Car Claim or seek Breakdown Assistance and Motor Claims & Breakdown Assistance Numbers for further information.

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Who can drive my car?

There are three ways that someone else can be Insured to drive your car.

1) You can specify drivers who you would like to drive on your policy and their names would be included to drive on your Certificate of Insurance. The cover provided for them would generally be the same as for yourself ie if the Policy is Insured Comprehensively the named driver will also be Insured Comprehensively. However, some policies may restrict cover to Third Party Fire & Theft benefits if the driver you have included is under a certain age.

2) If you have an “Open Driving” policy which allows any driver between a certain age (Usually 25 – 70 and has a Full EU licence and accident/conviction free) to drive your vehicle with your permission.

3) A person who is borrowing your car would be insured if they currently hold a Motor Insurance policy in their own name and provided their policy includes the “Driving other Cars” extension which covers them to drive a car not owned or hired to them for THIRD PARTY RISKS ONLY.

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What does “Gap in Cover” mean?

A gap in cover exists if the date your previous policy expired is before the date your current policy is taken out. Most insurer’s will seek a declaration from you if such a gap exists confirming that you have had no accidents or being involved in any accidents during the gap in cover.

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What is “Open Driving” Cover?

Open Driving is an extension on a Motor Insurance Policy which would generally allow any driver(s) between a certain age (Usually 25 – 70) who has a Full EU licence and accident/conviction free to drive a policyholder’s car with their permission. This cover would only be available with a restricted amount of Insurers and can be quite expensive. If you need other people to drive your car it may be more cost effective to name them on your policy.

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What does a Modified Car mean?

The term modified car is given to any vehicle that has been upgraded with aftermarket parts and components in order to change or enhance its properties, be it from a styling, audio, performance, or cater for a disability stand point. Except for catering for a disability i.e. disability conversion or installation of hand controls most insurers will not cover a modified car or will apply a significant additional premium to provide cover.

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What does “Employer Indemnity” mean?

In relation to car insurance, where you are using your car for business purposes your employer may wish for you to add a clause to your policy which indemnifies your employer from any liability which may occur as a result of an accident.

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What am I not covered for?

No car insurance policy will cover everything; each will have conditions, exclusions and limitations as to the amount of cover they will provide if an incident occurs giving rise to a claim. Most insurers will apply conditions, exclusions and limitations to each section of your policy cover so you must ensure that you read your policy / schedule thoroughly.

Most insurers will also have general exceptions which are applicable to all sections of your policy,these normally include some or all of the following:

  • Any injury, loss or damage caused by riot or civil commotion
  • Any injury, loss or damage caused by ionising radiation or radioactive materials
  • Any loss or damage to your car as a result of pressure waves caused by aircraft travelling at sonic or supersonic speeds
  • Any injury, loss or damage while your car is being used with the operational boundaries of any airport, aerodrome or airfield.
  • Any injury, loss or damage caused by war, invasion, terrorism, revolution
  • Any liability, loss or damage due to mechanical failure or wear and tear

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What claims may not affect my no claims discount?

This would depend on the Insurer concerned. In general most Insurers allow you to make a claim for Windscreen Breakage or repair when covered on the policy without affecting your no claims bonus or where the policy provides cover for replacing the locks of your vehicle following the keys having been stolen from your home address.

Some Insurance Policies would also stipulate that Fire or Theft Claims would not affect the no claims discount entitlement with them.

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If I purchase a second vehicle, can I use my no claims bonus twice?

No, the no claims discount you have accrued on an Insurance Policy has to stay with one vehicle at a time. If you purchased an additional vehicle you would need to purchase a separate Motor Insurance policy and begin earning a no claims discount on that second policy. Under certain circumstances, some Insurers may allow an introductory discount if you are purchasing an additional vehicle and take out the Insurance policy with them.

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Does the vehicle value affect the premium charged?

In most cases the insured value of your car will not affect the premium charged on your policy which is based on the year of your car and not the insured value. The insured value should however always adequately reflect the current market value of your car as this is the most your insurer will pay out in the event of a claim for loss or damage to your car. If the car is a high value car as in greater than €100,000 your insurer may apply a premium loading if they decide to provide cover.

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What is a “Second Car Discount”?

This is where your Insurer allows an appropriate discount off your premium if there is a second car in your household belonging to you or your spouse / partner, which is currently insured under a motor policy.

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What is “Trailer Cover” on a Car Policy?

The Road Traffic Acts automatically provide for third party cover for any attached trailer you are towing.  Some Insurers automatically extend this to include third party cover for detached trailers subject to their own limitations usually based on the carrying weight and type of trailer. Some Insurers may also provide the option to extend the cover of your trailer to match that which exists for the insured car for an additional premium. Always refer to your policy / schedule to see what levels of trailer cover is provided automatically and are available as an optional extra.

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What is replacement car benefit (New for Old)?

In Motor Insurance this term means that if your vehicle is damaged beyond economical repair usually within 12 months of it’s purchase as new the Insurer will replace the vehicle with a new car of the same specification subject to availability. Some Insurers may stipulate that you must have purchased the vehicle as new and not exceeded a certain amount of miles for this cover to operate.

Always refer to your Motor Insurance policy to ascertain if you have this cover on your policy and if there are any restrictions applicable.

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