Home insurance can be confusing, especially if you’re trying to get to grips with all the jargon. It’s important to understand what these terms mean to ensure you have the right cover for your home. But fear not! We're here to help make things simpler with our alphabetically listed jargon buster.
ABI (Association of British Insurers)
Insurance companies, like MORE THAN, become members of this organisation to understand all changes in the insurance industry. For example, regulatory or government policy changes.
Accidental damage cover
Accidental damage cover helps cover you for unintentional damage caused to the structure of your home, your belongings or both, like spilling wine on your carpet or drilling through a pipe.
Act of God
An accident or event that can’t be prevented by human foresight, like the weather.
Add-ons, ancillaries, optional extras/cover
These can be added to your home insurance to give you extra cover, like accidental damage or home emergency cover.
If you can no longer live in your home due to damage covered by your policy, your insurer will pay up to a specified amount for you and your family to stay somewhere else.
A change to your home policy, like a change of name or address.
A single one-off payment you make for your home cover.
Covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding the structure of your home.
The structure of your home includes:
- Walls, roof and windows
- Kitchen and bathrooms
- Garages, sheds and other outbuildings, including summer houses
- Drives and patios
Building sum insured
The amount of cover that helps towards the cost of repairing or rebuilding the structure of your home.
If you decide to cancel your home policy after the cooling-off period (usually 14 days after you take out your policy) you may have to pay a fee to your insurers. MORE THAN policies don't include a cancellation fee.
Claim - fault claim and no-fault claim
A claim is a request a policyholder makes to an insurer to repair, replace or compensate for a loss.
- Fault claim is, for example, if you’ve done something, like putting your foot through the ceiling when in the loft. This could be an accidental damage claim.
No-fault claim is if someone or something else has caused damage, such as storm damage.
Information about any claims you’ve made. When you get a quote, insurers normally ask if you’ve made a claim in the last 3 to 5 years.
Items in your home that are moveable, such as a TV, sofa or clothes.
Covers the items in your home that could be taken with you if you moved house, like furniture, carpets, laptops and clothing.
We'll pay to repair or replace the contents of your home if they're lost, stolen, or damaged by something covered by your policy. For example, a flood or fire.
Contents sum insured
The amount of cover that helps towards the cost of replacing your belongings if they’re damaged or lost. Sometimes you may have to add an optional cover option like 'out and about' cover (personal possessions), because the cover isn’t automatically included with a standard home insurance policy.
Covers your home and its contents on one policy. You can buy buildings and contents insurance cover separately.
The time after you take out your home policy when you can usually cancel without a fee. This is often 14 days after you take out your policy.
For MORE THAN renewals, the cooling-off period is 14 days from the renewal date. Once we receive your cancellation request, we'll refund any payments unless you’ve made a claim in the current period of insurance.
Escape of water
Escape of water is a water leak. For example, if a water pipe bursts.
Excess – compulsory and voluntary
The amount you’ll have to pay towards a claim.
Compulsory excess - for some claims, you need to pay a compulsory or fixed excess. This is a fixed amount you’ll pay to make a claim.
For escape of water, subsidence or accidental damage claims, you only pay a fixed excess which is usually higher than a standard compulsory excess.
Voluntary excess - you can choose to pay a higher or lower excess which may impact your price. This is called voluntary excess.
For most claims, you'll have to pay the voluntary and compulsory excess when making a claim.
Something that isn't included or covered in your policy.
When insurers don’t offer a standard house insurance level of policy cover for unoccupied premises, they may offer what is known as FLEA cover.
This is a restricted type of cover and stands for:
- Aircraft cover
This may also include Earthquake cover, but the acronym FLEA is not always used.
If you’re offered FLEA cover, you should check exactly what you’re covered for.
Cover for the contents of your freezer. Contents of fridges are sometimes covered too. Insurers will pay up to a set limit to replace food spoiled because of a breakdown or power cut. MORE THAN covers up to £500 to replace fridge and freezer food as standard.
Garden insurance covers your garden items against loss, damage and theft. This includes items you might leave out in the open, like garden furniture and children's toys. It often includes damage and loss to your plants, trees and shrubs. You may need to add garden cover onto your home insurance as it isn't always included as standard.
Good state of repair
Items that are in a good condition or well looked after.
When the soil beneath your home expands and pushes the ground upwards, sometimes causing structural damage to a building. Ground heave is the opposite of subsidence, which is when the ground sinks.
High risk items
A high risk or value item is any possession or collection that’s more likely to be stolen if your home is broken into. Some insurers ask specifically about these items if they’re worth over a certain amount, like over £1,000.
You’ll need to give more information about these items. We cover up to £7,500 as standard, which can be increased to £30,000 if needed.
High risk items include:
- Televisions, personal computers
- Binoculars and photographic equipment
- Audio and video equipment
- Jewellery and articles of precious metal, clocks and watches
- Pictures, works of art, curios and collections
Not all insurers offer this cover, so check this is included when taking out insurance.
Home emergency cover- assistance and upgraded cover
Cover if something happens that makes your home unsafe, insecure or which might cause more damage to your home or contents. Learn more about our home emergency cover options.
An event that causes an insurer to pay a claim.
Joint proposer or joint policyholder
When two people, like a couple, both want to insure a property. Both parties can speak to the insurer and manage the policy.
Legal protection/Legal expenses cover
Our Legal Services cover offers help if you've got a problem and want to know more about your rights or legalities of a situation.
A building with special architectural and historic interest. Planning and change restrictions will be in place on the property so that it can be protected for future generations. The older a building is, and the fewer surviving examples of its kind, the more likely it is to be listed.
If part of a matching set, for example a sofa, is damaged and can’t be repaired, we’ll try to replace the whole matching set. Not all insurers offer this cover option.
Moneyfacts gives independent reviews on banking and insurance products. They are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
A lock fitted into a hole in a door. Mortice means a hole in the door where the lock is fitted. Read our guide about door security.
New for old
New for old cover is included as standard on most home insurance policies. It means if an item is damaged beyond repair, lost or stolen your insurer will try and replace it with a new like-for-like item. For example, if your TV is stolen, we'll try and replace it with the same make or model – or similar if the item is no longer available.
Some insurers will give you the cash value so you’re able to buy a replacement, which often works out quicker.
Exclusions apply. See our policy wording for more information.
A building built from materials that are defined as not standard. Standard houses have brick or stone walls with a roof made of slate or tile. MORE THAN classifies non-standard construction as anything that falls outside this, like a thatched roof.
These are items that you don’t have to tell us about.
Personal possessions insurance is also known as personal belongings or personal item insurance. It covers everyday belongings you take in and out of your home against loss, damage or theft.
These belongings can include things like your mobile phone, jewellery and bags.
A document that has information about the terms and conditions of a contract of insurance.
The maximum amount an insurer will pay out on a claim.
The person named on the policy and who has a financial interest in the insured home or contents.
A house or building, including its land and outbuildings, occupied by a business or individual.
The amount you pay for your insurance cover.
The cost to rebuild your property.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has a useful calculator to work out the rebuilding costs of your home using the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) guide.
Rental contents insurance
Cover for people who rent and want to insure their belongings against loss, theft or damage.
A situation where there’s exposure to danger. Insurers see this as the chance of you making a claim. For example, if you live somewhere that has a high number of burglaries.
Bathroom fixtures like a toilet and sink.
How much an insurer will pay out in the event of a claim.
Schedule or Schedule of Insurance
A list explaining key terms, optional cover options, exclusions and limitations of an insurance policy.
Single article limit (SAL)
Often known as a single article limit or sum insured. This is the maximum you can claim on your contents cover for a single item. If any of your belongings over this limit are damaged, lost or stolen, including jewellery, laptop, or television, then you might not be covered for their full value unless you’ve made extra cover arrangements. See specified items.
The gradual sinking of the ground under your property. Subsidence can be expensive to fix so it's worth making sure your insurance covers this.
The amount you pay if you had to make a subsidence claim. This is often higher and differs to your standard excess.
The maximum amount of money an insurer will pay in the event of loss.
These are items worth over the single article limit. You may need to tell your insurer about these items separately to ensure you have the right cover if anything happens to them. At MORE THAN, you need to tell us about items worth over £1,000, whether you take them outside the home or not.
Ownership of a property – either mortgaged, rented or owned outright.
Trace and access
The cost of removing and replacing part of the building to repair a heating or water system after a water or oil leak.
For example, you have a burst water pipe behind a wall or underneath your flooring, and we need access to fix the problem. We’ll repair the floor or wall where we accessed the leak after it's been fixed.
At MORE THAN, if you purchase our upgraded buildings cover, we give you up to £5,000 for trace and access cover.
A solid foundation laid below ground level to support or strengthen a building. This is usually done on properties which have suffered subsidence.
Inadequate insurance cover. In the event of a claim, underinsurance may result in not having enough to replace all of your items.
A loss at your home that’s not covered by your insurance.
Your property is not lived in or vacant. If your property is left vacant for over a certain number of days, your insurance won’t be valid, or insurers may not pay out for a claim. With MORE THAN policies, your home shouldn’t be vacant for over 60 days.
A high value or high-risk item, like jewellery. These are valuables in the home that are seen as more likely to be stolen in the event of a burglary.
Wear and tear
The gradual deterioration of your belongings (contents) or structure of the home. This includes things like fading curtains, draughty windows or the breakdown of household appliances, such as a washing machine.
When the property was originally built. Insurers usually need the year you state to be within a range of 10 years. You can find details in your household deeds or, if you rent, ask your landlord.
Didn't find what you were looking for?
We hope we've helped bust some home insurance jargon for you, but if there's anything you're still unsure of, you can contact us.