Car Insurance Terminology

With so many terms and definitions to get your head around, car insurance can be confusing. So we've put together this guide of common terms to help make things a little easier for you to understand. Please note that some of these common terms are found in the Youi Car Insurance PDS, but not all of them. 

Car Insurance Terms & Definitions


Extra items added to the car before it was delivered new to its first owner, as well as items added to the car by anyone at any time after it was delivered new to its first owner. For more information, refer to the After-market Accessories and Modifications section.

Accident / accidental / accidentally 

An unforeseen, unintended, and unexpected event which occurs suddenly and at a specific place and time.

Agreed value

The amount we agree to insure the car for at the time of loss, which is shown on your policy schedule. The agreed value includes any accessories and modifications fitted or made to the car, unless they are disability or campervan/motorhome modifications.

Anti-Theft Device

A device or tool installed by a driver or vehicle manufacturer to either reduce the likelihood of theft or vandalism, or increase the chance of recovering a stolen vehicle. Steering wheel locks, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and starter disablers are all examples of anti-theft devices.

At-fault Claim

A claim in which the driver of the insured vehicle is found to be either partially or fully at fault for the incident.

Baby seat/s 

A child restraint that complies with the Australian/New Zealand Standard for Child Restraint Systems for Use in Motor Vehicles, as amended from time to time.

Breakdown / breaks down 

A mechanical or electrical fault which has caused the vehicle to become immobilised and/or unsafe to drive. Breakdown also includes a flat tyre, flat or faulty battery, a vehicle which has run out of fuel, or keys that are lost or locked inside the vehicle.

Business items/s 

The equipment, instruments and tools you use in your trade or profession that either belong to you or you are responsible for.

Business use 

A car that is used as an essential part of any work or business, or that is used to generate income or reward.

Call out/s 

Where a service provider is dispatched to provide assistance at the breakdown location.


The motorised vehicle (including campervan or motorhome) shown on your policy schedule, and any factory fitted accessories. This also includes after market accessories and/or modifications where an amount for accessories and/or modifications is noted on the policy schedule.

Car Hire Cover

Cover which provides access to a hire car in the event that the insured vehicle is unavailable due to repairs stemming from a related claim. Car hire cover may cover the entire cost of a hire car, or contribute a predetermined amount toward the charge, depending on the level of car insurance cover you hold. 


A formal notification to your insurance company that you have experienced loss or damage in an incident covered by your insurance policy and involving the insured vehicle.

Claim Repairs

Works completed by an authorised repair partner to rectify damage to an insured vehicle caused by an incident or accident covered under your insurance policy. 

Comprehensive cover

The car on the policy schedule is covered for the events listed under Insured Events. It includes additional cover listed under Extra Cover where that extra cover is specified as applying to Comprehensive cover.

Compulsory Third Party Insurance (CTP)

Mandatory insurance which covers compensation costs for parties who experience injury or death as a result of an accident involving your vehicle. A CTP insurance policy in NSW is commonly known as a Green Slip.


A formal and legally binding agreement outlining mutual obligations of two or more parties.

Contract period 

The period, including the time and date, from the start or renewal of your policy to its expiry, as noted on your policy schedule.

Cooling-off Period

A predetermined amount of time in which a party can withdraw from a contract or agreement without incurring penalties.

Cover / Coverage

An agreed maximum amount of risk or liability which the insurance company will issue to an individual or entity if an insured event occurs.


Loss or harm to an individual or property. Examples of loss or harm include but are not limited to damage caused by fire, theft or collision. 


A reduction in the monetary value of a vehicle over time. Depreciation could be caused by wear and tear, neglect of a vehicle or unfavourable market conditions, among other causes.


A reduction of the advertised or agreed price of a product or service.


The person using or operating a car, or the person legally responsible for the use or operation of a car.

Driving Record / Claims History

A driving record contains a history of offences attributed to the licence number of an individual. A claims history reflects any insurance claims and enquiries made by an individual in recent years.

Duty to take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation

There is a duty of an individual to take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation when answering an insurer’s questions that may affect an insurer's decision to provide cover, and on what terms that cover may be provided. Failure to take reasonable care to answer the insurer’s questions accurately and completely may result in the insurer reducing or not paying a claim, cancelling the policy, or treating it as if it never existed. 


An earthquake, volcanic eruption, hydrothermal activity, or tsunami.

Effective Date

The date that an agreement or contract between two or more parties becomes legally binding and enforceable.


The first amount you must pay in relation to each and every claim made under your policy.


Circumstances, items or actions your insurance policy does not cover. This could include unlicensed drivers, unregistered vehicles or illegal modifications. Exclusions will be outlined in your product disclosure statement (PDS).

Expiry Date

The date an insurance policy contract ends.

Flood / flooding 

The covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or been released from the normal confines of any of the following:

(a) a lake (whether or not it has been altered or modified);

(b) a river (whether or not it has been altered or modified);

(c) a creek (whether or not it has been altered or modified);

(d) another watercourse (whether or not it has been altered or modified);

(e) a reservoir;

(f) a canal; or

(g) a dam.

Gross Trailer Mass 

The mass transmitted to the ground by the axle or axles of the trailer when coupled to a drawing vehicle and carrying its maximum load approximately uniformly distributed over the load bearing area.

Hire Car Following an Accident

Depending on the level of cover you have, you may be entitled to a hire car following an accident.  

Household member/s 

Any person who lives at the overnight address where the car is kept and which is noted on your policy schedule.


An unforeseen, unintended, and unexpected event which occurs suddenly and at a specific place and time.

Insured Value

Either the market value or agreed value as shown on your policy schedule.

Immobile / immobilised 

Not capable of moving using the car’s own power.

Insured event/s 

An event that is described in the Insured Events section in this PDS.

Insured property 

The car and any other property that is insured by this policy.

Insured value/s 

Either the market value or agreed value as shown on your policy schedule.


An individual or entity providing financial coverage to another individual or entity. An insurer will cover unexpected events and circumstances as outlined in the relevant insurance policy.

Leaves / leaving the scene of an accident without lawful excuse 

Not remaining at an accident scene where required by law to remain until the duties at that location are complete or there is a valid reason for leaving. These duties may vary according to state or territory laws; for example:

  • obtaining details of all parties involved;

  • checking if any person is injured;

  • checking if damage has occurred to private or public property; and

  • contacting the police.

Relevant regional requirements should be checked at either a state or territory government department, motor registry, or through the police.

Legal Liability

The responsibility of an individual or entity to be answerable to an event or circumstance according to law. This may include the responsibility of one party to pay another party for harm or damage caused by the actions of a person they have accepted liability for.

Listed driver/s 

Any driver listed on your policy schedule and who is legally allowed to drive the car. The regular driver is also a listed driver.

Market value 

The reasonable and expected cost of replacing the car with a car of the same or a similar make, model, mileage, and condition, immediately before an incident covered by your policy. Market value of the car includes factory-fitted accessories. It also includes an allowance for after market accessories and modifications (excluding those for disability or campervan/motorhome purposes) up to the amount noted on your policy schedule for After Market Accessories and Modifications. Market value does not include any warranty costs, future stamp duty, transfer fees, or allowance for dealer profit.


The capital city of each state or territory, including the following surrounding towns and cities: in QLD this includes all suburbs of the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast; in VIC all suburbs of Geelong; in NSW Newcastle, Central Coast and Wollongong; and in WA all suburbs of Rockingham and Armadale.

Mobile / mobilised 

Moving or capable of moving using the car’s own power.


All changes from the manufacturer’s specifications, made to the car at any time after it left the factory where it was built. For more information, refer to the After-market Accessories and Modifications section.

Motor Vehicle Insurance

A contract applying to cars, trucks, motorcycles or other road registered vehicles wherein an insurer provides financial protection for damage or loss to people or property involved in an insured event.

New Car Replacement

An agreement that if a vehicle is a total loss as a result of an insured incident within 24 months of buying it brand new, we will cover the cost of a new car of the same make and model.  

Nominated Listed Drivers

Individuals listed on an insurance policy who are known to the insurance company as listed drivers of the insured vehicle.

Not-at-fault Accident

An accident where the actions of the insured driver did not cause or contribute to the collision or incident.

Optional Extras

Events or circumstances not covered by your original policy which may be available to be added to your insurance coverage for an additional fee.   

Period of Insurance

The period of time a vehicle is insured against events and incidents outlined in the insurance policy documents. 


This PDS, your most recent policy schedule, and your application for insurance.

Policy schedule

The document we give you that confirms we have issued you insurance cover and includes details of that cover.


The agreed amount an individual pays to an insurer to keep their insurance policy active. If any payment remains unpaid for a period of 1 calendar month or more, it may result in policy cancellation.

Private use 

A car that is used solely for social, domestic and pleasure purposes, including driving to or from your or a listed driver’s regular place of work or study.

Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)

A legal document provided to individuals when an insurer recommends or offers you a general insurance product. The PDS must cover policy information such as key features, fee structures, benefits, exclusions and risks.

Reckless manner 

Any intentional and dangerous act by the driver of a car; for example, excessive speeding, failing to stop at a red light or stop sign, or texting while driving.


All incidents occurring outside of those areas defined above as metropolitan.


The car or trailer is registered or licensed in an Australian state or territory for use on a public road.

Regular driver 

The person who drives the car most of the time or more than anyone else.

Repairable Write-off

A vehicle which has been damaged to such an extent that the cost of repairing the vehicle would exceed its market value. If deemed a repairable write-off, a vehicle will be deregistered.

Restricted access area 

An area that is protected by security and/or systems designed to prevent access by unauthorised people; including airports, security-controlled zones and community events.


The likelihood that an individual will make a claim resulting in a pay out from the insurer. Risk is calculated based on factors such as driver claim history, overnight parking location and home postcode. 


That a car or trailer complies with the roadworthy requirements for the Australian state or territory where it is being used.

Safety Features

Features installed in a vehicle which reduce the likelihood of an accident. Examples of vehicle safety features include blind spot detection, lane departure warnings and automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems.

Service area 

An area in mainland Australia, Tasmania, and Phillip Island that is accessible by a two-wheel drive recovery vehicle, or an island that is accessible by a two-wheel drive via road or bridge (excludes ferries).


A violent atmospheric event which includes a thunderstorm, cyclone, or strong wind with or without rain, hail or snow, but not rain showers alone.

Substitute car 

A loan car of similar type, and used for similar purposes, that is provided free of charge by the service provider whilst the car is out of order due to it being serviced or repaired. A hired or rented car is not a substitute car.

Third party 

Any person involved in an accident with the car, excluding the driver or passengers of the car.

Third Party Property Only cover 

The car on the policy schedule is covered for damage caused to other vehicles and property, as defined under Extra Cover: Legal Liability. It excludes damage caused to the car insured on this policy, other than what is described under Extra Cover: Uninsured Third Party. It includes additional cover listed under Extra Cover where that extra cover is specified as applying to Third Party Property Only cover.

Third Party, Fire and Theft cover 

Third Party Property Only cover plus cover for the insured events of Fire and Theft. It includes additional cover listed under Extra Cover where that extra cover is specified as applying to Third Party, Fire and Theft cover.

Total loss 

When the car is either stolen and not recovered, or it is damaged to the extent it is not economical or safe to repair; for example, where the combined repair costs and salvage value are likely to be more than the insured value or any other value we are required to use by law, or where the car is a statutory write off as required by law.

Unbraked trailer 

A trailer up to and including 750kg Gross Trailer Mass.


A car or trailer is not registered nor licensed in an Australian state or territory for use on a public road.

Use / used / using 

Private use or business use, as defined above.


Any items of value stored or contained within your vehicle. Examples of items considered valuables may include wallets, electronics and accessories such as designer sunglasses.

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

A unique number assigned to each vehicle for identification purposes. The VIN is typically 17 characters long, although cars manufactured prior to 1981 may have a VIN varying between 11 and 17 characters.

Windscreen Damage

Loss or damage to the windscreen of a vehicle in the form of stone chips, scratches, cracks or glass breakage. Policyholders should refer to their PDS to ascertain whether windscreen damage is covered under their insurance policy.

Write-off (or total loss)

A vehicle is considered a total loss write-off if it has been damaged to the extent that a repair would not be possible, or would not be advisable. Vehicles which are considered total loss write-offs will have their registration cancelled, and cannot be re-registered.