A guide to car insurance terms in Ireland

By Melanie May, July 2023


Getting behind the wheel of a car is an exhilarating experience, but it's also essential to prioritise safety and protection. That's where car insurance comes into play. Car insurance is like having a safety net for your vehicle, ensuring you're protected when unexpected events occur. 

Understanding the basics of car insurance and familiarising yourself with common types and terms can save you from a world of confusion and financial setbacks. In this guide, we'll journey through the most common types of motoring insurance and frequently used terms to help you confidently navigate potential policy potholes and find the right coverage for your needs. 

So buckle up and get ready for a tour through the twists and turns of car insurance!


Third-Party Fire & Theft: The Basics

Third-party fire & theft insurance covers damages caused to others and protects against theft or fire damage to your vehicle. While it doesn't offer the same extensive coverage as fully comprehensive insurance, it's a budget-friendly choice that provides essential protection. It's like having a loyal ally by your side, stepping in to protect you and your wallet when unexpected situations arise.

Allianz's third-party fire and theft insurance gives customers access to our emergency service in the event of fire, theft or attempted theft* and includes coverage for driving in other EU countries, Northern Ireland, Great Britain, The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. 

*In the event of an accident the Emergency service is only available if you have Comprehensive cover. Note: this is different to Breakdown Assistance, which this is an optional extra and requires additional premium.


Fully Comprehensive: The All-Inclusive Adventure

If you're the type of person who loves having all the bells and whistles, then fully comprehensive insurance is your ticket to ride. It offers the broadest coverage available in Ireland. Fully comprehensive insurance protects you against damage to your vehicle and injuries you may cause to others. It's like having a safety net that catches you from all angles, ensuring peace of mind on the road. 

Allianz's fully comprehensive insurance includes the same coverage as third-party fire and theft plus additional coverage such accidental damage to your car, damage caused by vandalism to your car, emergency service in the event of an accident. Please see our motor policy booklet for full range of benefits.


Excess: The Price of Protection

Picture this: you're involved in an accident and make a claim. But before your insurance swoops in to save the day, you must contribute a certain amount from your pocket. That's your excess - a down payment for the insurance. In Ireland, excess amounts vary, so it's essential to know the specifics of your policy. Remember, a higher excess might give you lower premiums, but it means you'll have a bigger cost to you when it's time to make a claim.


No Claims Bonus: The Reward for Good Driving

Imagine being rewarded for being a safe driver – well that’s exactly what happens with the No Claims Bonus (NCB). If you go a year without making a claim, you'll earn an NCB, which can result in significant savings on your insurance premium. It's like getting a gold star for your safe driving skills and a discount for being a motorist superhero.

At Allianz, we give our customers stepped discounts (subject to T&Cs) for every year of claim-free driving for a maximum of 9 years.


Step Back Bonus Protection: The Safety Cushion

Imagine this: you've been driving safely, building up your No Claims Bonus, but then, unfortunately, you have an accident. That's where Step Back Bonus Protection** comes into play. With this add-on, your NCB will only take a partial nosedive after making a claim. Instead, it may "step back" by a certain number of years, protecting the hard-earned bonus you've accumulated. It's like having a safety cushion that softens the blow, ensuring you don't lose all your bonus progress in one fell swoop.

Remember to check with your insurance provider for the specifics of its Step Back Bonus Protection and the extent of coverage it offers. You can also add Full Bonus Protection** to your policy, which allows you to incur one unlimited claim in a 3 year period without affecting your No Claim Bonus.

**At Allianz, this is an optional extra and requires additional premium.


Open Driving: The Freedom to Share the Wheel

Do you know that feeling when you’re the designated driver on a long road trip and wish you could share the miles with friends or family? Well, open driving** allows you to share the wheel legally. In Ireland, some insurance policies include open driving, which means other drivers, typically within a specific age range, can hop behind the wheel of your car with your permission. It's like passing the baton to fellow drivers and enjoying the journey together.


Driving Other Cars: The Permission Slip

Have you ever suddenly needed to drive someone else's car in an emergency? That's where "driving other cars"** coverage comes into play. In Ireland, some insurance policies provide limited coverage for driving vehicles that you don't own. It's like having a permission slip for those unexpected moments when you need to borrow a car. Remember though, this coverage is often minimal and only applies to the policyholder, so double-check your policy before you hit the road on someone else's wheels.


Named Driver: The Co-Pilot Extraordinaire

In Ireland, you can add a named driver to your policy. A named driver is an additional person legally allowed to drive your car. It's like having a co-pilot by your side, sharing the driving responsibilities and enjoying the adventure together. However, keep in mind that the named driver's details and driving history may affect your insurance premium.

Allianz provides cover for temporary additional drivers for up to 30 days free of charge as long as the person to be added is over 25 years of age, holds a full driving licence, and is claim/convictions free. Learn more here.


Making a Claim: The Insurance Lifeline

Life is full of surprises, and sometimes those surprises involve accidents or damage to your vehicle. When the unforeseen happens, making a claim is your insurance lifeline. It's like reaching out for help and activating the safety net provided by your insurance policy. To initiate a claim, you'll typically need to contact your insurance provider, give incident details, and submit any necessary documentation. Allianz customers can easily register a claim at any time via MyAllianz.ie and track the progress.

While the process may seem daunting, remember that your insurance provider is there to guide you through the journey and help you get back on the road as smoothly as possible.


Understanding car insurance doesn't have to be a never-ending highway of confusion. Knowing the common types of motoring insurance and frequently used terms, you can navigate the insurance landscape easily. Remember, car insurance isn't just about protecting your vehicle; it's about safeguarding yourself and others. With the right coverage in place, you can confidently hit the road in Ireland, knowing you're protected against the twists and turns that may come your way. 

Safe travels on your Irish motoring adventures!


How can I get a quote for Allianz Car Insurance?

We've made this part super quick and convenient. For the best price, get an Allianz Car Insurance quote online and save 10% on a new policy. 


**At Allianz, this is an optional extra and requires additional premium.

Allianz p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Standard acceptance criteria and policy conditions apply. 

Descriptions of the application of these insurance terms to policies are described as per an Allianz insurance policy.

Information correct as of date of publishing. This blog will not be updated or edited, so the information may become outdated.