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Jargon Buster

Welcome to Our Jargon Buster

Explore our jargon buster to find the definitions for key terms found throughout the world of home insurance.


Simply put, this is any unexpected, unintended damage. For example, you might spill some paint on a carpet. This cover can be bought for your contents, buildings, or both. This is usually an optional extra.

These often occur when someone has made a mid-term adjustment (MTA) – amending a policy before the renewal date. Premiums are the amount people pay when they have an insurance policy. An additional premium is when someone pays more than they originally agreed because of an amendment.

Adequate and sufficient accommodation provided by the insurer in the event a home becomes uninhabitable. This can be used in instances such as severe flooding, fire damage, or significant structural damage from impact or subsidence.

When you opt to pay for your insurance monthly, you’ll likely be charged interest in the form of an APR. This abbreviation stands for ‘annual percentage rate’, equalling the total amount of any credit over the period of a year. This includes fees and interest. For example, if you lend £500 at an APR rate of 10%, then the cost of the loan is £100 per year.


Even though your rooms might be converted into an office or a study, your insurer will classify this as a bedroom if it’s built for sleeping. If you’re struggling to figure out how many bedrooms are in your house, it’s any room that could be converted to be slept in.

An insurance broker facilitates deals and transactions between insurers and customers. They will help to find the ideal insurance policy for their client, ensuring that an agreement is in place to cover everything their customer needs.

This can cover various events, such as theft, subsidence, fire, flooding, storm damage, and escape of water. The structure of the walls and the property itself will be protected under buildings insurance, as well.


Buy-to-let mortgages are for landlords who have bought property to rent out to other people.


If you cancel a policy after the cooling-off period, the insurance company can charge an additional fee to end the contract. At Source Insurance we don’t charge a fee for cancelling your policy.

Contents insurance is the cover you can implement to protect yourself against potential damage and loss you might sustain to the types of items mentioned above. This can also cover features like gardening tools kept in outbuildings, such as sheds and greenhouses.

Contents insurance is the cover you can implement to protect yourself against potential damage and loss you might sustain to the types of items mentioned above. This can also cover features like gardening tools and outbuildings, such as sheds.

Typically around 14 days, the cooling-off period is the time at the start date or renewal date of the policy when you can cancel the contract without an additional charge, so long as you have not made a claim.


When paying for your insurance, there are usually two different options to choose from. You can either pay in one full instalment to cover the duration of your policy, or you can pay monthly. This is called a direct debit and is taken automatically from your bank account regularly. Direct debit usually costs more than an annual payment.


This is damage that has occurred from water escaping the mains’ supply. A few different causes of water escape can be from burst pipes or various sources like washing machines, sinks, toilets, radiators, showers, and baths.

This is the amount you will have to pay towards a claim. For example, if you make a claim for £1,000, but the excess is £100, your insurer will pay out £900, you will need to pay £100.

There are certain aspects that your insurance policy might not cover, such as wear and tear ,damage caused by pets, design defects or poor workmanship. It’s always good to read your policy documents to ensure you know what you’re covered for or not. Of course, every insurance policy is different, so it’s good to double-check to make sure.


FLEA stands for ‘fire, lightning, explosion and aircraft impact’. This cover protects your home from these elements only.

This is when there is a rapid build-up or sudden release of a large volume of water from a river, culvert or stream for example and damage is caused to a home. If you live in an area with a history of flooding, you might find it harder to find an insurance policy. You can find out for yourself here.


General Insurance is typically referred to as any insurance that isn’t life insurance. So, any contract outside life insurance may be considered general insurance. This protection can come in the form of fire, marine, motor, home, and much more. 


One of the most critical areas to pay attention to is the hazards you may encounter when insuring your house. These hazards are any potential obstacles that can affect you and your home. Because of this, it’s always good to identify possible threats, from theft to flooding.

This is when the ground beneath your home moves upward, causing potential structural damage to your property.

These are belongings in your home such as stamp, coin or medal collections, antiques, paintings, rare books, items of jewellery that are considered high value and over a certain value (value depends on the insurer) . For example,  a sterling silver candlestick valued at £3,000.

There are also high-risk items that are taken or worn outside for your home, such as rings, watches, mobile phones , tablets or laptops , which are of over a certain value and will need to be noted specifically on your policy.

The property insured under a policy, including any outbuildings and garages.

This is usually an optional cover that can be added to your insurance policy, which provides  24-hour access to tradespeople for emergency repairs due to a failure or damage to main services, damage to pipes, drains or sewers, making the home secure following a break-in , or removal of pests. This cover will also include the call-out charges, labour, parts and materials.To discover more about our Home Emergency offering, take a look here.


When discussing the insurance policy, you might hear this term from your broker or insurer. If someone says, “From your policy’s inception”, this means from when your contract begins. In the simplest terms, it’s the start date of your insurance policy.

The purpose of an insurer is to ensure that the policyholder doesn’t lose out on money if they need to make a claim. Indemnity ensures that the policyholder is compensated for their losses but protects the insurer from overpaying.

Intermediaries are an adviser or broker that locates the most appropriate policy, acting as a middleman between the customer and the insurer. For example, Source Insurance are an intermediary, supplying brokers with a specialised panel of insurance policies for their clients.

A room-by-room list of your home contents. These are useful for policyholders when figuring out the total value of their possessions, especially when needing to make a claim.


Sloping ground with a downward movement. Can cause considerable damage to buildings and their contents.


When a customer doesn’t renew an insurance policy or stops paying their premiums. 

This is where an insurer will cover the cost of legal expenses associated with the policy, should the policyholder need to go to court. This is more common in landlord policies.

This is where a building has been listed for historical significance or has unique architectural qualities. These buildings of national value are seen as worth protecting and are protected for this reason.


Life changes often, and insurance needs to be updated with all these alterations. A mid-term adjustment is where you can amend your policy before the expiration of the agreement. For example, if you purchased a bike and would like it covered under your insurance, you can change the policy to fit your needs rather than cancelling and taking out a new one.

Sometimes policyholders will look to end their agreement ahead of the expected expiration in search of a policy that better suits their needs. 


If you don’t make a claim for a certain period, you’re likely to get a discount for your blank track record. Usually, the longer you go without making a claim, the more discount you might get. Ultimately, someone with no claims for a number of years is less of a risk than someone with several claims a year. This will save you, and your insurer money in the long run.


Buildings that don’t have standard brick walls and a slate or tile roof are typically considered non-standard construction. This is the case for properties with a thatched roof or buildings with a large flat roof area.

Specialist insurance policies that specifically target buildings considered non-standard. 


The amount of time that you are insured for, as confirmed on your policy schedule and your policy documents.

These are items of belongings like mobiles, jewellery, glasses, cameras, watches, tablets, bags, wallets, and things you use in daily life.

The highest amount that your insurer will pay out for an item or a single event. The details will be in your policy documents, so it’s always worth looking to know what you have covered.

This is the amount you pay for your insurance policy monthly or annually.


Simply put, this is how much it would cost your insurer to fully rebuild your home in the unfortunate event that your home was destroyed. This can be caused by events such as fire or flooding, as per your insurance agreement. The cost differs from the usual market price and can be found in the lender’s property valuation. 

Insurance policies typically run for 12 months, usually renewing automatically upon the expiry of the agreement. Renewing a policy means entering another year of your contract with a revised and agreed policy. Annual policies allow a policyholder to opt out of automatic renewal, should they wish.


This legal documentoutlines the details of your insurance policy and what you’re covered for. Switching to eDocs will allow you to view this from a device whenever and wherever you want.

In the simplest terms, subsidence is a colossal problem for homeowners because of the damage it can cause to a building. Sinking ground beneath the structure can be devastating to the foundations of your home, making things unbalanced and having an impact on the structural integrity of the building.

The maximum that your insurers will pay out for a single event.


The conditions of which property, land, or buildings are occupied and held.


The number of years over which you take out a policy and when you have to repay it, whether that be by annual payment or direct debit.

This is cover under an insurance policy to find, reach, and repair a leak. This typically covers water; however, some policies will also cover gas leaks. It’s worth looking at your documents to find out.


To try and combat subsidence, the foundations of buildings can be strengthened. This is known as underpinning.


An individual or organisation that calculates the risks of covering a person with an insurance policy.


Precious possessions that are regarded as high-risk, usually of an expensive nature. These can include collections, jewellery, watches, clocks, expensive clothing, medals, and precious metals.


To make your premiums cheaper, you often have the option to select a voluntary excess. This is where you opt to pay more of your own money in case of a claim. If there is a set excess by the insurer, then this will be added on top of the voluntary excess.


Damage caused by water to your property or your contents. This can sometimes leave policyholders without a home, such as with flooding. Alternatively, it can damage possessions, needing them to be replaced.


When an item or property’s value declines due to deterioration and natural damage over time.

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