Mortgage Protection Jargon Explained

Mortgage Protection

Buying your first home is such an exciting time, but it can also be a source of stress. There’s so much to do, so many boxes to tick (not to mention pack)! 

Couple happy, lifting boxes after moving into their new home with mortgage protection from Aviva

In Ireland, by law you must take out a mortgage protection policy before you can successfully take out a mortgage. There are a few exceptions to this requirement – if you are over 50 years old or if you’re buying an investment property, but by and large, it is necessary.

What is mortgage protection?

Mortgage protection is an insurance policy, which pays out the balance of your mortgage to your bank in the event of your death or the death of your partner.

For convenience, many people choose to take this policy out with their mortgage provider – but it is worth remembering that you can shop around and may be able to save yourself some money in the process. This is just one of those common life myths – we debunk this and more in our article ‘seven myths about mortgage protection’.

Along the road to securing your mortgage, you might come across some jargon, terms related to mortgages and mortgage protection which are unfamiliar. Take a look below, as we explain some of the most common terms you’ll come across.

Mortgage term

This is the length of time you agree to repay your mortgage. If you're unsure of the length of your mortgage term, you’ll find the details in your original letter of approval.

Loan to Value (LTV)

This is a percentage figure. It represents the difference between your mortgage loan and the value of your property. For example, if your mortgage is for €165,000 on a property valued at €220,000 it would have an LTV of 75%.


Simply put, if you fall behind on your mortgage payments, you're said to have fallen into arrears.

Joint mortgage protection

This type of plan covers both you and your partner, and the balance of the mortgage. It'll be paid out on the death of either party.

Interest only mortgage

With an interest only mortgage, your monthly repayment only pays the interest on your loan and doesn't repay any of the capital or mortgage balance. The original amount you borrowed stays the same for the term of the mortgage.

Annuity mortgage

An annuity mortgage, or repayment mortgage, is the most common type of mortgage. It's made up of two parts; payments to cover the interest rate come off first, then when the interest amount has been paid off, your further payments come off the actual capital/mortgage loan amount.

Endowment mortgage

With an endowment mortgage you pay interest on the original amount you borrowed and pay into an investment policy called an endowment policy for the term of the mortgage. At the end of the mortgage term you cash it in to repay the original amount you borrowed.

Decreasing value

The level of cover you’re insured for decreases as your mortgage repayments decrease over time. Upon your death, the mortgage protection policy fully covers the outstanding amount on your mortgage.

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an established homeowner, who's looking to make some savings, shopping around for mortgage protection is always a good idea. Why not get a quote and see how we compare? If you’re switching from your current provider, don’t worry, we’re at hand to help guide you through the process.

We want to help our customers be there for whatever life throws in their way.

To learn more about our range of protection products, click here.

Mortgage protection insurance from €10 per month

Ready to get cover? Get a quick quote.1

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1. Acceptance criteria, terms and conditions apply. These monthly premiums are based on single life cover of €170,000 for a person aged 31 next birthday and a non-smoker, over a 25 year term, total amount €10.03. Source: Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland DAC as at July 2020.

Aviva Direct Ireland Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. A private company limited by shares. Registered in Ireland No 374895. Registered Office: Cherrywood Business Park, Dublin, Ireland, D18 W2P5.

Life and Protection Cover is underwritten by Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland DAC.

Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland Designated Activity Company, a private company limited by shares. Registered in Ireland No. 165970. Registered office at Building 12, Cherrywood Business Park, Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin, D18 W2P5. Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland Designated Activity Company, trading as Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland and Friends First, is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Tel (01) 898 7950.