What is Direct Line?
Direct Line is most widely known for its car insurance, which it began offering in 1985.
In 2007, Direct Line launched the business insurance section of the company, offering a range of policies to SMEs and landlords around the UK.
Direct Line for business now serves more than 500,000 policyholders nationwide and offers products such as professional indemnity, landlord insurance and shop insurance.
What company underwrites the business insurance from Direct Line?
Direct Line policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited.
U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by both the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
What types of business insurance policies are available?
Direct Line offers a wide range of business insurance policies, including the following:
- Public liability insurance
- Professional indemnity insurance
- Employers’ liability insurance
- Product liability insurance
- Cyber insurance
- Business contents insurance
- Business interruption insurance
- Tradespeople insurance
- Landlord insurance
- Business buildings insurance
- Tools cover
- Shop insurance
- Small business insurance
These are just a few examples of a very long list of insurance products.
Direct Line also offers specific policies for a range of professions and trades, including builders, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, cleaners, hairdressers, accountants, architects, teachers, beauticians and florists (to name but a few!).
What are Direct Line’s cover options?
With all the different products and combinations available, the exact specification of your cover will depend on your needs.
Here are some of the most popular business cover components you can add to your policy:
- Public liability insurance. This provides cover for tradespeople, office workers, retailers, hospitality workers and other professionals from £1 million to £10 million.
- Professional indemnity insurance. This includes £100,000 to £5 million of cover (depending on your trade), cover for your defence costs (such as lawyer and court fees) and unlimited access to a 24-hour legal helpline.
- Employers’ liability insurance. This type of cover is a legal requirement if you have employees. Direct Line’s policy includes £10 million of cover as standard and can be tailored to your specific needs.
- Small business insurance. This cover is made up of a combination of the other products on offer, depending on your requirements. Cover for legal expenses, own/hired plant and contract work is also available as well as a number of other options so that you can personalise your policy. Your cover also includes a dedicated claims handler should you need it.
- Van insurance. Direct Line can provide cover for up to five named drivers on one policy and can cover your van whether you use it for work, leisure or both.
How much does business cover from Direct Line cost?
The exact cost of your cover will depend on the specifications of your policy. However, Direct Line has several price-related offers for both existing and new customers:
- 0% APR on your monthly direct debit payments in the first year
- No admin fees if you need to make changes to your policy
- Professional indemnity insurance from under £7 a month
- 10% off business insurance if you’re already a Direct Line customer
- Direct Line will beat your new business insurance quote or renewal premium from any other insurer
What is the claims process for Direct Line business insurance?
The number to call to make a claim varies according to the cover you’ve taken out and what the claim relates to.
For property and liability claims: call 0345 303 1753.
Line open Monday to Friday 8am-6pm (excluding Bank Holidays).
You can also make a claim online on the Direct Line website.
For professional indemnity claims: call 0207 648 1122.
Line open Monday to Friday 8am-5pm (excluding Bank Holidays).
You can also download a claim form on the Direct Line website and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For van insurance claims: call 0345 301 2882.
Line open Monday to Friday 8am-9pm
Saturday 9am – 5pm
Sunday 10am – 5pm
A 24/7 emergency accident helpline is available on 0800 269 015.
Information needed to make a claim with Direct Line business insurance:
- Your personal details and policy number
- Details about the incident, including location, damage or injuries sustained
- A list of damaged or missing items
- Any documents and photographs available showing the damage
- For van insurance claims, you’ll need the details of any witnesses to the incident
- For liability claims, you’ll need the details of anyone who was injured, if applicable
- For indemnity claims, you’ll need the details of the claimant, their allegations and a copy of the contract you have with them
- Crime reference number, if applicable
It’s vital that you let your insurer know about an incident as soon as possible, even if it’s not your fault. Failure to do this could result in a rejected claim later on.
For property claims, you must first take all necessary actions to limit any further damage or loss, such as turning off utilities like the stopcock, gas and electricity supply (if it’s safe to do so).
Direct Line business insurance customer reviews
On customer review platform Trustpilot, Direct Line as a company has 4.2 out of 5 stars and a rating of “Great” (based on more than 3,000 reviews).
On Reevo, Direct Line for business has an overall satisfaction score of 96%, based on 870 reviews.
Customers love the friendly and helpful staff, but some find the company’s policy wording and service provision confusing.
Pros and cons for Direct Line business insurance
- A very extensive list of products available to tailor your policy to your needs
- Policies for a wide range of specific trades and professions
- No admin fees for changes to your policy
- No 24/7 claims line (out of hours emergency line available)
- There are several claim and contact line numbers, depending on your cover, which can be confusing
Whatever your trade or profession, Direct Line for business is likely to have an insurance policy to suit your needs.
With an exceptionally long list of products on offer, you can create cover tailored to the circumstances of your business.
If you are an existing Direct Line customer, you can get an extra discount on your premium and a price-match promise is available for some products.
The downside is the lack of a 24/7 claims line and the confusion all the different claim and contact numbers (depending on your cover) can cause. However, a 24/7 emergency helpline is available to offer some peace of mind.
Get started by visiting Direct Line’s website and sign up for a policy. If you have read this review and decided that Direct Line is not for you, you can also compare other business insurance policies on the market.
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