The comprehensive car insurance that 1st Central sources comes with a range of benefits as standard, including a courtesy car while yours is being fixed by an approved repairer, and cover for lost keys and personal belongings. But what else is covered, and what are the options? We’ve analysed this top-rated car insurance broker and have the lowdown for you.
What's in this guide?
- Who is 1st Central?
- Who underwrites the car insurance from 1st Central?
- What are 1st Central's levels of cover?
- What is covered under my policy with 1st Central?
- General exclusions
- How to save on your car insurance policy through 1st Central
- What is my excess?
- What is the claims process for 1st Central?
- 1st Central car insurance customer reviews
- Pros and cons for 1st Central car insurance
- Frequently asked questions
Who is 1st Central?
1st Central has been operating as a car insurance broker since 2008.
1st Central is the trading name of First Central Insurance Management Ltd, a subsidiary of First Central Group Ltd.
Who underwrites the car insurance from 1st Central?
1st Central works with a panel of insurers to offer optional extra benefits that can be added to the policies it sources; the car insurance itself, however, is provided by one source and is underwritten by Skyfire Insurance Company Ltd.
First Central Insurance Management Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
What are 1st Central’s levels of cover?
All drivers are legally required to have at least third party car insurance to be on UK roads; 1st Central doesn’t provide third party only, but it offers higher levels of cover.
Third party, fire and theft (TPFT)
If you are responsible for causing an accident, you’ll be protected for damage to other people’s vehicles or property. You’ll also have protection against any fire damage or theft of your car.
This is the highest standard level of cover on offer through 1st Central and will provide everything in TPFT as well as insuring your vehicle against accidental damage and vandalism. It’s always worth checking the cost of comprehensive as it can be cheaper than TPFT.
1st Central Plus (with legal expenses cover)
This offers the same cover as comprehensive with the addition of legal expenses cover.
1st Central Plus (with breakdown cover)
This is another comprehensive policy with the addition of breakdown cover
1st Central Premier
This enhanced comprehensive policy includes both legal expenses and breakdown cover.
What is covered under my policy with 1st Central?
|Cover benefits||Comprehensive||1st Central Plus||1st Central Premier|
|Liability to other people||✓||✓||✓|
|Fire and theft||✓||✓||✓|
|Basic personal accident cover||✓||✓||✓|
|Foreign use cover||✓||✓||✓|
|Personal belongings cover||✓||✓||✓|
|Legal expenses cover||–||✓ (only if breakdown cover is not chosen)||✓|
|Breakdown cover||–||✓ (only if legal expenses cover is not chosen)||✓|
Check your policy details carefully to ensure you have the right cover for your needs.
1st Central offers a range of additional protection to bolt onto your policy, including:
- Legal expenses
- Personal accident cover
- Hire car cover
- UK breakdown cover
- Enhanced breakdown cover
- European breakdown cover
- Excess protection
Any cover offered by 1st Central is likely to become invalid if any of the following arises:
- You change the use of your car from its original use. For example, changing from social domestic and pleasure to business use.
- Your car is being driven by an unnamed driver on your policy or by a person that does not have a valid driving licence.
- You use your car at rallies, races or competitions.
- You are paid to carry passengers.
- You fail to pay for your premium.
- You change your car during the policy term to a car that the insurer cannot cover.
- You do not provide the correct documents to support your application.
Check your policy for further details to confirm your cover is valid.
How to save on your car insurance policy through 1st Central
- Increasing security. If your car is not currently fitted with an alarm, think about adding one to reduce your premium.
- Having a secure location to park your car. Cars kept in a garage or on a secure driveway are usually cheaper to insure.
- Reduce mileage. If you start working part-time or your long commute becomes much shorter, letting your insurer know about a reduction in your mileage could result in cheaper insurance.
- Fewer drivers. Only add drivers to your policy that regularly drive your car
- Larger excess. Agreeing to pay a bigger voluntary excess could make your overall premium cheaper. But remember that your insurer won’t pay out for a claim that costs less than your excess. So be careful about making it too high, as it could leave you out of pocket if damage occurs.
What is my excess?
Your insurance excess is the amount of money you will need to pay towards a claim. Your insurer won’t pay out for a claim that costs less than this amount. A compulsory excess amount might vary depending on the age of your car and your driving experience.
A voluntary excess is on top and is normally set by you when taking out a policy. You’ll have the option of adding or increasing a voluntary excess – which should lower your premium.
You’ll find details about any compulsory or voluntary excesses in your policy document.
What is the claims process for 1st Central?
Call the 1st Central 24-hour claims helpline on 0333 043 2011 to report and incident and register a claim. This claims helpline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You will need to provide your policy details, personal contact details and information about the incident.
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.
1st Central car insurance customer reviews
On customer review platform Trustpilot, 1st Central as a company has 4.5 out of 5 stars and a rating of “Excellent”, based on more than 17.6k reviews.
On similar platform, Reviews.io, the company has 4.07 out of 5 stars, based on more than 3,600 reviews. 79% of customers say they would recommend the service.
Customers praise the great service and quick claim handling, but some complain of high admin fees and premium hikes (updated December 2020).
Pros and cons for 1st Central car insurance
- 24/7 UK based claims helpline.
- Up to £1,500 key cover.
- Ability to manage your policy online 24/7.
- Free courtesy car included as standard.
- No third party only cover option.
- Some customers reported a hike in renewal prices.
1st Central is a good option for drivers looking for affordable and flexible car insurance and are often found to be price competitive across a range of age groups and circumstances. Both their third party, fire and theft and comprehensive policies are bundled full of impressive features (included as standard) which makes their overall policy score strong.
They also have a large range of optional extras that you can add to your policy for an additional premium and a 24/7 contact centre based in the UK in the unfortunate event of a claim.
One downside is that they don’t offer a “third party only” cover option and some users have reported price hikes when it comes to renewal.
All in all, this 5 star Defaqto rated insurer is a good choice for most when it comes to looking for a provider. However, as always, it’s important to compare providers based on your individual circumstances to see which one is best for you.
Frequently asked questions
More guides on Finder
Compare mobile phone insurance
Get a quote in seconds and save on your phone cover.
Renault Twingo insurance group
Find out which insurance group the Renault Twingo falls under and how much it costs to insure.
Kia Sorento insurance group
Find out which insurance group the Kia Sorento falls under and how much it costs to insure.
Vauxhall Viva insurance group
Find out which insurance group the Vauxhall Viva falls under and how much it could cost to insure.
Peugeot 106 insurance group
Find out which insurance group the Peugeot 106 falls under and how much it costs to insure.
Abarth 595 insurance group
Find out which insurance group the Abarth 595 falls under and how much it costs to insure.
Ford Ecosport insurance group
Find out which insurance group the Ford Ecosport falls under and how much it costs to insure.
Hyundai i40 insurance group
Find out which insurance group the Hyundai i40 falls under and how much it costs to insure.
Hyundai Amica insurance group
Find out which insurance group the Hyundai Amica falls under and how much it costs to insure.
Fiat Bravo insurance group
Find out which insurance group the Fiat Bravo falls under and how much it costs to insure.