Direct Line car insurance review
If you’re hit while parked and have to claim on your own policy, will your no claims bonus be hit, too? Find out whether Direct Line would cover this.
Direct Line offers standard car insurance policies to a range of drivers as well as specialised black box and premier policies. The insurer says it offers exclusive deals to existing customers, won’t charge extra for mid-term amendments and, if you have comprehensive cover, promises to protect a no claims bonus if you have to claim after being hit while parked. Here’s everything else you need to know about this 5-star Defaqto-rated car insurer.
Who is Direct Line?
Direct Line began in 1985 and sold car insurance from the start. Since then, it has branched out to van, travel, pet, landlord and home insurance.
This award-winning company is one of the UK’s leading car insurers.
What are Direct Line’s levels of cover?
All drivers are legally obliged to have at least third party car insurance to be on UK roads. Direct Line does not offer this minimum level of cover on its own. However, it does offer two higher levels of cover.
Direct Line Third Party, Fire and Theft
If you are responsible for causing an accident, you’ll be protected for damage to third party vehicles or property. You’ll also have protection against any fire damage or theft of your car.
Direct Line Comprehensive
This is the greatest level of standard cover on offer through Direct Line and will provide the same protection as 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.
What types of car insurance are available?
- DrivePlus insurance. Direct Line offers telematics (or “black box”) insurance to drivers aged 25 or under. The black box or plug-in device monitors and rates driving habits. The higher the safety score, the less the premium is likely to be at renewal.
- Select Premier insurance. Direct Line offers this highest level of car insurance specifically designed for owners of high-value cars.
Direct Line offers a range of additional protection to bolt onto your policy, including:
- Breakdown cover. Direct Line offers five different levels.
- Guaranteed hire car plus. Direct Line will provide you with a hire car if your car is damaged due to an accident or fire, or if your car has not been recovered after being stolen. It comes as an optional extra only with Comprehensive only and that it doesn’t include windscreen claims and customer delayed claims
- Motor legal cover. Direct Line will provide up to £100,000 of legal costs in the event of a legal dispute following an accident. There has to be more than a 50% chance that your claim will succeed.
- No-claim discount protection. You’ll need a minimum of four years’ no-claims discount and no more than one fault claim within the past three years for all drivers combined to be eligible for this cover.
Any cover offered by Direct Line 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 Direct Line
- 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.
How do I make a claim?
Call the Direct Line claims line on 0345 246 8471 to register a claim.
This claims line is open 8am – 9pm Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm Saturdays and 11am – 5pm Sundays.
You will need to provide the following information in order to make a claim::
- Your personal details and policy number
- Details about the incident including as location, damage or injuries sustained
- Names and contact details of everyone involved in the incident such as third parties, passengers and any witnesses
- 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.