Hastings Essential car insurance review

Get all the facts about no-frills car insurance available through Hastings Essential to see if it's right for you.

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Hastings Essential car insurance

If you don’t want to pay for extras you won’t use, it’s worth looking at the basic cover offered through Hastings Essential. The broker, which gets a 5-star Defaqto rating, promises to keep costs to a minimum by offering no frills (although you do get cover on trips to EU countries).

Who is Hastings Essential?

Hastings Essential is an insurance broker that works with a panel of insurance companies to offer car insurance.

The parent company of Hastings Essential is the Hastings Insurance Group, which also operates Hastings Premier, Hastings Direct, Insure Pink and People’s Choice.

What are Hastings Essential’s levels of cover?

Hastings Essential only offers one level of cover and that is the Hastings Essential comprehensive cover. If you are responsible for causing an accident, you’ll be covered for damage to third party vehicles or property and will have protection against accidental or fire damage to your own car, or loss of it through theft.

What is covered under my Hastings Essential policy?

  • Liability to other people
  • Fire and theft
  • Accidental damage
  • Legal liability
  • Courtesy car
  • Personal accident up to £1000
  • EU cover up to 90 days per trip

Optional extras

The Hastings Essential car insurance policy is designed to cover the essentials but it does offer some optional extras. These include:

  • Breakdown cover
  • Legal expenses
  • Personal accident cover
  • Substitute vehicle cover
  • Key cover

General exclusions

Your cover is likely to become invalid if any of the following arises:

  • Your car is being driven by an unnamed driver on your policy or by a person that does not have a valid driving licence.
  • Your car is used for 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 Hastings Essential

  • Check comprehensive. Contrary to what you might expect, comprehensive cover can be cheaper than third party (TP) or third party, fire and theft so it’s always worth checking. This is because of the risk profile of many people who get TP.
  • Park securely. 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.
  • Increase the 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.
  • Pick a smaller car. Choosing to drive a small and safe car is likely to lower your premium.

What is my excess?

Your insurance excess is the amount of money you have 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 normally an amount set by you when taking out a policy. You’ll have the option of adding or increasing a voluntary excess, which could in turn reduce your premium.

You’ll find details about any compulsory or voluntary excesses in your policy document.

What is the claims process for Hastings Essential?

You should call the Hastings Essential Choice claims line on 0333 321 9800 to register a claim. This is a 24-hour claim line open seven days a week.You’ll need to provide the following when making a claim:

  • Date, time and location of incident
  • Vehicle registration numbers of all vehicles involved
  • Names and contact details of all parties involved
  • Details of loss such as fire, theft or accident
  • Photographic evidence, if available, can be emailed to motorclaims@hastingsdirect.com

It’s vital that you let your insurer know about an incident within 48 hours, even if it’s not your fault. Failure to do this could result in a rejected claim later on.

Frequently asked questions


Please take reasonable care to answer all the questions honestly and to the best of your knowledge. If you don't answer the questions correctly, your policy may be cancelled, or your claim rejected or not fully paid. The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products we can track; we don't cover every product on the market...yet. Unless we've indicated otherwise, products are shown in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations), aren't product ratings, although we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it; this is subject to our terms of use. When making a big financial decision, it's wise to consider getting independent financial advice, and always consider your own financial circumstances when comparing products so you get what's right for you.
*51% of consumers could save £200. Quote aggregator Seopa split the insurers on its comparison systems into different categories. It then selected quotes from the most popular providers as well as quotes from other providers which returned a price. It then selected providers, weighting them according to UK insurance market share (data from the Association of British Insurers), choosing the cheapest of either the most popular providers or other providers ("the cheapest selected quote"). Seopa then compared the cheapest quote on its system against this "cheapest selected" quote. The company then took the savings figure which 51% or over could have saved, using that formula. The savings you could achieve will depend on your individual circumstances and how you selected your current insurance supplier.
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