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 car insurance from Direct Line would cover this, and what else is included.
You say: ★★★★★We say: ★★★★★
In a nutshell:
Direct Line 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 top rated car insurer.
What's in this review?
- Who is Direct Line?
- Who underwrites the car insurance from Direct Line?
- Compare Direct Line car insurance policies
- What are Direct Line's cover options?
- Optional extras
- What types of car insurance are available?
- What is my excess?
- How do I make a claim?
- Compare Direct Line against other car insurance providers
- Direct Line car insurance customer reviews
- Pros and cons for Direct Line car insurance
- Frequently asked questions
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.
Who underwrites the car 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.
Compare Direct Line car insurance policies
What are Direct Line’s cover options?
|Product Name||Direct Line Third Party Fire and Theft||Direct Line Comprehensive|
|Damage to your car||✓|
|Damaged windscreen and window glass||✓|
|Fire and theft||✓||✓|
|Personal accident and road rage||✓|
|Liabilities to third parties||✓||✓|
|Using the car abroad||✓|
|Hotel and alternative travel costs||✓|
|No claims discount||✓||✓|
|No claims discount protection||✓ if eligible||✓ if eligible|
|Permanently fitted audio equipment||✓||✓|
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.
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.
If you have more than one car in your household, you might be able to get a discount on your premiums through the Direct Line multi-car insurance cover.
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.
Compare Direct Line against other car insurance providers
Direct Line car insurance customer reviews
Direct Line came third in the car insurance category in our 2020 customer satisfaction awards, with 4.5 out of 5 stars and 75% of customers saying they would recommend the service.
Here is some of the feedback we got from Direct Line car insurance customers:
“Very good service at an extremely reasonable price. My insurance cost has actually dropped over the last 2 years I have been with them.”
“They are very easy to deal with and customer service has always been hassle free.”
“I had a burglary at home – my car keys were stolen, along with my car. Car was found next day, no damage to it but they kept it for over 4 weeks, and took my 19 years no claims, and premium went up by £200.”
“Good expertise knowledge and able to satisfy my insurance needs. Easy and pleasant to do business with.”
Online reviews for Direct Line car insurance:
Feedback for Direct Line is mixed across a number of review platforms (updated May 2020):
4.2 out of 5
2.2 out of 5
Customers love the helpful and efficient service, but there are several complaints about the company putting up their premium prices.
Pros and cons for Direct Line car insurance
- No claims bonus protected for a range of no-fault claims (comprehensive cover only)
- No charge for mid-term amendments
- Exclusive deals for existing customers
- No 24/7 claims line (out of hours emergency line available)
Direct line has a range of cover options and their comprehensive policy offers a lot of very valuable features.
As Direct Line is one of the top insurers in the country, and with their absence from comparison sites, they are not always the cheapest option. That said, simply opting for the cheapest cover is not always a good idea, so it’s worth getting a quote and considering value for money.
Frequently asked questions
Liz Edwards has been a consumer writer and editor for more than 20 years, spending most of this time at the testing and rating publisher Which?. She's covered everything from coffee machines to car insurance and has appeared frequently in national media. Liz loves to cut through waffle to give consumers the info they really need to make a good decision. Like all journalists, she loves nothing more than a great pun.
Direct Line are one of the biggest car insurers in the country and have a wide range of policies to choose from with numerous optional extras.
They cater for young drivers with their black box insurance policy and offer multi-car discount up to a maximum of ten cars per household.
Direct Line have also chosen not to appear on any comparison websites meaning they might not always be the cheapest option. That said, choosing the cheapest option isn’t necessarily the best option as there are lots of important policy features you need to consider.
They also scored very well in our customer satisfaction score but some customers did express their concern about not having access to a 24/7 claims line.