Wondering which car insurance companies dominate the UK market? We have the answers. While over a hundred companies sell car insurance in the UK, the 10 largest car insurers account for around 85% of the UK car insurance market. If you’re considering buying from one of the top ten companies, check out our list to see who made the cut and read what’s so special about each.
The largest 10 best car insurance companies in the uk
Many of the leading cheap car insurance companies in the UK market are household names and have mascots or jingles you’ll recognize in their TV adverts. However, each company offers its customers quite different bonuses, features, and experiences. Here’s what you need to know about these companies before deciding which one is right for you.
1. Admiral Group
Admiral Group is the UK’s largest car insurance company with over 15% of the car insurance market and underwrites policies through its brand’s Admiral, Bell, Diamond, elephant.co.uk, and Gladiator. Technically speaking, Admiral is the trading name of EUI Limited.
In 2020, Admiral grew its motor business at a decent pace, shown by a 9% increase in customers, which helped make it the most popular car insurance company in the UK.
One of Admiral’s stated corporate goals is to increase customer retention, which is good to know if your policy is ready for renewal. The Admiral also carries auto insurance for Ford brand auto insurance.
AXA is the second-largest car insurance company in the UK, an international company that underwrote more than 99.8 billion euros in premiums last year. AXA sells policies under its own brand and also underwrites policies for other brands such as mypolicy.co.uk and By Miles (pay per mile cover). So if you’ve purchased auto insurance from a brand that doesn’t write its own policies, your coverage may ultimately fall to AXA.
3. Direct Line Group
Direct Line Group sells Direct Line car insurance directly to customers, but is also strong in the PCW space, with its Churchill, Darwin, and Privilege car insurance brands. In fact, while 67% of its sales were direct to customers through the Direct Line brand in 2020, 30.2% of premiums were sold through the PCW channel in 2020. The company continues to focus on technology with the launch of the new insurance platform engine. And the group has strengthened its presence on price comparison sites with the launch of the Darwin branch.
While gross written premiums decreased by 2.1% in 2020, the number of auto insurance policies in force increased by 0.4% to 4.1 million.
Direct Line is also associated with Volkswagen, offering annual insurance policies and free 5-day driving cover for customers buying new and used cars from Volkswagen, SEAT, Audi, and ŠKODA dealerships through UK Insurance Group (part of the Direct Line group).
Direct Line offers unique offers, such as protecting your no-fault rebate on no-fault claims. Although Direct Line also writes home insurance, auto insurance is its primary line of business, accounting for 50% of its gross written premiums.
Although Aviva’s overall auto insurance business lacks scale, it is trying to target multi-coverage policies and expand into the price comparison website (PCW) market. Depending on where you live, you may see Quotemehappy.com branded with some of the cheapest rates offered at PCW. They also sell through their General Accident brand, making Aviva the fourth largest underwriter in the UK motor insurance market. And in 2020, the Aviva brand was also launched on price comparison websites in the UK.
Aviva has been named General Insurer of the Year at the British Insurance Awards 2020. Satisfaction with customer service is high, with over 50% of direct personal customers having more than one non-life insurance product with Aviva . Aviva has invested heavily in digital and claims management, enabling UK car customers to start and complete their claims online with no point of contact with subscribers. Customers seem satisfied with online claims handling, as 80% of them now book their car repairs online.
In the UK, Aviva insured 2.5 million car customers and settled 99.4% of car insurance claims in 2019. Aviva has one of the highest Trustpilot customer ratings among the top 10 companies .
Liverpool Victoria is another well-known car insurer, sold as LV=. LV= sources are available directly, through comparison sites or brokers. The recent growth of the LV= brand is due to high renewal rates from existing customers and new sales following the launch of its multi-car offer, where 10% of new customers saved 25% (April to June of 2019). Customer satisfaction is a top priority for the company, which explains its high customer review rating on Trustpilot. LV is behind car insurance for Volvo, Dacia, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Land Rover, Masda, MG, Mitsubishi, Renault and Suzuki brands through Clear Car Insurance (LV=Broker), which is underwritten by Highway Insurance Company (part of Liverpool Victoria group).
Note: At the end of 2019, Allianz completed the acquisition of LV General Insurance Group (LV GIG). LV = Motor insurance policies are still underwritten by Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Ltd, but are now ultimately owned by Allianz.
6. Hastings Direct
Hastings Direct is a very popular auto insurance company that sells direct and through price comparison websites (PCWs). In fact, 73% of Hastings premiums written for new auto insurance customers were sold on the PCW market in 2018. And PCWs are the only way to buy the cheapest of their products, Hastings auto insurance. Essential. They also offer two premium levels of coverage (Direct and Premium), which can be purchased through comparison sites or directly from their website. In addition, they have YouDrive (a black box plan) and Multi Car coverage (offering discounts for households with 2-4 cars) and some additional brands (insurePink and People’s Choice).
Hastings Direct continues to invest in digital capabilities, which means it’s easier for customers to shop online and manage their accounts through a customer portal and app (highly rated 4.6 stars on the App Store). from Apple).
We also like that Hastings Direct prides itself on offering simple, straightforward insurance. This shows in their policy documents, which are easier to understand than some competitors.
Note that Hastings Essential auto insurance, while the cheapest of their plans, only has a 2-star rating from Defaqto for fewer features; for example, windshield coverage is not included and cannot be added, but breakdown and legal fees can be added for an additional charge. (approximately £20 and £35, respectively). Those with a slightly bigger budget and who want more features should consider their Direct and Premier policies, which aren’t as cheap but have lower deductibles and better coverage.
Ageas is another well-known car insurer that you will also see on comparison sites. They focus on integrating AI into the claims process and report that auto policy approval requests have been reduced from 2-3 hours to 2-3 minutes and are available 24/7 out of 7, which has a positive impact on customer satisfaction levels. Perhaps as a result, Ageas has one of the highest Trustpilot ratings in the group and now insures 3.9 million personal car customers in the UK.
Like Aviva, Ageas paid over 99% of claims last year. Policies can be purchased through brokers, tied partners and direct distribution, including PCWs. While Ageas used to partner with Tesco to underwrite their motor legal protection cover, they handed over the business to Tesco in May 2021. Ageas also manages policies for Age Co (formerly Age UK).
8. Esure Group
The esure group is a leading auto and home insurance company, selling its products through its Sheilas’ Wheels and esure brands. To manage claims, esure employs over 700 specialists in its claims centers in the UK; they also operate a network of engine repair shops that handle over 90% of accidental damage claims.
Royal & Sun Alliance sells auto insurance through its More Th>n brand. In 2020 they sold nearly £500m worth of car policies, which puts them ninth on the list of the biggest car insurance companies, although they write even more in terms of car policies. Home Insurance. RSA is another company that writes policies for a significant number of brands other than its own. For example, RSA writes policies for Clydesdale Bank, Ingenie and others.
10. NFU Mutual
Aimed at drivers in rural parts of the country, NFU Mutual is quite a different offering from other entries on the list of the UK’s largest car insurance companies: they are owned by policyholders, not shareholders, and they do not offer online quotes, but rather have over 300 offices across the country, a network of over 650 agents and a call center in the UK to handle quotes, questions and complaints.
NFU Mutual is known for its excellent customer service, as evidenced by low complaint rates with the Financial Ombudsman Service. We note that NFU Mutual has a low rating on Trustpilot, but we have concerns about the reliability of this statistic due to the relatively small number of reviewers. Returning customers can get a rebate funded by NFU Mutual profits; members currently receive a discount of 11.5% to 16.5%, depending on the length of their membership.
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FAQ: Best Car Insurance Companies The UK
What questions do car insurance companies ask UK?
- How long is my quote valid for?
- How long will my policy last?
- How much can I save by comparing?
- How many providers do you compare?
- Why do I need to give you my phone number?
- Why do you need to know my address?
- Why do you need to know if I smoke?
- I’m being told I’ve answered a question incorrectly?
- What kinds of cover are available?
- Why is my policy so expensive?
- What are premiums and excess?
- I crashed my car, what should I do?
- Why did my policy get more expensive when I moved house?
- Why is my policy getting more expensive?
- Why is insurance more expensive for younger drivers?
- Does my choice of car affect the cost of my policy?
- Why is my insurance more expensive if I’m unemployed?
- Is insurance cheaper for women than for men?
- Can I protect my no claims discount?
- Will I be penalised if I cancel my insurance policy early?
- Can I keep my no claims discount if I change provider?
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