The Admiral Group is the largest car insurance company in the UK. Are they a good option for you? If you’re looking for an affordable car insurance policy offering good value for money then Admiral might be right for you. Read our review learn about their most common customer complaints and see how prices compare.
In This Review
- Admiral Insurance: Overall Review
- Admiral car insurance
- Admiral home insurance
- Admiral customer complaints, reviews and ratings
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ADMIRAL: A popular and highly-rated car and home insurer with competitive rates
Based on Trustpilot customer ratings, Personal Finance awards and our own analysis, Admiral is among NimbleFins' Top Cheap Car Insurance Companies this year. In fact, Admiral won "Best Motor Insurance" award 9 years in a row in the Personal Finance Awards, from 2013 to 2022!
How did they do this? Admiral usually provides low to average rates and fairly good customer service. Generally speaking, the features, discounts and service it offers are comparable to other big UK insurers. However, Admiral stands out for offering online tools to help customers manage their accounts.
The Admiral mobile app has many features and is generally rated well by customers (e.g., earning 4.6 stars out of 5 at the App Store). Using the app, policyholders can view and print their policy documents, request changes (e.g., change of address), make queries and access the Emergency Assistance feature to get help in the event of an accident.
If you insure both your car and home under one MultiCover policy, you can get a discount on your premium. Admiral doesn't say how much you can save with a MultiCover policy, however. One perk of Admiral's multi policies is that each driver builds up their own No Claims Bonus (NCB). So a claim will only affect the NCB of the car involved in the claim and the NCB of any other cars on the policy won’t be affected.
One drawback of Admiral is that customers sometimes don't like the impersonal nature of working with such a big company. If you prefer to work in-person or to have your own insurance broker to call, another insurance company may be a better fit.
Admiral Car Insurance
Admiral doesn't underwrite all of their car insurance, which means your policy may be written by Admiral (i.e., Admiral Insurance (Gibraltar) Limited) or RAC or Amtrust. Regardless of the underwriter, like most major insurers Admiral offers the three main levels of car insurance cover available in the UK:
Third party (TPO): The most basic level of cover required by law, covers damage to another car or its inhabitants if you're involved in an accident, but you can't claim for damage to your own car.
Third party, fire and theft (TPFT): Provides third party cover, plus cover for damage to or loss of your car by fire or theft.
Fully comprehensive: The highest level of cover, fully comp includes TPFT and covers the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle if it’s in an accident or vandalised.
What other features do you get with a Comprehensive Admiral car insurance policy? Below you'll see a table that breaks down what features you will be covered for:
Admiral delivers on most 'must have' features according to Money Advice Service. This is excluding sufficient cover for belongings. The lack of cover for this feature could be a deal breaker for some.
The next feature they don't include full cover on as standard is the courtesy car feature. Admiral will provide you with a courtesy car if your vehicle is being repaired by an approved repairer. However, if your vehicle was stolen or totaled you will not be provided with a courtesy car—unless you buy the Hire Vehicle add on.
This aside, Admiral provides good coverage for most features—including most of the 'could have' features. We'd like to highlight their EU cover as particularly good, as it does not require an additional premium.
Take a look at the table below for more information:
|How Good is Admiral Comprehensive Car Insurance?||A Good Policy Includes||Does Admiral Deliver?||Admiral Comprehensive Coverage||Does Admiral Gold Deliver?||Admiral Gold Comprehensive Coverage||Does Admiral Platinum Deliver?||Admiral Platinum Comprehensive Coverage|
|"Must Have" Features|
|Windscreen||Full repair or replacement||Included||Included||Included|
|Belongings||£200+||up to £150||up to £300||up to £300|
|Keys||£300+||Up to £300 for loss or theft||Up to £300 for loss or theft||Up to £300 for loss or theft|
|Protected NCD||2 times in 3 years (standard or optional extra)||If you buy the add on||If you buy the add on||If you buy the add on|
|Car recovery after accident||Included||Included||Included||Included|
|Courtesy car (repairs)||Minimum 14 days||Included if you use approved repairer||Included if you use approved repairer||Included if you use approved repairer|
|Repairs guaranteed (if use approved repairer)||12-month guarantee||Repairs guaranteed for as long as you own the vehicle (parts guaranteed under manufacturer's warranty)||Repairs guaranteed for as long as you own the vehicle (parts guaranteed under manufacturer's warranty)||Repairs guaranteed for as long as you own the vehicle (parts guaranteed under manufacturer's warranty)|
|"Should Have" Features|
|New car replacement||Theft or damage at least 60% of list price; cars up to 12 months old; first owner||Included for cars less than 12 months old and is stolen or if cost of repair is more than 59% of the current UK list price (including VAT).||Included for cars less than 12 months old and is stolen or if cost of repair is more than 59% of the current UK list price (including VAT).||Included for cars less than 12 months old and is stolen or if cost of repair is more than 59% of the current UK list price (including VAT).|
|Stereo and satellite nav||Market value for manufacturer fitted||Manufacturer equipment is covered in full; aftermarket equipment covered up to £1,250 (max market value of your vehicle)||Manufacturer equipment is covered in full; aftermarket equipment covered up to £1,250 (max market value of your vehicle)||Manufacturer equipment is covered in full; aftermarket equipment covered up to £1,250 (max market value of your vehicle)|
|Alternative transport & Hotel after accident||£250+||Not included||Up to £50 per person, up to a maximum of £150, to travel home or to your original destination; or if more than 25 miles away from home, up to £200 for overnight accommodation||Up to £50 per person, up to a maximum of £150, to travel home or to your original destination; or if more than 25 miles away from home, up to £200 for overnight accommodation|
|24-hour emergency helpline||Standard||24 hour claims lines||24 hour claims lines||24 hour claims lines|
|Courtesy car (total loss or theft)||Standard or add-on extra||If you buy the add on||If you buy the add on||If you buy the add on|
|Motor legal expenses||Standard or add-on extra||If you buy the add on||Included||Included|
|Breakdown cover||Standard or add-on extra||If you buy the add on||If you buy the add on||Included|
|"Could Have" Features|
|Same cover in EU||Standard or add-on extra||Up to 90 days (can buy extension for longer stays)||Up to 90 days (can buy extension for longer stays)||Up to 90 days (can buy extension for longer stays)|
|Child car seat replacement after accident, theft, fire||Ideally replaced even if no visible damage||Included||Included||Included|
|Larger/premium courtesy car||Standard or add-on extra||If you buy the add on, for write off or theft||If you buy the add on, for write off or theft||If you buy the add on, for write off or theft|
|Uninsured driver NCD protection||Standard||Included||Included||Included|
|Cancellation fee||No more than £50||£25 cancellation fee during cooling off period if cover has not started; otherwise £55||£25 cancellation fee during cooling off period if cover has not started; otherwise £55||£25 cancellation fee during cooling off period if cover has not started; otherwise £55|
In addition, Admiral's fully Comprehensive policies also include:
- £5,000 Personal Injury Cover
- Child Car Seat Cover
- Windscreen Cover
- Courtesy Car (when yours is in for damage repairs as part of a claim)
- New Car Replacement for cars less than a year old
Optional extras that can be added onto eligible policies include:
- Breakdown Cover
- Personal Injury
- Hire Vehicle Cover (if yours is written off or stolen)
- Motor Legal Protection
- Keycare Cover
In addition to mainstream car insurance policies, Admiral also covers vans, electric cars, classic cars, learner drivers, gap cover and car sharing.
Admiral car insurance discounts
The discounts that Admiral offers are pretty standard across the motor insurance industry in the UK, with most related to safe driving habits and payments. In addition, some drivers will save money with Admiral depending on where they live and their age.
Multi Car discount: Admiral reported that 10% of customers who shared their best quote saved £255 with an Admiral MultiCar policy.
Pay annually: By paying upfront, you can save on your car insurance premiums. The APR you'd pay for a car finance loan through Admiral Financial Services, and therefore the amount you can save paying all at once depends on details of your application and will vary from person to person.
Driving history discounts: If you've been accident-free you might be able to save on your car insurance with Admiral. For example, in 2019 the average discount ranged from 3% with one year of no claims to 14% with two years of NCD up to 26% at five years and 35% at nine years or more.
Where you live: Those living in "lower-risk" areas can save 50% or more on their car insurance compared to "higher risk" areas. Risk is assessed based on a company's experience of claims related to theft and accidents in a local area, which is used to determine premiums.
Age: Driver age is one of the most significant factors in determining the cost of car insurance. Those in their 50s are likely to pay the least for car insurance with Admiral and other companies.
Admiral car insurance quotes
In our quote comparison test, Admiral car insurance rates were good compared to its competitors. We tested 50 UK postcodes and found that for drivers with a good record, Admiral rates were 14% below average compared to Hastings Essential, More Than, esure and LV=.
Does Admiral do delivery driver insurance?
Admiral does not cover delivery driving, but policyholders can engage in paid delivery work IF they buy suitable top-up hire & reward cover and get approval from Admiral to do so. Read more about that in our article Does Admiral do delivery insurance?
How does Admiral compare to the competition?
Read how Admiral car insurance policies compare to other large insurance companies in our car insurance comparison pieces:
Admiral Home Insurance
Admiral buildings and contents home insurance is underwritten by Admiral Insurance (Gibraltar) Limited. However, add-on coverages may be underwritten by other companies—for example their family legal protection is underwritten by AmTrust Europe Limited.
Admiral offers three levels of home buildings and contents cover. They vary in overall coverage limits as well as extra coverages like legal and home emergency. The Admiral Platinum plan is their highest level of cover and includes extra coverages that would cost around £120 to buy separately.
ADMIRAL home insurance: The most basic level of cover with up to £50,000 for Contents and an unlimited amount for buildings. While accidental damage, bikes, host insurance, family legal, home insurance and personal possessions are not included they can be purchased separately.
ADMIRAL GOLD home insurance: Their mid-tier plan includes up to £75,000 for contents and an unlimited amount for buildings, plus Boiler Emergency Cover and up to £5,000 Trace and Access Cover for detecting and repairing the source of a water leak.
ADMIRAL PLATINUM home insurance: The highest level of cover, Platinum policies include up to £150,000 for Contents and an unlimited amount for buildings. Additionally, accidental damage, legal, home emergency and personal possessions away from the home up to £2,000 are all included as standard.
For more information, read our in-depth review of Admiral home insurance.
Home Insurance Optional Extras
Optional extras, most of which are included in Admiral Platinum plans, include the following:
Family Legal: This covers a wide range of legal fees that could affect your family such as property or employment disputes, personal injury and personal identity theft.
Home Emergency: A 24-hour helpline and access to a tradesperson to help in the event of unexpected events like broken boilers, burst pipes or leaking radiators.
Accidental Damage: This cover protects against accidents like a smashed window or wine spilled on the carpet.
Personal Possessions: To protect you against loss or damage of belongings you carry with you when you're outside the home (e.g., clothing, jewellery, sporting equipment and handbags) you can add personal possessions cover, which protects items worth up to £1,000 each, up to a maximum amount between £2,000 and £20,000.
Bicycle Cover: Bicycles up to £350 are already covered at home on all Admiral contents cover, but if your pedal cycle is worth over £350 (£5,500 per bike, £11,000 overall) you can top up your cover.
High Value Items: If you have valuables worth over £1,000 (maximum £11,000), you can pay an extra premium to cover these items.
Host Insurance: Traditional home insurance may not cover renting your home on sites like Airbnb, but host insurance can be added to help protect you against damage by a paying guest.
Additional Admiral Coverages
If you have insurance needs beyond motor and home, Admiral might very well offer the cover you need—Admiral stand-alone insurance policies include travel and pet insurance.
Admiral travel insurance
Admiral travel insurance is one of the best, cheap travel insurance providers in the UK. Affordable quotes and good features make it a top brand to consider, and extra coverages like winter sports, cruise, golf and gadget cover are available. However, those with pre-existing conditions might want to consider a specialist travel insurance provider instead.
Admiral pet insurance
Admiral offers three types of pet insurance: 12 Month, Max Benefit and Lifetime. The Lifetime policy is their best pet insurance offering, with up to £10,000 of cover for vet fees that tops up each year when you renew. Admiral pay claims within 5 days on average, and 96% of claims are paid. Admiral stands out for providing updates when a claim is received, assessed and settled via SMS notification. Admiral pet insurance is arranged and administered by the Insurance Factory and underwritten by Zenith insurance plc. People with more than one pet can save 5% with an Admiral multi pet discount.
Beyond insurance, Admiral also provides access to personal loans, home improvement loans and car finance.
Admiral Insurance Complaints and Customer Satisfaction
Customers have rated Admiral insurance with 3.6 out of 5 stars according to Trustpilot, which is an improvement from last year. This rating reflects reviews left by over 13,000 customers and shows an "average" performance. More than half of customers have reported an "Excellent" experience and 29% a "bad" experience. Most complaints seem to relate to renewal premiums going up or long telephone wait times to reach customer service (e.g., to cancel an automatic renewal).
Here are a few customer reviews of Admiral car insurance from Trustpilot to give you an idea of challenges faced by existing policyholders:
"They tried to renew my policy without asking me and I realised this when I check my bank account statements."
"Never go for a multi-cover insurance policy with this company. It is excessively complicated, not cost-effective and the rigmarole involved... is unbelievable."
"I’ve paid for breakdown insurance for years and when I actually broke down I was too close to my home for it to count and now I have to pay £100."
According to Admiral, they'll automatically renew your car insurance so you don't end up driving uninsured because car insurance is a legal requirement. Some customers find this annoying, especially if the renewal comes through at a less competitive price, but you'll need to call in to their renewals department if you do not want to renew. Be sure to do this before the new period of insurance starts so that you don't pay any cancellation charges.
Some customers are quite happy with the level of service from Admiral:
"We ended up with very competitive quotes which has saved us money. The rep was very knowledgeable and helpful. Couldn't have been better.""No cons, just real advice and brilliant customer service."
“I bought Admiral Travel Insurance for myself and my daughter, and unfortunately I had to use it for myself. Admiral Travel Insurance (Sally, Tom & Team) were fantastic, phoned me most days to see how my recovery was, arranged flights and taxi's home. Once my car & home Insurance are up i will certainly be looking at Admiral to move too.”
"My son's car was written off by a driver on drugs and Admiral were brilliant at sorting out towing the car away and storing it then gave a very fair price which he accepted and got money the next day all within two weeks of the accident. Brilliant service"
On Reviews.io, over 1,300 customers have rated Admiral with 2.8 out of 5 stars. Only 46% of customers recommend Admiral here. Common complaints were price increases at renewal and frustration that cancellations can't be handled through the online customer portal and that change fees still apply to amendments made through the portal.
"Site very easy to use and navigate. Excellent value on insurance compared to other providers. Very pleased."
"... your online quote was 300£ cheaper than your renewal price..."
"I used the online portal... to change policy details however the online portal was not working properly...""Fair prices for good cover. Very helpful staff that answered all my questions."
"Fantastic professional & courteous customer service. Very quick dealing with my claim. Dealt with my problems & stresses with compassion"
"... their online service doesn't let you change anything so you have to pay the... admin fees for a simple change of details."
It's important to consider the financial strength of an insurance company to understand their ability to pay out on valid claims. Fitch Ratings recently confirmed the A long-term issuer default rating of Admiral Group PLC and the A+ insurer financial strength ratings of Admiral Insurance (Gibraltar) Ltd. and Admiral Insurance Co. Ltd. Fitch noted the stable outlook, very strong earnings and financial performance, strong capitalization and reserves, and leading position in the UK motor insurance market.
More information about Admiral car and home insurance policies can be found by reading their policy documents.