Admiral Insurance Review 2020

Admiral Insurance Review 2020

Good features and affordable rates for most people are a few of the reasons that the Admiral group is the largest UK car insurer.

Good for

  • Competitive rates
  • 5 star Defaqto car and home insurance
  • Award-winning car and home cover

Bad for

  • Cancellation fees even during the cooling-off period
  • No courtesy car if yours is stolen or written off

Editor's Rating

4.0/5.0

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

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

To compare quotes or buy a policy, click the blue "Get Quotes" button below to head to comparison site QuoteZone to see how much you can save—their panel includes Admiral, Hastings, RAC, etc.

Cheap Car Insurance Quotes in Your Area

Comparison panel with over 100 UK insurance providers, including Admiral.

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ADMIRAL: A popular and highly-rated car and home insurer with competitive rates

Basted on Defaqto star ratings, Trustpilot customer ratings, Personal Finance awards and our own analysis, Admiral is among NimbleFins' Top Cheap Car Insurance Companies this year.

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 4.1 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 that 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 kind of features do you get with an Admiral car insurance policy? It depend on the level of cover you choose. At a minimum, all of their policies offer:

  • Cover to drive in Europe for up to 90 days
  • Driving other cars (subject to eligibility)
  • Named driver No Claims Bonus

If you bump up to TPFT or Comprehensive cover you'll also get:

  • Stereo Cover
  • 24hr Emergency Cover
  • Replacement Lock Cover (max £300)

In addition, Admiral's 5-star Defaqto 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.

Multicar 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=.

Chart comparing Admiral car insurance quotes

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, legal, home emergency 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 you can top up your cover.

High Value Items: If you have valuables worth over £1,000, 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 multipet discount.

Beyond insurance, Admiral also provides access to personal loans, home improvement loans and car finance.

Admiral Insurance Complaints and Customer Satisfaction

Admiral Trustpilot

Customers have rated Admiral insurance with 3.7 out of 5 stars according to Trustpilot. This rating reflects reviews left by over 6,000 customers and shows an "average" performance. Around 55% of customers haver reported an "Excellent" experience and 26% 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."

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."

"Someone drove in my drive way and crashed in my car, he left a note with his details, spoke to Admiral, got a replacement car from enterprise car rental (SUV for a SUV and not a hatchback). In 10 days car was repaired and returned. And got a certificate as well to confirm that my no claim bonus is not impacted. The whole process I did not have to chase them and they did everything."

Admiral Reviews.io

On Reviews.io, over 1,000 customers have rated Admiral with 2.91 out of 5 stars. Only 47% of customers recommend Admiral. 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."

Financial Health

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.

How Admiral's Features are Rated by Defaqto

Defaqto compares products based on features and benefits. Admiral comprehensive auto insurance earned 5 stars out of 5 by Defaqto for its features. Their Gold and Platinum home insurance are also rated 5 stars, whilst their basic Admiral level home insurance policy was rated with 3 out of 5 stars.

Admiral Defaqto Ratings
Admiral Car Insurance5 stars
Admiral LittleBox5 stars
Admiral LitteBox Plug & Drive5 stars
Admiral MultiCar5 stars
Admiral Gold Home Insurance Cover5 stars
Admiral Platinum Home Insurance Cover5 stars
Admiral Home Insurance Cover3 stars

FAQs

You can't cancel your Admiral car insurance online—you'll need to call 0333 222 6715 in the case of a renewal that you don't want. The customer service number for Admiral car insurance is 0333 220 2000, to cancel a policy midterm or before it starts.
If you make a change (e.g., change of address or job) over the phone you'll be charged £25; making this change through the customer portal will cost less—£9.50.
Breakdown cover is not included on car insurance policies but can be added for around £44.95.
If you are 25 or over and qualify, you may be able to drive someone else's car on your Admiral insurance. Check your Certificate of Motor Insurance to see whether the cover is listed; if so it is third party only.
In most cases Admiral car insurance will automatically renew so that drivers aren't on the road illegally without cover. If you don't want yours to renew you'll need to call the renewals line at 0333 222 6715. Do this before the new period of insurance starts to avoid paying any cancellation charges.
Yes, Diamond is part of Admiral. Technically, Diamond is a trading name of EUI Limited, which is an Admiral Group plc company.
No, Admiral does not insure motorbikes. For quick motorcycle insurance quotes go to comparison site —click the blue "QuoteZone.
Admiral Insurance customer service and renewal lines are open Mon to Fri: 09:00 - 18:00, Sat: 10:00 - 16:00 andSun: 10:00 - 16:00.
Admiral has partnered with Veygo for short term car insurance for car sharing.
Yes—Admiral car insurance comes with up to 90 days of European cover as standard. Those wishing to extend this can call customer service and they may be able to accommodate you for an extra premium.
Windscreen cover is included as standard on Admiral comprehensive policies. Windscreen cover can be added as an optional extra onto other types of policies.
Mobile phones may be covered if you have Personal Possessions cover (which covers valuables away from the home). However, even if you have this cover your mobile won't be covered in the case of liquid damage.
To cancel an Admiral car insurance renewal you'll need to call the renewals line at 0333 222 6715; lines are open Mon to Fri: 09:00 - 18:00, Sat: 10:00 - 16:00 andSun: 10:00 - 16:00.
Admiral car and home insurance has won numerous personal finance awards, has many 5-star Defaqto products and proves to be very popular amongst UK consumers.
Admiral buildings and contents insurance are underwritten by Admiral Insurance (Gibraltar) Limited. Admiral car insurance may be underwritten by Admiral Insurance (Gibraltar) Limited, or AmTrust Europe Limited, RAC Motoring Services or RAC Insurance Limited. See your policy documents to know for sure.

Documents

More information about Admiral car and home insurance policies can be found by reading their policy documents.

Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the CEO, Co-founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team.

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