Direct Line is a household name for consumer insurance, but is their business insurance any good? Customer ratings are mostly strong, but let's take an in-depth look at what real customers have to say, as well as checking out the types of cover on offer and the occupations they cater towards to help you decide if Direct Line is the best business insurance for you.
In This Review
Direct Line for Business Overall Review
With over half a million UK customers, Direct Line for Business can be a serious contender for many small business insurance needs. They have earned solid customer ratings from Reevoo (97% of customers would recommend) but are they right for you? Here's what you need to know, including data on which business insurance products they offer and what real customers have to say.
Note: we particularly like that Direct Line offers cyber insurance as cyberattacks are becoming a significant problem for businesses, and not all direct insurers offer this product.
In addition, they are one of only three direct insurers deemed to be a "qualifying insurer" to issue professional indemnity policies to chartered accountancy businesses (AXA and Hiscox being the other two).”
About Direct Line
In 2020, the Direct Line Group provided insurance to 14.615 million customers across motor, home, rescue, travel, pet and business insurance categories. Founded in 1989, Direct Line were the first UK insurer to offer policies over the phone, and is now one of the largest insurers in the UK.
In fact, the Direct Line Group insured 4,061,000 cars in 2020, which means the company insures 1 in every 8 cars you see on the road (there are 32,973,206 cars registered in the UK). Considering there are 5,824,500 small businesses in the UK and Direct Line for Business insured 811,000 small business last year, Direct Line for Business insures approximately 1 in 7 small businesses in the UK (14%).
|Number of Direct Line Group Customers||Number of Policies|
|Rescue, Travel and Pet||7,105,000|
|Direct Line for Business||811,000|
Types of cover available from Direct Line for Business
Direct Line is well placed to offer the insurance that most small businesses need; their offerings include the most common types of business insurance and you're able to pick and choose the ones you really need, and not pay for cover you don't. Here's what DIRECT LINE offers in terms of business insurance:
- Public liability insurance protects against claims made by third parties (e.g., customers or members of the public) that your business caused personal injury or property damage.
- Employers' liability insurance protects against claims made by your employees if they become ill or are injured due to their work for you. Direct Line offers £10 million protection for legal costs and compensation as standard.
- Professional indemnity insurance is used if a client claims they've suffered a financial loss due to professional advice or service deemed negligent.
- Legal expenses cover can provide access to and money to pay for professional legal support in case of contract disputes, debt collection and other tax and legal issues that can be a major headache for a small business.
- Contents and stock insurance protects your a business's computer and other necessary equipment, as well as furniture and stock—from raw materials to finished goods ready for sale, etc.
- Van insurance covers vans used for professional use, whether used to transport your own goods or if you run a courier business.
- Building insurance protects your building premises if you own the property (otherwise this is your landlord's responsibility).
- Business interruption insurance provides cover up to £25,000 for the cost of temporarily relocating and lost turnover if your working premises became unusable due to an insured event like a fire or flood.
- Business car insurance covers your personal car if you use it for business purposes like driving to multiple places of work or to visit clients (but not for paid delivery work like being a courier or food delivery driver).
- Cyber insurance can help with financial, reputation and systems recovery in event of cybercrime.
- Tools and equipment covers tools and equipment for tradespeople with a possible fast upfront payment of up to £1,500. Cover for tools left overnight in a vehicle is available, but subject to an extra premium.
- Contract works covers the cost of repairing or redoing work in progress that is damaged by an insured event like a fire, flood, vandalism or theft. Limits range from contract values of £750K (up to 5 workers) to £1M (up to 15 workers).
In addition, Direct Line offers other types of cover such as own or hired-in plant and personal accident.
5 reasons to buy business insurance from Direct Line
UK businesses have so many ways to buy business insurance these days—from comparison sites to brokers to direct insurers—you might be wondering if buying from Direct Line is the best and cheapest option for you. Here are a few perks of buying your business insurance directly from Direct Line:
- Avoid the middle man. Direct Line insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited. Direct Line is a brand name of U K Insurance Limited, so you're essentially buying from the company that also underwrites the policy.
- Popular company. Direct Line for Business already has over 500,000 policyholders in the UK.
- No admin fees to make changes. Pretty self explanatory, but it's nice to know that if you need to make an amendment like change of address that you won't be hit with an admin charge. (That said, keep in mind that your premium might change to reflect a change in risk profile if you make an amendment!)
- UK-based call centre. Open 7 days a week in case you need guidance or advice, or have questions.
- Award winning. Winner of the National Insurance Awards' "Commercial Lines Insurer of the Year" in 2020.
- Easy access to documents. Download your policy documents instantly (useful for showing proof of your cover to clients).
- Direct Line promo code business insurance. Get 10% off if you're new to business insurance but already a Direct Line customer.
- Price matching. Excluding van insurance, Direct Line will beat your business insurance quote or renewal premium from another insurer.
- Flexible limits of cover. Because different businesses need different levels of protection (e.g., public liability from £1M to £10M).
Direct Line for Business Customer Service Reviews and Ratings
|Direct Line for Business Ratings & Customer Reviews|
|Trustpilot customer service rating||1.4 out of 5|
|Defaqto||3 stars (office insurance)|
|5 stars (tradesman insurance)|
Is Direct Line for Business insurance any good? To find out, we've scoured through hundreds of online customer reviews to learn how customers rate their experience with Direct Line for Business insurance. Here's what we found:
Direct Line for Business Insurance at Reevoo
Direct Line for Business works with Reevoo to collect real reviews from customers, where nearly 1,000 customers have rated the service. Of note, 97% of respondents would recommend using Direct Line for Business. And of the half or so that made an enquiry to Direct Line for Business, 94% said their enquiry was handled effectively. Here is a sample of the praise that customers have for Direct Line for Business:
"I looked at comparison sites and then thought to have a quick look at your website and was impressed by the quote and what was included."
"The customer chat service was clear and speedy and gave me all the information I required."
"The operator who sold it to me was very good he explained everything in a way it was easy to understand."
Direct Line for Business Insurance Trustpilot
Direct Line insurance has earned just 1.4 stars out of 5 at Trustpilot with more than 9 out of 10 giving Direct Line a one-star "Bad" review. However, we must point out that this rating is based on only 37 reviews at the time of writing, so we do not think it is a statistically reliable rating. That said, it can still be useful to learn why a few dozen customers were so unhappy. Here is a sample of some of the negative reviews and complaints so you can decide for yourself if these experiences are relevant to you or not:
"I have had the unfortunate experience having to call upon the Landlords Emergency Cover and what a bunch of Cowboys that are handling it on behalf of Direct Line, suggest you keep well away from the cover..."
"We have been insured with direct line pub and club policy for around 10 years, we have never made a claim. They have increased our policy this year by 75%. They also do not pay out for business interuption due to covid! So after 10 years of paying, the first time we could make a claim we can't then they increase the policy by 75%."
"Have plumbing emergency cover, twice now when there has been a problem the plumber goes out, looks at it and doesn’t repair it. A leak has been going on for weeks with no end in sight. Also have been waiting three weeks for a response when requesting support for a Tenant in arrears, have now chased five times and spent hours on the phone. "
These comments and reviews are in contrast to the main Direct Line Trustpilot page, which boasts over 7,000 reviews and an average of 3.9 stars. We think that this discrepancy is due to complaining customers wanting to ensure their complaint is directed at the correct face of a multi-faceted business (comprising of multiple trustpilot pages including Directline, Direct Line Insurance Group PLC, Directline Insurance and Direct Line-Business), whereas happy customers will be satisfied leaving their reviews on the main 'general' page.
Regardless, the overall ratio of positive to negative reviews across all pages suggests to us that on the whole Direct Line customers are satisfied with the customer service level they receive.
How to Claim with Direct Line for Business
If disaster strikes and you need to submit a claim on your Direct Line for Business insurance, read these tips from Direct Line regarding how to limit damage and to contact Direct Line, here are the contact details for each type of business insurance product:
|Contact information for Direct Line for Business insurance claims|
|General (e.g., public liability and employers' liability)||0345 303 1753|
|Professional indemnity||0207 648 1122|
|Cyber||0345 303 1753|
|Legal expenses (open 24/7)||0345 246 0018|
|Rent guarantee (open 24/7)||0345 878 5024|
|Landlord emergency (open 24/7)||0800 197 1016|
|Car||0345 303 1714|
|Van||0345 301 2882|
Opening hours vary, although there is a 24-hour accident recovery helpful for van insurance: 0800 269 015.
What Professions does Direct Line Cover?
Direct Line will cover a wide range of trades, professional services and other occupations and businesses, including but not limited to:
- Bed & Breakfast
- Dog walkers and groomers
- Estate agents
- Hair & Beauty
- Home businesses
- Market traders
- And more
Insurer appetite changes regularly, so if you are looking for terms it is always worth contacting as many insurers as possible just in case they are able to quote.
Who is eligible for Direct Line for Business insurance?
Direct Line for Business insurance is open to a large array of business sizes, from sole traders and self-employed people up to small and medium-sized businesses. If you would like to get a quote from Direct Line their website lets you obtain quotes online.