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Direct Line is one of the UK’s largest and most reputable insurers. By number of employees, they rank number 6 in the UK, and credit rating agency Moody’s gives them a strong A1 financial strength rating, meaning they’re a great choice for anyone who wants a stable, financially capable insurance provider.
While reviews online are generally positive, with online review site Trustpilot giving them (as of writing) a 4.3-star rating through nearly 7,000 reviews, you may be wondering specifically how good their Landlord cover is. This guide will offer insight into landlord-specific customer feedback, as well as diving into the ins and outs of what Direct Line’s Landlord insurance can offer.
In This Review
- Direct Line Landlord Insurance: Overall Review
- How to Claim
- How to save on Direct Line Landlord insurance
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Direct Line Landlord Insurance Overall Review
Direct Line’s Landlord insurance product holds a 5-star Defaqto rating, meaning their independent analysts view it as one of the best products on the market. They also won the What Mortgage award for Best Landlord Insurance Provider, and have done so since 2013.
According to their website, they also have over 250,000 Landlord insurance customers, so potential buyers are joining an impressive set of existing policy holders, certainly among the largest within the UK.
From a reputational standpoint, Direct Line’s Landlord cover is one of the most impressive on the market, consistently ranking highly among industry experts and independent analysts. It isn’t all perfect, however, as they receive only 3.4-stars on Smart Money People for their Landlord insurance—worth taking with a pinch of salt, as the rating does only consist of 25 reviews.
It’s probably fair to say that to an outsider, Direct Line looks like a strong and stable insurer. Let’s take a look at the specifics of their product and see if this opinion holds up.
Positives of Direct Line’s Landlord insurance
There are quite a few Landlord insurance providers on the market, so what makes Direct Line’s product worth considering?
- Award winning product: Direct Line won the Which Mortgage Award for Best Landlord Insurance Provider in 2021.
- UK-based call centre: Great support if you need region-specific advice or help.
- Interest-free monthly payments: New customers are offered interest-free monthly payments, helping them save on often expensive insurance payments. This only applies during your first year with Direct Line
- Shopping direct: Avoid middleman/comparison site fees by going straight to Direct Line (you also won’t find Direct Line on many comparison sites).
- Easy sign-up process: We were able to receive a fully costed quote in less than 5 minutes.
Direct Line Landlord Insurance Reviews and Ratings
|Direct Line Customer Ratings|
|Trustpilot Rating||4.3 out of 5|
|Reevo||99% would buy from Direct Line again|
|What Mortgage "Best Landlord Insurance Provider"||Winner|
|Smart Money People||3.4 out of 5 (Landlord-specific)|
What do Direct Line do well?
We’ve read through hundreds of reviews from customers online to see what customers regularly praise Direct Line for. Customers often comment on Direct Line’s sign-up process, customer service (especially over the phone) and staff knowledge, both before and during claims processes.
Many reviewers are also grateful for Direct Line’s willingness to payout. As is the case with many insurers, this seems to depend on your specific claim, as some customers have a more negative experience when trying to make a claim (which we’ll cover below). From our analysis, assuming your claim is fair and you’ve collected the required evidence, you should be in good hands with Direct Line’s cover.
“Easy to understand policy which allowed me to amend details to suit me and was a very competitive price.”
“Just left court having got re-possession order for my property. Direct Line Landlord insurance covered it all and my rent guarantee kicked in without any quibbles. I could not have asked for a better service during what could have been a very very stressful experience..”
“Excellent customer service, getting quotes for landlord insurance and car insurance was extremely easy and excellent prices.”
“Making a claim can be every bit as traumatic as the incident itself. I need not have worried....The process was made easy for me and the repairs were carried out on time. Just as I was assured they would be!”
“Excellent service, very professional and look after you, would highly recommend”
Where could Direct Line improve?
As is the case with any insurance product, not everyone has a perfect experience, especially when it comes time to make a claim. While positive reviews significantly outweigh the negatives, comments consistently mention difficulty in getting hold of an operative over the phone, issues when it comes to making a claim and annual price increases when at renewal (which may soon be restricted by the FCA)
“Don't even consider their landlord insurance! When the time comes to claim they will wriggle and move the goalposts to avoid paying out.”
“I will not renew ANY Direct Line policy ... house, car or landlord. Avoid if you expect them to deliver despite the flashy TV ads”
“I had direct line landlord insurance for two flats. Direct line implied that they protected the landlord from almost all eventualities. This is a total fabrication of the reality.”
”I went through all the trauma of their phone system and waited 28 mins for someone to ask me all my details then transfer me again, so I waited a further 10 mins to get through then got someone who instantly put me on hold for 3 mins”
How much is Direct Line Landlord insurance?
We put together a quote for a post-2000 built 1 bedroom apartment in London—the type that might appeal to someone looking to invest in property-for-rent. The quote we received from Direct Line was 10%-15% more expensive than the cheapest on the market, but was also 15%-20% less expensive than the policies that would cost a potential landlord the most.
It’s worth noting that the policy also includes their Direct Line Landlord boiler cover (repair/replacement) and £2M of public liability cover as standard, so if cost is the key driver in your decision making process be sure to double check you have all of the protections you feel you’ll need.
What is/isn’t covered?
Direct Line’s Landlord protections are fairly market standard. Your basic policy will include a number of ‘core’ coverages that should help keep you and your tenants covered.
- Buildings Insurance (incl. boiler cover)
- New-for-old Contents (incl. replacement locks)
- Fixtures and Fittings (for flat owners)
- Public Liability (£2M limit)
- Floor Coverings (up to £5k)
- Alternative Accommodation (cover if tenants need to be rehoused due to an insured event, such as fire, flood, etc.)
Like any insurance policy, Direct Line’s Landlord cover has a number of useful optional extras you might want to consider. These usually aren’t included as standard, so you may have to pay more if you’d like the coverage.
- Landlord Emergency: If there’s a (covered) issue at the property, such as a boiler that needs repair, Direct Line will send out a contractor to sort it out
- Legal Expenses: Lawyer/compensation fees for repossession, squatters and tax protection
- Loss of Rent: If the property becomes uninhabitable due to an insured event (fire, flood, etc.)
- Theft by Tenant: If a tenant steals an insured item within the property
- Malicious Damage by Tenants: If a tenant intentionally damages an insured part of the property (flooring, surfaces, etc.)
What isn’t covered?
Again, many of Direct Line’s Landlord insurance exclusions are standard when compared with other policies, but they’re worth being aware of before signing on the dotted line.
- Damage to gates/fences caused by wind/storm (includes fallen satellites, trees, etc.)
- Boiler damage due to steam pressure
- Corrosion, wet/dry rot
- Damage due to changes in water table level
A number of more specific exclusions also apply if the property is vacant or disused. Be sure to discuss with Direct Line beforehand if this may apply to you.
How does Direct Line Landlord Insurance Compare to Competitors?
To better understand the value of Direct Line Landlord insurance you need to look at it in the context of other available options. We compared it to other plans in the market so you can see which may be more suitable for you.
Direct Line Landlord Insurance vs AXA Landlord Insurance
With 5-star Defaqto rated coverage and an ‘excellent’ customer experience rating of 4.3 out of 5, AXA is certainly a firm favourite amongst experts and consumers alike. And for good reason — this multiple-award winning provider goes the extra mile, offering a 24 hour glass-replacement service, inflation protection and free access to a 24 hour emergency helpline for emergencies and legal advice.
AXA appears to be a slightly more premium option; however, they do make up for this by offering an exceptional level of standard cover which includes accidental damage, loss of rental income and malicious damage by tenants — something that Direct Line does not. With a range of discounts for both new and existing customers, it is certainly worth considering spending that little bit extra.
Bottom line: AXA could be an ideal choice for landlords looking for a policy that covers (almost) all the bases, without the need to factor in extra costs incurred by adding on optional extras. Whilst it appears to be slightly pricier, AXA offers some of the most comprehensive standard landlord insurance cover on the market.
Direct Line Landlord Insurance vs Aviva Landlord Insurance
Aviva is one of the UK’s largest insurance providers and has been in the insurance business for more than 320 years, rivaling Direct Line in terms of reputation. Credit rating agency Moody considers it to be a reliable and capable insurer and its coverage is 4-star Defaqto rated compared to Direct Line’s perfect 5-stars.
However, Aviva offers a range of enticing benefits, such as online discounts, quick call out times, no-claims discount and a seamless claims process from an award-winning claims management team. Whilst our research showed Aviva to be more expensive than Direct Line for a sample landlord, Aviva offers buildings and contents insured for an unlimited sum (terms apply) with their standard cover rivaling Direct Line’s.
As standard, Aviva includes landlord liability of £5m (beating Direct Line’s £2m limit) as well as loss of rental income, something Direct Line only provides as an optional extra. Like Direct Line, Aviva also offers a range of similar add-ons which allows you to tailor your policy to suit you.
Bottom line: another great option for those looking for landlord insurance cover from a reputable insurer who offers a variety of discounts and incentives to boot.
Direct Line Landlord Insurance vs Alan Boswell Landlord Insurance
One of the most affordable insurers we sampled from, Alan Boswell certainly doesn’t lack in its cover. As standard, they cover many of the ‘essentials’ that Direct Line do, including buildings, contents, landlord liability and employer's liability.
What is more, they also include cover that Direct Line only offers as an optional extra including accidental damage and malicious damage by tenants! For landlords looking for legal expenses or home emergency cover this will come at an extra cost just like Direct Line, but unlike Direct Line Alan Boswell offers on_current="true" url="/business-insurance/rent-guarantee-vs-loss-of-rental-income-insurance" title=Loss of rental income vs Rent guarantee"rent guarantee[/link, meaning you can potentially get all your cover under one roof. With excellent expert and customer ratings across the board and a low price to boot… it’s certainly worth considering.
Bottom line: our research found Alan Boswell to be one of the best landlord insurance offers on the market, offering excellent coverage for a fraction of the cost of Direct Line. For landlords looking for a value offer that is trusted by experts and customers alike, Alan Boswell may be the landlord insurance provider for you.
Direct Line Claims Process
The Direct Line Landlord documents (policy summary) give the number you need to call to make a claim:
- Direct Line Landlord insurance phone number: 0304 303 1753
You'll need to contact Direct Line as soon as you’re aware of an issue, so an advisor can talk you through the next steps of the claims process and inform you of any additional information you might need to gather. Failing to do so could cause hassle down the line when it comes to getting your claim paid.
Many online comment on the general ease of Direct Line’s claims process. As with any insurance policy, make sure to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim. This might include photographs, details of the issues and times/dates at which the issues occurred.
How to save on Direct Line Landlord cover
Firstly, it’s worth noting that Direct Line do offer a 10% discount for any landlord looking to insure 15+ properties, so if you own a number of different locations this can be a great way to save (but be sure to compare it to other providers bulk discounts too).
You can also get 10% off of your DirectLine Landlord insurance if you already have an existing policy with them (home, life, pet, etc.), so it’s well worth considering if you’re already a Direct Line customer. Do remember that you’ll need to log-in to the Landlord insurance portal through your existing customer account—the discount won’t apply otherwise.
If you’re looking for Direct Line Landlord insurance promotional codes, they do pop up throughout the year. They’re usually advertised on the Direct Line website as a ‘special offer’, so keep your eyes out for when they do pop-up. You may find them on a few ‘discount code’ websites, but these quickly expire, so don’t be surprised if the code is rejected when you enter it.
If you’re looking to save, take advantage of their 0% interest pay monthly offer for new customers—you could save up to 20% (or more!) on annual interest payments when compared with other providers.
Direct Line promotional code Landlord insurance
- Insure 15 or more properties: Save 10%
- Existing home, car, life, pet, etc. customers: Save 10%
- New customers: Pay 0% APR on monthly payments for one year, saving up to 20% or more
Direct Line has won the What Mortgage Landlord insurance provider of the year award every year since 2013.
According to their website, there are over 250,000 UK landlords signed up to Direct Line’s Landlord insurance policies.
We received a quote for a standard policy for a one bedroom apartment in NW London of £107 for the year. Your quote may be higher or lower depending on the variables Direct Line uses to estimate the risk levels at the property, such as type of tenants (students, employees, retired etc.), the rebuild cost and age of the property and the value of the contents inside the property.
Direct Line policies are underwritten by UK Insurance Limited. They also underwrite policies for the likes of Churchill, Privilege and Green Flag.
You can, but you may be subject to early termination/administration charges when you do so. Refer to your policy documentation to see exactly how much you’ll be due back.
Direct Line’s Landlord insurance documents write: ”You may cancel the Policy by giving Us written notice. We will refund any Premium paid for the remaining Period of Insurance, less an administration fee for cancellation as shown in Your Schedule, as long as You have not made any claim in the current Period of Insurance“