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Wondering if Churchill car insurance is a good choice? Read our review to find out if Churchill is missing any important features and learn how existing policyholders review their customer service.
In This Review
- Churchill Car Insurance: Overall Review
- Customer Reviews and Ratings
- Cost Comparison
- Phone numbers and policy documents
Churchill Car Insurance Overall Review
Churchill is a very popular car insurance brand, easily recognisable for its cute English Bulldog mascot. As a brand of Direct Line Group, the third largest car insurance company in the UK behind Admiral and AXA, Churchill car insurance sports thousands of top-notch customer ratings and top-notch features—but customer reviews highlight some common customer complaints that you should check out before you buy.
Churchill comprehensive cover generally offers a solid set of cover features, and they've worked to improve the few shortfalls they previously had. For example, it used to be that Churchill comprehensive policies covered stolen keys but not lost keys. Now they cover both!
And Churchill offers a few features not available elsewhere, such as extended hire car cover. Basic courtesy car cover (in the industry and with Churchill) only provides for a small car if yours is off being repaired after an insured incident, and only then if your car is being repaired by one of their "approved repairers". Their extended hire car cover is called "Guaranteed Hire Car" and this can be added onto Comprehensive policies and is included in Comprehensive Plus policies. This lets you get a larger car (if that's what you normally drive) and you not only get the car when yours is in the repair shop to fix covered damage, but also if your car is stolen or written off.
Also, even their regular courtesy car cover is for the duration of repairs if you use their approved repairer, unlike some other companies that limit this to, say, 14 days.
Churchill used to have just one tier of cover, but then they brought out two tiers of comprehensive cover—then added a third. They're called "Essentials", "Comprehensive" and "Comprehensive Plus". We read through the fine print of the Policy Wording and the main differences between "Comprehensive" and "Comprehensive Plus" are coverage limits for entertainment loss or theft (e.g. audio, sat nav, etc.), personal belongings, personal accident, medical expenses and hotel expenses; in addition, the Plus plan includes as standard motor legal and Guarantee Hire Car Plus (a larger courtesy car and a courtesy car in case of theft or a car being written off).
Churchill "Essentials" car insurance is quite basic in comparison, providing fewer features in exchange for a cheaper premium. For example, there's no cover for keys, personal belongings, entertainment cover fitted after manufacture or hotel costs after an accident if your car can't be driven; and no new car replacement. But, for those sensitive to the cost of their car insurance premium, Essentials might be quite attractive as it still offers the legally-required third party liability cover, cover for your own vehicle in case of accident, a courtesy car, windscreen cover, and more—for a cheaper price.
Here is a summary of policies bought directly to check out what's covered by their Essentials, Comprehensive and Comprehensive PLUS car insurance. Here's what we found:
|How Good is Churchill Comprehensive Car Insurance?||Does Churchill Essentials Deliver?||Churchill Essentials Coverage||Does Churchill Deliver?||Churchill Comprehensive Coverage||Does Churchill Comprehensive PLUS Deliver?||Churchill Comprehensive PLUS Coverage|
|"Must Have" Features|
|Belongings||n/a||Up to £250||Up to £500|
|Keys||n/a||Up to £1,000 for theft or loss||Up to £1,000 for theft or loss|
|Protected NCD||If you buy the add on and have at least 4 years NCD||If you buy the add on and have at least 4 years NCD||If you buy the add on and have at least 4 years NCD|
|Car recovery after accident||Included||Included||Included|
|Courtesy car (repaired by approved repairer)||Included (for duration of repairs)||Included (for duration of repairs)||Included (for duration of repairs)|
|Repairs guaranteed (if use approved repairer)||5 years, unless you sell your car or end your lease.||5 years, unless you sell your car or end your lease.||5 years, unless you sell your car or end your lease.|
|"Should Have" Features|
|New car replacement||n/a||If damage repair will cost more than 60% of the value of the car at the time||If damage repair will cost more than 60% of the value of the car at the time|
|Stereo and satellite nav||Unlimited cover for equipment part of original car spec, no cover otherwise||Unlimited cover for equipment part of original car spec, up to £1,000 otherwise||Unlimited cover for equipment part of original car spec, up to £2,000 otherwise|
|Alternative transport & Hotel after accident||No cost cover, but help making arrangements getting home, to your original destination or a safe place||Up to £250 for hotel costs if necessary (plus onward travel arrangement help)||Up to £300 for hotel costs if necessary (plus onward travel arrangement help)|
|24-hour emergency helpline||Included||Included||Included|
|Courtesy car (total loss or theft)||If you buy the "Guaranteed Hire Car Plus" add on (up to 21 days)||If you buy the "Guaranteed Hire Car Plus" add on (up to 21 days)||Included (up to 21 days)|
|Motor legal expenses||If you buy the add on||If you buy the add on||Included up to £100,000|
|Breakdown cover||If you buy the add on||If you buy the add on||If you buy the add on|
|"Could Have" Features|
|Same cover in EU||Up to 90 days, if you pay an extra premium||Up to 90 days, if you pay an extra premium||Up to 90 days, if you pay an extra premium|
|Child car seat replacement after accident, theft, fire||Unlimited cover||Unlimited cover||Unlimited cover|
|Larger/premium courtesy car||If you buy the "Guaranteed Hire Car Plus" add on (unlimited for repairs with approved repairer; else up to 21 days)||If you buy the "Guaranteed Hire Car Plus" add on (unlimited for repairs with approved repairer; else up to 21 days)||Included (unlimited for repairs with approved repairer; else up to 21 days)|
|No fault NCD protection||n/a||Not available||Not available|
|Uninsured driver NCD protection||Included||Included||Included|
|Cancellation fee||£53.76 after cooling off period||£53.76 after cooling off period||£53.76 after cooling off period|
Plus, the main driver will never be covered for liability to others when driving another car—in certain cases they might with Comprehensive and Comprehensive Plus policies.
Does Churchill do delivery driver insurance?
Churchill does not cover delivery driving, but Churchill policyholders can engage in paid delivery work if they buy a suitable top-up hire & reward policy and get approval from Churchill. Read more about that in our article Does Churchill do delivery insurance?
Churchill Car Insurance Customer Service Reviews and Ratings
Churchill has been rated with 4.1 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, which is relatively high. However, 14% of Churchill customers gave the company a 1 star "Bad" rating. So for every 5 very happy customers there's 1 very unhappy customer.
Between exclusions, cancellation fees, long customer service wait times and other complaints, insurance companies are notorious for having unhappy customers. What are the most common complaints for Churchill? We read through dozens of customer reviews and noticed a wide array of problems have been experienced by customers. Complaints include, but are not limited to: premium going up an unacceptable amount at renewal, difficulty having a claim processed, outsourcing to 3rd parties, phones charges for calling them.
Here are some sample customer comments on their Churchill car insurance experience:
"Although my dealings with Churchill were quick and easy, my dealings the car hire company and the repair company they contracted were far from smooth. In fact, these two companies provided me with what I can only describe as an appalling service, especially the repairer."
"I have tried ringing Churchill several times to change my car insurance and keep getting directed to their online services. I then try to log in to my account using my password and every single time it will not recognise it making me having to change it several times getting nowhere and getting very frustrated."
"Car insurance renewal up 31% on last year's premium. Nothing has changed apart from non claims up 1 year from 10 to 11 years."
"Got my renewal invitation from Churchill and decided to get a competitive quote from Saga. Decided to go with Saga at over £100 cheaper. Phoned Churchill to say don’t renew and was immediately offered the same premium as Saga. Didn’t take the offer because if that’s how they do business it does not reflect a fair or principled attitude to customers. They should have given me their best price at renewal not just when I said I was leaving."
"Really angry with this company my claim has been outstanding for 10 months as they DO NOTHING unless prompted by me. The 3rd party has accepted responsibility but Churchill are so lax I still havent been paid what is due to me. Having an outstanding claim affects other insurance quotes too."
But on the other hand, 81% of Churchill customers rate the experience as "Great" or "Excellent". Here's a sample:
"Phoned to renew as an extra car in household. Was pleasantly surprised when the cost went down. Staff polite and helpful."
"Competitive pricing, easy to navigate website"
"World class service, extended my hire car (twice) when i couldn’t collect my car after the repair was complete due to a local covid lockdown, all at no cost to myself."
"One call to Churchill and then my car was picked up for repair returned like new when completed"
Churchill Car Insurance Quote Comparison
Churchill, the price comparison darling brand of Direct Line, can be extremely competitive on price—but isn't always so don't take our word for it, check prices yourself. Customers may find the cheapest rates from comparison sites are for a Churchill policy, as we found in our recent check for a sample 30-year-old driver of a 2017 Ford Fiesta. For this particular driver and car, Churchill was cheapest by well over £100 a year. Prices may vary for your individual profile however, as each brand will price risk differently across the car you drive, where you live, your driving history, and even their risk appetite on a particular day.
|Average premium over 50 sample post codes for a 30-year-old driver of a Ford Fiesta|
Quotes will vary drastically for different profiles, so you may need to pay more or less than these rates, but this information can give an idea of how an insurance provider tends to compare in terms of price. Always check multiple providers before you buy to make sure you're getting a sensible price.
Churchill Cancellation & Admin Fees
Customers do need to pay cancellation fees or other administration fees if they want to cancel or make changes to a Churchill car insurance policy—but unlike many other brands these days Churchill won't charge a cancellation fee if you cancel within the 14-day cooling-off period. Admin charges are a bit high though, at £26.88 a pop if you want to, say, change your address or car and £53.76 if you want to cancel after the cooling-off period.
|Churchill Cancellation and Administration Fees|
|Cancellation (within 14-day cooling off period)||no charge|
|Cancellation (after 14-day cooling off period)||Charge for the time you’ve had cover, plus an administration fee of £53.76, and refund any remaining premium paid|
|Other changes to your policy||£26.88|
Note: Chuchill's admin fees are not well advertised. We believe these to be correct as of June 2021 but could not confirm at our last update.
Does Churchill do temporary car insurance?
No, Churchill does not offer short-term or temporary car insurance. If that's what you need, consider a specialist company like GoShorty.
Find short-term car insurance today with GoShorty.
- Rated 4.8/5 on Trustpilot
- For cars, vans and learner drivers
- Get quotes & buy online in minutes
- From 1hr - 28 days
Why is Churchill car insurance so cheap?
Churchill car insurance is cheaper than some other options (and their sister brand Direct Line) primarily because they offer fewer features and less coverage. And Churchill now offers three tiers of cover, with their most basic (Essentials) being stripped of many features like personal belongings cover, key cover, new car replacement, etc. Also, their cancellation fees are slightly higher.
How to renew Churchill car insurance
There are two options for renewing Churchill car insurance: manual and automatic. Either way, Churchill will write to you 21 days before your motor insurance renewal date with details of your premium for the coming year.
With manual renewal, you must contact them before the renewal date, otherwise your cover will end on the renewal date, and you will not be insured. If you're on manual renewal, you can contact them and asked to be switched to automatic renewal so you're never without cover.
With automatic renewal, you won’t need to do a thing. You'll still get the renewal letter, but you don't need to phone up and your policy will automatically renew. However, if any details have changed, you must update them so your renewal is accurate.
Important Churchill Car Insurance Phone Numbers
Churchill customer service is available 7 days a week, on Mon - Fri from 8am – 9pm, Saturday & bank holidays from 9am – 5pm and Sundays from 10am – 5pm. Claims lines are open similar hours, but close an hour earlier during the week (at 8pm). Customers can also contact Churchill through the live chat feature on their website and make some admin changes online.
|Churchill Car Insurance Contact Numbers|
|Customer Services||0345 603 3551|
|New quotes||0800 032 4829|
|Renewals||0345 603 3560|
|Claims||0345 603 3590|
|24 Hour Helplines|
|Accident recovery||0800 269 015|
|Claims emergencies||0345 603 3599|
Churchill Car Insurance Policy Documents
While we've touched on high-level features it's always good to read through the policy documents of an insurance policy before you decide to buy. Why not make a cup of tea and have a look so you're not caught out by exclusions that are important to you.
Other Car Insurance Reviews
If you'd like to compare Churchill to other car insurance brands, see some of our other car insurance reviews below: