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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 a 5 star defaqto rating—but customer reviews highlight some common customer complaints that you should check out before you buy.
And while Churchill comprehensive cover generally offers a solid set of cover features, prospective customers should be aware of a few areas where Churchill falls short relative to the competition. For example, many brands offer cover for lost or accidentally damaged keys—Churchill includes key cover at standard but only for theft, and only if they can be convinced that the person who has the keys knows where your car is kept.
On the other hand, 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". If you drive a larger car you can buy their Hire Car Plus add on to get a comparable courtesy car, and you'll also get a courtesy car if yours is stolen or written off.
We read through the fine print of the Policy Wording from the Churchill website for policies bought direct to check out what's covered by their comprehensive car insurance, and how that compares to what a good policy should offer. Here's what we found.
|How Good is Churchill Car Insurance?||A Good Policy Includes||Does Churchill Deliver?||Churchill Comprehensive Coverage|
|"Must Have" Features|
|Windscreen||Full repair or replacement||Included|
|Belongings||£200+||Included but amount of coverage varies|
|Keys||£300+||Covered for theft if the identity or location of your car is known to whomever has the keys, but accidental damage and loss are not covered.|
|Protected NCD||2 times in 3 years (standard or optional extra)||If you buy the add on and have at least 4 years NCD|
|Car recovery after accident||Included||Included|
|Courtesy car (repairs)||Minimum 14 days||Included (up to 14 days)|
|Repairs guaranteed (if use approved repairer)||12-month guarantee||5 years|
|"Should Have" Features|
|New car replacement||Theft or damage at least 60% of list price; cars up to 12 months old; first owner||If damage repair will cost more than 60% of the value of the car at the time|
|Stereo and satellite nav||Market value for manufactur fitted||Unlimited cover for equipment part of original car spec, up to limit on your schedule if removable AND in a glove compartment or locked boot|
|Alternative transport & Hotel after accident||£250+||Up to £150 for driver or £250 for everyone in your car for hotel costs if necessary; transport home, to destination or safe place|
|24-hour emergency helpline||Standard||Included|
|Courtesy car (total loss or theft)||Standard or add-on extra||If you buy the "Guaranteed Hire Car Plus" add on (up to 21 days)|
|Motor legal expenses||Standard or add-on extra||If you buy the add on|
|Breakdown cover||Standard or add-on extra||If you buy the add on|
|"Could Have" Features|
|Same cover in EU||Standard or add-on extra||Up to 90 days, if you pay an extra premium|
|Child car seat replacement after accident, theft, fire||Ideally replaced even if no visible damage||Up to £100 per child seat|
|Larger/premium courtesy car||Standard or add-on extra||If you buy the "Guaranteed Hire Car Plus" add on (up to 21 days)|
|No fault NCD protection||Standard||Not available|
|Uninsured driver NCD protection||Standard||If you buy the add on|
|Cancellation fee||No more than £50||Cancellation fees can vary|
Churchill Car Insurance Customer Service Reviews and Ratings
Churchill has been rated with 4.4 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:
"The majority of positive reviews relate to price and/or service when taking out a policy. JUST WAIT AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU HAVE TO MAKE A CLAIM!!!"
"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, 82% of Churchill customers rate the experience as "Great" or "Excellent". Here's a sample:
"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.
|Churchill Cancellation and Administration Fees|
|Cancellation (within 14-day cooling off period)||no charge|
|Cancellation (after 14-day cooling off period)||£56.73|
|Other changes to your policy||£26.88|
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: