Hastings Direct Insurance Review: The Cover You Need?

Hastings Direct Insurance Review: The Cover You Need?

The features you'd expect and quite good prices, especially for those without a No Claims Discount and young drivers.

Good for

  • Fairly low rates overall
  • SmartMiles black box programme keeps rates low for young drivers
  • Buying insurance online

Bad for

  • Drivers who want a big No Claims Discount
  • Longish phone wait time to reach customer service

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Hastings Direct is a popular insurance broker that specializes in home, car and motorcycle policies in the UK. Hastings works with a panel of underwriters including AXA, Covea and Lloyds to provide attractive features and quite competitive insurance rates relative to the rest of the market. Definitely an insurance company worth considering.

Hastings Direct: Decent Reviews and Competitive Rates

Hastings Direct offers relatively low prices for most prospective policyholders. Those who are very budget conscious can opt for a one of Hastings' lower-tier plans with fewer features, rather than a Hastings Premier plan, or benefit from other favorable pricing options. For instance, drivers can participate in Hastings' black box SmartMiles programme to lower their premium further if they demonstrate safe driving habits.

You can buy a Hastings insurance policy directly from them or via a comparison site like our trusted partner, QuoteZone, for car insurance quotes, bike insurance quotes or home insurance quotes. Prices from comparison sites tend to be lower, but typically at the expense of a higher excess or lower cover limits. For example, policyholders would save money on a lower premium with the Hastings Essential plan from QuoteZone, but that plan has a £250 excess and lower limits for coverages like accommodation and both buildings and contents cover.

As well as working with Advantage Insurance Company, which is an associated company of Hastings, they also partner with other insurance companies to underwrite policies. As a result, your experience will depend on the underwriter as well. In particular, this can affect the timeliness of claims being paid.

Hastings Direct underwriters

Main InsurerCarBikeHome
Advantage Insurance Companyxxx
AXA-xx
Coveax--
Geo Personal Lines--x
Sabrex--
Lloyds Bank General Insurance--x

Although the average customer rating is decent, Hastings doesn't have exceptional customer service. The most common customer complaints relate to irritations over long wait times on the phone or policy documents not being mailed out as requested.

However, Hastings Direct does aim to serve their customers well, with online chat open until 9pm most nights and claims lines open 24/7. Plus, you can register with MyAccount to view your payments and make changes to your policy online 24/7. Below, we outline Hasting Direct's unique features and explore its pricing compared to its competitors.

Hastings Direct Home Insurance

A Hastings Direct home insurance policy may be underwritten by their associated company, Advantage Insurance Company, or may be underwritten by one of their home insurance partners, AXA, Geo or LLoyds. While the rates, discounts and exact features may vary depending on the underwriting company, they mostly offer a standard set of coverages shown below.

Hastings Direct Home Insurance Coverages

What's Covered by Most Policies?Details
Your dwellingProtects you against damage or the loss of your home if it's caused by a covered incident.
The contents of your homeCovers damage, destruction and theft of the contents of your home.
Loss of useProvides reimbursement for expenses associated your home being uninhabitable due to a covered loss (e.g., hotel costs).
LiabilityProvides financial protection for bodily injury and property damage to others for which you're responsible.
New-for-old coverExcept clothing and household linen.

In addition, Hastings Direct includes cover for accidental damage to glass, TV and computers, as standard.

Hastings Direct Home Insurance Extra Coverages

Additional coverages are also available from Hastings Direct. For instance you can add personal possessions to protect items like laptops or iPods anywhere in the world. If you have Hastings' personal possessions cover, you may not need to buy extra gadget cover on your travel insurance.

Extra Hastings Home CoverDetails
Family legal protectionUp to £50,000 for civil legal proceedings (e.g., personal injury claims, trespass on your property, faulty goods or services, motoring prosecutions, personal tax issues, etc).
Home emergency coverUp to £750 per claim, including parts, labour, material and VAT to carry out an emergency repair.
Key coverUp to £1,500 annual cover for locksmith charges, new locks and keys; 24-hour emergency helpline.
Personal itemsProtection for portable possessions that you take out of your home, such as jewellery, glasses, cameras and mobile phones.

Hastings Direct Home Insurance Discounts

The best way to save money on a Hastings Direct home insurance policy is to pay for the year in advance rather than by monthly direct debits. By opting to pay in monthly installments you are charged a 29.9% APR finance charge, which adds significantly to your costs. In fact, this is even higher than most credit card interest rates. If you're able to pay the full year upfront then you pay the premium only.

For example, by paying monthly on a buildings & contents policy costing £225, you'd actually make total payments throughout the year totaling £259. The extra £34 you end up paying is due to finance charges. If you're not sure you'll need the full year's worth of insurance, you can cancel your policy at any time—subject to a £35 cancellation fee if you cancel after 14 days and possibly a £12.50 call centre charge/an underwriter charge.

Hastings Direct Motorcycle Insurance

Hastings Direct motorcycle insurance is not the cheapest, but they offer decent customer service, competitive prices and coverage options to appeal to most motorcycle owners and riders. Two groups are particularly well served by Hastings. First, Hastings rates are among the lowest for those without a no claims discount. Whether your license is new, you've just started riding a motorcycle or have had a recent claim, you may find particularly attractive pricing from Hastings Direct.

Another group who can benefit from a Hastings bike policy is people planning a trip in the EU. For instance, Hastings Direct plans not only provide the minimum mandatory 3rd party cover in the EU, but policyholders actually get full policy cover in the EU, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Andorra and Serbia for up to 90 days for any one trip.

Hastings Direct Bike Insurance Coverages

For the most part, Hastings Direct coverage for bike insurance customers is similar to what you'd get from other major motorbike insurance companies. You have a choice of Third Party Only, Third Party, Fire & Theft and Comprehensive cover, which you can buy in a lower-tier Hastings Direct plan or a higher-tier Hastings Premier plan with higher coverages.

Cover includedHastings DirectHastings Premier
90 days of EU cover each trip abroad per tripYesYes
Uninsured driver promise (plans underwritten by Advantage only)YesYes
Defaqto 5 Star rated cover-Yes
Helmet and leathers cover-Yes
£100,000 of legal cover-Yes
Legal LiabilityYesYes

In addition to standard coverages, you can customize your bike policy by adding the following optional extra features. Some of these, such as Helmets & Leathers and Legal Expenses cover, are included on Hastings Direct Premier plans already.

Hastings Direct Bike Coverage OptionsAdd-On CostDetails
Breakdown coverfrom £26.99See table below for details of the three Hastings Direct breakdown options.
Helmet & leathers cover£31.99Up to £750 worth of protection for your motorcycle leathers and bike helmet if damaged in a crash in the UK
Key coverVariableUp to £1,500 worth of cover in the event your keys are lost or stolen
Legal expenses cover£19.99Up to £100,000 in the event of an accident that's not your fault
Personal accident cover£19.99Up to £20,000 cash payment if you or your passengers are injured in an accident
Pillion passengersVariableExtra cover if you carry passengers
Protected no claims discountVariableBy paying to protect your no claims discount, you can make up to 2 fault claims in any 3 or 5 years

Hastings Direct Bike Breakdown Cover: If you're looking to add breakdown cover, you have three options with Hastings Direct as shown in the following table.

Hastings Bike Breakdown CoveragesRoadside RecoveryUK RecoveryHome Service
Misfuelling in the UKYesYesYes
UK-wide coverageYesYesYes
Roadside assistanceYesYesYes
Recovery away from home-YesYes
Emergency rider--Yes
Home service--Yes

Hastings Direct Bike Insurance Discounts

The discounts that Hastings Direct offers are quite standard across the market, with most discounts tied to vehicle storage and safe driving habits. Hastings Direct will also grant discounts to policyholders who are members of certain organizations and for bundling multiple vehicles under the same policy.

DiscountHow Do You Receive It?
Multi-bikeSavings when you insure more than one motorcycle with Hastings Direct
Advanced RiderCertain qualifications can lock in a lower bike insurance rate
Pay AnnuallyAvoid the 29.99% APR by paying your policy upfront, as opposed to in installments
No Claims DiscountUp to 60% off no claims discount available
Bike StorageSignificant savings in most areas by securing your bike in a locked garage when not riding

Hastings Direct Scooter and Hastings Direct Moped Insurance

Hastings Direct scooter and moped insurance falls under their motorcycle policies. By choosing a Hastings Direct scooter or moped plan, you'll have access to the same features and discounts mentioned above.

Hastings Direct Bike Insurance Quotes

Hastings Direct bike rates were good to average versus the competition. In particular, those without a no claims bonus or with only a year or two of no claims under their belts may find attractive prices from Hastings. This is true across age groups, as you can tell in the following chart.

chart showing cost of hastings bike insurance vs competitors

Hastings offers less of a discount for a history of no claims than some of its competitors. That said, rates are still reasonable.

chart showing cost of hastings bike insurance vs competitors

Hastings Direct Car Insurance

For the most part, Hastings Direct coverage for auto insurance is similar to what you'd get from the competitors. For young drivers, Hastings Direct has a black box programme called SmartMiles that offers discounts for a safe and responsible driving style. While not highly rated, the SmartMiles app can be used by policyholders to track their driving style, make a claims and view policy documents.

Nice-to-have features include a guaranteed courtesy car while your car is being repaired after an accident—which you eligible for if you use one of the Hastings Direct approved repairers.

Hastings Direct Car Insurance Coverages

Hastings Direct Car Coverage OptionsDetails
Breakdown cover4 levels of breakdown cover available from RAC for plans after 23rd August 2018
Key coverUp to £1,500 worth of cover in the event your car keys are lost or stolen
Legal expenses coverUp to £100,000 in the event of an accident that's not your fault
Personal accident coverUp to £20,000 cash payment if you or your passengers are injured in an accident
Protected no claims discountBy paying to protect your no claims discount, you can make up to 2 fault claims in any 3 or 5 year period
Substitute Vehicle CoverA 'like-for-like' replacement vehicle for up to 21 days, if you're involved in accident and your car is a considered a total loss or "write-off" that can't be repaired

Hastings Direct Car Insurance Quotes

Hastings Direct car insurance rates were good to average versus the competition. In particular, our analysis showed that Hastings offered good car insurance prices for drivers in London and Birmingham.

chart showing cheap car insurance companies in London, England

Hastings Direct Customer Reviews, Complaints and Ratings

Customer reviews on feefo for Hastings Direct are quite good, reflecting an easy online buying process. There are a few more complaints listed on trustpilot and reviews.co.uk, however, mostly related to customer service being difficult to get a hold of during a claims or cancellation process, requiring a dose of persistence and patience.

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Comments and Questions

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