Hastings Direct Insurance Review: The Cover You Need?

Hastings Direct Insurance Review: The Cover You Need?

Hastings Direct can be a solid choice for car, home, bike or van insurance at a competitive price. Their Direct and Premier policies have significantly better coverage than their Essential policies.

Good for

  • Great customer reviews
  • 5 star Defaqto ratings (Direct and Premier, not Essential)
  • Competitive prices
  • Convenient online portal and app

Bad for

  • No courtesy car if your is stolen or written off

Editor's Rating

4.5/5.0

Hastings Direct is the fifth largest car insurance company in the UK, but are they any good? Read our review to learn about what customers have to say and how prices compare.

Cheap Insurance Quotes in Your Area

Quickly compare up to 100 UK insurance providers, including Hastings.

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Hastings Direct: Decent Reviews and Competitive Rates

Hastings is a very popular insurance company that specializes in home, car and motorcycle policies in the UK. Hastings works with a panel of underwriters including their sister company Advance Insurance, AXA, Covea and Lloyds to provide attractive features and competitive insurance rates.

Hastings may not be the cheapest quote you get, but they offer decent customer service, competitive prices and coverage options to appeal to most people—and if the very good customer reviews are anything to go by, Hastings is definitely an insurance company worth considering.

Which Hastings Plan is Best?

If you can afford a Hastings Direct or Premier plan, these have much better features than the Hastings Essential plan. Hastings offers three levels of coverage, plus two additional brands:

  • Hastings Essential: The lowest level of cover, only rated with 2/5 stars (car) and 3/5 stars (home buildings) by Defaqto
  • Hastings Direct: Their mid-range offering and their most popular policy, which is rated with 5 out of 5 stars by Defaqto
  • Hastings Premier: The policy with the most coverage (e.g., including Motor Legal and Breakdown as standard for cars)
  • Hastings Direct SmartWheels: Their telematics plan for young, new drivers
  • Insure Pink: £10 is donated from each policy towards the Pink Ribbon Foundation

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—just be conscious of the features you'll miss out on—or benefit from other favorable pricing options. For instance, young drivers can opt for Hastings' black box SmartMiles programme which tracks driving style.

Where to Buy Hastings Direct Insurance?

You can buy a Hastings insurance policy directly from them or compare their prices against dozens of alternatives via a comparison site like our car insurance partner, QuoteZone:

Prices from comparison sites tend to be lower, but policies might have a higher excess or lower upper cover limits.

Who Underwrites Hastings Direct?

The majority of Hastings insurance policies are underwritten by Advantage Insurance Company, which is also part of the Hastings Group, but around 1 in 10 policies are underwritten by a panel of partner insurance companies:

Hastings Direct underwritersCarBikeHome
Advantage Insurance Companyxxx
AXA-xx
Coveax--
Geo Personal Lines--x
Sabrex--
Lloyds Bank General Insurance--x

Hastings Direct Customer Reviews and Complaints

Hastings Direct Reviews
Trustpilot4.3 out of 5
Reviews.co.uk4.3 out of 5
feefo4.5 out of 5
DefaqtoHastings Direct policies5 out of 5
Hastings Premier policies5 out of 5
Hastings SmartWheels policies5 out of 5
Hastings Essential policies2 out of 5

Nearly 80,000 customers have rated Hastings Direct with 4.3 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot and reviews.co.uk. Customer reviews on feefo are even better (4.5 out of 5 by over 15,000 customers). We read through hundreds of reviews to get a feel for the typical customer experience. Here are some positive customer reviews:

"Very easy, great price, and nice app."

"Hastings came up trumps once again, like for like insurance at a lot lower price than my last insurer."

"I did it online, and it was easier than I thought!!"

"Easy to use on line service. No hassle and no fuss. Knocked over £60 off my old companies renewal notice"

And some negative Hastings Direct customer reviews:

"The one thing you can't do is cancel auto renewal on the 'my account' which means you're required to ring them."

"Cancelled policy and had to pay high charges"

Generally, we found that customer reviews reflect an easy buying process easy and competitive prices, but some customers are unhappy with the cancellation fees or with having to call in to cancel a renewal. We should point out that Hastings Direct cancellation fees are lower than the UK average insurance cancellation fees.

Common Postive Customer Comments
  • Easy buying process
  • Competitive prices
  • Good app
Common Negative Customer Comments
  • Frustration at having to call in to cancel a policy or renewal
  • Unexpected cancellation fees

Hastings Direct Webchat and Portal

Hastings Direct aims to provide good customer service, with online chat open until 9pm most nights and claims lines open 24/7. We tested their webchat on a few occasions and found the customer service staff to be friendly and very knowledgeable, resolving our questions in minutes with no wait time. Plus, you can register with MyAccount to view your payments and make many changes to your policy online 24/7.

Hastings Cancellation Fees

Hastings cancellation fees are lower than average in the UK, and are particularly good for cars because there's no cancellation fee during the cooling off period (the average cancellation fees in the UK are £24 during the cooling off period and £55 afterwards).

Hastings Direct Cancellation FeesWithin 14-Day Cooling Off PeriodAfter Cooling Off Period
Home£25£35
Car£0£45
Bike£25£45
Van£25£45

Hastings Direct Home Insurance Review

Hastings offers pretty typical coverage for buildings and contents insurance, including new-for-old cover, frozen food, student belongings, plants and contents in the garden, etc. While the details may vary depending on the underwriting company, they mostly offer a standard set of coverages shown below.

What's Covered by Most Policies?

  • Your dwelling: Protects you against damage or the loss of your home if it's caused by a covered incident.
  • The contents of your home: Covers damage, destruction and theft of the contents of your home.
  • Loss of use: Provides reimbursement for expenses associated your home being uninhabitable due to a covered loss (e.g., hotel costs).
  • Liability: Provides financial protection for bodily injury and property damage to others for which you're responsible.
  • New-for-old cover: Except clothing and household linen.

Some specific coverage limits are listed below, as well as the costs to add optional features like family legal and home emergency cover.

Hastings Home Insurance: What's Covered?Hastings DirectHastings Premier
Alternative accommodation cover£100,000 (buildings)/£10,000 (contents)£100,000 (buildings)/£10,000 (contents)
Buildings insurance£1,000,000£1,000,000
Up to £75,000 of contents insurance
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24 hour claims helpline
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Family legal expenses coveroptional add on (£24.99)
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Home emergency coveroptional add on (£44.99)
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In addition, Hastings Direct includes cover for accidental damage to glass, TV and computers, as standard. Plus you can upgrade to up to £150,000 of contents cover for an extra premium.

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 £75,000 for civil legal proceedings (e.g., personal injury claims, trespass on your property, faulty goods or services, motoring prosecutions, personal tax issues, etc). Included on Premier policies.
Home emergency coverUp to £1,000 per claim, including parts, labour, material and VAT to carry out an emergency repair. Included on Premier policies.
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 Home Insurance Policy Documents

Hastings Direct Motorcycle Insurance Review

Hastings Direct motorcycle insurance can be a solid choice, with 5 star defaqto cover, uninsured driver promise and EU cover. To get cover for your helmet & leathers and legal cover, you can buy add ons—but if you want both it's probably cheaper to buy the Hastings Premier policy rather than add on these coverages to a Hastings Direct policy.

According to our pricing research, two groups are particularly well served by Hastings. First, Hastings premiums 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 relative to the market.

Hastings bike policies also stand our for people planning a trip in the EU. 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 coverYesYes
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 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

How do prices compare? In our tests, Hastings Direct bike premiums 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 Bike Insurance Policy Documents

Hastings Direct Car Insurance Review

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 from
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

Here are some ways the Hastings Direct and Hastings Premier plans differ:

Hastings Comprehensive CoveragesHastings EssentialHastings DirectHastings Premier
If you're hit by an uninsured driver, you won't lose your no claims discount or have to pay excess
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Manage your policy 24/7 with MyAccount on mobile app, desktop or tablet
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Don't lose your no claims discount if your car's vandalised
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Get a courtesy car while yours is being repaired
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Insured in the EU for up to 90 days per trip
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Personal accident cover up to £5,000up to £1,000up to £5,000up to £5,000
In-car entertainment cover
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Driving other cars
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Personal belongings
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up to £300up to £300
Defaqto 5 Star rated cover
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Child car seat cover
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up to £300up to £300
Windscreen cover
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Four tiers of breakdown coveroptional add onoptional add on
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Motor legal expensesoptional add onoptional add on
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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 Promo Code

The discounts that Hastings Direct offers are quite standard across the market, with most discounts tied to how your pay or, for car and bike policies, 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.

Hastings Direct DiscountsHow Do You Receive It?
Multi carSavings when you insure more than one car or motorcycle
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
Vehicle StorageSignificant savings in most areas by securing your car or bike in a locked garage

Probably the easiest 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 finance charge around 29.9%, which adds significantly to your insurance 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—no interest charges.

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 alone. 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 £45 cancellation fee if you cancel after 14 days and possibly a £12.50 call centre charge/an underwriter charge.

Hastings Direct Breakdown Cover

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

Hastings Direct Breakdown Coverage OptionsRoadside RecoveryUK RecoveryHome ServiceEuropean Cover
Misfuelling in the UKYesYesYesYes
UK-wide coverageYesYesYesYes
Roadside assistanceYesYesYesYes
Recovery away from home-YesYesYes
Emergency rider (bike insurance)--YesYes
Emergency driver (car insurance)-YesYesYes
Home service--YesYes

FAQs

Hastings Direct uses Nationwide Motorglass and National Windscreen for windscreen repairs and replacements.
Hastings Direct is a popular UK insurance company with very good customer ratings that generally offers good value for money.
Customer complaints can be sent to [email protected]
Hastings Direct customer service is open from 8am to 9pm Monday - Friday, 99=am to 5:30pm Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sunday.
Hastings Direct sells multi car insurance for between 2 and 5 cars on one policy. You can add additional cars as they're up for renewal or if you buy a car. Each car can have a different level of cover and excess, and claiming for one car will only affect the NCB for that car.
Hastings Direct insurance is owned by the Hastings Group plc, a publicy traded company.
Close to 90% of Hastings car, home and motorcycle insurance policies are underwritten by Advantage Insurance Company, which is part of the Hastings Group. The other 10% of policies are underwritten by a panel including AXA, Covea, Geo Personal Lines, Sabre and Lloyds Bank General Insurance.
Yes, Hastings Direct is open from 9am - 5:30 on bank holidays. Customer service can be reached at 0333 321 9801, Monday-Friday 8am-9pm, Saturday 9am-5:30pm and Sunday 10am-5pm.
Breakdown cover is included as standard on Hastings Premier policies; those with a Hastings Essential or Hastings Direct policy will have breakdown cover if they've paid extra for the add on.
Yes, Hastings Direct covers those residing in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, but not residents of the Channel Islands.
Hastings Direct Smart Miles is their telematics plan for new or young drivers that uses a black box to track your driving style. Safe drivers can get a discount at renewal—in 2018, over 50% of Smart Miles customers had their premium lowered by an average of £440 at their first renewal. Drivers can check their score at anytime by using the online dashboard or mobile app.
Yes, if you paid in full then Hastings Direct gives a protata refund if you cancel your policy. Plus you'll pay a cancellation fee.
If you've paid for the Hastings Direct Home Emergency add on, boiler breakdown is covered if you have no heat or hot water subject to conditions. Hastings Direct will reimburse you up to £500 including VAT if they can't repair your boiler or it's beyond economic repair. For more details read their Home Emergency policy wording.
Most Hastings Direct or Hastings Premier policyholders are covered to drive other cars when it's necessary in one-off, unexpected/emergency situations—but cover is limited to third party liability. Hastings Essential policies do not cover driving other cars. Check your certificate of motor insurance to be sure.
Hastings Direct charges a £45 cancellation fee for car, home and bike insurance and £35 for home insurance. Cancellation fees are lower during the 14-day cooling off period as you can see here.
Hastings Dirct policies starting with XA are on the new system; older policies start with H.

Cheap Insurance Quotes in Your Area

Quickly compare up to 100 UK insurance providers, including Hastings.

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Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the CEO, Co-founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team.

Comments

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