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Swiftcover, an online car insurance brand, may offer lower prices but there are certainly trade offs. Should you buy car insurance from Swift? Let's talk through the pros and cons to help you decide.
In This Review
- Swiftcover Car Insurance: Overall Review
- Swiftcover Car Insurance Customer Reviews and Ratings
- Cost Comparison, Discounts and Cancellation Fees
- Policy and Coverage Options
Swiftcover Car Insurance Overall Review
Swiftcover is a trading name of the AXA Insurance Group, and operates an "online" car insurance service. By processing policies and problems online or through email, Swiftcover is able to keep costs down and offer lower premiums—but be sure you're comfortable with the potential drawbacks before signing up.
For example, the relative difficulty in talking to a real customer service staff member may not suit all drivers. While their customer service phone numbers are buried in their website and difficult to find, we have provided them below in our list of Swiftcover phone numbers.
Problems with the Swiftcover website
We were very surprised to discovery that the Swiftcover website is frustratingly difficult to use to get quotes. An online brand would surely prioritise their website, but we don't see evidence of this from Swiftcover.
For example, when you click to answer a question (e.g., "Total number of cars in your household") a help box appears with guidance on how to answer the question—that's all well and good, but there are two big problems.
First, your answer will look highlighted (in orange), but you often need to click an answer a second time after the help box has appeared to actually register your answer. Our first time through, before we figured out you have to click an answer two times, we ended up with 15 errors that had to be corrected before we could proceed with the quote.
Second, when the help box appears each time you click on an answer, the question is bumped up the page. This makes it very hard to track which question you're meant to be answering. It is the most frustrating online quote system we've encountered to date. We can't speak to their customer portal but don't see why it would be significantly better than their quote system.
Those looking for a Swiftcover quote should try a comparison site like GoCompare or our partner QuoteZone—both of which include Swiftcover in their panel.
How does Swiftcover work?
Swiftcover is a trading name of AXA Insurance UK—all Swiftcover policies are underwritten by AXA, one of the biggest car insurance companies in the UK. As a result, your cover ultimately lies with AXA when you take out a Swiftcover policy.
Swiftcover Car Insurance Customer Service Reviews and Ratings
Drivers should expect a low-touch customer experience with Swiftcover since it tries to operate online as much as possible.
Existing customers have rated Swiftcover with an average of 4.1 stars out of 5 on Trustpilot. While this is quite respectable, more than half of customers rated their experience as "bad". Here is a sample of excellent customer comments from Trustpilot:
"Seems fine I like not having to provide proof of no claims bonus"
"Problem solved quickly and professionally"
"Great deal and efficient service"
And here are some negative customer reviews, many of which relate to the claims experience and difficulties with the website:
"Everyone seems concerned about how easy it was to get a policy. Wait till you try to get a claim settled. They implied my claim was fraudulent and I was thousands of pounds out of pocket."
"It took 2 and a half months for me to get a courtesy car and for my un-driveable car to be collected, leaving me to have to arrange alternative transport for this time period."
"I have had all sorts of issues in adding a new policy, it took nearly an hour and ultimately I failed. Too many glitches and time-outs on the web site, esp. if you want to add multiple named drivers."
Customers have given Swiftcover 3.2 out of 5 rating on reviews.co.uk.
What are the most common Swiftcover customer complaints? We reviewed the customer complaints and found that the most common negative reviews relate to problems and frustration with the claims process, and the website. While the overall customer rating isn't that bad, a whopping 72% of customers on Trustpilot have given Swiftcover just 1 star, a "bad" rating.
We also looked at formal complaint data with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) for AXA, Swiftcover's parent. In 2018 AXA received 1,548 general insurance complaints, putting its complaint ratio at 1.02, which is around average.
While customers report difficulty with the claims process, Swiftcover shouldn't shouldn't have any trouble having the resources to pay out on a claim. AXA received an A rating from Fitch Ratings, which is the third highest rating available and places AXA as an "investment grade" credit risk.
|Trustpilot customer service rating (Swiftcover)||3 out of 5|
|FOS Complaint Ratio (AXA)||1.02|
|Fitch financial strength rating (AXA)||A|
Swiftcover Car Insurance Quote Comparison
We were unable to generate sample quotes for different driver profiles from Swiftcover. While Swiftcover is meant to be a more affordable brand, since it's an online insurer and offers dashcam discounts, we'd always recommend getting quotes from different sources before deciding which policy is best for you. It can be helpful to check prices with some of the largest auto insurance companies to get a good picture of the market for your profile. For some background information on pricing, see our article on the Average Cost of UK Car Insurance—the chart below is from that article on UK car insurance prices and does not represent Swiftcover pricing specifically.
Swiftcover Car Insurance Discounts
Swiftcover offers some typical car insurance discounts such as saving by paying upfront; but additionally Swiftcover has some unique ways to lower your premium, such as adding a dashcam to your car.
|Nextbase dashcam||Direct new customers can save 12.5% (discount doesn't apply to extra add-ons like Breakdown cover)|
|Making any changes online||To save money, you can make most changes to your policy online quickly and easily through your personal online account, My Swift Space; calling customer service to make a change could result in a charge up to £30|
|No Claims Discount (NCD)||Each year you don't make a claim should increase the discount you receive; alternatively, making one claim in a year will drop your NCD by 3 years and making two claims will drop your NCD by 4 years.|
|Pay all at once||Paying your premium in monthly instalments by direct debit will cost you more than paying the full amount upfront with a credit or debit card|
|Buy your policy early||If possible, arrange your policy up to 3 weeks ahead of the start date to save up to 50%|
Swiftcover Cancellation Fees
|Swiftcover Cancellation Fees|
|During first 14 days||£0|
|After 14 days||£52|
|Other admin changes||£0 online (My Swiftspace) and £10 offline|
Swiftcover Car Insurance Policies
Swiftcover offers two types of motor cover to its customers: Comprehensive and Third Party, Fire and Theft (TPFT). (They don't sell Third Party Only policies.) Drivers who want their insurance company to repair their car if it's damaged in an accident should buy a Comprehensive policy, because the other type of cover (TPFT) doesn't cover collision damage to your own car.
In addition to covering damage to your car, Swiftcover's Comprehensive plan includes windscreen cover, uninsured driver promise, personal accident cover and car stereo cover as standard.
|What's covered||Comprehensive||Third Party, Fire & Theft|
|Uninsured driver promise||X|
|£5,000 personal accident cover||X|
|Personal belongings up to £300||X|
|Replacement of lost (i.e., damaged) or stolen car keys||X||X|
|Courtesy car cover (up to 14 days; must use approved repairer)||X||X|
|Car stereo cover||X|
|24 hour UK-based claims line||X||X|
|Lifetime repair guarantee||X||X|
|Nextbase Dashcam discount||X||X|
While you might think that Comprehensive cover costs a lot more than TPFT, that's not always the case. Drivers who want to insure their own car (i.e., protect their asset) are generally viewed as being less risky to insure. As a result, a comprehensive plan might not cost much more than a TPFT plan. It's worth checking prices of both, even if your budget is tight. The cost of car insurance will be well worth it should you ever need it!
Like many insurers, Swiftcover offers some coverages as optional extras for which you'll need to pay an additional premium. If you don't want these features, you don't need to pay for them.
|Protect your No Claims Discount||Allows you to have one claim in a year or two claims in a three year period and keep your NCD.|
|Legal Cover||Up to £100,000 in legal fees for a car accident that's not your fault to recover losses from the responsible party.|
|Courtesy Car Upgrade||Upgrade courtesy car to get a hire car the same size as your own, which you can keep for up to 21 days (without the upgrade you'll get a small car for up to 14 days)|
|Personal Injury & Rehabilitation||Up to £100,000 to help pay for specialist services such as physiotherapy and chiropractic treatments|
|Breakdown Recovery||4 levels of breakdown cover available|
|EU Cover||While all policies by law give you third party liability cover in Europe, if you want the same level of cover you have in all EU countries as you have in the UK you'll need to add "driving abroad cover" through your online account.|
Who Swiftcover won't cover
While Swiftcover has no upper age limit for drivers they'll insure, Swiftcover won't offer cover to everyone. In particular, if you have a certain marks on your driving record, past issues with getting/keeping insurance or work in certain occupations you won't be eligible for a Swiftcover policy.
|You can't get a Swiftcover policy if you:|
Important Swiftcover Car Insurance Phone Numbers
As an online insurer, Swiftcover's preferred method of contact for customer service issues is email, and customers can make many changes to their policy online once they're registered. Swiftcover's customer service number (listed below) is buried in their website and drivers should be aware that admin changes made on the phone may result in a charge of £30.
Customer service hours of operation are: Monday - Friday 8am - 8pm, Saturday 9am - 5pm, Sunday 9am - 3pm; however the emergency helplines are open 24 hours a day. At the time of writing there was no live chat feature available.
|Swiftcover Insurance Contact Numbers|
|Customer service||0330 024 6394|
|Claims from abroad||+44 1892 500 169|
|24 Hour Helplines|
|Claims||0371 984 3333|
|Windscreen repairs||0330 024 6399|
|Emergency breakdown assistance (for customers who've bought the optional offering)||0800 107 7006|
Swiftcover Insurance Compared to Other Car Insurance Brands
To better understand the value of Swiftcover Car Insurance you need to see it relative to other available options. We’ve compared this option to other car cover so you can decide which will create more value for you given your individual needs.
Swiftcover vs Budget
Quick Takeaway: Budget car insurance might be a better option if you like to be able to pick up the phone and speak with a customer service representative when you need assistance with something. They may not be as cheap as Swiftcover, but it's certainly worth getting quotes from Budget to see how their prices compare.
Swiftcover vs Carrot
Carrot is another "budget" online car insurance company like Swiftcover. Carrot is also a telematics black box brand, so customers must use a black box to track their driving style—this also enables Carrot to offer cheaper prices to its customers. Unfortunately many customers report black box errors, with customers reportedly having journeys recorded when they're actually taking the bus or when they and their car are safely parked at home. Prices may be lower, but there's no way to call into customer service—Carrot is an online company and as a result only offers web chat customer service. While the high street rewards for good driving may be enticing, plans are quite basic and you can't buy any no claims bonus protection—of course, if you're a new driver then you won't have a no claims bonus to protect anyway (you usually need around 4 years of accrued NCB in order to buy NCB protection).
Quick Takeaway: If the price is right and you just want basic cover then Carrot may be a good option, but be aware of the high cancellation fees, lack of customer service phone lines, missing features—and the fact that you need to use telematics.