Swiftcover Car Insurance Review: Does the Website Stand Up?

Swiftcover Car Insurance Review: Does the Website Stand Up?

Lower premiums for some drivers but you'll have an easier time getting a quote from a comparison site than their own website

Good for

  • Repairs by their approved network guaranteed as long as you own the car
  • New direct customers can save 12.5% with Nextbase dashcam
  • Printable car insurance certificates- no waiting for the post
  • Can make many admin changes online for free
  • Only ask about accidents in past 3 years (typically 5 with other insurers)

Bad for

  • Not as good for drivers who like to call customer service for help (you may be charged)
  • Website design makes it frustrating to get quotes

Editor's Rating

3.5/5.0

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

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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 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. Possibly as a result of thi, existing customers have rated Swiftcover with an average of 3.2 stars out of 5 on both reviews.co.uk and Trustpilot.

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.

Ratings
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.

chart showing how car insurance quotes depend on age
How Car Insurance Prices Change with Driver Age

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.

DiscountWho qualifies?
Nextbase dashcamDirect new customers can save 12.5% (discount doesn't apply to extra add-ons like Breakdown cover)
Making any changes onlineTo 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 oncePaying 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 earlyIf possible, arrange your policy up to 3 weeks ahead of the start date to save up to 50%

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 coveredComprehensiveThird Party, Fire & Theft
Uninsured driver promiseX
£5,000 personal accident coverX
Personal belongings up to £300X
Replacement of lost (i.e., damaged) or stolen car keysXX
Windscreen coverX
Courtesy car cover (up to 14 days; must use approved repairer)XX
Car stereo coverX
24 hour UK-based claims lineXX
Lifetime repair guaranteeXX
Nextbase Dashcam discountXX

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!

Extra Coverages

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.

Extra Coverages
Protect your No Claims DiscountAllows you to have one claim in a year or two claims in a three year period and keep your NCD.
Legal CoverUp to £100,000 in legal fees for a car accident that's not your fault to recover losses from the responsible party.
Courtesy Car UpgradeUpgrade 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 & RehabilitationUp to £100,000 to help pay for specialist services such as physiotherapy and chiropractic treatments
Breakdown Recovery4 levels of breakdown cover available
EU CoverWhile 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:
  • Have non-motoring convictions which are unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act
  • Have previously had insurance cancelled, voided, renewal declined or special terms imposed
  • Work full or part time in the following occupations or businesses:
  • Scrap or second-hand dealers or merchant, or street trader
  • Bodyguards or doormen
  • Mobile mechanics, taxi or mini-cab drivers
  • Couriers, despatch drivers, or fast food delivery
  • The entertainment, modelling or professional sports industries
  • Foreign or diplomatic services

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 service0330 024 6394
Claims from abroad+44 1892 500 169
24 Hour Helplines
Claims0371 984 3333
Windscreen repairs0330 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

Budget car insurance works with a panel of top car insurance companies in the UK, has impressive customer service reviews and offers a solid set of features as standard.

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-symbol:m-dash]and the fact that you need to use telematics.

Comments and Questions

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.