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What is Defaqto?

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What is Defaqto?

Defaqto is an independent business providing information to consumers in the financial services industry. They compare a wide variety of services and products before assigning them a Defaqto star rating, their measuring system for the quality of said service or product.

Defaqto’s expert analysts have analysed and reviewed over 43,000 different financial products across car/home/travel insurance, credit cards, current accounts and more, giving them an excellent overview on the state of the market and an ability to compare multiple products versus competitors.

Their reputation for unbiased, fact-based studies and reports also allow them to offer a unique value to UK consumers, knowing that the rating isn’t trying to ‘sell’ them a product or service. There’s no doubt that a Defaqto rating can be an excellent indicator as to whether or not something might be right for you, but do remember it’s still important to do your own research—Defaqto’s ratings don’t account for price, for example, so more cost-conscious consumers might find a 5-star rating comes with a hefty price tag.

Examples of the Defaqto rating image you might see advertised on providers websites
Examples of the Defaqto rating image you might see advertised on providers websites

What is a Defaqto rating?

A Defaqto rating is a star-based system (1-5) designed to help consumers understand the quality of a financial product. Defaqto’s analyst teams scour the UK market, scanning through terms & conditions, small print and policy wordings to understand the benefits and limitations of each individual product.

While not perfect, Defaqto’s rating system is highly reputable and both financial services businesses and customers take them very seriously. Defaqto’s independent nature also prevents (in theory) providers from being able to influence their rating, so should represent an unbiased opinion of the quality of a product. It still important to remember that while the Defaqto rating can be an excellent guideline, it should not be the only factor influencing your purchasing decision.

It doesn’t take into account important factors like price or customer service, so while (for example) an insurance policy offered by a provider may, on paper, tick all the boxes for a well-rounded and premium insurance product, the actual reality of the situation may be very different—it could be extremely overpriced, or the insurer might be very difficult to work with.

Keep in mind that 5-star ratings don’t mean the insurance covers absolutely everything either, as this writer at The Guardian discovered. If you’re not careful, you may still find 5-star products with notable omissions or issues that make them less suitable for you, so it’s imperative to only use them as a guide, and not the only information you base your buying decision on.

What do Defaqto stars mean?

Defaqto stars are a rating (1 to 5) of Defaqto’s opinion on the quality of a financial product. To generate this rating, they take an in-depth look at the product’s terms and conditions, policy wordings and any notable inclusions/exclusions. Once this process is complete, they’re in a position to rate the product compared to other similar offerings on the market, assigning it a 1-star to 5-star Defaqto rating.

They’ll account for things such as what is/isn’t covered (versus similar competitors) and any additional benefits offered (in the car insurance category, for example, this would include courtesy cars, windscreen cover, etc.). Ratings are assigned to the individual product itself (not just the provider overall) so you know you’ll be getting an accurate representation of how good that product is, providing a more accurate review for consumers to use to guide their decision-making processes.

Defaqto stars do not account for price or customer service, so don’t be surprised if a 5-star product comes with a hefty price tag (although this won’t always be the case). Make sure to check reviews for the provider’s customer service as well—it’s all good and well having an excellent policy, but if your insurer is impossible to get through to then you may struggle if you need to make a claim.

Star ratingOffering
1 StarBasic
2 StarBelow average
3 StarMarket average
4 StarAbove average
5 StarMarket leading

What does a 5 star Defaqto rating mean?

A 5-star Defaqto rating means Defaqto believes that the product is one of the best on offer in the market. It’s assigned to financial services and products that offer greater coverages and benefits than similar competitors.

You shouldn’t base your entire purchasing decision on a Defaqto rating, but it can be an excellent indicator of the quality of a product versus others you might be considering.

Does Defaqto rating matter?

Defaqto ratings can be a valuable way to help consumers make informed decisions when it comes to choosing a financial product or service. They provide a well-researched, unbiased view of how one product compares to its competitors on the market.

It should never be the only tool you use to help you decide which product is best for you, but there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be a part of your research and decision-making process.

How do you get a Defaqto rating?

If you are a business owner who has a product they’d like reviewed by Defaqto, there’s nothing to stop you from contacting Defaqto’s Sales or General Enquiry teams directly and asking them to give it a rating. Keep in mind that Defaqto’s reviews are unbiased, so if your product compares poorly they won’t be afraid to rate it as such.

Apart from that, there doesn’t appear to be a formal process or application form to complete to have your product reviewed by Defaqto. Given that consumers are always going to be interested to understand more about products from the UK’s top providers, Defaqto probably automatically assigns analysts whenever any of these businesses introduce a new product, but if you’re a smaller provider (or haven’t received a Defaqto star rating to this point) try contacting them directly and seeing if they’d be interested.

How do you pronounce Defaqto?

Defaqto is pronounced as duh·fak·tow.

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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.