UK Markets closed

The best and worst car insurers

The best and worst car insurers

Ever wondered which company is the best for car insurance in the UK? And which you should avoid taking out a policy with?

Well Auto Express has put together a countdown of the best and worst car insurers in its latest Driver Power Survey that might steer you in the right direction.

Over 46,000 motorists were asked to judge car insurers and brokers on five areas: communication, speed of settling a claim, helpfulness, value for money and the overall service.

So which car insurer was voted top and which came bottom?



The best car insurer

NFU Mutual, originally set up by farmers for farmers, came top of the Driver Power Survey, retaining its 2012 ranking.

Second was specialist insurer for organisations and trade unions LV= Frizzell. Adelaide IAM Surety (3rd), Royal & Sun Alliance (4th) and SAGA (5th) followed.

NFU blew the competition out of the water and achieved a score of 89.09%, ticking the right boxes for great customer service and attentive staff.

Praise was directed at NFU’s efficiency when asked to provide information on a policy and when it came to sorting a claim.

The firm managed to achieve top marks in four out of the five judging categories, only performing less successfully in the 'value for money' section.

However, over 97% of those surveyed said they would renew their policy even though NFU did not necessarily deliver the cheapest car insurance quote.



The worst car insurer

At the other end of the scale, Diamond, which provides car insurance ‘shaped’ for women, finished last in the survey of 40 car insurers.

Swiftcover came second from bottom, followed by Highway (38th), Hastings Direct (37th), Chaucer (36th) and the AA (35th).

Failing to shine, Diamond scored badly across the board.

A number of motorists were disappointed by errors that appeared on policies and the time it took to get claims sorted.

One of those surveyed reported they had to wait an unforgiveable two years to get their claim resolved.

Hopefully Diamond will take the findings of the survey on board and improve for next year. Who knows, the firm could perform a turnaround like last year’s worst car insurer, Lloyds TSB did. The bank has risen from the ashes and moved 21 places up to 19th by improving every aspect of its service.

[23 ways to slash the cost of car insurance]



The cheapest price

For comparison, Auto Express also did a mystery shopping exercise to find the insurer with the lowest car insurance premiums.

Insurers were asked to quote for a 25-year-old sales manager driving a Ford Fiesta, a 40-year-old publicity manager with a Vauxhall Insignia and a 55-year-old dentist driving a BMW 530d.

esure delivered the cheapest quote for all three drivers. The 25-year-old received a quote of £601.32, the 40-year old got one for £217 and the 55-year-old was offered a policy for £205.83.

But this result only highlights how basing your decision on price alone can be a bad idea. That's because esure was voted the 10th worst car insurer by the Driving Power Survey.

In contrast NFU Mutual, the top insurer from the survey was close to the bottom when it came to the price it could quote for each mystery shopper. But evidently the extra money spent buys a much better service.

Comparison tools, like Yahoo's, make it easy to fall into the trap of chasing the cheapest quote. But you also need to spend some time going over what the policy actually covers and what sort of service you can expect should you need to make a claim.



The full picture

Take a look and see where your insurer ranked in the Drive Power Survey, with the full list of 40 car insurers:

2013 rank

Insurance firm

Score (%)

1

NFU Mutual

89.09%

2

LV= Frizzell

88.27%

3

Adelaide IAM Surety

87.94%

4

Royal & Sun Alliance

85.01%

5

SAGA

83.03%

6

LV= Liverpool Victoria

82.95%

7

John Lewis

82.57%

8

RIAS

81.15%

9

Groupama

80.45%

10

Cooperative Insurance Service

80.18%

11

Ageas

79.75%

12

NatWest

79.73%

13

Nationwide

79.13%

14

M&S

78.59%

15

Sainsbury's

78.55%

16

Allianz

78.54%

17

Prudential

78.34%

18

Adrian Flux

78.18%

19

Lloyds TSB

77.97%

20

Direct Line

77.78%

21

Tesco

77.42%

22

Aviva

77.31%

23

Equity Red Star

77.19%

24

Swinton

76.95%

25

AXA

76.88%

26

Churchill

76.83%

27

Zurich Financial Services

76.70%

28

Privilege

76.39%

29

More Than

76.21%

30

Halifax

75.96%

31

Esure

75.94%

32

Insure

75.83%

33

Broker Direct

75.54%

34

Sheila's Wheels

75.42%

35

AA

75.42%

36

Chaucer

75.19%

37

Hastings Direct

75.15%

38

Highway

74.41%

39

Swiftcover

74.33%

40

Diamond

74.24%

Source: Auto Express Driver Power Survey 2013

[Compare car insurance quotes now and see if you could save]