Elephant car insurance review
Let’s get the Elephant in the room out the way: Elephant insurance is a subsidiary of the Admiral Group.
Launched in August 2000, Elephant insurance is an Admiral brand that started out specialising in online-only car insurance (to find out more about Admiral Group, read our review).
Elephant insurance now offers travel, home, bike and van cover, as well as car warranties.
Aside from its brand wrapper – it’s well-known adverts feature Trunkie, the animated elephant voiced by Shaun of the Dead actor Nick Frost, – Elephant car insurance promises to save you a heap of cash.
Elephant’s marketing focusing on providing policies younger drivers, who typically pay the most for insurance. On its website it claims an elephant auto insurance policy could save new customers a whopping £285 a year.
But if you dig a little deep, you’ll see that figure applies to only one in ten customers.
The best way to find out if Elephant could help you cut your bills is by comparing deals online.
What do Elephant customers think?
From official complaints stats, it’s difficult to tell exactly how good Elephant’s customer service was because it includes data for the entire Admiral Group, including subsidiary brands Bell and Diamond.
Between July and December 2016, the group received 20,399 complaints, or 2.77 per 1000 policies, performing better than major rivals Aviva (3.74 policies per 1000) and Direct Line (4 per 1000).
It resolved an uninspiring 59% within three days.
The main cause of complaints about Elephant insurance are errors and staff not following instructions.
Reviews listed on the Elephant website, through a company called Reevo, are overwhelmingly positive.
Elephant scores an overall 8.8/10, with 9 for ease of purchase and 8.6 for value for money.
In Which?’s assessment of the best and worst insurers, based on a survey of over 4,000 policy holders and last updated in January 2017, however, Elephant came out badly.
Its customer score – based on overall satisfaction and the likelihood of the insurer being recommend the provider to a friend – was 60%, meaning it ranked 30th out of 31 insurers.
The only insurer it did beat was Diamond – also an Admiral brand!
On a more positive note, Elephant’s website is clearly laid out and information is easy to access.
To speak to customer service you can call the Elephant insurance phone number on 0333 220 2006 for single-car policies and 0333 220 2007 for Elephant multi-car insurance.
If you need to make a complaint about Elephant insurance, get in touch with A Spokesman Said. We’re in your corner.
Types of Elephant cover
Like most insurers, Elephant offers three types of cover: Third Party; Third Party Fire & Theft and Comprehensive.
The Comprehensive option is, as Elephant puts it, “fully loaded”.
It comes with courtesy car as standard, up to £1,250 in-car entertainment cover (or 15% of the value of your car, whichever is the lower), windscreen repair, up to £5,000 personal injury cover for you and your partner, up to 90 days’ cover in Europe and a named driver bonus.
Cover for £300 of sports equipment has even been thrown in!
Customers are able to access Elephant MultiCar discounts through Admiral.
Elephant’s key policy aspects were rated 57% by Which?’s, higher than parent company Admiral Group (56%), Lloyds Bank (55%) and Halifax (55%), but lower than the other 26 insurers.
Which? did, however, give Elephant 4/5* for value for money, lending some weight to Elephant’s price claims.
Again, the only way to know for sure if you can save money is by comparing Elephant deals with the rest of the market.
Elephant auto insurance offers a range of policy upgrades, including:
Motor legal protection
Covers you for up to £100,000 of legal costs if you’re involved in a crash that’s not your fault.
This could, for example, be claiming back uninsured losses from the other driver, defending yourself against prosecution or contract disputes relating to your vehicle.
Personal injury cover plus
Extends the £5,000 personal injury cover you get as part of your comprehensive policy to other named drivers, whether they’re driving or just a passenger.
You can also up the cover to £50,000 or £100,000 and protection against uninsured drivers
Hire car cover
Hire car cover gives you access to a courtesy car if your vehicle is stolen or written off.
Remember, a comprehensive policy gives you a ‘Class A’ replacement car while yours is being repaired, so make sure it’s worth it before you pay extra for hire car cover.
Elephant insurance's breakdown cover is pretty thorough.
You can choose from three different levels: Local Cover; National Plus Cover and European Plus Cover.
Excluding serious breakdowns, Elephant says 3 in 4 cars were repaired at the roadside in 2016.
Each level includes these perks as standard:
* No callout or excess charges
* UK wide coverage
* Recovery for caravans and trailers (up to 23 feet)
* Available 24/7, all year round
Local Cover doesn’t come with home assistance.
We like that Elephant will give you £600 for overnight accommodation with breakfast if it can’t get you back on the road.
As with all car insurance add-ons, make sure they’re good value for you before forking out extra (use our guide to make a savvy decision).
Watch out for Elephant’s HEFTY admin fees!
Insurers are increasingly using exorbitant ‘administration fees’ to fleece customers.
These charges boil down to us essentially paying someone working for the insurer to tap a few times on a keyboard and press enter.
Elephant are no different.
If you cancel your policy, you’ll be charged £49.50.
Just to remove an item from your policy will cost you £29.50 and to make even a minor change will set you back £19.50.
All insures are at it but, if you’re considering switching, familiarise yourself with Elephant’s hidden costs first to avoid a nasty shock.
WHEN DID YOU LAST SWITCH YOUR CAR INSURANCE PROVIDER?
Last year 65% of customers didn't switch their car insurance to try and get a better deal.