Diamond car insurance review
Diamonds, as the old saying goes, are a girl’s best friend.
When it comes to Diamond car insurance, it’s certainly what the Cardiff-based insurer wants to be.
Diamond car insurance, launched in 1997, is a subsidiary of Admiral Group and offers motor insurance cover for car, van and scooters.
Diamond car insurance polices are designed specifically for women because, claims Diamond, they are safer drivers than men.
This is backed up with data that shows female drivers aged 17-24 make 17% less claims compared to men.
But, while offers are heavily marketed at women, there’s obviously nothing to stop men signing up.
As ever, the best way to see if a Diamond car insurance quote can save you money is by comparing car insurance prices.
Diamond car insurance brags that “young women could save £308 on car insurance by taking out a Diamond policy.”
Directly below this boast, it claims it can keep costs down because it is insuring statistically safer drivers.
Lower risk equals lower prices.
Examine the small print, though, and it turns out only one in ten customers between January and July last year cut bills by £308.
And, at any rate, we find this claim a bit misleading.
On a page that’s far harder to find, Diamond admits that it hasn’t been allowed to charge different prices for women since the EU banned insurance companies from calculating insurance premiums based on gender in 2012.
Diamond even warn that customers signing up after 2012 could face higher prices!
The company heavily implies it can charge girls lower prices but this is just not true.
In fact, except for handbag cover as standard, it’s hard to see exactly how Diamond motor insurance policies are geared just for women.
Strip away the wrapper and the offering is much the same as other insurance providers.
In a nutshell, Diamond offers:
* Courtesy car as standard on comp policies
* £5,000 personal injury liability on comp policies
* UK-based customer service
Diamond points out that rivals Sheila’s Wheels, Direct Line and Aviva don’t offer European cover, courtesy car, bonus accelerator and Personal Injury cover as standard.
But this is, of course, a highly selective range insurers and policy features.
Types of Diamond policy
Like all insurers, Diamond offers three main types of cover: Third Party; Third Party Fire & Theft and Comprehensive.
Comprehensive cover comes with a decent array of perks, including: 24-hour emergency helpline; named driver no claims bonus; courtesy car; child seat and pushchair cover for up to £300; bonus accelerator and 90 days’ European cover.
Your handbag will be covered for up to £300 if it’s stolen.
In its January 2017 assessment of the UK’s best and worst car insurers, Which? awarded Diamond 3* for value for money.
Its policy score of 58% was lower than all the other 30 insurers except for Lloyds Bank (55%) and, awkwardly, parent company Admiral (56%) and Elephant (57%), also part of the Admiral Group.
See how Diamond’s policies stack up by comparing car insurance deals now.
Diamond claims 90% of its customers would recommend its breakdown service, provided by partner Call Assist.
The offering does look attractive.
You can choose from three different levels: local cover; national plus cover or European cover, which gives you 90 days’ cover on the continent.
Each comes with:
* No callout or excess charge
* UK-wide coverage
* Available 24/7, 365 days a year
Hire car cover
Diamond will provide a hire car for up to three weeks if you have an accident and the third-party insurer won’t do so.
The £250 to cover travel expenses is solid (highly-rated insurer RIAS, for example, will only give you £150).
Motor legal protection
Up to £100,000 cover for legal costs if you’re involved in a driving accident that’s not your fault.
Personal injury cover
Up the £5,000 Personal Injury cover you get as standard to £50,000, or £100,000 for Personal Injury Plus.
Protection is also extended to cover named drivers, even if they’re just a passenger.
Like when you buy a policy, do your homework before parting with cash for any add-ons.
Make sure insurance extras are right for you by reading our guide first.
What do Diamond customers think?
Diamond, like every other insurer, litters its site with gushing testimonials.
We tend not to pay too much heed to them.
The truth is, it has a chequered history; in 2013, car magazine Auto Express ranked Diamond as the worst of the 40 insurers it assessed in its Driver Power Survey.
The survey of nearly 50,000 drivers exposed policy errors as well, with one respondent having to wait two years for a claim to be resolved.
Diamond fared little better in Which?’s 2017 survey, propping up the table with a Customer Score of 58%.
The Customer Score is based on policyholder satisfaction and the likelihood of the insurer being recommended to a friend but it must be said that Diamond’s sample size was only 35.
Official complaints data is only provided for the Admiral Group and covers all insurance products, so it’s difficult to judge how well Diamond is performing.
Between July and December 2016, Admiral received 2.77 complaints per 1000 policies, resolving 59% in three days.
In the same period, Aviva received 3.74 complaints per 1000 policies and Direct Line 3.99.
If you need to make a complaint about Diamond, get in touch with A Spokesman Said.
You can contact Diamond directly on 0333 220 2004.
Watch out for rip-off admin fees!
In 2015, Diamond was exposed by Which? for charging admin fees of £5.95 when setting up a policy using a credit card, despite 36 of the 44 investigated insurers not charging a penny.
A quick check on Diamond’s website shows they’re still at it!
To avoid getting stung, read our guide on the hidden fees to watch out for.
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Last year 65% of customers didn't switch their car insurance to try and get a better deal.