Churchill car insurance review
Churchill car insurance's nodding bulldog has become one of the most famous advertising mascots in Britain.
It has appeared alongside Dawn French and, incredibly, holds the Guinness World Record for the 'Most signatures on a Greeting Card'.
Bromley-based Churchill has been a subsidiary of parent company Direct Line since a £1.1bn deal in 2003.
It hopes you’ll say ‘oh yes’ to one or more of its insurance products, which include home, pet and travel insurance and landlord and breakdown cover.
The very first product it offered, though, was car insurance.
And it comes with quite a pedigree: Your Money voted Churchill the best motor insurance provider six years on the trot between 2000 and 2007.
To see how Churchill’s policies stack up for price, compare car insurance deals from across the market.
Churchill car insurance is underwritten by UK Insurance Limited.
Dependability is the Churchill brand’s selling point.
As one of the biggest (and first) direct insurers, it’s no surprise Churchill motor insurance is marketed on its reliability.
It lists the key “reasons to rely on Churchill for car insurance”: 24-hour emergency helpline; repairs guaranteed for 5 years, provided you use Churchill’s approved repairer; courtesy car as standard with comp cover; 24-hour legal helpline.
All in all, it’s a solid, if unspectacular, offering.
What do Churchill customers think?
By and large, Churchill customers are nodding in approval.
In Which?’s assessment of the country’s 31 leading car insurers, based on a survey of over 4300 policyholders in December 2016, Churchill came a solid 11th, scoring 3 out of 5 stars for both customer service and handling of complaints and queries.
Its customer score – based on the likelihood of policyholders recommending Churchill – was a middling 66%.
Two pluses worth mentioning: the website is very clear and easy to navigate and Churchill offers UK-based call centres.
Types of Churchill car insurance policy
Churchill offers two main types of car insurance policy: Third Party Fire & Theft and Comprehensive.
The comprehensive cover is a pretty attractive offer.
Perks include unlimited cover on windscreens, windows and sunroofs; protected no claims discount (NCD) if you are hit by an uninsured driver or the accident wasn’t your fault; cover for audio and sat nav; child car seat cover and a total loss courtesy car option.
Also worth a plug is 12 months of free breakdown cover with Direct Line’s breakdown service Green Flag (although it’s chargeable at renewal so watch out).
Which? awarded Churchill a policy score of 72%, placing it 9th out of 31 insurers.
The consumer group liked Churchill’s uninsured driver NCD and £0 renewal fee, both rated 5 stars, and its accidental damage excess, 4 stars.
It gave it 4 stars for value for money but was less keen on the transparency of charges – just 3 stars.
For the specific cover limits of your premium, make sure you check Churchill’s policy documents.
Churchill car insurance add ons and extras
As with most insurers, Churchill gives you the chance to beef up your policy with optional extras.
But before you cough up, read: Car insurance extras - are they worth it?
Churchill add ons include:
Churchill Legal Assistance Service
Have an accident that’s not your fault and Churchill will provide up to £100,000 of legal costs.
But there’s a catch: your claim must have at least a 50% chance of succeeding. How generous!
No Claim Discount protection
Protect four or more years of NCD even if you make a claim during the policy year.
Guaranteed hire car plus
Get a replacement car for repairs, write offs and if your car is nicked.
Churchill’s travel costs – £50 a day and up to £500 over 21 days – are decent but less than certain other insurers offer.
Churchill’s multi-car discount
Churchill allows you to get a multi-car discount on an impressive 10 vehicles and lets you separate renewal dates with other drivers using the discount so costs are spread.
If one driver has an accident, the no claims status of the others is not affected.
Take out a policy with Churchill and you’ll get 10% off buildings and contents insurance.
In February 2013, Churchill was criticised for appealing a High Court Judgment in the case of teenager Bethany Probert.
Bethany was hit by a driver insured with Churchill and left brain damaged.
But Churchill appealed that she had been walking on the wrong side of the road, listening to music and not wearing a high visibility jacket.
The family were left facing a £500,000 care bill.
Eventually, Churchill paid 90% of the claim.
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.