Admiral car insurance review
Admiral insurance is a household name. Tune into the Six Nations and you'll spot its familiar logo on the front of the Welsh rugby players' tops.
The Cardiff-based supplier is a specialist when it comes to car insurance, but also offers home and life cover and even personal loans.
Boasting over four million customers worldwide, with a well-known roster of subsidiary brands such as Elephant.co.uk and Diamond Insurance, there’s no doubt Admiral motor insurance is a big fish.
Founded in 1993, Admiral insurance has traditionally specialised in providing policies for those with higher premiums. Admiral car insurance for young drivers in London, for example, is common.
Admiral claims one in ten of its customers paid £199 or less for car insurance between June and August last year.
But, of course, this is applicable to just 10% of customers; the only way you can really know if Admiral insurance can save you money is by comparing deals online.
What do Admiral customers think?
If you believe Admiral, customers rate them highly.
It says on its site that, based on over 2000 respondents in the last six months, 93% of customers would buy from Admiral again.
And, in fairnss, the public recently voted it Best Car Insurance Provider in the 2016/17 Personal Finance Awards.
Perhaps they liked the prices
Admiral’s official data shows that, between July and December 2016, it received 20,399 complaints, or 2.77 per 1000 policies.
The date covers all insurance products and includes Admiral brands Bell and Diamond & Elephant.
This was better than major rivals Aviva (3.74 policies per 1000) and Direct Line (4 per 1000).
Admiral didn’t, though, come out very well in Which?’s comprehensive survey of over 4,300 policyholders in December 2016.
It scored 4/5 stars for customer service, handling queries and complaints and value for money, but only 3 stars for transparency of charges.
Its customer score was a middling 63%, while its policy score, based on the assessment of Which? experts, was an uninspiring 56%.
Overall, it scored 60%, placing it third from bottom in Which?’s league table of 31 major insurers.
In fact, it only came in ahead of Elephant and Diamond, both Admiral insurance brands!
To make a complaint about Admiral Car Insurance, use our free tool and call the company directly on 0330 333 5888.
Making a claim
Admiral boasts that, based on its claims service, “90% of customers” would renew.
That’s impressive, but doesn’t tally with Which?’s study.
Which? surveyed over 1,300 customers to find out what they thought of major car insurers’ claims processes.
Admiral scored a pretty poor 64% overall, far below table-topping LV= and RSA, both with 79%.
Based on the responses of Admiral customers, the insurer scored 76% for customer service and 72% for how quickly it handled claims.
It did, however, notch up an impressive 83% for settlement value, and it’s worth remembering that the results were based on the responses of just 51 Admiral customers.
If you need to make a claim, you can call them on the Admiral insurance contact number: 0333 220 2033.
For what it's worth, the Admiral phone number as Star Wars hold music.
Types of cover
Like most insurers, Admiral offers the three main levels of cover:
This is the most basic level of cover required by law.
If you’re in an accident, Admiral will pay out to the third party involved, but it won’t compensate you for damage to your vehicle and it doesn’t cover your loss if your car is stolen or damaged by fire.
Third party Fire and theft
The same as third party, expect that Admiral will cover you for damage caused by fire or theft.
Comprehensive This is the highest level of cover and ensures you are protected in order to pay out to third parties in the event of an accident.
You’re also covered for loss from theft and fire damage and you can also claim if your vehicle is damaged even if it’s your fault. If an accident is another driver’s fault, their insurance will pay.
But this does not mean your next premium won’t be affected. If you claim in any way, your premium will almost always rise.
Before paying for any extras with your policy, read our guide on car insurance add ons and make sure they're worth it.
Admiral offers a range of policies including: single-car; multi-car; black box insurance; classic car; learner and car sharing.
Comprehensive single-car cover comes with windscreen repair, up to 90 days cover in Europe, a courtesy car as standard during repairs, £5,000 personal injury cover for you and a spouse, sat nav and personal belongings cover and a 24-hour helpline.
Admiral multi-car cover, comes with the same benefits as single-car cover, plus a discount for insuring more than one car.
Each car gets its own discount , each policyholder builds their own no-claims discount and one renewal date does make things easier to manage (although make sure to watch out for auto-renewals).
The plan - and this is fairly rare - covers cars kept at different addresses, so long as they belong to immediate family; which is handy if, for example, you have children at university.
Policy aspects we like are no compulsory excess on accidental damage and courtesy car as standard during repair, but we’re less keen on its £100 theft of keys limit, the £150 fire and theft excess or its £100 windows, windscreen and sunroof limit.
To compare Admiral motor insurance policies, use our free comparison tool.
In November 2012, Admiral were slammed by the BBC and the police for punishing vehicle drivers who had opted to take a speed awareness course instead of receiving points on their licence.
Admiral decided to treat these courses as convictions, even though the police don’t, and charge motorists who had taken the course with higher premiums.
Last year, Admiral was still implementing this policy.
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.