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One Call car insurance review

Fred Isaac

Fred Isaac
Mar 10, 2017


One Call car insurance best known for sponsoring Doncaster Football Club. 

The company has firm roots in Yorkshire.

Launched in Sheffield in 1995 by entrepreneur John Radford, the company employs over 500 people at its Doncaster HQ.

COULD ONE CALL BE THE RIGHT CALL FOR YOU?

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As an insurance broker, One Call sets you up with a suitable insurance policy from its panel of brands. 

It currently has 450,000 policyholders across car, home, pet, caravan, motorbike and even small business insurance! 

To stand the best shot at landing a good deal, though, it's best to avoid going direct.

Instead, use our free tool to compare deals from across the market. Our community saves up to £200 switching, so you'd be bonkers not to give it a go. 

 

One Call customer service

Essentially, One Call provide a wrapper, which includes customer service and its own claims process. 

If you believe One Call's own website, it's rated very highly: the supplier's Reviews page is littered with 5* and 4* feedback.

It's best, though, to treat reviews displayed by a company on its own website with a pinch of salt.

Consumer group Which? was less enamoured with One Call. In its assessment of the UK's biggest car insurers, it gave One Call a Customer Score of just 58%.

One Call came joint bottom of Which?'s table of 31 insurers. The Customer Score is based on overall satisfaction and the likelihood of a policyholder recommending the provider to a friend. 

Admittedly, Which? only requires a sample size of 30 to produce a score, so it's by no means definitive. 

Campaign group Fairer Finance don't rate One Call particularly highly either. It ranked One Call 49th out of 51 providers and awarded it:

* Customer happiness: 46%
* Customer trust: 27%
* Complaints performance: 52%
* Transparency rating: 50%
* Total score: 44% 

In July 2016, popular car magazine Auto Express ranked One Call 24th in its list of 25 major car insurers and brokers.  

It looked at  seven key areas, including making a claim, how helpful staff were, the types of cover and the clarity of the terms and conditions. 

One Call's staff were praised as "some of the friendliest and most helpful out there" and the company earned an overall score of 78.66%. 

68% of customers said they would renew with One Call.

This was fairly low compared with the AA (86%), Privelige (77%), Direct Line (87%) and More Than (77%), but better than Swiftcover (63%) and Swinton (67%). 

One Call's UK-based customer service can be reached on 01302 554012. 

LOOK TO SEE IF ONE CALL IS THE ONE FOR YOU

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One Call's car insurance policies

Auto Express ranked One Call bottom of its surveyed insurers for clarify of information when taking out a policy.  

Its website could certainly be clearer.

To compare car insurance policies from across the market, including offers from One Call, use our free tool

Customers are presented with a range of promised perks, 'Our Car Insurance Benefits', but, as One Call is a broker, the specific policy you end up with will of course depend on your chosen insurer.

Go through One Call and the benefits you could get include:

Free breakdown membership 

All One Call customers benefit from basic free breakdown cover, but it does come with a £20 call-out charge and a maximum of two call outs a year.

When it says it's 'basic', it's not lying. If you want to upgrade to a Premium service, which is supplied by the RAC, it will cost you £85 a year.

Flexible deposit

One Call will let you pay for your car insurance monthly and give you the option to increase your deposit to bring your monthly payments down. 

This might be attractive if you're struggling to find a lump sum, but paying monthly is widely regarded as more expensive.

Research conducted two years ago found that paying per month added £62 to the typical annual bill. 

If you can't afford to pay up front, it might be worth using a 0% credit card for the payment, then paying off the balance over the year. 

Make sure you qualify for a 0% interest deal before putting any balance on a credit card, though. 

The best way to keep costs down is by shopping around for a cheaper deal

Legal service and hire car

One Call's policies come with legal assistance included and a hire car if you've been involved in a claim that wasn't your fault and your vehicle is in need of repair. 

Other perks One Call offer include: no claims discount protection; additional driver bonus builder; second car discount; telematics insurance and a 24-hour claims service. 

All of these, though, are pretty similar to what you get from most insures or brokers. 

Before you pay for any extras, read our guide to make sure they're worth it

 

Types of cover

As with all insurers, policies you take out with One Call will fall into one of the three standard tiers: third party; third party, fire and theft and fully comprehensive.

It's best to know exactly what these cover.

Third party

The most basic level of cover required by law.

If you’re involved in an accident, you are covered for the cost of damage caused to the other party, car and person.

But you're not covered if your car is lost, damaged or stolen; or for any personal injuries. 

Third party Fire and Theft

Same as above, but it also covers you if your vehicle is stolen or damaged by fire. 

Comprehensive

The highest level of cover.

You're protected if you need to pay out to a third party in the event of an accident, if your vehicle is damaged by fire or stolen and even if it's damaged when it's not your fault. 

If an accident is another driver’s fault, their insurance will pay. Your premium is still likely to rise, however. 

 

Watch out for One Call charges!

One Call charges hefty administration fees for innocuous little tasks, so watch out.

These include:

* £39 for making mid-term changes to your policy
* £8.99 for getting a hard copy of your documents
£26.00 for the administration of stopped or returned payments or changes to payment dates

In fact, in its weasel-worded T&Cs, One Call even says it will charge a fee of up to £49.99 for "the administration of cancellation of your policy within the deferment or cooling off period". 

Insurers are technically allowed to levy an "admin fee" when you cancel in the 14-day cooling off period, but we think One Call's exorbitant charge is frankly scandalous. 

These charges are sneaky (forums and complaints are littered with reviews from customers who have been stung) and, while they're listed on One Call's website, they're not listed in an easy or obvious place to find them.

Here's the full breakdown

WHEN DID YOU LAST SWITCH YOUR CAR INSURANCE PROVIDER?

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