What are the best car insurance companies?

February 03, 2017 by

The best car insurance companies combine good customer service with competitive premiums and helpful, knowledgeable staff. We’ve drawn up a list of 10 of the most highly rated providers in the UK to help make picking the perfect insurer as easy as possible.

The best car insurance companies:

  • NFU Mutual
  • Swinton
  • Royal and Sun Alliance
  • LV
  • Lloyds
  • Ageas
  • Marks and Spencer
  • Saga
  • More Than
  • Direct Line

For more information read our in-depth guide to car insurance or head over to our list of the best car insurance comparison websites list.

1. NFU Mutual

NFU Mutual storms to the top of our list thanks to a hugely impressive performance in a recent survey of UK drivers. An astounding 100 per cent of those asked said they’d renew their policy with the firm while class-leading scores in customer experience, clarity and speed of the claims process help make it one of the most highly recommended insurers around.

A particular bonus singled out by a number of customers was NFU’s local call centres – there’ll be no need to spend hours on the phone to foreign offices with this insurer…

2. Swinton Insurance

Swinton Insurance has seen dramatic improvements in recent years, shooting up 19 places since a similar survey 2014. If cost cutting is your main priority, this could be the firm to go for – it received the best ratings in the all-important value for money category.

Unfortunately, the clarity of Swinton’s terms and conditions leave a little to be desired and it can’t quite match some rivals for how quickly it can process a claim. Friendly staff with good product knowledge help this company outpace many competitors, however.

3. Royal and Sun Alliance

In previous years, Royal and Sun Alliance has been criticised for its confusing terms and conditions but a recent overhaul has helped launch it to an impressive third place in our top 10.

A raft of impressive feedback scores praising value for money, staff helpfulness and overall customer experience help it leapfrog ahead of many more well-known firms. An impressive 84 per cent of customers would renew their current policy with the company, too.

4. LV

LV cements its near-podium place by offering a selection of affordable insurance premiums and by limiting the time you’ll spend on hold to its call centres to a minimum.

Extra bonus points have been awarded for knowledgeable and helpful staff but possibly the most encouraging sign comes from the 89 per cent of customers who said they’d stay with LV when the time comes to renew their policy.

5. Lloyds

Lloyds Bank’s insurance arm has improved greatly in recent years, rising from a disappointing last-place finish in a 2012 survey to a highly respectable fifth for 2017. Now as few as 20 per cent of customers would choose to switch providers when they come to renew their insurance policy.

Its climb up the leaderboard has been made possible by a combination of highly knowledgeable and helpful staff, clear terms and conditions and its ability to rapidly resolve insurance claims.

6. Ageas

Ageas might be an insurer aimed more at elderly drivers, but it performed admirably in a recent survey and takes sixth place on our list. Not only would more than 80 per cent of customers renew their current policy, but this company offers one of the best overall customer experiences of any large insurer.

Unfortunately, a lack of clarity when it comes to terms and conditions drops the firm to midway on our list.

7. Marks and Spencer

Being better known for its high street shops than its insurance hasn’t stopped Marks and Spencer from placing a fairly convincing seventh in our top 10 list. Customers not only consider its premiums to represent better value for money than many rivals but it scored particularly well in terms of staff helpfulness and clear communication, too.

A number of criticisms have been directed at the firm’s call centres for having less than extensive product knowledge, however.

8. Saga

Previous class-leading Saga has dropped to a fair – if not fantastic – eighth place in recent years. Seemingly unable to keep pace with the deals offered by larger rivals, this firm instead aims to offer a more personal service tailored specifically for customers aged over 50.

It may be reassuring to note that nearly four out of five customers asked said they’d be happy to renew their insurance policy with Saga, too.

9. More Than

More Than has hiked its way up from outside the top 20 in 2015 to a fair ninth place in 2017 thanks to its ability to effectively communicate with customers and offer impressive value for money, too.

Unfortunately, it’s not all good news. More Than received some of the worst feedback for how quickly it handled customers’ claims while its transparency also lags some way behind most rivals.

10. Direct Line

Direct Line is one of the biggest names in UK car insurance but it only just creeps into tenth place on our list. It might have scored well for value for money but it loses out as a result of unclear terms and conditions and call centres that are neither as friendly nor as helpful as some rivals.

Almost nine out of 10 customers said they’d be happy to renew their policy with Direct Line, however – so it’s not all bad news.

Save money on your next car

If you’ve already picked the perfect insurer but don’t know what car to buy, head over to our car chooser tool for help narrowing down your search. Already chosen the ideal new car? View the latest carwow offers on our new car deals page.