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Churchill car insurance review

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With one of the most recognisable mascots in the UK, Churchill is an insurance provider that’s been around since 1989. And unlike its sister brand Direct Line, you’ll find Churchill car insurance quotes on some price comparison websites.

As well as car insurance, Churchill also offers a range of other policies, including pet insurance, life insurance, travel insurance and home insurance.

Read on for our Churchill car insurance review, including what cover it offers, how to make a claim, and what customers think of its service.

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What car insurance cover is offered by Churchill?

Churchill offers four main policies: third party, fire and theft insurance, and then three forms of fully comprehensive cover

Third Party, Fire and Theft

With your Churchill Third Party, Fire and Theft policy, you will be covered for:

  • Injuries to other people: if you’re in an accident, and injure a third party, Churchill will cover the costs
  • Damage to other people’s property: Churchill will cover costs up to £20 million if you damage someone else’s property in an accident
  • Fire damage: you can claim up to the market value of your car if it is damaged by fire
  • Theft: you can claim up to the market value of your vehicle if it is stolen, or damaged in an attempted theft
  • Child car seat: if your car is damaged by a fire, or stolen, you can replace your child car seats, even if they do not appear damaged
  • Manufacturer-fitted in-car entertainment: you can claim for any in-car entertainment systems fitted when your vehicle was made, if they are stolen or damaged in a fire
  • Aftermarket in-car entertainment: you can claim up to £500 for any in-car entertainment systems installed after your car was made, if they are stolen or damaged in a fire
  • Removable electronic equipment: you can claim up to £500 for any other removable electronic equipment installed in your car, if they are stolen or damaged in a fire
  • Courtesy car cover: you can get a courtesy car if your car is being repaired by an approved garage
  • Named driver no-claims discount: any named drivers on your policy can build their own no-claims bonus to use if they later take out their own Churchill cover
  • Driving other cars: you can drive another car under your Churchill car insurance, with third party cover only

Comprehensive

If you take out a Churchill Comprehensive policy, your cover will include everything found in Third Party, Fire and Theft, as well as:

  • Accidental damage to your car: if your car is damaged in an accident, you can claim up to the market value of your vehicle
  • Child car seats: you can replace your child car seats if your car is stolen, or if it is damaged in an accident or fire, even if the child car seats themselves do not appear damaged
  • Manufacturer-fitted in-car entertainment: you can claim for any in-car entertainment systems fitted when your vehicle was made, if they are damaged in an accident, as well as if they are stolen or damaged in a fire
  • Aftermarket in-car entertainment: if your aftermarket in-car entertainment systems are damaged in an accident, damaged in a fire, or stolen, you can claim up to £1,000
  • Removable electronic equipment: you can claim up to £1,000 for any other removable electronic equipment installed in your car, whether it’s damaged in an accident, fire, or if it’s stolen
  • Misfuelling: you can claim up to the market value of your car if it is damaged by the wrong fuel being used
  • Key cover: you can claim up to £1,000 for associated costs if your keys are stolen, lost or damaged
  • Personal belongings: you can claim up to £250 for any personal belongings that are stolen or damaged due to an insured event (exclusions apply)
  • New car replacement: if you’ve had your new car for less than a year, and it is stolen or written off, you can get a like-for-like replacement
  • Medical expenses: you can claim up to £200 per injured person following an accident
  • Personal accident cover: you’ll have personal accident cover worth up to £5,000
  • Hotel expenses: if you can’t drive following an insured event, you can claim up to £250 in hotel expenses
  • Uninsured driver promise: if you claim for an accident that isn’t your fault, and the other driver is uninsured, you won’t have to pay your excess, and your no-claims bonus won’t be affected
  • Vandalism promise: if your car is damaged due to an act of vandalism, and you report it to the police, your no-claims bonus won’t be affected if you provide Churchill with a crime reference number

DriveSure

Churchill DriveSure is a telematics insurance policy for young drivers aged between 17 and 25. It provides the same level of cover found with a Comprehensive policy.

While telematics cover is also known as black box insurance, with DriveSure there is no device installed in your car. Instead, your driving habits are tracked using your mobile phone’s GPS and the DriveSure app. 

It’s worth considering as a young driver, as you can receive an upfront discount for the first year, and get a further reduction if you prove yourself to be a safe driver when it’s time to renew your insurance. 

Comprehensive Plus

With Churchill’s Comprehensive Plus policy, you’re covered for everything found in the standard Comprehensive policy, as well as:

  • Aftermarket in-car entertainment: you can claim up to £2,000 for in-car entertainment that was fitted after you car was made
  • Removable electronic equipment: you can claim up to £2,000 for any removable electronic equipment that is lost or damaged due to an insured event
  • Guaranteed Hire Car Plus: you can receive a temporary replacement vehicle that is a similar size to your car in the event yours is being repaired at an approved garage
  • Personal belongings: you can claim up to £500 for personal belongings that are lost or damaged due to an insured event
  • New car replacement: you can get a like-for-like replacement for a new car that is less than two years old if it is stolen or written off
  • Medical expenses: you can claim up to £400 per injured person following an accident
  • Personal accident cover: you have personal accident cover worth up to £10,000
  • Hotel expenses: you can claim up to £300 for hotel expenses if you need overnight accommodation due to an insured event
  • Driving abroad: you can drive your car overseas, with comprehensive cover, for up to 90 days

Other Churchill car insurance policies

If you have an electric vehicle, you can choose between Third Party, Fire and Theft, Comprehensive and Comprehensive Plus. On top of what is included in those policies, you’ll also be covered for your battery and charge cables. 

Meanwhile, if your household has more than one car, you could get a discount thanks to Churchill’s multi-car insurance. You can have a maximum of 10 cars insured under this policy.

Churchill car insurance policies at a glance

Third Party, Fire and Theft Comprehensive DriveSure (telematics) Comprehensive Plus
Age range All All 17 to 25 All
Level of cover Third party, fire and theft Comprehensive Comprehensive Comprehensive
Injuries to other people Yes Yes Yes Yes
Damage to other people’s property Yes Yes Yes Yes
Theft Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fire damage Yes Yes Yes Yes
Repairs to your own car following accident No Yes Yes Yes
Motor legal protection Optional Optional Optional Yes
Your medical expenses No Up to £200 per injured person; up to £5,000 in personal accident claims Up to £200 per injured person; up to £5,000 in personal accident claims Up to £400 per injured person; up to £10,000 in personal accident claims
Driving other cars Yes (if eligible) Yes (if eligible) Yes (if eligible) Yes (if eligible)
Breakdown cover Optional Optional Optional Optional
Courtesy car cover Yes Yes Yes Replaced by Guaranteed Hire Car Plus
Hire car cover No Optional Optional Yes
Windscreen replacement No Yes Yes Yes
Personal belongings No Up to £250 Up to £250 Up to £500
Replacement locks and keys No Up to £1,000 Up to £1,000 Up to £1,000
Protected no-claims bonus Optional Optional Optional Optional
Cancellation fee £0 (within 14-day cooling-off period); £53 (after 14 days) £0 (within 14-day cooling-off period); £53 (after 14 days) £0 (within 14-day cooling-off period); £53 (after 14 days) £0 (within 14-day cooling-off period); £53 (after 14 days)

Churchill car insurance optional extras

Depending on your level of cover, Churchill offers the following car insurance optional extras:

  • Green Flag breakdown cover: you can choose between four levels of breakdown cover – Roadside, Roadside & Home, Full UK and European
  • Guaranteed Hire Car Plus: if you have a Comprehensive policy, you can upgrade your courtesy car cover to Churchill’s Hire Car Plus
  • Motor legal cover: you can add motor legal protection, and be covered for up to £100,000 in legal costs
  • No-claims discount protection: if you have a minimum of four years of no-claims bonus built up, with a maximum of one fault claim in the last three years, then you can protect your discount. This means your bonus won’t be affected if you make one claim during the current period of cover, or two claims in the three preceding years of insurance

How to claim with Churchill car insurance

If you need to make a car insurance claim through Churchill, you should complete the following steps:

  • Make sure everyone’s safe: ensure that you and any passengers in your care are okay, as well as any third parties involved
  • Swap details: if a third party is involved in your incident, you will need to exchange information, including insurance policy numbers, vehicle registration numbers, names, and contact details
  • Contact Churchill as soon as possible: even if you don’t want to make a claim, you should inform Churchill of the incident as quickly as you can. Churchill recommends doing so online, but you can also phone on 0345 878 6261
  • Decide on your claim: you’ll need to let Churchill know what kind of claim you want to make
  • Churchill will let you know the next steps: once you’ve contacted Churchill, and decided what kind of claim you want to make, your provider will inform you of the next steps, whether that’s waiting for a recovery vehicle or driving your car to an approved repairer

How to cancel Churchill car insurance

If you want to cancel your Churchill car insurance, you will need to contact the provider. 

You’ll receive a refund for time you left have on your policy, minus the following fees:

Cancellation period Fee
Within 14 days of your policy start date £0
After 14 days, or if Churchill needs to cancel your policy £53

How to contact Churchill car insurance

If you need to contact Churchill about anything that isn’t related to a claim, you can do so on the following:

  • Virtual assistant
  • Web chat (you can ask to chat to an agent using the virtual assistant)
  • Phone: 0345 877 6675 (8am to 9pm Monday to Friday; 9am to 5pm Saturdays and Bank Holidays; 9am to 4pm Sundays)

If you want to make a complaint, meanwhile, you can:

  • Phone: 0800 051 0122 or 0345 603 3550 (8am to 9pm Monday to Friday; 9am to 5pm Saturdays and Bank Holidays; 9am to 4pm Sundays)
  • Fill out an online form
  • Write: Customer Relations Manager, Churchill Court, Westmoreland Road, Bromley, BR1 1DP

Churchill car insurance customer reviews

Churchill has a ‘Great’ Trustpilot rating of 4.1 out of five stars, based on more than 14,300 reviews.

It’s important to note, however, that these reviews are for the Churchill brand as a whole, and not just its car insurance products.

Of its five-star reviews, the provider is celebrated for its overall service, so much so that customers took out second car insurance policies with Churchill. And unlike many other providers, Churchill’s renewal prices are often praised (although, as is common in the last 12 months, there are also plenty of customers unhappy with hikes to their renewal premiums). 

As for Churchill’s negative reviews, there were repeated complaints around the claims process.

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“Already had car insurance with Churchill for [the] past five years because they offered good cover at [an] attractive price. Took out insurance on [a] second car because of previous experience, loyalty bonus and excellent service.”

 

“I wanted to update my insurance as [I] recently purchased a new car. Churchill made this really easy with a quick call to their call centre. My annual renewal [is] due in December. I’d done research on price using comparison sites. Very happy to stay with Churchill as [the] renewal rate was good and my excess was less than the quotes. Customer service is excellent. Always super helpful every time I’ve called. Highly recommend[ed].”

 

“Terrible company to deal with in relation to car insurance claims. My vehicle was damaged whilst stationary and witnessed by a third party. Claim and repair authorised April/May 2023 which involved [a] 40-mile round trip. Had to pay £400 when I collected my vehicle to cover the excess. July 2023 liability admitted by other insurers. Still waiting on 22 August for my £400 excess to be repaid.”

What Defaqto rating does Churchill car insurance have?

As well as a ‘Great’ Trustpilot rating, Churchill also has the following review scores on Defaqto:

  • Third Party, Fire and Theft: ★★★
  • Comprehensive: ★★★★★ 
  • DriveSure: ★★★★★
  • Comprehensive Plus: ★★★★★

How does Churchill compare to its competitors?

Provider name Trustpilot score Defaqto score
Churchill 4.1 stars 5 stars (3 stars for Third Party, Fire and Theft)
Direct Line 3.7 stars 5 stars (3 stars for Third party, fire and theft and Essentials)
People’s Choice 1.4 stars 5 stars (4 stars for third party, fire and theft)
Hastings Direct 4.1 stars 5 stars (4 stars for Third party, fire and theft, 3 stars for Telematics, 2 stars for Essential)
Admiral Insurance 4.4 stars 5 stars (4 stars for Telematics, 3 stars for Essential)
Aviva 4.0 stars 5 stars (3 stars for Third party, fire and theft)
AXA 4.3 stars 4 stars (5 stars for Plus)
LV 4.5 stars 5 stars (3 stars for Third party, fire and theft)
esure 3.1 stars 5 stars (4 stars for Third party, fire and theft)
Ageas 4.1 stars 5 stars (3 stars for Essentials, and Telematics)
NFU Mutual 4.4 stars 5 stars

Conclusion

Churchill is a solid car insurance provider, with a relatively small selection of policies to choose from. 

Broadly speaking, there are few policy differences between the car insurance offered by Churchill and Direct Line. The one major point of departure is that you might be able to find Churchill on price comparison websites, which isn’t the case with Direct Line.

As for the policies themselves, all three of Churchill’s comprehensive policies – including its DriveSure telematics insurance – have a five-star rating on Defaqto.

It’s also a positive sign that, among the normal amount of customers complaining about how expensive their car insurance has become, there was still recent praise for Churchill’s renewal prices.

Frequently asked questions about Churchill car insurance

Churchill was bought by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (now known as NatWest Group PLC) in 2003. Direct Line Group PLC, including Churchill insurance, was then spun off from RBS as its own publicly-traded company in 2012. 

Alongside Churchill, Direct Line Group also owns Direct Line, Green Flag, NIG, DLF Partnerships, Darwin and Privilege.

There are plenty of signs that Churchill is a solid option for your car insurance. It has been operating since 1989, has a ‘Great’ rating on Trustpilot, and a number of five-star reviews for its car insurance policies on Defaqto.

Connor Campbell

Finance Writer

Connor Campbell is an experienced personal and business finance writer who has been producing online content for almost a decade. 

Connor is the personal finance expert for Independent Advisor, guiding readers through everything they need to know about car insurance and home insurance. From how much it costs to the best insurance providers in the UK, he’s here to help you find the right policy for your needs. 

In his capacity as writer and spokesperson at NerdWallet, Connor explored a number of topics close to his heart, such as the impact of our increasingly cashless society, and the hardships and heroics of British entrepreneurs. His commentary was featured in sites such as The Mirror, the Daily Express and Business Insider

At financial trading firm Spreadex, meanwhile, his market commentary was featured in outlets such as The Guardian, BBC, Reuters and the Evening Standard

Connor is a voracious reader with an MA in English, and is dedicated to making life’s financial decisions a little bit easier by doing away with jargon and needless complexity.

Molly Dyson

Editor

After growing up with a passion for writing, Molly studied journalism and creative writing at university in her home country of the United States.

She has written for a variety of print and online publications, from small town newspapers to international magazines. Most of her 10-year career since relocating to the UK has been spent in business journalism, writing and editing for admin professionals at PA Life magazine and business travel managers at Business Travel News Europe and representing those titles at conferences around the world.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Molly is an expert in a broad range of consumer topics, that include solar panels and renewables, home improvements and home insurance, and consumer technology such as home security and VPNs.

In her free time, Molly can usually be found exploring the outdoors with her husband and their young son or gardening.