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Marmalade car insurance review

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Specialising in car insurance quotes for new and young drivers, Marmalade is a potential option if you’re looking to save money on your cover and are aged between 17 and 30. 

Not to say older drivers can’t get a quote as well. Marmalade also offers Experienced Driver Insurance at two different levels, including the Defaqto five-star-rated Classic cover. 

Marmalade is an insurance broker, meaning your policy will be underwritten by a different provider. Marmalade then manages and administers this policy.

It has been endorsed by the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA), as well as the Official Scheme Provider for Young Drivers.

Read on for our Marmalade car insurance review, including what its policies cover, what optional extras you can purchase, and how it stacks up to its competitors.

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What car insurance cover is offered by Marmalade?

Most of Marmalade’s car insurance policies are focused on helping new and younger drivers get affordable cover. However, it does also have options that more experienced drivers can take advantage of.

There is overlap between a lot of Marmalade’s policies, but they are broadly split into the following:

Black Box Insurance

Marmalade Black Box Insurance is a telematics policy designed for younger drivers. It is for motorists aged 17 to 30, though anyone aged between 17 and 21 will need to add a parent or guardian as a named driver on their vehicle. It can be cheaper for younger, newer drivers than a standard comprehensive car insurance policy. 

With Black Box Insurance, you’ll be sent a device called a ‘tag’ to fit in your car. You’ll then link this tag to the Marmalade mobile app. This will track your driving habits and give you a score for every journey. Over time, if you prove yourself to be a safe driver, you can get a cheaper quote when you come to renew your policy. 

You can choose between an annual policy, or a pay-as-you-go policy. With an annual policy, you’ll have cover for a year. With pay-as-you-go insurance, you can start with 1,000 miles, and then top up 250 miles at a time, while still building your no-claims bonus

If you take out a Marmalade Black Box Insurance policy, you’ll be covered for:

  • Injuries to other people: if you hurt someone in a motor accident, you insurance will cover the costs
  • Damage to someone else’s property: you’ll have cover up to £20 million if you damage third party property, such as another driver’s car
  • Fire damage: if your car is damaged in a fire, you can make a claim
  • Theft: if your car is stolen or damaged in an attempted theft, you can make a claim
  • Accidental damage to your vehicle: if you’re in an accident, you can claim for the cost of repairing your car
  • Windscreen repair: you can claim for your windscreens and window glass to be replaced or repaired
  • Medical expenses: you can claim up to £150 per injured person if you’re in a motor accident
  • Personal accident: you’ll have personal accident cover up to £5,000
  • Personal belongings: you can claim for personal belongings that are lost or stolen in an insured event, up to £350
  • Courtesy car: if your car is damaged in an accident, and you take it to an approved repairer, you can get a temporary replacement vehicle
  • Driving abroad: you’ll have comprehensive cover for 90 days when driving in the European Union (EU). After 90 days, you’ll have third party cover only

Named Young Driver Insurance

Another option for drivers aged between 17 and 27 is Marmalade Named Young Driver Insurance.

With named driver insurance, you’ll be able to drive your parents’ car without affecting their no-claims bonus if you get into an accident. As a named driver, you must be behind the wheel for less than half of the trips made in the car. 

You can choose between an annual policy (which covers up to 10,000 miles a year), or a pay-as-you-go policy where you can top up your miles allowance as and when you need to. 

If you choose Marmalade Named Young Driver Insurance, you’ll be covered for:

  • Injuries to other people
  • Damage to someone else’s property
  • Fire damage
  • Theft
  • Accidental damage to your car
  • Medical expenses up to £250 per injured person
  • Personal accident cover up to £2,500
  • Personal belongings up to £100
  • Replacement locks and keys up to £500
  • Courtesy car
  • New car replacement – if the vehicle is less than a year old, the current owner is the first and only registered keeper, and it is stolen and not recoverable, or repairs will cost more than 60 per cent of its list price

Experienced Driver Insurance

Marmalade also has car insurance policies available for drivers aged 30 and over. It offers two levels of comprehensive cover: Essentials and Classic.

With the Essentials tier of Experienced Driver Insurance, you’re covered for:

  • Injuries to other people
  • Damage to someone else’s property
  • Fire damage
  • Theft
  • Accidental damage to your car
  • Personal accident cover up to £5,000
  • Personal belongings up to £150
  • Courtesy car

The Classic level includes everything found in Essentials, as well as:

  • Emergency medical treatment up to £250
  • Personal belongings up to £250
  • Replacement locks and keys up to £300
  • Windscreen and glass cover
  • Driving abroad up to 90 days
  • New car replacement
  • Uninsured driver promise, where you won’t have to pay your excess and your no-claims discount won’t be affected if you’re in a non-fault accident with an uninsured motorist
  • Vandalism promise, where your no-claims bonus won’t be affected following an act of vandalism, as long as you report the incident to the police and provide Marmalade with the crime reference number

Other car insurance policies offered by Marmalade

  • Learner driver insurance: you can take our learner driver insurance through Marmalade, for provisional licence holders aged between 17 and 34
  • Weekly Student Car Insurance: if you’re aged between 18 and 27 and study at boarding school or higher education, you can get weekly cover for up to six weeks. If you need cover for longer than six weeks, Marmalade recommends one of its pay-as-you-go policies

Marmalade car insurance policies at a glance

Black Box Named Young Driver Experienced Driver
Age range 17 to 30 (17 to 21 will need a parent or guardian as a named driver) 17 to 27 30 and over
Level of cover Comprehensive Comprehensive Comprehensive
Injuries to other people Yes Yes Yes
Damage to other people’s property Yes Yes Yes
Theft Yes Yes Yes
Fire damage Yes Yes Yes
Repairs to your own car following accident Yes Yes Yes
Motor legal protection Optional Optional Optional
Your medical expenses Up to £150 per injured person; personal accident cover up to £5,000 Up to £250 per injured person; personal accident cover up to £2,500 Personal accident cover up to £5,000; emergency medical treatment up to £250 (Classic only)
Driving other cars No No No
Breakdown cover Optional Optional Optional
Courtesy car cover Yes Yes Yes
Hire car cover Optional Optional Optional
Windscreen replacement Yes No No (Essentials); yes (Classic)
Personal belongings Up to £350 Up to £100 Up to £150 (Essentials); up to £250 (Classic)
Replacement locks and keys No Up to £500 Up to £300 (Classic only)
Protected no-claims bonus No No No
Cancellation fee £25 (within 14-day cooling-off period); £50 (after 14 days) £25 (within 14-day cooling-off period); £50 (after 14 days) £25 (within 14-day cooling-off period); £50 (after 14 days)

Marmalade car insurance optional extras

On top of your Marmalade car insurance policy you can add the following optional extras:

  • Motor legal expenses: for £10 a year, you can get up to £100,000 in motor legal protection, to help you recover uninsured losses following an accident that wasn’t your fault
  • Breakdown assistance: from £25 a year, you can get Call Assist breakdown cover, choosing between Local, National or European policies
  • Hire car: with Marmalade hire car cover, you’ll receive a small, Class A replacement vehicle if your car is stolen or written off. This is different from courtesy car cover, which only applies if your car is damaged in an accident and you take it to an approved repairer

How to claim with Marmalade car insurance

If you need to make a car insurance claim through Marmalade, you should follow these steps:

  • Check the safety of those involved: first, make sure that you, your passengers, and any third parties are safe and secure following the incident
  • Exchange details: if another driver was involved, you’ll need to exchange your personal information, including your insurance policy number
  • Gather evidence: make a note of the time of day, location, and weather conditions. You may also want to take photos of any damage
  • Contact Marmalade: even if you don’t intend to bring forward a claim, you should contact your provider as soon as you can. If you are a young driver, you should call 0333 358 0258. If you are an experienced driver, call 0333 035 9888. Both lines are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can also make a claim through Marmalade’s online Customer Hub
  • Wait for instructions: once you have outlined the incident, and the kind of claim you’d like to make, Marmalade will advise you on the next steps

How to cancel Marmalade car insurance

If you want to cancel your Marmalade car insurance, the provider recommends talking to an agent through its live chat function. 

As long as you haven’t made a claim, you’ll receive a refund for the time left on your policy, minus the following fees:

Cancellation period Fee
Within 14 days of your policy start date £25
After 14 days, or if Marmalade needs to cancel your policy £50

How to contact Marmalade car insurance

If you want to contact Marmalade about anything that isn’t claim-related, then you can do so via its live chat function.

If you have an Experienced Driver Insurance policy, you can use the live chat between 8.30am and 8.30pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 5pm on Saturdays.

If you have one of Marmalade’s young driver policies, on the other hand, live chat is open from 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 2pm on Saturdays.

If you prefer speaking to someone over the phone, you can call 0330 343 8814. This line is open from 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 2pm on Saturdays.

You can also email enquiries@wearemarmalade.co.uk, or make changes to your policy through Marmalade’s online Customer Hub.

Marmalade car insurance customer reviews

Marmalade has an ‘Excellent’ Trustpilot score of 4.3 out of five, based on more than 9,900 reviews.

Of those reviews that are rated five stars, Marmalade is praised for how quick and easy it is to get cover, and how reasonable its premiums are for young drivers. 

The more negative reviews, meanwhile, mention poor and inexperienced customer service.

icons8-review-96

“I was recommended Marmalade by a family friend as she had used them for her son’s insurance whilst he was learning to drive so I thought let’s give it a go. And wow, I was impressed by how easy it was to get a quote and how reasonable it was. I can now ensure my daughter gets in as much driving practice as she can before her test at the end of next month.”

 

“Excellent website, with clear honest-sounding advice. Beat other quotes by a clear margin.”

 

“Trying to book car insurance as a young driver, after passing my test today. The lady who I spoke to on the phone was very uninterested in my query and when I asked for help to solve the issue she couldn’t provide any. I am disappointed with this as I’ve heard good things with the company. I don’t know why she didn’t try to help, unfortunately I didn’t catch her name to include in the review. Surprisingly disappointed with the company’s customer service.”

What Defaqto rating does Marmalade car insurance have?

Alongside an ‘Excellent’ Trustpilot score, Marmalade has the following reviews from Defaqto:

  • Black Box Insurance: ★★★★★ (★★★ as a telematics policy)
  • Experienced Driver Essentials: ★★★
  • Experienced Driver Classic: ★★★★★

How does Marmalade compare to its competitors?

Provider name Trustpilot score Defaqto score
Marmalade 4.3 stars 5 stars (3 stars for Experience Driver Essentials)
AXA 4.3 stars 5 stars (3 stars for standard third party, fire and theft and comprehensive car insurance)
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)
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

It can be tough as a young driver to get a reasonable car insurance quote. Fortunately, brokers such as Marmalade are there with multiple options to help get new motorists on the road, whether that’s telematics insurance, pay-as-you-go cover, or named driver insurance. 

It’s not just for youngsters, either. Marmalade’s top-tier Classics cover for experienced drivers received a five-star rating from Defaqto.

There are a few things to be aware of, however. Personal accident cover is below average, it appears not to offer protected no-claims discounts, and some of its cover limits are on the low side.

Frequently asked questions about Marmalade car insurance

Marmalade is part of the Atlanta Group, which itself is owned by the Ardonagh Group. Marmalade’s sister brands include Carole Nash, Autonet and Swinton Group.

Marmalade car insurance is underwritten by Highway Insurance (which is part of LV Group), and Ageas Insurance Limited.

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.