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Policy Expert home insurance | Policies compared with competitors

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Policy Expert review: Cover and claims process compared with competitors

Launched in 2011, Policy Expert is trusted by more than 1 million car and home insurance customers in the UK and has been rated the number one home insurance provider on Review Centre for the past 10 years. Offering three levels of cover, Policy Expert provides contents and buildings insurance, with a variety of optional extras for a more tailored package.  

Policy Expert has received multiple awards over the years, but more recently has been awarded Insurance Innovation of the Year in the Insurance Times Awards and Excellence in Customer Service in the Lanarkshire Business Excellence Awards.

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Policy Expert offers three levels of policies, each comprising buildings and contents packages. There are also several optional extras that customers can add to their policy, allowing for customised cover. 

The claims process for Policy Expert is easy to follow, using the online forms. Making a claim via telephone is just as simple – in only a few steps you can speak to a helpful advisor, whether or not it’s an emergency claim. 

Our experts compared Policy Expert with four other leading home insurance companies – analysing customer feedback, the claims process and their products. The verdict was that Policy Expert offers three levels of policies, which is more than some, and, overall, its customer feedback is positive and its policies are rated highly by Defaqto. Its products are competitively priced and are good value for money.

Our product review and research process

6
policies reviewed
4
competitors compared
100+
hours of research
500+
customer reviews read
3
experts consulted

Our researchers and writers are dedicated to bringing you accurate and up-to-date information so you can make an informed decision when it comes to comparing and buying home insurance.

We will only endorse home insurance products after hundreds of hours of research, policy comparisons and mystery shopping, and after taking into account verified customer feedback and reviews, and the opinions of industry experts.

To write our articles, we’ve compared (and continue to compare) hundreds of insurance policies from dozens of the UK’s insurers – big and small. We focus our research on:

  • Cost and value for money
  • The level of coverage offered (and what’s not covered as standard)
  • Customer service and ease of making a claim

All of our articles are verified by industry experts, including regulatory compliance specialists, and the policy data verified by the insurance providers themselves, so you can be assured that our content is as accurate and up to date as possible.

Even after all that, we would still recommend that you don’t just take our word for it – you should compare quotes to get the best deal for you and your home. To read more about our process, check out our article on how we cover home insurance companies.

Policy Expert home insurance policy comparison

Policy Expert offers three levels of home insurance – Bronze, Silver and Gold – with each one including contents or buildings cover. With all of Policy Expert’s policies, customers can choose to take out contents and buildings cover separately or combine them, but there’s no set combined policy option. 

Policy Expert offers tailored cover across all of its policies, as well as add-ons and free home emergency and legal expenses cover for its Silver and Gold policyholders. Premiums can be paid in instalments or in a lump sum, with the latter being the least expensive option.

PolicyPolicy typeBuildings max sum insuredContents max sum insured
Policy Expert BronzeContents£60,000
Policy Expert BronzeBuildings£600,000
Policy Expert SilverContents£75,000
Policy Expert SilverBuildings£1,000,000
Policy Expert GoldContents£100,000
Policy Expert GoldBuildings£1,000,000

What does Policy Expert home insurance cover as standard?

Policy Expert’s home insurance policies offer a comprehensive level of cover as standard, with options to customise each policy with added extras. The website is user-friendly and jargon-free, and our researchers consider it to be transparent, compared with some other home insurance websites we have reviewed. The company’s maximum amount of cover is clearly outlined for each one of its policies, and the information needed to find out what’s covered can be found in each policy’s product summary document.

PolicyPolicy Expert BronzePolicy Expert SilverPolicy Expert Gold
Cover type →ContentsBuildingsContentsBuildingsContentsBuildings
Cover ↓
Alternative accommodation (buildings)Up to £75,000Up to £100,000Up to £150,000
Alternative accommodation (contents)Up to £10,000Up to £10,000Up to £25,000
Credit cards in and away from home£1,000£1,000£1,000
Personal money in the home£250£250£1,000
Freezer contents£300£500£750
Property owners’ liability£2,000,000£2,000,000£5,000,000
Replacement locks or keys£300£500£1,000
New-for-old cover as standardYesYesYes
Pedal cycles in your homeUp to £1,000Up to £1,000Up to £3,000
Finding the source of a leak causing damage to your homeUp to £5,000Up to £10,000Up to buildings sum insured
Accidental loss of metered water or domestic heating oilUp to £500Up to £500Up to £1,000
Business equipmentUp to £500Up to £1,000Up to £5,000
Contents in the open within the boundaries of your propertyUp to £350Up to £1,000
Contents in outbuildings within the boundaries of your propertyUp to £2,500Up to £5,000
Digital downloads coverUp to £2,000Up to £2,500
Student coverUp to £2,000 for contents in student accommodationUp to £5,000 for contents in student accommodation
Weddings, birthdays and religious festivals coverIncrease contents sum insured by up to 10%Increase contents sum insured by up to 15%

Optional extras

For an additional fee, optional extras can be added to any one of Policy Expert’s three levels of cover. Adding extras to your home insurance can extend the standard cover as well as allow you to receive cover that is customised to your needs. Home emergency and legal expenses cover can be added for Policy Expert’s Bronze policy – for Gold and Silver customers, this comes as standard at no extra cost.

Optional extraPolicy Expert GoldPolicy Expert SilverPolicy Expert Bronze
Additional accidental damage to your buildings
Additional accidental damage to your contents
Personal possessions away from your property
Higher limits on pedal cyclesIncludes anywhere in the UK (and worldwide for up to 45 days)Includes anywhere in the UK (and worldwide for up to 30 days)Includes anywhere in the UK (and worldwide for up to 30 days)
Legal expensesIncluded as standardIncluded as standard
Home emergenciesIncluded as standardIncluded as standard
Key cover (up to £1,500)
Items stolen from an unattended vehicle (as long as it’s locked)
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What’s in the small print?

It’s crucial to go through the small print whenever you take out a home insurance policy. Usually, the small print is where you’ll find what’s excluded from your home insurance policy as well as other important clauses.

Our experts analysed Policy Expert’s small print and discovered a number of important exclusions you should know about: 

  • If your home has been left unfurnished or unoccupied (not lived in by you or your family for more than 45 days in a row), you’re not covered for loss or damage caused by the escape of water, malicious damage, theft, or accidental damage
  • You’re not covered for loss or damage caused by frost, smog, or emissions
  • Items left in unattended vehicles are not covered – unless the items are left out of sight and the car is locked
  • If you carry out any business activities at your property (not office or administrative work) or if you have any business stock at your property, you are not insured for that
  • Your boiler or heating system is not covered if it hasn’t been serviced in the last 15 months
  • Your boiler isn’t covered if it’s more than 15 years old or has an output of more than 60kW
  • Replacement water tanks, cylinders, radiators, or any outside pipes, taps, or toilets
  • Help with or cover for your underfloor heating
  • Policy Expert doesn’t cover matching sets or pairs of furniture – except for Gold policies, where it will pay 50 per cent towards matching items for successful claims 

Where are you covered? 

There are a few conditions included in Policy Expert’s small print regarding your location:

  • Policy Expert Gold, Silver and Bronze: You’re covered at the home you’re insuring (as long as it’s in the UK)
  • Policy Expert Gold: If you’ve selected to insure your personal possessions, they will be covered while away from your property anywhere in the world
  • Policy Expert Silver and Bronze: If you’ve selected to insure your personal possessions, they will be covered while you’re away from your property anywhere in the UK, and for up to 30 days per year abroad

What are the excesses and no claims discounts for Policy Expert home insurance?

Home insurance excess is a pre-agreed amount that you must pay when you make a claim. The excess can be deducted from the claim or settled separately. Typically, home insurance excess consists of two parts – compulsory and voluntary – and these amounts must be paid by the policyholder when a claim is made. The compulsory amount is set by the insurance provider and the voluntary amount is set by you based on how much you could afford to contribute in the event of a claim. The more you can afford to contribute, generally, the less your home insurance premium will be. 

Compulsory excesses:

  • Standard excess is £250, but you may choose a different excess amount for both contents and buildings insurance 
  • Subsidence: £1,000 for buildings and £250 for contents (may vary depending on the history of your property/area)

No claims discount

Home insurers may offer a no claims discount if customers have made no claims over the course of the year. Many providers also allow this discount to accumulate for every consecutive year of no claims for up to nine years or more. 

Policy Expert offers a discount for each consecutive year in which you haven’t made a claim. There’s also an opportunity to protect your no claims discount for an additional fee, however, this will not protect the overall price of your insurance policy.

How to make a claim on your Policy Expert home insurance

If you need to make a claim on your home insurance, Policy Expert has an online process to follow – all you need to do is log in to your account and follow the instructions. Alternatively, you can call to start a claim. 

Online claims process

For non-emergencies, you can make new claims and manage existing claims online 24/7. It is one of the simplest ways to make a claim, taking less than 10 minutes to complete. 

Step 1: You are asked to input your personal details, including your policy number and the date when the incident happened.

Step 2: Once logged on to Policy Expert’s claims provider, Trinity Claims, you’re prompted to explain the claim in detail.

Step 3: An advisor will contact you within 48 hours to discuss the next steps. If making a claim at the weekend, expect to wait until the next working day before you’re contacted. 

Phone claims process

Home emergencies: Silver and Gold customers have home emergency cover included in their plans and can call 0330 0600 681 for heating, plumbing, and drainage problems or if their home isn’t secure. 

Step 1: After calling, you’ll first be put through to an automated response.

Step 2: Choose the option most applicable to your claim (after doing so, our researchers found the phone was answered promptly by a person after one ring).

Non-emergencies

Step 1: After calling 0330 0600 670, you’ll hear a recorded message with options to choose from.

Step 2: There are multiple options – including car insurance and options for Policy Expert’s different home insurance partners – so be sure to select Policy Expert’s home insurance option.

Step 3: The next option will give you choices for which type of home insurance claim you’re calling about.

Step 4: You’ll now be put through to an advisor best suited to your claim. Our researchers found that the wait time varied depending on the time of day. Sometimes they were put through to an advisor following the last automated response in just one ring, at other times it could take up to 20 minutes.

Policy Expert phone numbers

Home claims: 0330 0600 670

Home emergency cover: 0330 0600 681

Policy Expert office hours:

  • Monday to Thursday: 9am to 8pm 
  • Friday: 9am to 6pm
  • Saturday: 9am to 2pm
  • Sunday: Closed

Policy Expert’s customer service

Policy Expert has a UK-based call centre and an emergency phone line (available 24/7) – both of which have an automated response before you can speak to someone. Our researchers found that both phone lines have an easy process to follow and have friendly customer service personnel.

Policy Expert also has a live chat service, email and a phone number to text – all of which can be used to ask questions about your policies and find helpful information. Unlike some other home insurance companies, Policy Expert does not have a downloadable app for its customers to use. While the company is still accessible and has many channels through which you can speak to an advisor, the drawback of not having an app means customers may find it less convenient to log in to a web page as opposed to a purpose-built app. 

Our researchers found that emails sent during office hours were answered within a few hours. They also found that the automated phone service took a minimum of three steps before calls rang through to a person. On the emergency helpline, our researchers were put through to a person after one ring, and it took three rings for the non-emergency helpline.

How do customers rate Policy Expert?

Policy Expert has a Trustpilot score of 4.7 out of five, with more than 65,970 online reviews. Five-star reviews make up 78 per cent of the total, while one- to three-star reviews make up just 5 per cent of the total. Most of the complaints focus on difficulties encountered while making claims, and not being able to access online accounts. It should be noted that these figures also include reviews of car insurance products.

“Kamal was so efficient at sorting my home insurance; friendly and helpful from the start. It makes it so much easier to ask questions and take your time to make sure the policy you have is right for you. Thank you Kamal!”

“Setting up online account access is difficult if you have both car and home insurance. I expected to have one login but you have to use a login for each policy, as the home and car departments don’t talk to each other. This means that your password manager doesn’t work. It would be useful and would have saved an hour and a half if we knew this at the time of trying to set them up! It would be so easy to have one login and then select which of your policies you want. The cover and price of both policies are great. Can’t comment on claims or payouts as you only find this out when the worst happens.”

“It seems as though the majority of positive reviews on here haven’t actually needed to make a claim. Unfortunately, when you do need to claim, you’ll be passed onto Trinity Claims/QIC Europe, who are an absolute nightmare to deal with; they take an age to answer the phone and will try their hardest to reject your claim under wear and tear or literally anything they can grasp at. The price is good on the surface but, in my opinion, you’re paying Policy Expert to say you’re insured, not to actually be insured. Stay far, far away if you can.”

How do others rate Policy Expert?

Defaqto compares financial products and provides unbiased ratings and in-depth information on services and products, allowing consumers and financial institutions to make better, highly informed decisions. Defaqto’s researchers conduct consumer research and meet with industry experts to finalise reports.  

Defaqto awards Policy Expert home insurance policies: 

★★★★★ Policy Expert Gold home insurance

   ★★★★ Policy Expert Silver home insurance

   ★★★★ Policy Expert Bronze home insurance

How does Policy Expert compare?

Policy Expert offers three levels of home insurance policy – Policy Expert Gold, Silver and Bronze – with each one providing an option for buildings or contents home insurance. With each policy level, you can combine buildings and contents, however, there is no exclusive policy for this. All of Policy Expert’s policies have a range of add-ons, allowing a tailored home insurance quote. 

Our experts compared four other home insurance companies to Policy Expert. 

Just like Policy Expert, LV offers three levels of policy. However, LV also offers an exclusive combined policy for all levels of cover, which could be easier for customers who wish to insure buildings and contents. More Than is another home insurance company that offers a combined policy, however, the insurer only has two levels of policy to choose from. 

Policy Expert’s 4.7 Trustpilot rating is the highest out of the five companies compared, with LV and Aviva’s scores not too far behind. Although these scores are rated by customers, it’s a good insight into a company’s customer service. 

When we compared Defaqto ratings, carried out by professionals, Policy Expert received five stars for its gold policy and four stars for its silver and bronze policies. Other companies, such as Esure and Aviva, received five stars for all their policies.

InsurerBuildingsContentsBuildings and contents combinedDefaqto scoreTrustpilot score
Policy Expert★★★★ (Silver and Bronze policies) ★★★★★ (Gold policies)4.7
LV★★★ (Essentials policies) ★★★★★ (Home and Home Plus policies)4.6
More Than★★★ (Primary and Upgraded policies)3.8
Aviva★★★★★ (Online and Premium policies)4.5
Esure★★★★★ (Buildings, contents and combined policies)4.1

Independent Advisor’s verdict

Policy Expert’s home insurance is designed to suit a variety of budgets, offering three levels of cover – Gold, Silver and Bronze. With each policy level, customers can choose optional extras to tailor their packages to suit their individual requirements. 

Our researchers found that Policy Expert’s website was user-friendly and each policy level had an overview of what’s covered and what’s not. All of its optional extras are easy to find in all of the policy documents and even on the home insurance homepage. 

In terms of customer service, our researchers found Policy Expert’s claims processes to be relatively straightforward. A downside to Policy Expert is that there’s no downloadable app, which means the logging-in process is slightly more time-consuming compared with other home insurance providers that have a purpose-built app. 

Policy Expert is rated highly by Defaqto and receives one of the highest ratings by customers on Trustpilot – but that’s not to say there are no negatives; some customers complained about the company’s outsourced claims service, Trinity Claims, being unreliable when they wished to make a claim.

Overall, Policy Expert offers a comprehensive range of home insurance products with a good level of cover available as standard. The company allows customers to accumulate a no claims discount over a period of nine years.

rachel

Rachel Sadler

Home Tech Writer

Rachel is a seasoned writer who has been producing online and print content for seven years. 

As a home tech expert for Independent Advisor, Rachel researches and writes buying guides and reviews, helping consumers navigate the realms of broadband and home security gadgets. She also covers home tech for The Federation of Master Builders, where she reviews and tests home security devices. 

She started as a news and lifestyle journalist in Hong Kong reporting on island-wide news stories, food and drink and the city’s events. She’s written for editorial platforms Sassy Hong Kong, Localiiz and Bay Media. While in Hong Kong she attended PR events, interviewed local talent and project-managed photoshoots. 

Rachel holds a BA in English Language and Creative Writing and is committed to simplifying tech jargon and producing unbiased reviews.