Trustpilot rating: 4.3/5 stars
Churchill has a 4.3-star rating, with more than two-thirds of 2,700 reviewers awarding an 'excellent' grade.
Churchill is a highly rated insurance company on many business rating websites. It offers comprehensive and third-party, fire and theft policies, with many quality services provided as standard under its comprehensive cover.
Churchill, famed for its nodding bulldog mascot, was founded by Martin Long in 1989 and was one of the first insurers to provide cover directly to customers without the need of brokers.
Offering the two main levels of motor insurance, Churchill has built a strong reputation and is rated highly on review websites and customer endorsement pages.
Backed, initially, by Credit Suisse subsidiary Winterthur, Churchill launched its first website in 1995, and a year later “Churchie” – the nodding pooch with the "Oh, yes" catchphrase – was adopted as its mascot.
A year after its 1989 launch, Churchill added home insurance to its range of products, and it now also offers cover for vehicle breakdown, travel, pets, young drivers, life insurance and over-50s life insurance, public liability cover and landlord insurance.
In 2002, the company's biggest coup was the acquisition of the insurance business of venerated 172-year-old financial services group Prudential. The following year, however, saw the purchase of Churchill by Royal Bank of Scotland for £1.1bn.
Following its bailout during the financial crisis, RBS was instructed to sell off many of its non-banking assets. The company hived off its insurance business and Churchill became part of the new Direct Line Group, which became fully divested in 2014.
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Churchill marketing manager Emma Cava highlights that the company has been a name to trust for more than 30 years, and with Churchie as mascot, one of the most instantly recognisable brands in the market.
She adds that Churchill has been rewarded with five-star Defaqto and Moneyfacts ratings because its customers enjoy peace of mind knowing that they’re covered by a 24-hour emergency helpline, a vandalism promise to ensure no claims discounts are maintained and a courtesy car to keep drivers on the road.
In May Churchill said it would give a partial refund to customers who have not been using their cars as much during the Covid-19 pandemic. A statement read: “Your insurance premium is partially based on estimated mileage, so if you’re not on the road as much, it’s only fair you get some money back.”
In June 2019, parent company Direct Line announced a partnership with Starling, the challenger bank. Churchill has been added to Starling’s in-app Marketplace and the bank’s customers who choose to select home insurance will be directed to the insurer’s quote page.
The Financial Ombudsman Service received fewer than 10 car insurance complaints about Churchill (that might have been a single complaint) in the first half of 2020. The Ombudsman did receive 471 car insurance complaints about UK Insurance, owner of the Churchill brand, in the first half of 2020. This was the second highest number of complaints but that would be expected of the second biggest car insurer in the UK. Crucially UK insurance had just over 9% of complaints but nearly 14% of the market, so had far fewer complaints than might be expected given its size. To put that in context, 67 firms had 10 or more complaints each and those totalled 4,550 complaints. Nearly 200 firms had fewer than 10 each, sharing just 479 complaints between them.