GoSkippy is a broker that supports around a dozen car insurance underwriters. Offering comprehensive and third party, fire and theft policies, the company markets itself as a provider of competitively priced, no frills products.
5/5 stars (Southern Rock and Watford)
4.5/5 stars (Ageas and Covea)
Note: Not all Defaqto products with the same star ratings have the same covers and terms.
Trustpilot rating: 4.3/5 stars
On Trustpilot, GoSkippy has a 4.3 star rating from around 8,700 reviews, with more than two-thirds of reviewers giving it an 'excellent' grade.
Launched in 2012 to provide a more distinctive branding for Eldon Insurance, GoSkippy is predominantly owned by businessman Arron Banks. Skip, is the company’s kangaroo mascot.
The company says it is one of the fastest growing brokers in the UK with a broadening range of services on offer, but its star rated products remain motor insurance policies.
Eldon Insurance, two years after the launch of GoSkippy, founded Footprint to sell van and motorbike insurance, which is now sold under the GoSkippy brand.
The parent company, also in 2014, entered a partnership to sell insurance under the Debenhams brand. It is also a 50% owner of a joint venture called Vavista, which provides car and life insurance.
In late 2017, Banks said he was aiming to float Eldon Insurance on the London stock market with an initial public offering that he hoped would raise £250m.
GoSkippy remains in private hands, with Banks owning a controlling share, and since October 2016, the broker has traded under the banner of its managing general agent Somerset Bridge, with Eldon Insurance becoming defunct as a business entity in 2017.
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Exactly what is covered on a GoSkippy policy depends which provider you get. To provide an example of what you can expect, let’s take a look at the Southern Rock comprehensive cover. It offers, as standard, the following services:
Loss or damage to your car – this includes the theft of permanently fitted in-car entertainment, personal belongings, replacement of any broken glass, the cost of replacing children's car seats and booster seats and theft of car keys
Vandalism promise – report your vandalised vehicle to the police and get your crime reference number, and you won't lose your no claims discount when you make a claim for repairs
Personal accident cover – this includes the costs of NHS emergency medical treatment and other medical expenses up to £5,000
Uninsured driver no claims bonus protection – if a driver without insurance hits your car and it wasn't your fault the policy will cover the excess and protect your no claims discount
New car cover – if your car is written off, or stolen and not recovered and is less than a year old it will be replaced with a new one of the same make and model
Any vehicle repairs carried out by an approved repairer after an accident or other damage is guaranteed for five years
Courtesy car provided while your car is being repaired and overnight accommodation and transport following a claim
30 days of full comprehensive cover while abroad
GoSkippy brokers services for several policy providers. These are:
ABC Insurance – a trading brand that is part of the Liverpool Victoria (LV) group of companies, and offers a simple comprehensive plan and a third party, fire and theft plan
Ageas – which offers simple comprehensive and third party, fire and theft plans, and additional comprehensive plans that provide a range of added benefits
Aviva – similar basic plans along with optional extras for an additional premium
Covea – offers similar comprehensive and third party, fire and theft policies
Highway – also a member of the LV group of companies, offers simple policies for both comprehensive and third party, fire and theft
KGM Motor – offers basic plans under both insurance brackets
LV – simple basic policies with the optional extra of no claims discount protection
Octane – offers a comprehensive policy
Sabre – offers both basic types of policy, with the addition of third party only insurance
Southern Rock – in addition to the comprehensive policy examined in detail above, the company offers third party, fire and theft, and third party only insurance
Watford – GoSkippy’s other five star rated insurance brand, Watford offers a wide range of comprehensive, third party, fire and theft, and third party only policies
XS Direct – offers basic comprehensive cover
As the name suggests, this type of insurance policy is the most basic form of cover offered in the UK. It complies with the minimum legal requirements of the Road Traffic Act, and not a lot more.
If an accident is your fault it covers your legal liability to any other party, covering costs to repair damage to their vehicle and compensation for any injuries they have sustained.
There is no cover for damage to your car or injury to yourself, even if you did not cause the accident. Third party only cover offers the cheapest alternative, so is likely to appeal more to those with a tight budget and older cars.
Among GoSkippy's policy providers, KGM, Sabre, Southern Rock and Watford provide third party only cover.
In addition to its standard package of services, GoSkippy can offer a range of optional extras that can be added to your insurance policy.
This optional extra covers you for up to £100,000, to pay for a legal team - whether to pursue damages following an accident that wasn't your fault, or perhaps to defend you against prosecution by another driver if there is a reasonable chance of a successful outcome.
With this add-on you can make sure you don't have to rely on public transport if your vehicle is being repaired following an accident or theft. A replacement vehicle will be provided for up to 14 days.
Three options are available for GoSkippy breakdown cover – all provided by the RAC.
RAC Roadside and Recovery – vehicle repair at the roadside, or recovery to a destination of your choice if a roadside fix is not possible
RAC Full UK Breakdown – as above, with addition of replacement car hire, alternative transport costs or hotel accommodation if your car cannot be fixed at the roadside
RAC Full UK and EU Breakdown – as above, but providing also transportation of your vehicle back from Europe, providing the repatriation costs are less than the market value of the vehicle
This service provides you with a key fob, and any keys attached to it will be covered if stolen, lost or broken. You will also be reimbursed the cost of gaining access and for replacement keys.
After putting the wrong fuel in your car tank, a specialist vehicle will attend to empty and flush out your tank and replenish with 10 litres of the correct fuel.
Repair or replacement of cracked or chipped windscreens and windows.
This policy addition will enable you to claim back your compulsory excess following a claim.
This extra will pay out up to £30,000 if you, your spouse or partner suffer accidental bodily injury, disability or death when travelling in your car.
GoSkippy guarantees its broking service will find a policy to suit any driver and any budget. Indeed, most of the reviewers that give the service five stars on Trustpilot remark on the competitive pricing. Praise is also offered for:
Cheapest comprehensive policy with best add-ons
Competitive renewal prices
Great customer service
Easy online quote and purchasing experience
Most of GoSkippy’s mentions in the media are linked to the activities of Arron Banks, particularly his links to the Brexit campaign
Insurance Times reported in February 2019 that Eldon and Leave.UK, Banks’ Brexit campaign group, had been fined £120,000 by the Information Commissioners Office for sending more than a million emails to Leave.UK subscribers for the purpose of direct marketing of the insurance group’s services.
In the Financial Times in June 2018, concerns were raised over the financial health of the company, which made a loss of £21,000 in 2016 on turnover of £47.2m.
The latest Somerset Bridge accounts filed to Companies House for the year to December 31, 2018, show losses growing – £8.8m for the year despite turnover of £5.4m – after incurring £14.2m in administrative costs.
The Financial Ombudsman Service received 97 motor insurance complaints about Somerset Bridge, which owns the Go Skippy brand, in the first half of 2020. Somerset Bridge refused to say how much total GWP it has for motor get an accurate idea of market share. Its complaints numbers make it about the 13th most complained about insurance brand but it is thought to have a smaller market share.
The two main insurers used by Go Skippy are Bermuda-based Watford, which had 57 complaints in the first six months of 2020, and Gibraltar-based Southern Rock, which had 22. Neither responded to requests for GWP figures or to comment on their complaints records.
To put complaints in context, 67 firms had 10 or more complaints each and those totalled 4,550 complaints. Nearly 200 firms had fewer than 10 complaints each, sharing just 479 complaints between them.