Defaqto: 3/5 stars
Hughes Insurance car insurance is rated as three stars by Defaqto, an independent financial research company.
Note: Not all Defaqto products with the same star ratings have the same covers and terms.
Hughes Insurance was established in Northern Ireland in 1977 and has over 200 employees based in six locations across the province. It prides itself on being a long-established local company and having a call centre based in Northern Ireland.
It is a private limited company that operates exclusively in Northern Ireland. In 2014, it was acquired by American giant Liberty Mutual Insurance but operates as a stand-alone business under its existing brand.
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Use less paper, plant more trees
Hughes Insurance is dedicated to climate change and this year launched a campaign to use less paper and plant more trees by partnering with the Woodland Trust Northern Ireland.
When an insurance customer switches to paperless communication, the company donates £2 to the Woodland Trust with the aim of planting thousands of new trees across Northern Ireland by 2022.
According to Hughes Insurance, Northern Ireland is one of the least-wooded regions in Europe, with just 8% woodland cover compared with the European average of 37%.
It has a paperless communications target of 80% and has already seen 10% of customers change their preferences this year meaning 47% of customers are now paperless.
Leave the phone alone campaign
Last year the company also partnered with Belfast Live to raise awareness of how dangerous it is to use a phone while driving.
The insurer believes driving when using a mobile phone is the ‘new drink driving’ and is the biggest challenge facing road safety chiefs today.
The Financial Ombudsman Service received fewer than 10 car insurance complaints about Hughes (that could have been a single complaint). 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.