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One Call car insurance

One Call offers an array of financial products and services designed for and exclusively available to those aged 50+, including insurance, holidays, healthcare and a monthly magazine.

How good is One Call car insurance?

Defaqto rating: 1/5 stars

This rating applied to two of One Call's policies: One Call Learner Driver (supplied by KGM) and Private Car (XS Direct) with an excess of £1,000 - £3,000.

Note: Not all Defaqto products with the same star ratings have the same covers and terms.

Trustpilot rating: 4.5/5 stars

TrustPilot gives One Call a rating of 4.5 out of five based on 51,234 reviews. Of these 73% were excellent and 8% bad.



About One Call Insurance

One Call Insurance was started by John Radford as a high street insurance broker in Doncaster, South Yorkshire in 1995, and today is one of the few independent brokers left in the UK. It is still privately owned, and John Radford remains as CEO, but after 25 years it has been transformed into a national broker with over half a million customers.

It started out offering car insurance, though it now also sells van and motorbike insurance plus travel, business, pet, life, health, income protection and home policies. 

Should I buy One Call car insurance?

One Call Insurance is like a supermarket with an aisle of fun down the middle. As well as a huge choice of car insurance essentials, if you rummage around a bit you can find some extraordinary items that you didn’t know you needed until you discovered them.

En route to a camping holiday when the tent flies off the car roof? One Call offers a policy that will replace it. On a walking holiday and twist your ankle so that you can’t drive? One Call offers a policy that pays for a chauffeur. 

One Call is a broker, and like a good supermarket, carries a huge range of brands and products from different insurance suppliers. It offers policies from 33 providers for car insurance and 18 for van insurance alone. 

It offers no advice or recommendations but claims to provide enough information to allow you to make an informed decision. Here you are being your own broker – so you need to do the research yourself. 

You have go to the Policy Document, look in the list of categories, and download policy documents to check what each covers and what is excluded. 

It’s a long and complicated task - so here we have done it for you. Read on to find out what One Call can cover. 

We can’t list every option on every policy, but the information below should give you a good idea of what One Call offers.

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One Call car insurance policies

What do I get as standard car insurance cover with One Call?

One Call has additional car insurance cover options

One Call’s extensive range of extra cover options, offered by numerous insurance companies, vary widely, even where the types of cover have the same generic name. Check the policy documents. Don’t forget to check if you can get a better deal elsewhere. 

Additional types of cover from One Call include:

What is One Call car insurance best for?

One Call prides itself on its use of technology to provide the best service and cover for the cheapest price.  

One Call offers protected no claims bonus, free breakdown and legal cover, and free motor legal advice service as standard on its policies.

Its UK-based contact centre has been recognised as a Top Retailer by www.reviews.co.uk for its consistently high scores and positive feedback.

  • Customers make many policy changes online.

  • It has an online renewal checker that provides fast renewal quotes. 

  • It offers discount off every additional policy bought online. 

One Call in the news

Most recently

One Call recently launched Renewal Checker, a time-saving online tool that returns the best price for renewal, based on the data you enter and information from external partners. If you are happy with the quote you can renew online right away.

Doncaster Rovers

One Call is well known as the long-term shirt sponsor of Doncaster Rovers Football Club and in the past few years has supported Doncaster-based charities such as Firefly, Bluebell Wood and Eve Merton Dreams Trust.

Social media

It does not seem to go in for advertising much and there are no blog posts or news entries on its website, but its Facebook page regularly features new videos. 

Covid-19

It responded to the pandemic by negotiating discounts for new and renewing customers, and NHS staff and carers were automatically upgraded from standard to gold breakdown cover.

Customers who were volunteering to help in the pandemic were covered for their volunteering work at no extra cost with no need to notify One Call. 

It offered a payment holiday to customers needing it, before it was mandated by the FCA, and removed amendment fees for customers removing business use from a policy or reducing their annual mileage.

During lockdown staff worked from home supporting customers via live chat, to maintain opening hours and service levels despite reduced staff levels. 

Financial Conduct Authority action

In January 2018, the Financial Conduct Authority announced that One Call was to be fined £684,000 and its chief executive John Radford £468,600, for what it termed a “failure to arrange adequate protection” and “inadvertent spending” of client money. 

The FCA found the firm had inadvertently placed a non-risk transfer premium with insurer money, and had dipped into the account to fund its own working capital requirements, make payments to directors and, indirectly, to capitalise a connected company, One Insurance Limited.

It said One Call’s inadvertent spending of client money resulted in a substantial client money deficit of £17.3m (subsequently repaid) and exposed customers to a significant risk of loss. 

One Call accepted the FCA’s findings. A spokesperson said: “In early 2014, One Call Insurance Services and John Radford realised that they had made an error in the client money calculation and immediately reported it to the FCA. The client money deficit was then rectified. Both One Call Insurance and John Radford express regret for this miscalculation. Their intention, as always, was to help consumers achieve the best possible price in an increasingly competitive motor insurance market.”

The FCA decided that Radford, “is not fit and proper to have any responsibility for client money or insurer money in the context of regulated financial services. This is on the basis of his lack of competence to perform such functions.” 

One Call was restricted from charging renewal fees to its customers for 121 days, which the FCA said was expected to cost One Call approximately £4.6m.

Industry commentators felt that the One Call case was indicative of widespread confusion within the industry about the FCA’s rules on client money.

Complaints data

The Financial Ombudsman Service received 31 complaints about One Call Insurance Services in the first half of 2020. 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.

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