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.
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.
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.
Contact Uswitch: 0800 688 8557
One Call's car insurance provides three levels of cover:
Third party fire and theft
Third party only
It site highlights its comprehensive policies, which it claims can work out cheaper than third party fire and theft or third party policies. This is because the claim histories of of drivers who typically apply for TPFT and TP cover drives up overall premiums in those categories. This may or may not be the case for you.
Yes, One Call offers black box, telematics insurance.
Yes, One Call offers multi-policy discount for each additional policy.
Yes, One Call offers instant temporary comprehensive cover from one to 84 days.
One Call car insurance offers these features as standard with its policies:
Free breakdown membership
Free motor legal cover
Uninsured driver promise
Additional driver bonus builder
Second car discount
Free basic breakdown membership worth £39 plus an option to upgrade.
Free motor legal cover for the cost of advice after an accident, plus 24/7 helpline.
Free hire car: subject to availability, you’ll automatically be eligible for a hire car if your car is off the road for repairs or written-off as a result of a non-fault claim. You can also upgrade to a guaranteed hire car.
Additional Driver Bonus Builder. One Call comprehensive policies allow named drivers to build up their own no claims discount (NCD) for every year they don’t make a claim.
Second car discount.
Some comprehensive policies bought through One Call offer additional features. These will vary according to policy and provider.
The most common additions are:
Liability whilst towing: extends your comprehensive cover to trailers.
Driving Other Cars (DOC). You are covered to drive other cars, with permission, but one a Third Party Only basis. Check policy documents for restrictions.
Windscreen cover. A claim won’t usually affect your No Claims Discount (NCD), but an excess is likely to be payable.
Key cover for locks and keys damaged or lost as a result of an accident, fire or theft, plus lost keys.
Audio equipment: repair or replacement of your in-car audio systems (usually both original and aftermarket). Check claims limits.
Uninsured driver cover. If your car is damaged in an accident with an uninsured driver, and it is their fault, One Call will repay your excess and restore your NCD, provided you can tell the insurer the other driver’s vehicle registration, make and model.
New for old replacement. If your car is under 12 months old and declared a write-off most insurers will provide a brand new like-for-like replacement.
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.
Some One Call comprehensive car insurance policies have a DOC clause, enabling you to drive another car on the basis of Third Party Only cover, with the owner’s permission, assuming the vehicle is insured elsewhere. Age restrictions and further terms may apply.
Some of One Call’s panel of insurers cover classic cars, 4x4s and modified cars.
One Call Safely Insured will cover learners aged 17 to 25 who learn in their own vehicle, for one to five months or a year. For learners without their own cars, cover is available for one to 140 days to learners aged 17 to 30.
If your vehicle is not driveable, this offers a hire vehicle for the duration of a claim or settlement received, whichever is sooner. In some circumstances this term may be limited to 14 days.
Policies from One Call typically include personal accident cover, often including cover for a spouse.
These policy features offer personal injury compensation, in some cases recovery of out of pocket expenses (so it can cover you for loss of earnings), and any consequential loss.
Some policies offer a personal injury assistance service.
Car windscreen cover is standard on One Call comprehensive policies. It entitles you to a repair if your windscreen becomes chipped and a replacement if it is cracked or smashed. Claims won’t affect your NCD, but you may have to pay an excess. For non-comprehensive policies, check policy documents.
This covers you against the excess specified on your schedule if you have an accident (including accidents with uninsured drivers).
This tops up the settlement amount you receive from a motor insurer if your vehicle is written off following an accident, fire or theft.
This covers your portable hand or power driven tools if they are stolen or damaged while being carried in or on your vehicle and while being loaded or unloaded.
This covers your gadget if it is accidently damaged, stolen, or suffers a mechanical or electrical breakdown outside of the manufacturer’s guarantee period. It covers digital cameras, portable games consoles, iPods, MP3 players, mobile phones, portable satellite navigation devices, tablets and video cameras.
This covers audio equipment but may be limited to that which was installed in the car originally.
Personal belongings cover does not come as standard on all One Call policies but some policy providers include it.
One Call offers four different breakdown policies:
All offer the usual roadside assistance and recovery, but other features vary depending on the policy.
The One Insurance basic policy, which can cover cars, vans and motorcycles, includes and onward destination service, free within a ten mile radius (£3 a mile thereafter), and cover for any insured driver, with your permission. There is an overall limit of two claims per policy.
The One Insurance Gold policy also offers home start, unlimited callouts, wheel changes, an onward destination service, and no callout excess.
The ERS breakdown policy offers as standard home start, European breakdown cover, cover for lost keys and misfuelling, and payment for a chauffeur if the only driver is medically unfit to drive.
One Call also supplies RAC breakdown cover in the UK and EU, which includes home start, onward travel, replacement car hire, replacement driver, vehicle break-in cover, vehicle repatriation, and accidental damage to, or loss of, a tent.
One Call policies offer free motor legal cover for the cost of advice after an accident, plus a 24/7 legal advice helpline.
One Call van insurance is available as comprehensive, TPFT and TPO.
free breakdown membership with optional upgrades
free motor legal cover
optional tools in transit cover
One Call provides policies from various insurers so cover varies but, depending on the insurer it may include:
Courtesy vehicles (under limited circumstances)
Entertainment, communication and navigational equipment, provided it is permanently fitted to the van
One Call also offers commercial van insurance, including:
Courier insurance, which covers you as a courier but also covers the contents of the packages you carry. Some policies also cover the contents of high-value items, though typically you pay more for this.
Goods in transit insurance, required if you carry dangerous, hazardous or valuable cargo.
Pickup truck insurance. These are often classed as vans by insurers, but in some cases may need specialist cover.
One Call offers bike insurance from 13 insurers. One Call Motorcycle cover includes as standard:
Breakdown service membership
No claims discount
Examples of what policies cover include:
Loss of or damage to your motorcycle, its accessories or spare parts
Liability to others
Access to legal advice
Cover for legal personal representatives
Cover when your motorcycle is being serviced, overhauled or repaired
New motorcycle benefit
Hotel or travel expenses
Uninsured loss recovery and out of pocket expenses, eg, loss of earnings
Personal injury compensation
Helmet and leathers
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 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.
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.
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.
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.