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Principal car insurance

Principal is an independent motor insurance broker that looks to appeal to people whose car may well be just that little bit different.

How good is Principal car insurance?

Trustpilot: 3.6/5 stars

Trustpilot users have given Principal car insurance a rating of 3.6 out of five based on 468 reviews.

Reviews.co.uk: 4.1/5 stars

Principal car insurance is rated 4.12 out of five by the 330 people who have left a review on reviews.co.uk

About Principal insurance

Although it does offer insurance for mass market cars, it specialises in finding cover for more unusual vehicles such as classic cars, kit cars and motorhomes.

And if you should fancy taking your car on a track day, thrashing it round a rally course or using it to get people to the church on time, Principal can find insurance for that as well. 

Founded in 2011, the broker is a relative newcomer to the insurance field but now has more than 45,000 policyholders.

As it was set up by a former director of bike insurance specialist Carole Nash, Principal also offers a range of motorbike insurance, including for trikes and quad bikes.

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Principal car insurance policies

Principal provides three types of cover:

  • Comprehensive

  • Third party, fire and theft

  • Third party

Principal does not offer this type of insurance. Having a black box monitoring your driving can be a good way to reduce the cost of insurance for:

  • young drivers

  • inexperienced drivers

If you think black box insurance may be for you, compare telematics insurance offerings.

Principal excels in this category, offering to insure any combination of:

  • cars

  • motorcycles

  • motorhomes

  • vans

  • campervans

Taking out a multi-car insurance policy can help reduce your insurance costs:

  • if you own more than one car

  • if you’re a family with more than one driver

  • if you’re a couple with more than one vehicle

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Principal does not offer temporary insurance. Its business is very much focused on annual policies.

There is a wide choice of short-term or temporary car insurance available. You can get insured for as little as one hour or have temporary insurance that lasts several months.

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Principal standard car insurance

As Principal is an insurance broker, what will come as standard on your policy will depend on which company on its panel of insurers underwrites the business. 

Details of the various policies can be found on the Principal website.

More than 20 insurance companies are used by Principal. These include:

  • Ageas

  • Aviva

  • Axa

  • LV

  • Markerstudy

  • Zurich

Principal car insurance optional extras

Principal offers a variety of add-ons to its standard car insurance. Unusually, the cost of many of these extras is advertised on the company website. Options include:

Breakdown cover is provided by Axa Assistance and is suitable for cars that are under 16 years old. It is available in nearly 50 European countries. Benefits include:

  • roadside and home assistance

  • recovery to home or destination

  • replacement hire car

  • overnight accommodation

This will pay out up to £10,000 if you are hurt while using your vehicle.

Provides up to £100,000 to claim for loss, compensation or injury in an accident that was not your fault.

The policy offers up to £1,500 to replace lost keys and the locks associated with them. It will also pay for up to three days’ vehicle hire and onward transport costs.

This can be taken out to pay the excess on any claim you make.

This offers up to £25,000 in legal expenses to “protect your licence from wrongfully added points and penalties”.

What is Principal car insurance best for?

Principal is probably most worth a look if your car is not the same as half the cars on your street. 

While it will insure Golfs and Astras, Principal markets itself as offering insurance for “a wider spectrum of specialist vehicles and their owners than any other broker or intermediary”.

Vehicles it offers insurance for include:

  • classic cars

  • prestige cars

  • kit cars

  • high performance cars

  • specialist vehicles

Complaints data

The Financial Ombudsman Service received fewer than 10 complaints about Principal motor insurance 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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