Defaqto rating: 5/5 stars
Defaqto rates Privilege high, awarding its Comprehensive, Comprehensive and DriveXpert policies five stars.
Note: Not all Defaqto five-star rated products have the same covers and terms.
Privilege has been offering insurance since 1994. Based in Bromley, south London, it concentrates on telephone and online insurance sales.
Offering home insurance and car insurance, Privilege covered 600,000 UK policyholders last year. The company is part of the Direct Line Group, which is underwritten by U K Insurance.
Other Direct Line Group brands include Churchill and the Green Flag roadside assistance and vehicle breakdown company.
Privilege is arguably best known for its TV adverts, featuring at one time or other Joanna Lumley, Nigel Havers and Ian Wright.
Contact Uswitch: 0800 688 8557
Privilege provides four types of cover:
Third party, fire & theft (TPFT)
reduced insurance premiums on each insured car
flexibility as start dates for each car’s insurance period can be different
individual No Claims Discounts are not affected by a claim on another insured vehicle in the household
Privilege is not among the insurers that provide temporary car insurance. This form of cover is useful when a customer only needs insurance for a short term, such as if they are moving home and need a vehicle to transport their belongings.
Third party, fire and theft is the most basic car insurance policy Privilege offers. Features that are standard on this cover are also included on the comprehensive insurance offerings, and include:
child car seat replacement
unlimited cover for injury to others
in-car entertainment cover
Child car seats will be replaced with new ones of a similar standard following an accident, even if there is no apparent damage.
If another person is injured in an accident that the policyholder is held accountable for, Privilege will cover reasonable costs, including legal fees.
Any in-car entertainment that was fitted to the car when it was made has unlimited fire and theft cover.
In-car entertainment installed after the car was manufactured is covered to different levels depending on the policy. TPFT cover is limited to £500, Comprehensive cover is capped at £1,000 and Comprehensive Plus cover is provided to a maximum of £2,000.
Privilege Comprehensive car insurance policy offers several beneficial features as standard that are not included with third party, fire and theft cover. These include:
uninsured driver cover
personal belongs cover
personal accident cover
lost keys cover
wrong fuel cover
A replacement car will be provided for use the whole time the policyholder’s car is being repaired by a Privilege-approved garage.
Providing the policyholder’s car is being fixed by a Privilege-approved mechanic, the insurer will guarantee the work for five years.
The insurance policy will cover repairs to the policyholder’s car if it is proven an uninsured driver caused the damage.
Privilege will repair windscreen damage to the market value if an approved supplier is used.
Privilege will cover the first £250 of any personal belongs losses. This level of cover rises to £500 with the Comprehensive Plus policy.
Privilege will pay up to £5,000 towards bills resulting from injuries to the policyholder sustained in a car accident. The level of cover doubles if the policyholder has Comprehensive Plus.
If the policyholder’s car keys are lost, a replacement set and locks will be provided, and installation costs are included.
Damage caused to the car by misfuelling is covered, although the cost of draining, flushing and replacing fuel isn’t.
Privilege Comprehensive Plus provides all the benefits of Comprehensive, but with either greater limits of cover or additional protections as standard. These include:
European road cover
motor legal cover
guaranteed car hire
Comprehensive cover for up to 90 days when using the car in Europe, and no need to inform Privilege before travelling
Offers up to £100,000 to help with claims for repairs, loss of earnings and injury following an accident which was not the policyholder’s fault.
The insurer must be satisfied the policyholder has more than a 50% chance of winning their claim.
Provides a replacement car of a similar physical size to the one being fixed for the duration of repairs undertaken by an approved garage.
Alternatively, a replacement car will be provided for 21 days if the car is written off, stolen or repairs are made by the policyholder's chosen garage
DriveXpert is a telematics car insurance policy, meaning a black box is fitted to the policyholder’s car to track driving performance and relay relevant information via GPS to the insurer. The premium policyholders pay is based on their driving record.
DriveXpert includes all the features and benefits of the Privilege Comprehensive policy.
Privilege car insurance is flexible enough to appeal to a large number of drivers, but its specific policies offer certain benefits that will suit specific needs. These include:
if you have several cars in your household
if you would like to save money by having a black box installed in your car
if you need comprehensive car cover for driving in Europe
if you are concerned about claims involving uninsured drivers
if £100,000 legal cover would provide added peace of mind
if a courtesy car is important, or a guaranteed replacement car for a longer duration
Recent research from Privilege revealed 16 January is when most traffic accidents are likely to take place, with an average of 10,075 collisions on this date.
January 2020 also saw Privilege release results of a survey finding British drivers spend a depressing 17 days of their lives covering 2,127 miles on average just to find somewhere to park.
On a more positive note, in spring 2020, Direct Line Group announced a raft of initiatives in response to Covid-19. These included:
refunds for reduced use of cars in certain circumstances, such as where a vulnerable person is self-isolating
fast-track claims processes for NHS workers
support for those in financial difficulties, including payment deferrals and waiving cancellation fees
The Financial Ombudsman Service received 471 motor insurance complaints about UK Insurance, owner of the Privilege brand, in the first half of 2020. This was the second highest number of complaints but that would be expected of the second biggest car insurer in the UK. Crucially UK insurance had just over 9% of complaints but nearly 14% of the market, so had far fewer complaints than might be expected given its size. 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.