The AA’s insurance arm has risen 15 places in the Driver Power chart after languishing at the wrong end of the table 12 months ago. Friendliness at the end of the phone is the main plus point for many, but keen prices also set the company apart. One reader summed up his cover, saying: “No-hassle insurance with great options, at a competitive price.” If the AA keeps that up, it’ll soon be challenging the top 10.
A solid year for Swinton sees it rise up three places and improve its overall score by five per cent. The insurer’s local shops, offering human interaction, were key for many. Customers also liked the fact they could ring Swinton up – it was fifth for phone ordering. One reader said: “It’s easy to use with local branches.” Another praised the continuity: “It’s the same chap in the office; I have worked with him for years.” However, overall service was down in 27th place.
Last year, Hastings Direct was at the wrong end of our Driver Power list, but the insurer has stormed up 15 places. The overall experience is almost in the top 10 while the rest of the categories see strong mid-table scores. One customer reported: “Right price and good communication.” It performed well for price last year and again people are happy with what they’re paying. “Great value for money for the service I’m getting,” said another reader.
Highlights are the speed to settle claims and overall experience. One of the best things about Privilege is its willingness to negotiate premiums to match the best quoted price over the phone. One policyholder said: “No problems so far and when renewing they matched the Internet quote. Polite and courteous at all times.”
It's a remarkable fall from grace for RIAS. This was previously one of the best companies in every area, and was in our top three until 2012, but this year’s results show that everyone else has caught up – RIAS’ overall score is the same as in 2013. Several customers said this year’s renewal quotes had risen more than they’d like, which could explain its fall. There are still some positives, with loyal customers returning. One said: “Very easy to contact and arrange cover.”
Last year’s highlights were friendliness and helpfulness as well as overall service, but the company’s scores here have tumbled to the bottom of the rankings. There was some praise for Adrian Flux’s services. One customer explained: “It satisfies my needs for specific insurance,” but another found it came at a price: “Able to provide an important service when I imported my car, but it was far too expensive.”
Online ordering and speed to settle are its biggest failings. Having said that, the overall percentage would’ve been good enough for a top 10 place in 2013. The Post Office is decent value for money and many motorists rated the phone service highly – it finished 12th in this category. One said: “Good professional service.” Another told us the Post Office was “helpful” over the phone.
AXA is good at keeping drivers informed during a claim and policyholders aren’t too upset with anything, but the service is inconsistent, especially in the time it takes to settle. One said: “While it’s not the cheapest, the service is very reliable.” However, this wasn’t everyone’s experience and another motorist reported: “Poor organisation and advice plus expensive phone calls.”
What really lets Swiftcover down is the friendliness and helpfulness of staff when drivers try to make a claim or start a policy, online or on the phone. One told us: “The customer service is atrocious. The only means of contacting them is by a highly priced premium telephone number.” Others reported difficulty speaking to someone, but people were happy with the price they paid.
This year is actually a slight improvement for Sheilas’ Wheels. The insurer started near the top in 2011 and has fallen over the years – the only positive is a sixth place ranking for phone ordering. Overall, however, our readers weren’t happy. One said: “It’s very costly to make alterations to the policy, which is just a few key strokes.” Another reported the staff to be “officious” and “brusque”, and one motorist felt they were penalised for being loyal.
It's not a very impressive debut for the RAC in the Driver Power insurance standings as it comes last. Customers aren’t happy across the board and there’s plenty of room to improve. They said that loyalty to the RAC is not rewarded by lower premiums. Making changes to policies is an issue, and one driver complained about the cost. Another said they wouldn’t use the RAC again after it refused to insure a courtesy vehicle while their car was at the dealer for warranty work.
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