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Car Insurance Star Ratings

Car insurance policies vary enormously in the levels of cover offered, excesses, charges and degree of additional features and benefits provided. 

If you’re looking for car cover, it’s important that you’re aware of the differences between  insurance policies available and base your decision on more than just price, since buying inadequate cover could prove to be an expensive mistake. Our guide to car insurance is a good start if you're unsure what to look for.

 

We award Star Ratings for comprehensive car insurance, high net worth car insurance and motor legal expenses insurance, analysing a different range of features for each policy type before awarding every policy available in the UK a rating from one to five.

Car insurance

Our team of industry experts analyse a range of features when determining comprehensive car insurance ratings, including the following, which you should be aware of when choosing a suitable policy:

  • Loss of keys

    If the keys, transmitter or immobiliser key for your car are lost, cover is provided towards the costs of changing the locks.

  • Child car seat benefits - claims basis

    Provides cover towards the cost of replacing a child car seat following an accident, fire or theft. Some policies only provide cover when there is visible damage to the seat, whereas a number will replace the seat even if there is no apparent damage.

  • No claims discount protection

    This feature protects your no claims discount so you do not lose it following a claim. The cover provided is usually subject to restrictions. For example, some policies will allow two claims in a three-year period before reducing your no claims discount.

  • Windscreen limit

    Some policies will limit the amount that will be paid for the cost of repairing or replacing your windscreen.

  • Car rescue cover

    You will get help removing your car from the scene of an accident. Typically there are two types of cover: a ‘cost’ service where you must arrange for the recovery of your car and the costs involved are covered; or ‘service’ cover, where all the arrangements for recovery of your car are made on your behalf.

  • Repairs guarantee

    A repair guarantee is usually provided if the repairs to your vehicle following an accident, fire or theft are completed through the approved repair network. A repair guarantee is typically for three years after the repair.

  • Transport from scene of accident

    If your own vehicle is immobilised following an accident, a transportation service is provided to take you away from the scene of the accident.

  • Courtesy car

    Following an insured incident a courtesy car is provided while your own car is being repaired. This cover is provided as a standard benefit within most policies. However, it may be an optional extension, subject to an additional cost.

  • Enhanced courtesy car

    Courtesy cars supplied are usually ’class A’ cars – normally a small hatchback. A number of policies provide an option to upgrade the courtesy car to a larger vehicle.

  • Personal belongings

    Cover is provided, subject to a maximum limit, for your personal belongings which are damaged during an accident, fire or which are stolen from your car.

High net worth car insurance

High net worth car insurance offers a higher level of cover than standard policies and additional features and benefits. In addition to the criteria used to calculate standard comprehensive car insurance ratings, we also analyse a range of features exclusive to high net worth car insurance, including the following:

  • Agreed value

    At inception of the policy some include an option to ‘agree’ the value of your car so that if it is damaged beyond economic repair or is stolen and not recovered an agreed value will be payable rather than the market value of the car.

  • Class of courtesy car

    The policy may provide a courtesy car which is of equal standing to your own car, or pay you a fixed sum so you can hire a car of a similar standing.

  • Comprehensive driving of other cars

    The policy will provide comprehensive cover while you are driving a vehicle that you do not own. Typically this benefit is only provided for the policyholder.

  • Alternative transport - loss of licence (health)

    If your licence is revoked by the DVLA due to ill health, cover is provided for the costs of alternative essential transport for a certain period of time - usually for a year and up to a specific monetary amount.

  • Personal registration plate

    If your car is stolen and not recovered, some policies may cover the loss of use of a personal registration plate.

  • Car jacking

    Cover towards certain costs, such as injuries that require medical attention or counselling for trauma should you be a victim of a car-jacking.

  • No claims discount protection

    This feature protects your no claims discount so you do not lose it following a claim. The cover provided is usually subject to restrictions. For example, some policies will allow two claims in a three-year period before reducing your no claims discount.

  • Repairer choice

    Some providers may only offer a courtesy car if their approved repairer is used. Typically most policies will allow you to choose which repairer you want to use, without this affecting the courtesy car benefits you are entitled to under the policy.

Motor legal expenses insurance

Motor legal expenses insurance provides cover for the legal expenses that you may incur while pursuing your legal rights following an accident which was not your fault. Typically it will seek to recover the uninsured losses you suffer as a result, such as the cost of alternative transport or loss of earnings, and it may in some cases cover the costs of legal defence, should you be prosecuted for an offence arising out of the use of your vehicle.


We analyse a range of features when assessing these policies, including the following:

  • Death or personal injury

    Cover may be provided for the costs and expenses involved following an incident which was not your fault, and which causes death or bodily injury to an insured person whilst they are travelling in, or getting into or out of, the insured vehicle.

  • Uninsured loss recovery limit

    The insurer will only pay up to a certain monetary amount for legal costs and expenses when pursuing claims arising from an incident covered by the policy.

  • Motor prosecution defence

    Should you be prosecuted for an offence committed relating to the use of the insured vehicle, the policy may include cover for the costs incurred in defending you.

  • Contract disputes

    Cover is included for the costs involved in pursuing or defending a dispute over a contract entered into by you for the sale or purchase of goods or services relating to the insured vehicle.

  • Replacement vehicle assistance

    The insurer may arrange a replacement hire vehicle for you, if you are involved in a motoring incident which was not your fault and your vehicle cannot be driven. The type of vehicle provided can vary from a small hatchback to a similar or equivalent model to the insured car.

  • Legal advice helpline

    In many cases the policy will include a helpline number you can call should you need advice on certain legal matters. The extent of the advice provided can vary from only those matters which relate to the use of your vehicle to any personal legal problem you may need help with.

  • Claims notification

    The policy will generally include a notification period, which means you have a certain number of days following the incident to notify the insurer that you wish to make a claim. Failure to do so can result in your claim being declined.

  • Cancellation return

    Should you need or want to cancel the policy mid-year, before the renewal date of the policy, the insurer may not necessarily provide you with a refund. If they do, this refund may depend on the insurers own scale or be based on time for which you have had cover. You may or may not also be charged a cancellation or administration fee for doing so.