Car Insurance. Any difference between Privilege/Churchill and Direct Line?

They all seem the same and the same underwriting insurance company, but is there any slight detail difference in their 'plus' policies.....all priced similar on moneysupermarket etc


  • Ditzy_Mitzy
    Ditzy_Mitzy Posts: 1,851 Forumite
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    They are, in effect, the same company and all used to operate out of the same building in Ipswich; the call centre did anyway, I am not sure about other aspects.  The products are likely to be very similar too, but answering the question properly will require trawling through the terms and conditions documents for each policy.  
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 10,266 Forumite
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    Direct Line used to be part of RBS and in the late 90s they bought a few other companies like Greenflag and Privilege (the later I seem to recall was just a side part of buying something else that just happened to own Priv).

    In 2003 RBS bought Churchill (which also came with NIG and a few other brands) and renamed the insurance division to RBS Insurance. One of the conditions of the RBS bailout was that they divested themselves of their non-core banking operations and so RBS Insurance went back to being Direct Line Group and were spun out of RBS in 2012.

    Like many insurers it realised its cheaper to run one actual insurance companies and so various transfers were done such that all their core consumer insurance was written out of UK Insurance (which used to be their partnership company for white label deals). 

    It used to be that Direct Line was the core mass market brand, Churchill was the cheap and cheerful brand and Privilege was the mass-exclusive offering. This certainly applied to the marketing but in practice the DL and Priv products were identical and had shared claims teams and the Churchill one had the better cover and retained independent claims teams.

    A lot of time has passed since then and customer attitudes have increasingly turned to buying on price rather than value so I would suspect the differentiation between the brands have lessoned and rather than realigning the products to mirror their target market they've probably become more homogeneous as its cheaper to operate call centres and claims teams if all can deal with all brands and there is no variations to remember.

    That said, back in my consumer insurance days despite shared call centres and product offerings being in the wrong order Which? continually ranked the three brands in the order you'd expect (Priv 1, Church 3) despite the differences only being marketing. 
    IAMIAM Posts: 1,201 Forumite
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    Thanks for this. So if you had to pick, privillege plus would be the one....
  • oxocubes
    oxocubes Posts: 84 Forumite
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    Privilege are absolutely useless, told me 3 weeks ago that car accident was not my fault, (I'm full comp), but since then no contact, my emails are ignored.

    I left bad reviews on trustpilot, and this morning on the trust pilot site they have told me to make a complaint. 

    A very weird and incompetant company.

    But what can I do
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