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Direct Line

First launched in 1985 solely as a provider for car insurance, Direct Line now offers a broad range of insurance products, including car, travel, cycling, pet, and home insurance.

Founded by Sir Peter Wood (who has gone on to launch Esure), Direct Line was the first insurance company in the UK to use the telephone as its main method for selling insurance.

Who underwrites Direct Line home insurance?

Direct Line’s home insurance policies are underwritten by a number of companies included UK Insurance Limited, RSA, and Ageas Insurance Limited, among others. The specific underwriter for a home insurance policy with Direct Line can vary depending on a number of factors including your location, the level of coverage you select, and other details besides.

Types of home insurance available with Direct Line

AA offers three types of home insurance:

  • Buildings insurance
  • Contents insurance
  • Combined buildings and contents insurance

These insurance types are available across three tiers: Home Insurance (standard), Home Insurance Plus, and Home Insurance Premier.

Each level of cover is available as either contents or buildings insurance, or combined buildings and contents insurance.

PolicyPolicy TypeBuildings ma sum insuredContents max sum insured
Home InsuranceContentsN/AUp to £50,000
Home InsuranceBuildingsUp to £1 millionN/A
Home InsuranceCombined buildings and contentsUp to £1 millionUp to £50,000
Home Insurance PlusContentsN/AUp to £100,000
Home Insurance PlusBuildingsUnlimitedN/A
Home Insurance PlusCombined buildings and contentsUnlimitedUp to £100,000
Select PremierContentsN/AUnlimited
Select PremierBuildingsUnlimitedN/A
Select PremierCombined buildings and contentsUnlimitedUnlimited

What does Direct Line home insurance cover as standard?

Direct Line offers a range of cover across its three policy levels (Home Insurance, Home Insurance Plus, and Select Premier), with each policy able to be customised by adding-in optional extras.

The table below shows how both levels of cover compare.

CoverHome Insurance (Contents)Home Insurance (Buildings)Home Insurance Plus (contents)Home Insurance Plus (buildings)Select Premier (Contents)Select Premier (Buildings)
Buildings Insurance (rebuild or repair after a fire, theft, or flood)N/AUp to £1 millionN/AUnlimitedN/AUnlimited
Contents insurance (covers all possessions in your home)Up to £50,000N/AUp to £100,000N/AUnlimitedN/A
Trace and accessN/AUp to £5,000N/AUp to £10,000N/AUp to £15,000
Alternative accommodation for you and your petsUp to £40,000N/AUp to £80,000N/AUnlimited up to three yearsN/A
Personal possessionsOptionalN/AYesN/AYesN/A
Accidental damageOptionalOptionalOptionalYesYesYes
Home emergencyOptionalOptionalYesYesUp to £1,500Up to £1,500
Family legal protectionOptionalN/AYesN/AYesN/A
New for old replacementYesN/AYesN/AYesN/A
Working from home coverUp to £5,000N/AUp to £10,000N/AUp to £15,000N/A
MoneyUp to £500N/AUp to £1,000N/AUp to £2,500N/A
Outdoor possessionsUp to £1,000N/AUp to £2,500N/AUp to £2,500N/A
Lock and key replacementUnlimitedN/AUnlimitedN/AUnlimitedN/A
Freezer contentsYesN/AYesN/AYesN/A
Away from home coverUp to £5,000N/AUp to £10,000N/AUp to £15.000N/A
Event protectionIncluded op to 10%N/AIncluded up to 10%N/AYesN/A
Damage to plumbing installation caused by freezing/burst pipesN/AYesN/AYesN/AYes
Alternative accommodation following an insured eventN/AUp to £25,000N/AUp to £50,000N/AUnlimited
Downloaded contentUp to £1,000N/AUp to £3,000N/AUp to £5,000N/A
Business equipmentUp to £5,000N/AUp to £10,000N/AUp to £15,000N/A
Bicycles (per bicycle)Up to £500N/AUp to £500N/AUp to £500N/A

Optional extras

With Direct Line’s standard policy, Home Insurance, there is the option to add several types of cover under optional extras at an additional cost. The higher tiers of cover, however, includes these extras as standard.

So, although Direct Line’s standard home insurance policy will be cheaper, if you find that you’re adding more than one or two optional extras, the Home Insurance Plus and Select Premier policies may end up being more cost effective.

Optional ExtraHome InsuranceHome Insurance PlusSelect Premier
Family legal protectionYesIncluded as standardIncluded as standard
Home emergencyYesIncluded as standardUp to £1,500
Accidental damageYesIncluded as standardIncluded as standard
Personal possessions coverYesIncluded as standardIncluded as standard

Excess and no-claims discount

When making a claim through your home insurance, you’ll need to pay a minimum fee known as an excess. This excess is usually split into two parts – compulsory and voluntary.

Compulsory excess, also known as fixed excess, is the amount set by your home insurance provider and must be paid by you, the policyholder when making a claim. Voluntary excess, on the other hand, is an amount paid set by you, the customer and is intended to be what you can afford to contribute if you need to make a claim.

The amount you choose to pay as voluntary excess will be in addition to the amount you pay for compulsory excess. The purpose of voluntary excess is that the more you can contribute towards a claim, the less your premiums will be.

Compulsory excesses with Direct Line are as follows:

  • Standard compulsory excess: £100 (with the option to increase your standard excess using voluntary excess).
  • Escape of water compulsory excess: £450
  • Subsidence compulsory excess: £1,000

No-claims discount

Home insurance providers commonly offer a no-claims discount. This discount is awarded when customers have made no claims on their policy in a year. The discount accumulates for each consecutive year no claims are made.

Direct Line does offer a no-claims discount, but it is done so on a case-by-case basis, with a discount that can be added on to for five years.

Defaqto rating

Both Direct Line’s Home Insurance and Home Insurance Plus policies have been awarded a five-star rating by Defaqto, while it’s Select Premier policy is rated four stars.

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