Hastings Direct Review

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Hastings Direct Car Insurance Review
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Quote Goat User Ratings 2.2 (71 votes)
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Who is Hastings Direct Car Insurance?

Established in 1997, Hastings Direct has established itself as one of the bigger players in the car insurance market. With over 1.5 million customers, the online broker operates UK call centres from several locations – including Bexhill-on-Sea, Leicester and Suffolk. As well as car insurance, Hastings Direct offers home, van and motorbike insurance – which could be handy if you’d like to insure various vehicle types with one brand. Hasting Direct has a well-stocked trophy cabinet, with industry awards including Car Insurance Provider of the Year – 2013 – 2015. Though, it seems it may have had to stow away glitzy ball gowns in recent years, with 2016 and 2017 failing to score the brand any accolades.

Despite the slow down on awards, Hastings continues to flourish, financially. The company hit the headlines in July 2017 with the announcement that it had invested £2 million opening its new Leicester office.

What does Hastings Direct charge?

Hastings Direct is one of the most common to feature on price comparison sites. When we added in some details of an average UK car profile (a 5-door Ford Fiesta), Hastings came in at 40th out of over 75 insurers – over £130 more expensive than the cheapest quote. Of course, individual quotes will vary depending on the make and model of the car and your driving history, named drivers etc – but based on this test run, Hastings certainly wasn’t the cheapest. With no bold claims on its website when it comes to saving you money on you car insurance, you may not see Hastings among the cheapest quotes.

How is the Hastings Direct customer service?

At first glance, Hastings Direct seems to be performing well on the customer service front. Trustpilot’s 16,000+ reviews gives it a respectable average of 4 stars. Dig a little deeper though, and you’ll note that the more recent Hastings reviews are less than stellar. Frustration is the through theme. Inflated admin fees, long call waiting times and automatic renewals all frequently appear amongst the complaints. Elsewhere, Which? magazine placed the brand 20th out of 31 car insurance companies in its May 2017 survey. It’s worth noting that it was Hastings’ policy score that elevated it to 20th place. The brand’s customer score of just 58% was amongst the very lowest.

On TrustPilot, the brand has an average score of 4/5, with customer quotes including:

‘Although the premiums are reasonable the fees behind them are far from. Last time I changed my address with Admiral it cost half the amount it did with Hastings. I appreciate that there is a little work involved but £43+ for pushing a few buttons….

‘It was the cheapest option so it’s all good, plus the customer service is great. Never had any problems with Hastings.

‘Appalling customer service, makes me want to rip out my hair. Online chat NEVER works, impossible to contact other than calling them and waiting times on the phone averaging at 30 minutes!?

What policies does Hastings Direct offer?

Hastings Direct offers the three main policy types – third party, third party fire and theft, and comprehensive. The brand breaks down its policy offering into a few different categories. Essential, Direct and Premier policies offer varying levels of cover, ranging from the stripped back ‘essentials’ to the fully loaded Premier package. Hastings also offers a SmartMiles policy. Its name for Telematics cover, this tech helps young drivers monitor their driving, become safer behind the wheel, and crucially, save money on their car insurance.

Hasting’s policies come with some good extras not included as standard by some other insurers. In-car entertainment and child car seat cover were the standout items. Hastings also offers the chance to sure up your policy with some added extras – for a fee. It’ll want to ramp up your premium if you want to add key cover, breakdown cover or personal accident cover. If these are on your essentials list, be sure to check others insurers who may include these as standard.

Hastings Direct Car Insurance in summary?

Hastings was once flying high. Industry awards winners up until 2015, something seems to have gone awry since. The awards, high online review averages and a 5 star Defaqto rating put Hastings up there with the best. But is it all a case of smoke and mirrors? After digging amongst the online comments, crunching the crucial numbers and checking out the standard policy, we weren’t wowed. The hefty admin fees, auto renewal policy and the alarming number of recent poor reviews – coupled with the poor performance in Which? magazine’s survey all added up to one verdict for us. Think about giving Hasting’s a wide berth until it returns to its award winning ways.

Hastings Direct Review

17 reviews

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  • Adam - 13/09/2018 reply

    Disgusting

    Utter disgrace. I signed up for comprehensive insurance 18 months ago which allegedly includes windscreen cover.

    Now in the first time in my 11 years driving I have to claim as my windscreen cracked they won’t cover it.

    I’m furious. How there isn’t more regulation in this industry I don’t know. How cowboy insurance companies like Hastings are allowed to get away with it in this day and age is disgusting. Please avoid this company AT ALL COSTS!!

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    Kirsty - 07/02/2020 reply

    Absolutely disgraceful company, I would recommend avoiding at all costs unless you want to waste your time, energy and get charged fees for giving correct information. Rude, sarcastic, threatening staff. A basic, low level company and the cheap prices reflect how desperate they are for customers. Save yourself money and go elsewherre, avoid Hastings Direct at all costs!!

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  • F - 09/03/2019 reply

    Scammed my £2000 premium.

    Honestly the worst insurance company anyone could ever go with. They gave me a quite good premium but for a reason. They listed a notification only as a fault claim so now it’s on the database and have to declare to other insurers. Then cancelled my policy due to my policy being based on a ‘provisional license’. Regardless of the fact I have proof of me putting full UK license, they’re claiming I was manipulating quotes even thought I have GAP insurance with a full UK license aswell. It was clearly a glitch on either the comparisons website or their own when the quote was being finalised and paid for. The whole thing has taken 3 months and they are simply brushing me off and the whole situation under the carpet – keep getting passed around to different ‘managers’ when they are solely just an assistant. Not only have they cancelled my insurance, they’re keeping my premium. So I am in loss of just under £2000, no insurance, a fault claim in my name which isn’t meant to be there and also unable to obtain new insurance due to these occurrences at the fault of HASTINGS DIRECT. They don’t care at all about customers, as long as they have your money; that’s all that matters to them. I would strongly advise anyone to avoid them at all costs. The amount of stress it has caused and I am left feeling helpless. Their agents have no training whatsoever and have the smallest respect for their customers. One ‘manager’ even said on the phone and I quote; ‘you shouldn’t have taken out insurance with us then’. The fact that their motto is straightforward insurance disgusts me. I wish I had never taken out insurance with them… I’ve lost just under £2000 and they’re refusing to give me my money back – it’s only been 2 months since I took out the policy. They’re simply taking advantage of the situation and leaving me helpless. If you are thinking of going with them, simply don’t. Check out their history as they have a long list of lawsuits against them.

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  • Adrian Banner - 24/04/2019 reply

    Appalling web site

    Could not get past all the add-ons (NCB protection, legal protection etc) to pay the premium. The programme just went in to a loop.

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  • Darren Jones - 21/09/2019 reply

    I’ve just been sent an email stating they can’t offer me a price to renew my car insurance,therefore I have to find another insurance company.
    I’ve been with these for over 6 yrs now,never made a claim.
    Very strange.

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  • Philvoda - 22/09/2019 reply

    Shameful

    All because I had one direct debit fault they now refuse to renew my policy!! It’s shameful that they don’t have any compassion!!! Never again

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  • Jack Stevens - 14/10/2019 reply

    Avoid at all costs

    Abs

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  • Steven Nevitt - 31/12/2019 reply

    Discraceful company should be investigated

    Avoid insuring with hastings direct insurepink I was quoted £27.35 for insurance when time for direct debit £47.53 came out they changed my premiums without consulting with me prior .complained no use please be careful

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  • Joanne Champion - 19/02/2020 reply

    Terrible Service

    Tried to add my partner to my car policy with Hastings Direct, but was unable to, but they told me I could take out a new policy with them for over £500 plus a cancellation fee despite the fact I had paid 12 month premium in advance. Worst customer retention policy ever.

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  • Helen Warne - 21/02/2020 reply

    Poor, slow, frustrating claims process

    You only find out how good an insurance company is when you have to make a claim, needless to say I will not ever use Hastings Direct again and I would actively advise against anyone using them.

    Following numerous mistakes or ‘misunderstandings’ as they put it, on their part, I have been without a car for 3 weeks and counting.
    10 days ago it was confirmed it would be written off and I was given a figure, at which point I asked if we could negotiate the figure due to mistakes and delays they had made up to that point. The total loss department is only open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, so when you work those hours and can’t have your phone on you at work you invariably struggle to talk to anyone about it.

    I was told on Tuesday this week I could have a measly £35 compensation, I said that wasn’t good enough and they said they would call me back on Wednesday. It is now Friday and after another two emails to them and a phone call, they finally called me back and offered £50. I might as well have saved my breath and my time, I would have been better off.

    So they have processed my payment today and now its the waiting game as it might take 5 working days to clear in my account…

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  • Brett - 01/03/2020 reply

    Not got my money back

    Cancelled my car insurance and they owned me money did not receive money now trying to get it back not easy customer service not helpful at all seems like they dont like giving you your money back that they owe you avoid well not be using them again

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  • Mark - 14/03/2020 reply

    Hastings Insure Avoid at all Cost

    Avoid at all costs
    I paid the final installment for my car insurance and they cancelled my car insurance when it had 2 weeks left to run because no D/D was in place . Despite the insurance quote for 12 month being fully paid.
    Seeking legal advise and going to pursue them via court.
    I repeat DO NOT INSURE YOUR CAR WITH THIS COMPANY

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  • John Campbell - 06/04/2020 reply

    Hastings insured party crashed into my van which was parked unattended they paid for van but refused to pay contents damaged on impact saying they were no secure in van so consult a solicitor to claim but now refuse to give insured party’s details for solicitor.If you have a accident involving Hastings get a claims management company to deal with it or lose out as I did to the tune of £1400

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  • Michael Barron - 10/04/2020 reply

    Terrible car insurance company. Avoid at all costs.

    I wish I had read the REAL reviews about the performance of Hastings Direct as a car insurance company. Last November my stationary car was bumped by another car. It was rather a glancing blow and my car suffered absolutely no damage – not even a scratch.
    The other car was damaged – I don’t know how!! Anyway I reported this by phone to Hastings Direct – as the policy indicted that all accidents, however minor – should be reported to them. I told the person I talked to that I wasn’t claiming for anything.

    Weeks passed and I heard nothing from Hastings Direct. Then on 17th January I received two letters from them. The first stated that the case was closed and the second one stated that the accident was my fault. I tried to phone Hastings DIrect but hung up after half an hour. I sent them an email, then a letter, then another email and tried to get through by phone again several times. Guess What!!!!! I have not heard anything from them since.
    I have now decided to go to the Ombudsman!!!
    My strong advice is DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY TO INSURE YOUR CAR WITH. AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE

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  • no fool - 15/04/2020 reply

    Crooks you should "AVOID"

    Dont buy “ANY” insurance from these crooks, I called them to stop my renewal as I was looking at buying another vehicle and the call centre person charged me £45 for cancelling the policy, but let me tell you this, it will be their last ever charge on me, there was one month left on the policy, who in their right mind would cancel a policy one month before it expires ? , just had a email from them quoting their company line, covering themselves ,colleagues and procedures, will not ever use them again and would advise anyone looking to insure their car to look elsewhere, they tell lies and use devious tactics to make sure you pay a “FEE” for everything, How come you cant cancel your renewal online.?, answer / because they want to charge you a fee for cancelling, dont trust them !!!! a company run and serviced by incompetents

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  • Karen Allso - 04/06/2020 reply

    Horrendous doesn't do it justice

    Error made when i took insurance which Hastings couldn’t rectify, therefore cancelled policy immediately on same day, and 3 weeks before policy start date. Charged full.policy cost de despite being told this would happen. Can’t get through on phone. Numerous promises of having money returned…. but am still waiting.
    Will not use again!

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  • Isabel - 07/06/2020 reply

    Avoid

    Unprofessional

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