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Is it a pain to file an insurance claim?

Car insurance claim

We have just carried out our biggest-ever insurance claims satisfaction survey and we’ve used your feedback to rate the major insurance companies. Do our results match your experiences?

Let’s face it – buying insurance is a bit of a pain. It’s sometimes hard to see the benefit of your considerable annual outlay and it’s a hassle to arrange. However, it proves its worth if someone drives into your car or if heavy rain causes your home to flood.

In our survey, the overall scores for car insurers highlighted NFU Mutual, Frizzell and LV= at the top of the pile for customer satisfaction. An NFU Mutual claimant concluded that ‘it was superb throughout dealing with the claim. I cannot praise it highly enough’, while another said that the insurer is ‘just a brilliant company to deal with’.

People were less complimentary about Axa, Hastings Direct and Admiral, who came bottom of our car insurance claims table.

NFU Mutual, Hiscox and LV= excelled on home insurance claims, while Halifax and Legal & General have clear room for improvement.

When insurance claims go wrong

Those taking part in our survey were happy to tell us about their claim experiences. Delays and poor communication were common complaints, as well as frustration at having to deal with different people each time you call – sometimes waiting months for a response.

Around two thirds of the car insurance claims made by Which? members in the past two years related to damage to their vehicles, and a major gripe was the choice and standard of repairers nominated by insurance companies.

Common problems included having difficulties with the garage arranged by the insurer or having to use a repairer miles away, even though there were better garages nearby.

What makes a good claims handler?

So what’s important to you when it comes to having your claim dealt with? For me, a smooth experience is desirable, but the most important thing is surely getting the claim settlement paid out to your satisfaction.

I’d like to hear about your experiences when you’ve needed to claim. Is your insurance company good at managing the process? Our results show that some insurance companies do seem to get it right. Or you can share your claim horror stories, if you feel that your insurer has let you down when you needed help most.


I would never again take out insurance where stolen items are replaced for you by the insurance company.
Can’t remember which insurance company I was with at the time, but after a burglary, their replacement items were the cheapest rubbish they could find. They did honour receipts, but many could not be found or had faded.
I took a greatly reduced cash settlement instead so I could at least replace some of the stolen items with an equal quality.


I can confirm NFU should be place on top.
I’ve been hit from rear as I was slowing down to turn right in road (not my fault we all agree) by car insure at NFU mutual.
4 month later, as my car is not economically repairable, I’m still waiting for my money.
And better as my claim has not been solved yet by my company (Zurich insurance), on the renew of my contract I get punished by £100 as I’m loosing my non claim bonus.

I love insurance


NFU Mutual have made this the worst year of my life. They have made one weather event into 3 separate claims (£250.00 excess each please), paid out on interim payment for one aspect but not the balance, gone back on agreed schedule for second aspect and I am out £26,000 approx to my builder for this work (he is still owed more) and the third aspect has still to be addressed 10 months down the line. Contrary to their ads they quibble at every opportunity and thats when they still actually respond when they say they will, this will stop in the hope that you dissapear. They treat you as a criminal suspect. Thought it was settled, cheque for compensation from chief exec, told his sidekick this was never about compo and it would be given to charity when they paid for what had been agreed and I was insured for. She thought it had all been in order.

Still waiting, compo still going to charity when this nightmare is over, only had the insurance for peace of mind. As their ad says cheap home insurance isn’t cheap if it costs you more later, what they don’t add is their very expensive home insurance won’t pay you any more and you’ll have neither peace of mind nor money in your pocket.

Personally I would have been better off without insurance.

If you have the means to rebuild your home on its current site without borrowing you are better off keeping the premium in the bank and taking your chances with the weather. At least you wouldn’t be wrongly treated as a fraudster or fobbed off with preferred builders who can’t cost all of a job or even propose a scheme of works they can actually access.

All in all a very poor show from those trading on a reputation gained a generation ago.

roger howard says:
9 February 2015

had a car accident 10 months ago claim was sorted by insurance company to our satisfaction. We are now getting phone calls from various companies saying we are entitled to a comfort claim of £4000. Does anybody know anything about so called comfort claims.

Hi Roger, I’m sorry to hear about your car accident last year – I do hope everyone that was involved in the accident are all fine, now.

It can be rather annoying to get unwanted calls from claims companies; I sometimes get them, too. Many companies buy a database of customer records and it could be that this is how they have managed to obtain your details. However, we’ve published lots of information about nuisance calls and how to avoid them here:


Kelly says:
21 February 2016

Have Post Office car insurance covered by Zurich never again. A delivery van backed into rear of my stationary car in a car park I was in my place of work at time of incident, when I returned to my car back part of the car was cracked and lying off and a police card requesting I contact local police as a delivery van had hit my car. Contacted Police who gave me incident report number to pass to my insurance they would not give me details of 3rd party under data protection. Phoned insurance they got car repaired and I had to pay £100 excess. Phoned Zurich on numerous occasions to find out if they had pursued and established liable party (van driver who reversed into my car) they stated the problem was I did not have 3rd parties details I explained reason, they stated it would cost them money to get the police report ! , I explained I assumed this would be normal practice to establish fault and pursue correct at fault drivers insurance, that 5 months had passed my car renewal had just came in not only am I down £100 excess my no claims has dropped from 9 years to 3 years and my insurance had increased by £400, all while I sat in my place of work on day of incident. Zurich stated as they have to pay £90 for police report they have to establish if it is financially viable for them to request report. I wrote a letter of complaint which Zurich did not respond to and have had to involve Financial Ombusman, only then did they request police report I am still awaiting outcome and have no choice but to renew car insurance with another company explaining I have a open case and take the consequences of having 3 years no claims and continue to be at a financial loss. So be aware, you would think as a minimum your car insurance would be required to investigate the circumstances around a claim but clearly not unless you bombard they with phone calls, letters and financial ombusman .