Direct Line started with a single product – car insurance. And just one way for customers to buy – over the phone.

Since its launch in 1985, Direct Line’s aim has always been to put the customer first. This began with cutting out the middleman, the forms and the jargon — all revolutionary changes in insurance at the time.

It started selling car insurance from a single call centre in Croydon, with just 63 employees and one product. Speed, simplicity and a practical approach lead to 80,000 policies sold in its first year.

Providing insurance to millions of customers, we’re not just about car insurance anymore. Our customers can now buy their home, pet, travel, life, over 50s life, van, landlord, small business, breakdown, cycling, and SELECT Premier insurance online or over the phone.

Our products and services

Car insurance

Home insurance

Pet insurance

Travel insurance

life insurance

Over 50s Life insurance

Van insurance

Landlord insurance

Small business insurance

Breakdown cover

SELECT Premier

Cycling insurance

Our journey so far...

Two friends get the idea to use computers to underwrite insurance policies and use phones to sell them. Funding is secured from RBS and Direct Line is established. Cutting out the broker and transforming the insurance industry.
1985 - 1988
Direct line sells 80,000 policies in its first year and broadens its services to include home insurance.
1989 - 1995
Direct Line launches the iconic telephone on wheels. It opens a head office in Croydon, with regional offices in Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, and Leeds.
1996 - 1999
Direct Line introduces further coverage options, offering policies for travel, pet, and breakdown insurance. The website for the brand goes live with the same domain today and achieves 100,000 sales online.
2000 - 2018
Direct Line becomes the first insurance company to offer an online claims register and tracking service for motor insurance customers. Home Response 24-hour emergency insurance launches. And we are voted Britain’s Most Trusted Insurance Provider by Reader’s Digest.

Where we are now

We deal with hundreds of customer claims and vehicle repairs every day.

We’re at the forefront of innovation. You can see this with our blackbox technology and other investments in future tech. We’re also sponsoring the Science Museum’s upcoming exhibition Driverless: Who is in control? which opens on 12 June 2019.

What makes us different

Serving our customers

We want our customers to feel safe. Whether that’s at home, on holiday, or in the car. If your pooch, diamond ring or new sofa mean something to you, then they mean something to us.


We keep up to date on the issues that impact our customers from driverless cars to Insurance Premium Tax. The insurance industry is changing, and so are we.


As we’re often the first point of call after a flood, accident or burglary, we’ll always aim to do the right thing. Our reputation and your trust are priceless to us.

What do our customers think

Click on the buttons below to see what our customers have to say about our products.

Check out our awards

Car insurance - Defaqto expert rated 5* (2021)
Home insurance - Defaqto expert rated 5* (2021)
Pet insurance - Defaqto expert rated 5* (2021)
Life assurance (Direct) - Defaqto expert rated 5* (2021)
High Net Worth Home Insurance - Defaqto expert rated 5* (2021)
Landlord Home Insurance - Defaqto expert rated 5* (2021)

Find out more about our Defaqto ratings. We've also won a number of Consumer Intelligence Awards which highlight our exceptional customer service and care.