What you need for your claim

  • Your policy number and documents
  • Your vehicle registration number
  • Details about what happened and when
  • Details of other people, vehicles or properties involved
  • Contact details for any witnesses
  • Crime reference number (if applicable)

Depending on the type of claim you’re making, we may also ask for some photos or videos of the damage. But don’t worry, we’ll let you know how to do this once you’ve told us what’s happened.

Make a car claim online

Unless you need roadside assistance after an accident, it's often quicker to tell us what's happened using our online claim form.

Make a claim online

or contact our claims team

Make a windscreen claim

If you need to repair and make a claim for your damaged windscreen, our partners at Autoglass will handle it all for you.

Book an appointment

or find out more about glass damage

Need to ask a question?

If you're not sure what your car insurance covers or need help deciding whether to claim or not, our common questions may offer some guidance.

This depends on what type of claim it is.

If you’re claiming for a chipped, cracked or smashed windscreen, you can do this online with our approved supplier, Autoglass. They’ll repair or replace your windscreen, as well as handle your claim.

For all other car-related claims, you can either make your claim online or by giving us a call. Before you do, please check you have everything you might need to help with your claim.

This includes:

  • Your policy number and documents
  • Your car’s registration number
  • Details of what happened and when
  • Details of any other vehicles, people or property involved
  • Photos of any damage to your car and the other vehicles involved
  • Contact details for any witnesses
  • Crime reference number (if applicable)

Even if you don’t have all this information to hand, you can still give us a call. And if you decide to go ahead with your claim, we’ll be in touch to discuss what happens next.

We always try to settle claims quickly, but it can depend on how straightforward the situation is and whether we have all the information we need. Once your claim has started, we’ll keep you updated on its progress.

If your car’s damaged, we can arrange for an approved garage to repair it for you. If you’re happy to use them, they’ll contact you to confirm all the arrangements.

If you’re arranging the repairs yourself, your chosen garage will need to review the damage and give an estimate. We’d then need to discuss any proposed work before it goes ahead.

It’s best you don’t do anything until we’ve contacted you with your options, as this could affect your claim. If you’re unsure, just give us a call.

Road accidents involving someone else can be stressful enough, let alone dealing with a potentially complex claim. With so many things running through your mind, it can be difficult to know what to do.

There are three things you should try to remember:

  1. Be safe. The first thing you should do is call an ambulance for anyone who needs it (including yourself). Once everyone is safe, it’s time to think about what to do next.
  2. Get details. In the early stages of a claim, we’ll need to determine who was responsible for the accident. That’s why it’s important to keep calm and collect as many details as you can about the incident while it’s still fresh in your mind. Here’s a step by step guide on what you need to do after a car crash.
  3. Tell us. No matter how big or small, you must let us know when you’ve been involved in a car accident, even if you’re not thinking about making a claim. You’ll need to speak to us directly if a third party has been involved, and we’ll also deal with any claims made against you.

Common examples:

  • You’ve damaged someone else’s property with your car
  • Someone else was involved and is injured
  • You’re an injured passenger and the driver is insured by Direct Line

To talk to us about your specific accident or claim, give us a call.

Useful article:
Third party claims

Before calling us, report the incident to the police and ask them for a crime reference number – you’ll need this when making your claim.

Once the crime is reported, you should give us a call.

Common examples:

  • Your car’s been stolen
  • You’ve had something stolen out of your car
  • Someone broke into your car and damaged it

If your car’s lost or damaged as a result of theft or attempted theft, we’ll either:

  • Pay to repair the damage, or repair it using one of our approved garages
  • Replace what’s lost or damaged (depending on the item)
  • Settle your claim with payment by cheque or bank transfer

You won’t be covered if your car is:

  • Left unlocked or the engine is left running
  • Left with the keys or fob in, on, or attached to the car
  • Left with a window or roof open

Things to note:

If you have our Comprehensive insurance, you’re also covered for any vandalism or malicious damage to your car if the damage wasn’t caused by another vehicle. This type of damage isn’t covered if you only have Third Party, Fire and Theft.

It’s worth remembering that you’ll need to pay the excess when making a claim. Your excess amount can be found in your policy documents.

Useful article:
Anti-theft locking devices

If you’ve got a chipped or cracked windscreen, it’s best to get it repaired sooner rather than later.

With Direct Line’s Essentials, Comprehensive, and Comprehensive Plus insurance, you’re covered for any glass repairs or replacements for your windscreen, rooftop, or car windows. These repairs won’t affect your No Claim Discount (NCD).

You’ll need to pay an excess for a glass repair or replacement. To see exactly how much you’d need to pay, check the ‘Car Insurance Details’ in your policy documents.

Our repairs and replacements are carried out by our approved supplier, Autoglass. You can make your claim and arrangements directly with them, so just head to their website once you’re ready to get started. It’s worth keeping in mind that repairs come with a lifetime guarantee for as long as you own your car (some limits apply).

You can make your own arrangements and use another windscreen supplier. Before you do, it’s worth checking your policy documents to see the excess you’d need to pay and how much your replacement / repair would be covered for.

Useful article:
Repairing or replacing your windscreen

If the cost of repairing the damage to your car is more than the cost of replacing it, your car is considered a ‘Total Loss’.

This means we’ll need to put a settlement value on it. If it’s less than a year old and you’re the first and only registered owner, we’ll try to offer you a permanent replacement of the same make and model. If a replacement isn’t possible, a cash settlement might be offered instead, less any excess that might apply.

If your car is beyond repair, it’s considered a write-off. If it’s more than a year old, you could choose to accept the settlement payment, finding and buying a replacement yourself. Or if you’d prefer, we could search for a replacement car using our nationwide network. There’s some flexibility, allowing you to upgrade the car by adding your own money or downgrading and keeping the extra value as cash. The minimum price for the replacement car is £3,500, and this is subject to availability - we might not be able to find an exact match for your car.

If you need to make a claim and would like to discuss these options, give us a call.

Got a personalised number plate?

Personalised plates are assigned to the car, not person. So if your car’s been written off, you might lose the number plate too. If you want to keep it, you must let us and DVLA know so that we can try to retain it for you.

If your car’s stolen or it needs to be repaired after an accident, we can often arrange a hire car if you have insurance with us.

Once we’ve arranged this for you, we’ll send over all the relevant information – including contact details for the car hire company providing this service. You can then get in touch directly with them if you need to change or extend your car hire dates or discuss any other issues.

If you’re still unsure who your car hire provider is, please contact us or call your claims advisor using the number given in your claims documents.

Our suppliers are here to help you with any questions or problems you may have.

Please get in touch with them directly using the name and contact details we sent you by text or post (depending on which method of contact you requested).

If the supplier can’t help, please contact us and we’ll try to get an update for you.

If you can't find what you need, you can also ask our Virtual Assistant.

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