Car insurance claims

Common questions

How do I make a claim?

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, call us on 0345 303 1714.
We’re here Monday to Friday (8am - 9pm), Saturday (9am - 5pm) and Sunday (11am – 5pm).

Before you call us, 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 make a claim, we’ll discuss your next steps.

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What happens after I make a claim?

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 on 0345 303 1714. We’re here Monday to Friday (8am - 9pm), Saturday (9am - 5pm) and Sunday (11am – 5pm).

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What if I’m in an accident involving someone else?

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 on 0345 303 1714.
We’re here Monday to Friday (8am - 9pm), Saturday (9am - 5pm) and Sunday (11am – 5pm).

Useful article:

Third party claims

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What if my car’s been stolen or broken into?

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 on 0345 303 1714 to tell us what happened. We’re here Monday to Friday (8am - 9pm), Saturday (9am - 5pm) and Sunday (11am – 5pm).

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

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What if my windscreen’s damaged?

If you’ve got a chipped or cracked windscreen, it’s best to get it repaired sooner rather than later. Leave it too long and the damage could spread, ending up costing you more if it can’t be repaired and the windscreen has to be replaced.

Comprehensive insurance with Direct Line covers you for any repairs or replacements needed for the glass in your windscreen, rooftop or car windows.

You’ll need to pay an excess of £10 for a windscreen repair or £75 for a replacement. And if you have comprehensive insurance with us, these repairs won’t affect your No Claim Discount (NCD).

The work is 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).

If you’re making your own arrangements and using another windscreen supplier, you’ll be covered up to £125 for replacements and up to £40 for a repair (after the excess has been deducted).

Useful article:

Repairing or replacing your windscreen

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What if my car is beyond repair?

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 on 0345 303 1714.
We’re here Monday to Friday (8am - 9pm), Saturday (9am - 5pm) and Sunday (11am – 5pm).

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.

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Who do I talk to about hire car queries?

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, start a webchat with us or call your claims advisor using the number given in your claims documents.

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How do I get an update on my claim?

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, start a webchat and we’ll try to get an update for you.

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