The best and worst home insurance providers for customer service 2011

Comparison sites have made it very easy to bag a deal on your home insurance but while a competitive price is important, you need to be able to trust your insurer if you need to make a claim.


Despite not making the shortlist last year, NFU Mutual has come out as this year's most trusted home insurance provider.

While some customers praise its comprehensive cover, others point to NFU Mutual's branch network as part of the reason they trust it more than other insurers. It has more than 300 branches throughout the UK, and although policyholders can deal with it by phone or online, many customers like the relationship they build up with staff in the branches.

"You deal with a real person, someone who knows your name," said one customer. "I made a claim on my home insurance and they dealt with it promptly and politely."


One of the biggest problems with home insurance is getting the right level of cover and while some insurers tackle this by offering a blanket sum to ensure everyone's covered, good customer service can ensure that the right level and type of cover is taken out.

At NFU Mutual, which takes the title of best home insurance provider for service for the third year running, customers rate its service very highly. One customer said: "I'm extremely happy with the service. I have my car insurance with it too and NFU Mutual combines the direct debit and renewal dates to make it easier."

As well as giving its customers personal service through its branch network, it's also praised for dealing with more unusual properties that some insurers avoid. For instance, one customer says they and their neighbour both use NFU Mutual as it's the only insurer that can handle their unusual freehold situation.


Weather is a major headache for home insurers with problems such as flooding and last winter's pipe-bursting cold snap pushing up claims and testing an insurer's service. But while some insurers can go into meltdown as claims rise, customers praised the personal attention of this year's winner, NFU Mutual.

"I made a claim and it dealt with it promptly and politely. It makes a real difference when you deal with someone who knows your name," said one policyholder who had to make a claim on their home insurance.

It also has a handy claims contact tool on its website. This gives you the number of the claims department and a list of the details you'll need to start a claim, but also includes numbers for services such as replacement glass to help out in the event of a domestic emergency.


Santander's customer service fails to shine in this category too, with customers slating it for the way they were dealt with when they contacted the call centre. One customer summed up their feelings about the company with the simple line, "It let me down".

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Your Comments

Anyone that goes with Santander's has to be looking for frustration as far as I am concerned.

i heard about NFU, its just a shame they dont insure city properties

Faisal - have you asked them for a quote on your property? If not, how do you know they don't insure city properties?

Last year I tried hard to contact NFU for an Insurance quote, but to no avail.
I phoned the local office three times, no one there. I left messages and my phone number, but still no one bothered to contact me.

SO how do you contact them?


I contacted NFU and was told they do not cover Home or Car Insurance in the London area.

I contacted them for Home Insurance and again they said they do not cover for London area.
So not so great!!

I would like to know the reasons why NFU Mutual does not provide home insurance for London area.

Home insurance is an absolute must for anyone who owns his or her own home. It can effectively afford you a degree of protection should anything ever happen to your home and its contents.

In my humble opinion NFU are rubbish. It took ages to get them to answer my email and give me a quote. Quote was over £1000 whereas most others were quoting around £300.
With that kind of mark up they can afford good customer service. Pity they don't practice it!

Direct Line have got to be the worst home insurance provider. I submitted a claim in 2005 which is still ongoing. They have repaired the house twice, once in 2006 and once in 2008 and both times the repair within 24 hours with cracking appearing within 24 hours. Sheer incompetance and they will do anything to try and save money. One engineer sat on my sofa and looked up at the ceiling saying "There is only one way to repair the cracks in this ceiling and that is to line it with a heavy wallpaper" Can you believe that! I told him that if he could produce a headed Direct Line specification for papering over cracks, then he could repair it that way.
The problem appears to be that DL use contractors to do the repairs and according to these Companies staff who have discussed it with me, DL pay a fixed rate for every repair and the cost is supposed to even up over the year. Of course they repair the cheap ones straight away and ignore the others to boost their profitability so insure with Direct Line by all means but don't expect any help if iot is a larger claim. Also remember that Direct Line, and Churchill who operate a similal policy, are owned by Royal Bank or Scotland and we all know what they got up to. TAKE MY ADVICE AND AVOID BOTH COMPANIES!


   I recently carried out a "Mystery Shop" for Home Insurance which included seven Banks in Leicester, one of which was Santander with whom I have my current account..  Their quote for the identical cover I requested from each bank was over twice as much!
(My instructions from the company I did the survey for, was to get a quote for full cover including accidental damage for both buildings and contents on my own home!)
I questioned Santander at the time stating that I thought they were vastly overpriced to which they countered "But everything is covered the amounts are all unlimited".. Now I read that they are bottom of the list for claims.. No Surprise!