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People’s Choice car insurance review

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Part of Hastings Direct since 2002, People’s Choice is a back-to-basics car insurance provider offering just three policies.

If you appreciate that level of simplicity, you might want to consider it as a provider when you compare car insurance quotes. But is it any good?

Read on for our People’s Choice car insurance review, including what cover it offers, how it compares to its competitors, and what its customers think of its service.

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What car insurance cover is offered by People’s Choice?

There are few bells and whistles with People’s Choice car insurance. It offers three levels of cover: third party only, third party, fire and theft, and comprehensive car insurance.

Every level of cover allows you to build a no-claims bonus. However, you will have to add no-claims discount protection as an optional extra.

You can also choose to cover your vehicle as part of a multi-car insurance policy.

Third party

If you take out a People’s Choice third party insurance policy, you will only be covered for:

  • Third party liability: if you’re in an accident, your third party policy will cover damage to another driver’s property, up to £20 million (or £25 million in total costs)
  • Driving in Europe: you can drive for 90 consecutive days in the European Union (EU) under the same level of cover as you have in the UK
  • Driving other cars: if eligible, you will be able to drive other private motor cars, with third party only cover

Third party, fire and theft

With a People’s Choice third party, fire and theft policy, you get everything included with third party only, as well as:

  • Fire damage: you can claim up to the market value of your vehicle for any damage your car suffers that’s caused by fire
  • Theft: you can claim up to the market value of your car if it is stolen, or damaged during an attempted theft
  • Manufacturer fitted audio/visual equipment: following an insured event, you have unlimited cover if you need to replace manufacturer fitted in-car audio/visual equipment
  • Aftermarket audio/visual equipment: following an insured event, you can claim up to £300 for any audio/visual equipment that isn’t an original part of your car
  • Child car seat cover: if you’re making a claim related to an insured event, you can claim for a replacement car seat worth up to £300, even if there is no evidence of damage
  • Replacement keys and locks: you can claim up to £500, minus your excess, towards the cost of replacing the locks and keys if your keys are stolen from anywhere that isn’t your car
  • Onward travel: you can recover £50 per person, up to £250, in the event you can’t continue your journey as a result of damage to your car, and you need to make alternative travel plans or stay overnight in a hotel
  • Courtesy car cover: if you car needs to be repaired following an accident, and you take it to an approved garage, you’ll receive a small temporary replacement

Comprehensive

If you opt for People’s Choice comprehensive insurance, you get everything included with third party and third party, fire and theft, as well as:

  • Damage to your car after an accident: if your car is damaged in an accident, you can claim up to the market value of your vehicle
  • Personal accident: you, or your partner, can claim up to £5,000 for death or permanent loss of sight or limbs (above the ankle or wrist). This benefit is not available if you’re over the age of 75
  • Medical expenses: in the event of an accident, you can claim up to £500 per injured person for medical expenses
  • Personal belongings: you can claim up to £300 for personal belongings that are lost or damaged during an insured event. Exclusions apply, such as money, jewellery, tools, mobile phones and laptops
  • Windscreen cover: you can get your windscreens and windows replaced or repaired in the event they are damaged
  • Uninsured driver promise: if you need to make a claim for an accident that isn’t your fault, and the other driver is uninsured, your no-claims bonus won’t be affected, and you won’t have to pay an excess
  • Vandalism promise: if your car is vandalised, you will not lose your no-claims bonus when making a claim, but only if you report it to the police and send People’s Choice the crime reference number

People’s Choice car insurance policies at a glance

Third party only Third party, fire and theft Comprehensive
Age range All All All
Level of cover Third party Third party, fire and theft Comprehensive
Injuries to other people Yes Yes Yes
Damage to other people’s property Yes Yes Yes
Theft No Yes Yes
Fire damage No Yes Yes
Repairs to your own car following accident No No Yes
Motor legal protection Optional Optional Optional
Your medical expenses No No Medical expenses up to £500 per injured person; personal accident claims up to £5,000
Driving other cars Yes (if eligible, third party only cover) Yes (if eligible, third party only cover) Yes (if eligible, third party only cover)
Breakdown cover Optional Optional Optional
Courtesy car cover No Yes Yes
Hire car cover Optional Optional Optional
Windscreen replacement No No Yes
Personal belongings No No Up to £300
Replacement locks and keys No Up to £500 Up to £500
Protected no-claims bonus Optional Optional Optional
Cancellation fee £0 (within 14 days); £45 (after 14 days) £0 (within 14 days); £45 (after 14 days) £0 (within 14 days); £45 (after 14 days)

People’s Choice car insurance optional extras

On top of your People’s Choice car insurance policy, for an additional cost you can chose the following optional extras:

  • Motor legal protection: this provides cover for up to £100,000 in legal costs arising from a dispute related to a road traffic accident, alongside 24/7 legal advice
  • RAC motor breakdown insurance: there are four levels of RAC breakdown cover on offer – Roadside, Roadside and recovery, Roadside, recovery and at home, and Roadside, recover, at home and European motoring assistance
  • Personal accident insurance: you can add extra personal accident insurance that’ll pay out more money, for a wider set of outcomes, than the standard level of cover provided by a comprehensive People’s Choice policy
  • Key protection insurance: you can opt for an increased level of key cover, of up to £1,500 for all insured incidents in any one year
  • Hire vehicle insurance: this will provide you with a hire vehicle in the event your car is damaged or written-off following an accident or fire, or is stolen and not recovered, within the territorial limits of the policy

How to claim with People’s Choice car insurance

If you need to make a car insurance claim through People’s Choice, you can do so online via your MyAccount portal, or over the phone (0333 321 9800 in the UK, 00 44 1424 738 585 outside the UK). 

In the event you do need to make a claim, you should:

  1. Make sure everyone at the scene of the incident is safe and secure. However, do not admit fault, or offer to pay for damage
  2. Contact People’s Choice as soon as possible, even if you don’t intend to make a claim. You have a maximum of seven days to reach out
  3. People’s Choice will ask you some questions about what happened, where you can outline the kind of claim you’d like to make
  4. The provider will then arrange the relevant course of action, for example booking a nominated repairer to fix your car

How to cancel People’s Choice car insurance

To cancel your People’s Choice car insurance policy, you can call the provider on 0333 321 9679. 

When cancelling your policy, People’s Choice will work out how much of your premium you’ll be refunded, minus the exit fee (outlined in the table below). However, if you have made a non-recoverable claim – that’s any claim where People’s Choice has made a payment to a third party it can’t recover in full – you won’t be entitled to a refund.

Cancellation period Fee
Within 14 days of your policy start date £0
After 14 days, or if People’s Choice needs to cancel your policy £45

How to contact People’s Choice car insurance

If you want to contact People’s Choice about your car insurance, aside from making a claim, you can do so by calling 0333 321 9679. That line is open 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm on Saturdays and bank holidays, and 9am to 1pm on Sundays.

You can also make general enquiries and changes through your MyAccount login portal. 

If you want to make a complaint, meanwhile, you can:

  • Phone: 0333 321 9801 (see above opening hours)
  • Write: Customer Relations Department, People’s Choice, Conquest House, Collington Avenue, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, TN39 3LW

People’s Choice car insurance customer reviews

People’s Choice has a ‘Bad’ Trustpilot rating of 1.4 out of five. While this is significantly lower than many of its competitors, you should bear in mind that it is also only based on 128 reviews.

Similarly, these reviews don’t just cover People’s Choice car insurance, but everything the brand offers.

Of the few positive reviews that focus on car insurance, people mention the cover being relatively cheap.

However, the negative reviews complain about the customer service at People’s Choice, as well as sky high renewal quotes.

icons8-review-96

“[I’ve] been with them two years and [they’ve] been excellent. [I] changed my car twice with a very small fee. [The] insurance has been relatively cheap. Third renewal coming up in July and [I’m] hoping they keep bringing it down.”

 

“The customer service response from People’s Choice has been absolutely horrendous. My car was taken in for repair at the beginning of May 2023 and the repair has still not been resolved to date (it is now 21 September 2023). It took two months for a courtesy car to be sorted, leaving me without a vehicle during that time. I have not been kept appropriately updated about what is happening or when my car will be fixed. This has been a very terrible experience. It takes calling up and being on hold for anywhere between 20 minutes to an hour at a time for me to have any update about what is happening. There needs to be a customer service review.”

 

“[This company] doesn’t even deserve one star! [I] had a renewal quote through, and as it was so high compared to the previous years, I ignored it and found cheaper cover elsewhere. [I] just received a letter saying that they’d cancelled my insurance and I owed them £73.34 for a policy that had expired, and if I didn’t pay they would pass my information onto a debt collection agency! After 29 minutes on the phone I managed to get it written off, not that I was going to pay it anyway! Disgraceful service!”

What Defaqto rating does People’s Choice car insurance have?

Despite its less than stellar Trustpilot reviews, People’s Choice has positive ratings on Defaqto, although its third party policy does not have a rating:

  • Third party, fire and theft: ★★★★
  • Comprehensive: ★★★★★

How does People’s Choice compare to its competitors?

Provider name Trustpilot score Defaqto score
People’s Choice 1.4 stars 5 stars (4 stars for third party, fire and theft)
Hastings Direct 4.1 stars 5 stars (4 stars for Third party, fire and theft, 3 stars for Telematics, 2 stars for Essential)
Admiral Insurance 4.4 stars 5 stars (4 stars for Telematics, 3 stars for Essential)
Aviva 4.0 stars 5 stars (3 stars for Third party, fire and theft)
Direct Line 3.7 stars 5 stars (3 stars for Third party, fire and theft and Essentials)
AXA 4.3 stars 4 stars (5 stars for Plus)
LV= 4.5 stars 5 stars (3 stars for Third party, fire and theft)
esure 3.3 stars 5 stars (4 stars for Third party, fire and theft)
Ageas 4.1 stars 5 stars (3 stars for Essentials, and Telematics)
NFU Mutual 4.4 stars 5 stars

Conclusion

People’s Choice is a no-frills car insurance provider, offering just three main levels of cover, and a handful of optional extras.

Its policies closely match those of parent company Hastings Direct, but without some of the flexibility that comes with that brand. It also has a far worse Trustpilot score than many of its competitors.

However, its car insurance policies are still well-reviewed by Defaqto, with a five-star rating for its comprehensive cover, and four stars for third party, fire and theft.

Frequently asked questions about People’s Choice car insurance

Since 2002, People’s Choice has been owned by Hastings Direct, the trading name of Hastings Insurance Services Ltd.

A five-star Defaqto rating for its comprehensive car insurance policy gives legitimacy to People’s Choice as a provider. However, a ‘Bad’ Trustpilot score may mean it’s not for you if you want good customer service.

Connor Campbell

Finance Writer

Connor Campbell is an experienced personal and business finance writer who has been producing online content for almost a decade. 

Connor is the personal finance expert for Independent Advisor, guiding readers through everything they need to know about car insurance and home insurance. From how much it costs to the best insurance providers in the UK, he’s here to help you find the right policy for your needs. 

In his capacity as writer and spokesperson at NerdWallet, Connor explored a number of topics close to his heart, such as the impact of our increasingly cashless society, and the hardships and heroics of British entrepreneurs. His commentary was featured in sites such as The Mirror, the Daily Express and Business Insider

At financial trading firm Spreadex, meanwhile, his market commentary was featured in outlets such as The Guardian, BBC, Reuters and the Evening Standard

Connor is a voracious reader with an MA in English, and is dedicated to making life’s financial decisions a little bit easier by doing away with jargon and needless complexity.

Molly Dyson

Editor

After growing up with a passion for writing, Molly studied journalism and creative writing at university in her home country of the United States.

She has written for a variety of print and online publications, from small town newspapers to international magazines. Most of her 10-year career since relocating to the UK has been spent in business journalism, writing and editing for admin professionals at PA Life magazine and business travel managers at Business Travel News Europe and representing those titles at conferences around the world.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Molly is an expert in a broad range of consumer topics, that include solar panels and renewables, home improvements and home insurance, and consumer technology such as home security and VPNs.

In her free time, Molly can usually be found exploring the outdoors with her husband and their young son or gardening.