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Covea Insurance: what you need to know

Covea information

Covea Insurance

Covea Insurance offers a wide range of insurance policies to customers all over the UK. What sets Covea Insurance apart from all the other providers? You cannot simply go to the Covea website and buy an insurance policy; it only sells its policies through brokers and intermediaries. From reviews and account management to the policies it offers, let’s break down everything you need to know about this unique insurer.

History of Covea Insurance

The actual Covea Insurance brand has not been around for that long, but it still has over 60 years of experience in the UK insurance market. It was created in 2012 by a merger of two much older British insurance companies: Norman Insurance, which was founded in 1958, and Provident Insurance, which was founded in 1966.


happy Covea workers

Norman Insurance was a general insurer that offered business, household and motor insurance, while Provident Insurance was an underwriting company for motor insurance. In the year 2000, Provident insurance rebranded to become MMA. Later, in 2012, the two companies came together to form Covea Insurance.

In 2016, Covea Insurance acquired Sterling Insurance Group Limited and expanded into a new market: offering administration services, such as IT solutions and claims management, to companies in banking, finance and retail. Under the name Sterling Client Services (SCS) it has some pretty big clients, including the likes of Lloyds Banking Group and MotoNovo.

Timeline

  • 1958 - Norman Insurance is founded.
  • 1966 - Provident Insurance is founded.
  • 2000 - Norman Insurance rebrands to become MMA.
  • 2012 - Provident Insurance and MMA merge to form Covea Insurance.
  • 2016 - Covea Insurance acquires Sterling Insurance Group Limited.
  • 2018 - Covea Insurance wins the British Insurance Awards’ Insurer of Individuals of the year’ award for the third year in a row.

Present day

Since its inception, Covea insurance has made big strides in the UK insurance market. Today it has 2 million customers and offers a wide range of insurance policies, including commercial insurance, car insurance (coming soon) and home insurance, as well as insurance for property and items of mid and high net worth. It also provides life insurance through its sub-brand Covea Life.

Awards

In recent years, Covea Insurance has claimed many of the big awards in the UK insurance world, including:

  • 2016 - Personal Lines Team of the Year (Underwriting Service Awards).
  • 2017 - Insurer of the Year (Commercial Insurance Awards), Insurer Claims Team of the Year (Commercial Insurance Awards), Insurer of the Year (Modern Claims awards), Insurer Claims Team of the Year (Commercial Insurance Awards), Customer Care Awards (The Claims Awards), Commercial Lines Team of the Year (The Claims Awards).
  • 2018 - Personal Lines Insurer of the Year (British Insurance Awards), Personal Lines Insurer of the Year (Insurance Times Awards).
  • 2019 - Personal Lines Claims Excellence of the Year (Insurance Times Claims Excellence Awards).

In the news

To stay up to date with all things Covea, its online News Hub might be just the thing you're looking for. Here you can find all the latest news concerning the company and its partners. To ensure you never miss a thing, you can also follow Covea Insurance on:

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Covea Group

Covea Insurance is the UK subsidiary of the French mutual insurance group Covea, which was created in 1999 under the name Société de Groupe d’Assurance Mutuelle Covea. Four French insurance mutual families make up the group, MAAF, MMA, GMF and Covea SRM.

As well as Covea Insurance in the UK, it also has subsidiaries in the USA (CSE), Italy (Bipiemme Vita and Bipiemme Assicurazioni) and Luxembourg (AME Life Lux).

Finances and performance

Covea Insurance’s parent company has been given an A+ credit rating by the American financial services company Standard & Poor’s (S&P). This means that Covea is very likely to meet all its financial commitments but is more susceptible to changes in circumstances and economic conditions than companies in higher categories (the highest category is AAA).

In other words, the company is pretty stable and not particularly vulnerable to changes in the economy, so there is little chance it will fail for financial reasons any time soon.

In 2018, Covea Insurance generated more money from insurance premiums than in the previous year: In 2017 it made around £738 million from insurance premiums; in 2018 this figure rose to roughly £765 million. For more information on the company’s financial performance, you can read the Covea Insurance financial reports.


Covea Insurance plc policies: how does it work?


a lock in the shape of a shield

Covea Insurance is a bit different to most insurance companies today as it does not sell its insurance policies directly to the general public. Instead, it sticks to the more traditional route by providing insurance through brokers and intermediaries. Whilst Covea Insurance underwrites all of its own policies, it sells them through brokers and other insurance companies.

This allows for a lot of flexibility in the policies it offers as underwriters can adapt the policies to a customer’s requests. However, it also means it is very hard to compare Covea Insurance’s pricing to other providers as there is no online quote service available.

Home Insurance

Covea has two main home insurance policies. The Profile insurance policy is designed to be very flexible, allowing customers to add lots of extras and match the policy to their needs. Conversely, the Home insurance policy is designed to provide comprehensive cover for the most common claims but cannot be so easily adapted and changed to fit individual needs. Find out more in our Covea Home Insurance guide.

As well as residential home insurance, the company offers insurance for commercial properties, multi-property owners, and real-estate developers. It also provides insurance for high value homes through a limited number of brokers.

Car Insurance

Customers can choose from 4 different types of car insurance policies with Covea Insurance:

  1. Private car policy: designed to protect individuals and their cars from loss, damage and legal liability.
  2. Commercial vehicle policy: protects small vehicles (max weight 3.5 tonnes) that are used for transporting the goods connected to the business/trade of the policyholder.
  3. Motor breakdown policy: this is a breakdown service provided by RAC. The basic level includes simple roadside and recovery assistance; the premium level includes roadside and recovery assistance, at-home assistance and help across Europe.
  4. Provident insurance policy: this is Covea Insurance’s only direct-to-customer policy and includes quite a few benefits as standard, such as a courtesy car and uninsured driver protection. It is provided by Provident Insurance, which is actually an arm of Covea Insurance, not a broker or intermediately.

To find out more about car insurance offered by Covea, in particular its Provident Insurance policy, check out our Covea car insurance guide (coming soon).

Policy management: quotes, renewals, cancelations

Unfortunately, as Covea Insurance does not sell its policies directly, there is no online account available where customers can manage their policies and renew or cancel them if they wish. As mentioned earlier, you also cannot get a quote for a policy online.

If you have a policy with Covea Insurance, all management, such as changes, renewals and cancellations, need to be handled through your insurance broker or the intermediary you took the policy out with.

As with all things, there is always an exception to the rule! If you have the Provident car insurance policy offered by Covea, you can manage your policy online. Find out how to log in to your Covea account (coming soon).

If you are interested in taking out a policy with Covea and would like to get a quote, you will need to contact a broker who works with the company.


Reviews of Covea Insurance

There are not that many Covea Insurance reviews online so it is a bit tricky to see what current and previous customers in general think about the company, its policies and customer service experience. From the information that is available, the insurer does not fare that badly for customer service, especially when compared to some other big insurers in the UK.

On the review site TrustPilot, Covea Insurance receives quite a mixed bag when it comes to reviews. Some are very positive and some incredibly negative, leaving Covea with a 5.2/10 rating. Just over half doesn’t really seem great, but in light of AXA’s 1.9/10 and the 1.5/10 given to Aviva, it is definitely an improvement!

Happy customers on TrustPilot praise Covea for very efficient and friendly customer service, and frequently talk about claims being dealt with quickly.

The help and support I received from this company was brilliant from the start. Very friendly and professional, had my claim sorted and paid out in a matter of hours. Nick

However, negative reviews complain about a lack of contact unless the customer takes the initiative to chase an issue up. A lot of poor reviews tend to be focused on Covea car insurance.

The worst company I have ever dealt with, no contact unless you contact them, rude staff who clearly don't know what they are doing, each department you speak with when you finally get to speak to them tells you a different story. Julia

All in all, Covea Insurance appears to be pretty average on TrustPilot, but it only has 249 reviews which is not really enough to gain a general impression of what the majority of customers think. Review site Service Tick, however, receives 10,000 reviews a month. As of April 2019, Covea has a customer satisfaction score of 92.6% and customers again praise the fast and friendly customer service.

Thank you for your speed and efficiency, I was so stressed about this and you have made it easy. Covea Insurance customer

Service Tick is the site Covea Insurance uses for customer service: it’s where it encourages its customers to leave reviews. This can explain why there are so many customer reviews here when they are a rarity on all other review sites. It also suggests that a customer satisfaction score of 92.6% might be a bit of an exaggeration compared to the average customer’s opinion as, at the end of the day, Covea will only encourage people who have had good experiences (issues resolved quickly and easily) to leave reviews.

Having said that, the fact that customers on both TrustPilot and Service Tick often mention efficient and professional customer service suggests there is more than some truth to it. Customers might not rank Covea quite as high as Service Tick would have us believe, but it does seem that most customers are happy with the customer service experience they receive.

How well does it handle complaints?

According to the complaints data provided by Covea Insurance for July to December 2018, the company only received 1.75 complaints per every 1,000 policies in force. This is less than most of the other big insurers in the UK, including Aviva, LV Insurance, AXA and Allianz (coming soon), implying that customers with Covea are generally happier than the customers of many other providers.

As well as having one of the lowest levels of complaints received, Covea is also one of the most efficient companies when it comes to dealing with them. 38.20% of complaints were resolved within 3 days and 60.90%were solved within 8 weeks.

However, Covea has one of the lowest upheld rates. If a complaint is upheld it means that the complaints team believes it’s valid and in need of addressing. Covea only upheld around 60% of the complaints, meaning it treated roughly 40% as not worthy of solving. In other words, out of all the complaints it received, in 40% of cases Covea would not admit something had gone wrong. No insurance provider upholds all the complaints it receives, but most seem to treat more complaints as valid than Covea.


How to make an insurance claim


claim document

To make a claim with Covea you need to ring the relevant claims team. The team you need to ring will depend on what policy you are claiming on. For example, if you have a Covea home insurance policy, you will need to ring the home insurance claims team. You can find the correct contact details for the specific team in our Covea contact guide.

All teams are available 24/7 and are accredited by the Institute of Customer Service. Covea strives to make sure all claims are handled efficiently and fairly without any unnecessary delays.


Covea Insurance locations: Halifax and more

The insurer has 8 offices spread out across the UK. The main offices are Covea Insurance Halifax, Reading and West Malling. It also has offices in Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, London and Chelmsford.

Covea in the community

All employees at Covea work hard to have a positive impact in the communities where the Covea offices are based. They fundraise for various charities and managed to raise an impressive £103,642 for Insurance United Against Dementia in 2018 by hiking Mont Blanc Massif.

Covea Insurance is currently working with the organisation Community Foundation for Calderdale to support local charities. These charities include the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, Demelza Hospice Care for Children, and Launchpad, which is a homeless charity in Reading.


Covea Insurance jobs

Covea Insurance employs 1,900 people in its UK offices. It puts great emphasis on being a great place to work and offers its employees many benefits and perks, such as a generous holiday allowance, an interest free season ticket loan for travel and parking, flexible working hours, and support to complete professional qualifications.

There are many career options available, from marketing and insurance underwriting to compliance and customer services. If you are interested in pursuing a career with Covea Insurance, keep an eye on its Current Vacancies page to see what job opportunities arise.

To apply for a job at Covea Insurance, you need to fill out an online application. Unfortunately this form is not available on the search engines Safari or Firefox. In this case, download the application and send it via email to recruitment@coveainsurance.co.uk.

Graduate scheme and apprentices

If you have just finished university or school and are looking for your very first job, Covea Insurance has a graduate scheme and an apprenticeship programme designed just for you.

The Covea Insurance graduate programme is not specific to a certain area of the company. The insurer recruits graduates for different roles in a variety of areas when they arise, so make sure to check the Covea Insurance graduate opportunities page regularly if you are interested.

The apprenticeship programme is available to any one with a GCSE Level 2 in English and Maths. It takes 12 to 18 months to complete. At the end of the programme, apprentices gain an NVQ Level 3 in Business & Administration qualification.


Selectra’s verdict


selectra orange tick in a blue box

Overall, Covea Insurance is quite different to the other providers on the UK market due to the simple fact that it does not sell insurance policies directly to the public but through brokers and intermediaries. This has good and bad aspects.

Bad news first! Having to go through a broker means that Covea customers do not have online accounts through which they can manage their policies. These accounts are really handy and considering nearly everything is done online these days, not having an online account can be quite inconvenient. Some insurance providers even have mobile apps where customers can access their account, so Covea is quite old fashioned from an account management point of view.

However, old fashioned isn’t always bad. Getting insurance through a broker has its advantages, namely the chance to speak to an expert so you know exactly what your policy does and does not contain and get the right one for you. The broker system also means that Covea’s policies are a bit more flexible than those offered by some other providers as brokers can negotiate to get their clients (meaning you!) a good deal that suits their needs.

 
 
Policies are flexible to fit the needs of the customer. Can’t get a quote online.
Receives fewer complaints than many other providers, suggesting customers are generally happier and have less issues. There is no online account available, making it harder and less convenient to manage policies.
Using a broker means you get expert advice on what policy to take out. Brokers charge commission which can drive the price of your premium up.

We have conducted specific analyses of Covea home insurance and Covea car insurance (coming soon) in the relevant guides. These analyses include information on coverage levels and whether the policies are value for money. Head to the relevant guide now for more information!


Data and information correct as of July 2019.

All material on this page and the selectra.co.uk website is for information purposes only and does not constitute any form of financial advice. Selectra.co.uk is not responsible for any consequences that might arise from your use of the information provided.

Other providers are available and the best deal for you will depend on your individual circumstances. Please do your own research and seek professional advice if necessary (moneyadviceservice.org.uk offers free, independent advice on all financial issues).