You know John Lewis, the big high-street department store? Well it also offers insurance! From John Lewis pet insurance and wedding insurance to home and car insurance, the retail company come insurance provider sells a wide range of policies for all areas of life. In this guide we give some background on the company, details on its insurance policies and take a little look at John Lewis Insurance reviews. Read on now to find out more.
John Lewis Insurance
John Lewis Insurance is part of John Lewis Finance, which itself is an arm of the famous John Lewis department store brand. Known mainly for its retail services, it may come as a surprise to many that the famous high-end fashion and home furnishing provider also offers financial services, such as insurance and personal loans.
In this guide we want to take a closer look at the insurance products John Lewis Insurance sells, but first let’s breakdown the history of the John Lewis name. Where did it start? How did it get into the insurance world?
History of John Lewis
John Lewis Finance and retail (known as John Lewis & Partners) are owned by John Lewis Partnership plc (JLP). The brand can trace its roots all the way back to 1864 when a little known man by the name of John Lewis opened a drapery shop in Oxford Street, central London.
His shop quickly grew and he soon bought Peter Jones Limited, a fellow drapery store, and made his son, John Spedan Lewis, chairman. John Spedan Lewis was a champion of the workers, and introduced a number of workers’ rights and benefits to his new store, such as shorter working hours, commission for sales staff and three weeks of paid holiday. When his father died in 1928, John Spedan Lewis joined the two brands (John Lewis & Co. Limited and Peter Jones Limited) and formed the new company, John Lewis Partnership Limited in 1929.
During the 1930 and 40s, the company saw great expansion, buying a number of retail stores, including Waitrose Limited in 1937 and Selfridge Provincial Stores Limited in 1940. Over the years, John Lewis Partnership Limited expanded beyond its retail services. In 2004, it launched its own credit card, the Partnership Card, with HSBC. In 2006, it started offering insurance under the name Greenbee, which was later rebranded John Lewis Insurance.
- 1864 - John Lewis opens a drapery shop in Oxford Street, selling silk, woolen cloth and haberdashery.
- 1906 - He buys retail store Peter Jones Limited.
- 1914 - John Lewis makes his son, John Spedan Lewis, chairman of Peter Jones Limited and he introduces many worker benefits and rewards.
- 1928 - John Lewis dies.
- 1929 - John Spedan Lewis joins John Lewis & Co. Limited and Peter Jones Limited to form a new company: John Lewis Partnership Limited.
- 1930/40s - The company grows by buying a number of retail businesses.
- 1937 - Buys Waitrose Limited.
- 1940 - Buys Selfridge Provincial Stores.
- 2001 - johnlewis.com is launched online.
- 2004 - It launches its own credit card, the Partnership card.
- 2006 - The company starts to sell insurance under the name Greenbee, which is later renamed John Lewis Insurance.
- 2018 - John Lewis retail and Waitrose are rebranded to become John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners respectively.
John Lewis today
Today, John Lewis Partnership plc owns Waitrose & Partners, John Lewis & Partners (which is the John Lewis retail business) and Opun Home Improvements.
John Lewis Finance is a subsection of John Lewis & Partners, selling insurance, personal loans, it’s own credit card, as well as currency exchange and money transfer services.
As well as finance, John Lewis & Partners offers a number of other non-retail products and services, such as John Lewis Broadband, John Lewis Opticians, John Lewis for Business and John Lewis Home Solutions.
John Lewis insurance policies: from pet insurance to car insurance
As we have mentioned, John Lewis has been selling insurance since 2006. While originally sold under the name Greenbee, its insurance arm is now simply known as John Lewis Insurance. In this section we are going to give an overview of the different insurance policies it offers customers: wedding insurance, pet insurance, event insurance, home insurance, car insurance and travel insurance.
John Lewis Insurance also offers life cover, but in this section we focus on its general insurance products. You can find out more about its life cover on the John Lewis Finance website.
John Lewis pet insurance
Helping you keep everything you love safe and sound, John Lewis Insurance has got your dog and/or cat covered with its pet insurance policies. Only offered as lifetime cover, it means your best friend is protected for ongoing conditions and accidents with no time limit set on treatment (as long as you renew the policy every year without a break in cover).
Both cat and dog insurance come in three different levels of cover: Essential, Plus and Premier. All levels include the same elements of protection - such as cover for vet fees, accidental damage to other people’s property and cover if your pet is lost or stolen - but have varying claims limit. For example, the Premier level includes cover for vet bills up to £12,000, whereas the Essential option only covers vet bills up to £3,000.
Despite this being lifetime cover, on its website John Lewis warns that the price of your pet insurance premiums will go up each year even if you don’t make a claim. This is because pet insurance increases as your pet gets older. When your pet reaches 9 years of age, the excess on your premium will also rise.
John Lewis wedding insurance
No one wants their big day ruined! Whether it’s because ofbad weather or the best man losing the wedding rings, John Lewis wedding insurance can ensure that you’re protected from the unexpected and still have the day you dreamed of.
Its wedding cover comes in six different levels of coverage, aptly named level one, level two, level three, level four, level five and - you guessed it - level six. All levels include cover for cancellation or rearrangement of the event, loss or damage, failure of suppliers (such as the caterers or photographer), wedding rings, wedding gifts, legal expenses and public liability. The table below lists the claim limits and estimated price for each level of cover.
|Benefit||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5||Level 6|
|Cancellation or rearrangement||£10,000||£15,000||£20,000||£30,000||£50,000||£100,000|
|Loss or damage||£5,000||£7,500||£10,000||£15,000||£25,000||£50,000|
|Failure of suppliers||£5,000||£7,500||£10,000||£15,000||£25,000||£50,000|
|Public Liability||£2.5 million||£2.5 million||£2.5 million||£5 million||£5 million||£5 million|
As British weather is so unpredictable, if you are planning an outdoor wedding you can choose to add marquee cover onto your policy. If you’re avoiding the UK altogether and are going for a more exotic wedding, you can add overseas cover. This will ensure that whatever level of cover you choose will still apply even though the event is not in the UK.
In order to make any wedding insurance claim successful, John Lewis recommends that you get written contracts for every service and product you buy, and keep all your receipts!
It’s not just weddings where John Lewis Insurance has got your back; it covers all types of events, from 30th birthday parties to retirement celebrations. This insurance comes in four coverage levels and includes protection for hired equipment and property, cancellation cover and public liability cover. Let’s take a quick look at the claim limits and estimated price of each level.
|Benefits||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4|
|Number of guests (up to)||100||100||500||1,000|
You can take out John Lewis event insurance up to one year before your planned event. It is recommended that you do so as soon as you make any payment towards the event, such as a deposit on a rented venue, to ensure your are protected from the start.
John Lewis home insurance
John Lewis home insurance comes in three levels: Essential, Plus and Premier. As the name suggests, the Essential policy offers the most basic level of cover, and the Premier policy provides the most comprehensive level of cover, including unlimited buildings and contents insurance, unlimited matching sets cover, full accidental damage cover and personal possessions protection.
Confused by home insurance jargon? Check out Selectra’s handy home insurance glossary to see what all the different types of cover mean.
If you have a high-value or non-standard home, e.g. a thatched roof or your home is a listed building, John Lewis Insurance has a specific home insurance policy for you. This option is known as its Specialist policy. It is tailored to meet the needs of you home, giving you the exact amount of cover you need.
If you’re interested in any of John Lewis’ home insurance policies, you can find more details in our John Lewis home insurance guide (coming soon).
John Lewis travel insurance
John Lewis Insurance is no longer offering travel insurance policies, which means you can’t purchase travel insurance from the company as a new customer.
If you already have a travel insurance policy with John Lewis, don’t panic: your policy will remain valid until the expiry date stated in your policy documents, but you won’t be able to renew it when it runs out. For more information and the contact numbers needed if you have a query about your existing policy or want to make a claim, head to our John Lewis travel insurance page (coming soon).
John Lewis car insurance
All car insurance policies sold my John Lewis Insurance are comprehensive policies, not third-party policies. Comprehensive car insurance is the most complete type of car insurance you can purchase in the UK.
John Lewis’s policies include:
- Cover for misfuelling
- Uninsured driver protection
- Courtesy car while yours is being repaired
- Cover for onward travel when you have an accident
- 90 days of cover for travel in Europe
As well as standard cover, there are a range of add-ons you can choose to add to your policy to make it even more comprehensive. These include legal protection, protection for your no claims discount and breakdown cover.
John Lewis’s breakdown cover is provided by the RAC and comes in four options:
- Roadside - assistance anywhere in the UK if you are at least a quarter mile away from your home.
- Roadside & Recovery - same as Roadside level, plus transportation to any destination within ten miles.
- At home - includes Roadside level of cover, but also covers you for assistance within a quarter mile of your home.
- European Assistance - includes Roadside and At home cover for 48 countries (plus their offshore islands) in Europe.
Read Selectra’s guide on John Lewis car insurance (coming soon) for a more detailed analysis of the polices and a handy price comparison to see how it fares next to other providers.
Who underwrites John Lewis Insurance?
While John Lewis arranges and sells insurance policies, it does not create its own policies. A number of other well-known UK insurance providers underwrite these policies on its behalf.
- Pet insurance - underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (RSA).
- Wedding and event insurance - underwritten by RSA.
- Home insurance - normal home insurance policies are underwritten by RSA, and the specialist police is underwritten by Covea.
- Car insurance - underwritten by Covea.
- Travel insurance - was (and still is for existing customers) underwritten by Ageas Insurance Limited, and arranged and administered by its parent company Ageas Retail Limited.
John Lewis Insurance promo code
It’s always great when you can save money on your insurance policy, even if it’s just a couple of pounds. John Lewis Insurance promo codes and discounts are always advertised on sites such as vouchercloud.com. For example, at the time of writing we found a deal for a whopping 20% off John Lewis home insurance when bought online. Make sure you keep an eye out for similar deals when you are looking to buy an insurance policy.
If you own a John Lewis Partnership card, it’s worth using this if you want to buy a John Lewis insurance policy. On a number of policies you can earn double points (that go towards John Lewis and Waitrose vouchers), when you use your card to pay the total amount upfront.
John Lewis Insurance login
Through the John Lewis online account you can view and print your policy details, double check your renewal date and even renew it online when it is due to expire (only if you pay annually, not monthly).
The exact John Lewis Insurance login process varies slightly depending on what type of insurance policy you have. In the table below we have listed the details you need in order to login.
|Type of John Lewis Insurance policy||Details needed to login|
If you want to make any changes to your policy or make a claim, you need to give John Lewis a ring. You can find all the relevant contact details on Selectra’s John Lewis contact page (coming soon).
John Lewis Insurance reviews
Finally, let’s take a look at some John Lewis Insurance reviews. Are past and present customers happy with the service and insurance policies they’ve received from the provider? Unfortunately for John Lewis, customers online seem less than impressed.
On review site reviews.co.uk, John Lewis Insurance has a rating of 2.13/5, with just over 60% of the 240 reviews giving the company a mere one star. The main complaint here focuses on poor customer service, with customers commenting that staff are unhelpful and rude, and they have struggled to make successful claims.
John Lewis home insurance is the worst thing I have ever experienced in my life. After a break in you would expect a name like a JL to act swiftly and with empathy. Instead the staff they use are incompetent, rude and very unhelpful. Avoid at all cost. Anthony
Many reviewers also remark that they were shocked and disappointed with the dramatic increase in their premium when it came to renewal. It’s not just John Lewis that is guilty of this. Sadly, a lot of providers don’t reward customer loyalty and will increase the price of your insurance when it’s renewed.
This is why it’s important not to let your insurance policy renew automatically. Make sure you know when your renewal date is and don’t just accept the quote you get from your current provider. Shop around and compare providers to see what you can find. If you’re happy with your John Lewis insurance policy but not your renewal quote, it’s worth giving its customer service team a ring. It might reduce your renewal price in order to keep your business.
On its own website, John Lewis Insurance has its own ratings and reviews section where it naturally fares a lot better than on other platforms. Customers here particularly praise the quality of the insurance provided.
For further insight into reviews of John Lewis car and home insurance separately, plus a look at what the professionals think, give the relevant John Lewis Insurance guide a read: John Lewis home insurance, John Lewis car insurance.
As well as customer reviews, we like to take a look at a provider’s complaints data for a bit more insight into its performance in the customer service area. Regrettably, we could not find any data for John Lewis Insurance. This is likely because its policies are underwritten by separate companies and therefore complaints are likely not handled by John Lewis itself.
Selectra’s verdict: pros & cons
|Offers wide range of comprehensive policies.||No complaints data available to see the number of complaints it receives and why.|
|Customers have applauded policies for being of a high quality.||Online reviews suggest unhelpful customer service.|
Data and information correct as of October 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.