Direct Line has regained its position as the insurer receiving the most favourable national press coverage last month.

It has almost continuously come top since Presswatch, the media evaluation service, started to

compile statistics on financial services since last September. Presswatch wrote: "DL is very efficient at gaining high-volume press coverage, month by month, and their commendable product range

continues to be praised in the press."

Insurers Legal & General received the most favourable national press coverage for a financial

service last month, beating more than 500 other companies.

Insurance spokespeople also fared well in the Presswatch statistics. Virgin Direct spokesman Gordon Maw was regarded by the national press as the top individual spokesperson.

Insurer Norwich Union, which has won the ABI best press office award for two years running, fared best in the spokespeople by company category.

The Automobile Association came bottom in the insurance and average score categories. And insurers Equitable Life came bottom in the overall score and and pensions categories.

In the life assurance category CGU came top, with Allied Dunbar receiving the worst press coverage, mostly regarding the mis-selling of pensions scandal.

DL's success comes just a week after it announced £50 million investment in a new internet site aimed at car lovers. Its web page will allow motorists to purchase new and used cars and accessories and keep up with the latest motoring news.