No claims bonus for named drivers already widely available, say rivals

Direct Line was this week accused of using "slick marketing" to promote as new something some brokers claim is already widely available.

The insurer is aggressively targeting young drivers by offering the named driver on a policy the chance to accrue a no claims bonus.

The offer, which is accompanied by a multi-million pound advertising campaign, is likely to prove popular with teenage motorists who have been insured as an additional driver on their parents' policy.

A spokeswoman for Direct Line said: "No other insurer recognises named drivers in this way and this is a major step forward for those 18 million motorists who have been paying over the odds for their insurance.

"We don't think it is fair that named drivers who have experience behind the wheel cannot benefit from their safe driving experience."

But Graeme Trudgill, Biba's technical services manager, said: "Brokers will frequently take into consideration the no claims history of a policyholder when arranging cover even when they have only been a named driver. Directline is simply labelling something that a number of insurers already offer through brokers."

John Radford, marketing manager of One Call insurance brokers, said: "Zurich, Chaucer, NIG and others will offer an introductory bonus based on no claims history to drivers who have only ever been a named driver. It is clever marketing but it is not unique."

Direct Line defends DOC cover
Direct Line this week vowed to continue to offer driving other cars (DOC) cover as standard.

The decision comes after a number of insurers confirmed they were considering dropping DOC as recommended in the Greenaway report.

A spokeswoman for Direct Line said: "Direct Line is not prepared to leave its law-abiding customers high and dry just because of a few untrustworthy motorists.

"We don't want to leave our customers stuck if they are in an emergency situation so we will continue to provide our customers with cover."