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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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Direct Line

How ethical is Direct Line?

Direct Line is an insurance company which receives a low score on The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Insurance Ratings Table and is therefore not yet eligible for Ethical Accreditation. Despite this, we have high hopes that Direct Line will make the necessary changes in the future to improve its ethical record and become one of our above-benchmark brands.

Read more about the issues facing the Ethical Insurance sector and find out which companies have achieved accreditation for their commitment to being ethical and sustainable.

What does Direct Line do?

The company was originally established in 1985 by Peter Wood and Martin Long, as the insurance division of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS). It was the first telephone only insurance company in the United Kingdom. In September 2012, the group’s then chief executive, Paul Geddes, announced the business was ‘operating as a standalone insurance company’, in advance of a future full divestment from the RBS Group.

In which areas does Direct Line perform well?

Direct Line performs well for our criteria relating to the environment and emissions. Direct Line’s parent company, Direct Line Insurance Group Plc., has published a Sustainability Report which includes a number of targets and evidence of progress, as well as a Net Zero goal.

The score that Direct Line is receives in The Good Shopping Guide is the result of an evaluation of multiple ethical criteria. Find out more about how we rate.

In which areas does Direct Line perform poorly?

Unfortunately, Direct Line currently receives a bottom rating in the Other Criticisms category.

Direct Line has been subject to multiple criticisms regarding its insurance practices, including overcharging customers for policy renewals and underpaying on insurance claims.

What can Direct Line do to improve its score?

Direct Line must improve on the following areas in order to achieve a better GSG score: Responsible Investment Policy and Other Criticisms.

If the company applies for Ethical Accreditation, The Good Shopping Guide would be able to offer some guidance on this to enable Direct Line to improve its score and meet our ethical benchmark.

If you’re interested in learning more about achieving Ethical Accreditation for your brand, please contact us or complete a Free Initial Assessment form.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Environmental Destruction


  • Carbon Disclosure & Reduction Targets



  • Irresponsible Lending


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Responsible Investment Policy


  • Other Criticisms


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating