The review does not affect the other Direct Line Group brands – Churchill, which is handled by WCRS, and Green Flag, which works with CHI & Partners.
It is expected that both roster and non-roster agencies will be invited to pitch for the account, which M&C Saatchi won in 2005.
Direct Line will contact agencies in the coming days and introductory meetings could happen as soon as next week. Following those meetings, Direct Line will issue a Request for Proposal ahead of a full pitch.
A Direct Line spokeswoman said: "Direct Line can confirm it is to put its lead creative agency account out to tender and will be inviting agencies to pitch. We have reviewed many of our marketing partners over the past 18 months to ensure that we have the best in class capability for our business.
"The Direct Line brand is at an exciting juncture in its evolution, so the time is now right to explore the market to evaluate lead creative agencies."
The Direct Line brand spent £46 million on media in the 12 months to the end of September 2012, according to Nielsen.
Direct Line Group retained MediaCom to its £85 million media planning and buying business in August following a competitive pitch.