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Coronavirus update Last updated 9th July 16:00

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In line with guidance from the Government and to help look after our colleagues, most of our team are now working from home and are taking calls. However, waiting times are longer than normal and the quality of the call may not be as clear as if we were talking to you from our call centre. We're committed to supporting you in the best way we can and will be here throughout to keep you updated so make sure to check back regularly.

At this time, please help us to prioritise essential calls by using our online services.

  • If you're a car customer you can use MyAccount or the app to make policy changes or payments, including changing your payment date, checking your documents or to report or track a claim (MyAccount only).
  • If you're a home, bike or van customer, you can make policy changes or requests using our online forms.

If you do phone, we may only be able to deal with your query if:

  • Your policy is due to renew and you're concerned it's no longer suitable for you or you're thinking of cancelling your insurance, or
  • You are worried about making future payments, or
  • You're in a vulnerable situation or an NHS or frontline health care worker who can't easily access our online services, or
  • You need to make a claim and your vehicle is un-driveable or if you need urgent roadside assistance.

For all other queries, including buying a new policy, please first read our Coronavirus FAQs for the latest advice and help to use our online services.

Our opening hours have changed to: Monday to Friday 9am-6pm and Saturday 10am-2pm.

Read our Coronavirus FAQs

Hastings Direct.
i

Coronavirus update Last updated 9th July 16:00

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  • We hope you and those close to you are keeping safe. Our teams are now working from home so we're very sorry if you notice the sound quality isn't as good as usual or you experience periods of silence. We're working hard on improving this so please bear with us.
  • Please help us prioritise urgent calls by only phoning us if you want to discuss your renewal or you're thinking of cancelling your insurance, or you're in financial difficulties and you're worried about payments, or you're an NHS or frontline healthcare worker.
  • For anything else, you can now manage your policy online. For latest advice and help to use our online tools, read our Coronavirus FAQs.

In line with guidance from the Government and to help look after our colleagues, most of our team are now working from home and are taking calls. However, waiting times are longer than normal and the quality of the call may not be as clear as if we were talking to you from our call centre. We're committed to supporting you in the best way we can and will be here throughout to keep you updated so make sure to check back regularly.

At this time, please help us to prioritise essential calls by using our online services.

  • If you're a car customer you can use MyAccount or the app to make policy changes or payments, including changing your payment date, checking your documents or to report or track a claim (MyAccount only).
  • If you're a home, bike or van customer, you can make policy changes or requests using our online forms.

If you do phone, we may only be able to deal with your query if:

  • Your policy is due to renew and you're concerned it's no longer suitable for you or you're thinking of cancelling your insurance, or
  • You are worried about making future payments, or
  • You're in a vulnerable situation or an NHS or frontline health care worker who can't easily access our online services, or
  • You need to make a claim and your vehicle is un-driveable or if you need urgent roadside assistance.

For all other queries, including buying a new policy, please first read our Coronavirus FAQs for the latest advice and help to use our online services.

Our opening hours have changed to: Monday to Friday 9am-6pm and Saturday 10am-2pm.

Read our Coronavirus FAQs

Sharing the road with emergency vehicles

An ambulance driving with blue lights flashing.

All drivers know they should give way when they hear or see flashing lights approaching them. Whether these lights are on a fire engine, ambulance or police car, a fast response from drivers helps the emergency vehicle get to the incident as quickly as possible.

But it's not always the best idea to pull over exactly where you are. In fact, if you stop in the wrong place and you could end up with a hefty fine – which could seem unfair when all you're trying to do is help.

This guide will keep you on the right side of the law when dealing with emergency vehicles.

How not to react

It's not always safe (or legal) to pull over the moment we spot an emergency vehicle approaching. As an article in the Express explains, if you run a red light or enter a bus lane when moving out of the way for an ambulance or police car, you could get fined.

The maximum fine you can get for running a red light is £1,000 plus six penalty points. But it's more likely you'll receive a £60 on-the-spot fine and three points.

Entering a bus lane could see you paying a £90 fine, or £45 if you pay it within two weeks.

What the Highway Code says

The Highway Code states drivers must 'look and listen for ambulances, fire engines, police, doctors or other emergency vehicles using flashing blue, red or green lights and sirens or flashing headlights, or Highways Agency Traffic Officers and Incident Support vehicles using flashing amber lights.'

It shares an important piece of advice: 'do not panic.' In the heat of the moment, some drivers slam on their brakes the second they hear or see flashing lights, but all that's doing is creating another obstacle for the emergency vehicles to navigate around.

If you need to pull over, the Highway Code says you should 'consider the route of such a vehicle and take appropriate action to let it pass', while abiding by all traffic signs.

You should pull over to the side of the road if necessary, but try to avoid stopping before the brow of a hill, on a bend or a narrow part of the road. Also avoid mounting the kerb or braking harshly as you approach a junction or roundabout, or making a move that may endanger you, your passengers or other road users.

The best thing to do

When you hear or see an emergency vehicle (whichever comes first), one of the first things to do is check your mirrors to gauge their speed and see what the traffic behind you is doing – this will give you a good indication of where the vehicle is heading.

Doing this should give you plenty of time to pull up next to the kerb to let them pass safely. If it's not safe (or legal) to pull to the side, continue driving at the same speed until you find a suitable spot. You might want to switch on your left indicator to make the driver of the emergency vehicle aware you've noticed them.

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