Hastings Direct.

Coronavirus FAQs

As the Coronavirus situation develops you may have questions or concerns about how it might affect your insurance. These FAQs aim to answer those for you, and we'll keep them updated as things change so check here for the latest advice before calling.

If you're worried about your ability to pay or want to make updates to your policy due to Coronavirus, you'll find help below.

General

I'm worried I might not be able to pay for my insurance, what should I do?

We'll do everything we can to help you if you've been affected by the Coronavirus – either financially or otherwise. If you're worried, please contact us by webchat as soon as possible. All conversations are confidential and we're here to help.

If it's easier, we can talk to a relative, friend or debt counselling organisation about your account but we'll need your authorisation first.

You'll also find lots of online advice with Money Advice Service, National Debtline, StepChange Debt Charity and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

What are you doing to prevent the spread of Coronavirus?

We're committed to minimising any impact for you and keeping our employees safe. This means that, to comply with Government and FCA advice, we now have a limited number of employees in the office and you could experience longer call waiting times or delays to your claim or repairs. We're very sorry about this.

During these times, please use our online services to help us prioritise urgent calls.

Why aren't all your employees working from home?

Please be assured that keeping our employees safe is a top priority and we're taking it very seriously. Anyone who can work from home is doing so, including those who don't have any alternative childcare arrangements or are vulnerable (as defined by government advice), self-isolating or pregnant.

We're working hard to provide home-working solutions for all staff within the next few weeks but in the meantime, for those still coming into the office, we're making sure our environment is as safe as possible with clear guidance on social distancing and regular communications, as well as providing wellbeing support, useful tools, free takeaway food and hot drinks.

Having valid motor insurance is a legal requirement and we have a duty of care to keep you on the road. It's really important we keep working so we're there for you when you need us and we're extremely proud of our whole team for the incredible work they're doing.

Do I need to tell you if I get Coronavirus?

No, but you should keep up-to-date with the Government's advice and make sure you're doing everything you can to stay safe.

I need to change my policy due to Coronavirus. How do I do that?

If you've made changes to the way you use your vehicle or home due to Coronavirus, you may want to update your policy to cover, for example, a change in mileage, adding commuting to your policy or letting us know you're working from home. Please read the rest of these FAQs before doing so for the latest advice. In some cases, we've temporarily changed the restrictions on our policies, to help you avoid having to make changes.

If we haven't covered the Coronavirus-related change you want to make in these FAQs, please call us so we can help.

How do I make a change to my policy that's not related to Coronavirus?

If you have a car policy and we've not covered your change in these FAQs, you can add or remove drivers, change your address or vehicle and manage your payments in MyAccount or the app. Simply:

  1. Log in and choose the policy you want to change
  2. Select what you want to do and add the new information
  3. You'll be given a quote for the change
  4. Select Continue to go ahead.

If you insure your home, bike or van with us, here are the other ways you can get in touch to make changes to your policy.

How do I renew my policy if I can't get through on the phone?

We're very sorry you can't get through, please bear with us. We have fewer staff but are prioritising our renewal calls and we'll get to you as soon as we can.

Most of our policies will renew automatically on their renewal date, so your cover will continue for another year. This will be clearly stated on your policy documents. You also have a 14 day cooling off period from your renewal date to cancel your policy without charge if you didn't want to renew.

If you have a car policy that isn't going to automatically renew, you can accept your renewal in MyAccount.

If you have a home, bike or van policy that isn't going to automatically renew, you'll need to speak to us.

What happens if I want to cancel my policy and I can't get through?

We need to speak to you to cancel your policy, to make sure it's the right thing for you. Please bear with us if you can't get through, we may have fewer staff but we'll get to you as soon as we can.

If I have to self-isolate for months can I suspend my cover, or get a refund on my insurance?

Unfortunately, you can't suspend an insurance policy. If you decide you want to cancel outside of your 14 day cooling off period, you'll be charged for the length of time you were insured for, plus any applicable fees. If you haven't made a claim during your policy, any money owed to you will then be refunded.

However, it's a legal requirement to have insurance, even if you aren't driving your car (unless you declare your vehicle as SORN) and some mortgage companies stipulate you must have your home insured. Also, you also won't earn this year's no claims discount.

If you think your mileage is going to be reduced significantly for the foreseeable future, you can lower your predicted annual mileage in MyAccount.

Motor insurance

I don't have commuting use on my policy. If I have to drive to work instead of using public transport will I be covered?

Yes, we've updated our policies so you'll be covered during the Coronavirus outbreak. There's no need for you to contact us to let us know.

If I volunteer to help my community by delivering goods like medicine or groceries, will I be covered?

Yes, you'll be covered for this even if you don't have business use on your policy.

I am defined as a key worker and need to use my car to get to different places to work due to the Coronavirus outbreak, will I be covered?

Thank you for all you're doing at this time. We've updated our policies so you'll be covered for the duration of the Coronavirus outbreak and you won't need to add business use to your policy.

If I have breakdown cover on my policy, will I still be recovered if I break down?

Yes, you'll still be recovered to the best of the RAC's ability. You can check their website for updates, or call them on 0333 321 9818.

If I have Coronavirus can someone else drive my car to get me to hospital?

Yes, if they're a named driver on your policy or they're covered for driving other cars by their insurance policy. They'll need to check their insurance certificate to see if they have this and they may only be covered on a third party basis.

If you'd like to add someone as a named driver, please get in touch.

Should I reduce the mileage on my policy if I can't drive for a few months?

Yes, but only if you think your mileage is going to be reduced significantly for the foreseeable future. If this is the case, you should update your predicted annual mileage in MyAccount.

Should I declare my vehicle SORN if I am unable to drive for a period of time?

You should only declare your vehicle SORN if you cancel your policy and your vehicle's left uninsured. Please be aware that, if you do SORN your vehicle, you won't be able to leave it parked on the road or on a driveway.

You can check Gov.uk for more information about this.

Am I covered if I'm abroad and can't get home, taking me over 90 days away?

The Foreign Office are advising against all non-essential travel overseas, so if you need to go abroad you must check their advice page before leaving. You'll also find the latest guidance on what to do if you're already abroad during this pandemic.

If you're overseas with your vehicle for longer than 90 days, your insurance will be reduced to third party cover only. Please get in touch if this happens, so we can make sure you've got the cover you need.

If I can't get my car MOT'd because garages are closed, is my insurance still valid?

The government has announced that any vehicle due to have an MOT from Monday 30th March won't need to be tested for a further six months, so your insurance will continue to be valid and if you need to make a claim your vehicle will be treated as if it has a valid MOT.

However, it's your responsibility to keep your vehicle in a roadworthy condition. For example, tyres need to be above minimum tread depth and brakes and lights should be working. If you know your vehicle's likely to have failed its MOT, you shouldn't be driving it.

We'll update you with more on this as the situation develops.

Home insurance

Will my home insurance be affected if I haven't told you I'm working from home?

No, as long as you're an employee and you're working for clerical reasons only. If you own your own business and are working from home, please get in touch as you'll need some kind of business use.

Will my home insurance cover the cost of a deep clean to my property if I get Coronavirus?

No, we're sorry but this won't be covered by your home insurance.

My property has suffered fire/flood damage and is uninhabitable. I am self-isolating – will you help me find alternative accommodation?

Yes, you'll need to speak to your insurer's claims department. You can find their details in your policy documents.

I've been quarantined or can't travel from abroad, so my home may be left unoccupied. Will I be covered?

Your home can be left unoccupied for up to 30 days with full cover. If it's empty for any longer than that there will be certain risks that are no longer protected. If it's possible for you to do so, you may want to arrange for a family member or friend to stay in the property until you are back.

Please check your policy booklet for more information about this.

Claims

We're very sorry if you're finding it hard to get through to us. Helping customers who are in an emergency or are key workers is our number one priority, so please keep trying if this is why you're calling. We'll be with you as soon as we can.

If you're trying to get through for any other reason, please help us by using our online services instead.

How do I make a claim if I can't get through?

Sorry you've been involved in an accident and you're struggling to get through.

If you have a car policy, you can report your claim online in a few simple steps. Just log in to MyAccount or go to the claims section of our website.

For all other policies or if you need to speak to someone, please bear with us if there's a delay in getting through. We're doing all we can to answer calls as quickly as possible.

How can I check progress with my claim if I can't get through?

If you have a car policy, you can track the progress of your repair in MyAccount. You can also contact your repairer for the very latest information.

If you've been told your claim's being handled as a total loss or you're waiting to find out how your claim's being closed, we'll be in touch with an update or to discuss the valuation as soon as we're able to do so. We'll also be in touch as soon as we can if you've had an accident with one of our customers and we're dealing with your claim directly.

Will I still get a courtesy car?

Yes, you'll get a courtesy car while your vehicle's being repaired. However, it may take slightly longer than normal for your car to be delivered as it will be prepared and cleaned before we give it to you.

Will I have to give the courtesy car back if my repair takes longer than planned?

No, you're entitled to a courtesy car for the duration of the repair.

However, if your vehicle's found to be uneconomical to repair, you claim will be settled as a total loss and we'll be in touch to discuss the valuation as soon as we're able to do so. In this instance, you'll need to return the courtesy car as stated in the terms of your policy.

Will my claim take longer to be settled and will it take longer to get a pay out?

We've taken measures to make sure this doesn't happen and are working with our suppliers to keep any disruption to a minimum. Our repairers will keep you updated if there's anything relating to your individual repair, such as a delay to sourcing parts if they are coming from overseas.

If you've been told your claim's being handled as a total loss, your claim will continue to be actioned and we'll be in touch to discuss the valuation as soon as we're able to do so.

I've been sent court documents in relation to my claim, what should I do?

Please don't worry, it's not unusual for court documents to be sent to you.

All you need to do is scan or photograph each page of the document and email it to us at litigation@hastingsdirect.com, making sure you put your claim reference number in the subject line. We'll review it as soon as we get it and be in touch to explain the next steps.

I'm not insured with Hastings Direct, but you're repairing my car. Will this continue?

Yes, we'll continue to repair your car and provide you with a hire car if you need one.

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