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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

Who's responsible for drain repairs?

Many of our homes are connected by a system of drains and sewers. When these pipes get blocked, the issue needs to be sorted as soon as possible to prevent smells, leaks or even flooding.

But if a drain gets blocked, what should you do and who has to pay for it?

Is it a drain or a sewer?

The water that flushes out of your toilet or down your sink goes into a 'private drain,' which is the responsibility of the property owner (whether that's you or your landlord). When the drain leaves your home and passes under a road or pavement, it's called a 'lateral drain.'

When waste from more than one property meet, this pipe is known as a sewer. In most cases these sewers are public – meaning, they're the local water company's responsibility. A change in the law in October 2011 transferred many sewers and lateral drains into public ownership, so if you've dealt with sewer issues in the past it's worth checking whether ownership has changed.

Who pays for drain repairs?

If a blockage is in a drain on your own property, it's your duty to clear it or pay a private contractor to do it for you. Lifting the drain inspection chamber should help you check if there's a blockage on your property.

If you're not sure where the blockage is, contact your local Environmental Health Officer (EHO) who'll be able to inspect the property, help identify the problem and suggest next steps. Ask your neighbours if they've experienced any problems – this will help you get a fuller picture.

If the blockage appears to be in the sewer, you'll need to contact the local water authority, who are responsible for maintaining, cleaning and unblocking sewers. They should be able to resolve the problem.

If your sewer is one of the few remaining shared private sewers, you'll need to share the cost of clearing a blockage with your neighbours. Your EHO will help with any potential disputes but be warned: they might charge a fee for their service.

Preventing blockages

We'd all rather not think about blocked drains and sewers, but around three quarters of blockages are caused by people flushing away things that don't belong in drains or sewers in the first place. This includes nappies, sanitary towels, plastic bags, cooking fat, plaster and cement, condoms, waste food, paint, cleaning wipes, clothing and cat litter.

Think twice before putting these items down a sink or toilet. They can snag on pipes and cause stubborn blockages that need to be dug out to clear them, causing much more disruption than taking a few steps to the bin in the first place.

If you do experience a drain blockage, get it sorted as quickly as possible. Delay is likely to only cause a stink!

Home insurance

At Hastings Direct, we know how important your home and its contents are to you. That's why we offer home insurance that covers you for the unexpected expense that theft, loss and damage can bring. Plus you can choose from a great range of optional extras.

Join us...