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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

Are you familiar with these new driving rules?

We're settling into 2019 now, so if you're still unclear about the new driving laws coming into effect this year, we're here to make sure you're clued up.

Car driving on a road.

The rules impact drivers young and old, new and experienced. To make sure you don't get caught out, here's a quick recap:

Changes to driving lessons

A new law that came into effect last year means you can now take lessons on a motorway. But you do need to be with an approved instructor in a dual-control car displaying L-plates, as the RAC explains.

Newly-qualified drivers

New drivers who have been behind the wheel for two years or less face stronger penalties for certain driving offences, such as using a mobile phone. If you receive six or more points within the first two years on the road, you'll have your licence revoked and will have to retake both parts of your test.

This year, talks will continue around the introduction of a graduated driving licence for new drivers. This will impose restrictions on new drivers for a set time and, according to the RAC, are likely to include:

  • Curfews – new drivers will be banned from driving during certain times
  • Passengers – there will be limits on how full a new driver's car can be
  • Alcohol – a lower legal threshold for blood readings
  • Speed limits – new drivers will have to travel at slower speeds
  • Engine sizes – the car's power output will be limited
  • P-plates – new drivers will need to display these for two years

A pilot graduated licence scheme is being rolled out in Northern Ireland until 2020. If it's successful, it's more likely it'll be introduced in England.

Overtaking cyclists

Citing the Highway Code, Manchester Evening News explains drivers must leave a decent distance (1.5m) when overtaking a cyclist.

Now, drivers who get too close to cyclists when passing them could be fined £100 and get three penalty points on their licence. Police forces across England are being encouraged to deliver penalties to people driving dangerously close to cyclists.

Smart motorways

As more sections of motorways are upgraded to smart motorways, drivers need to pay attention to the signs overhead – or risk a fine.

If a car's caught in a closed lane, marked by a red 'X' on an automated sign, they could get stung with a £100 penalty. Lanes are usually closed when there's an accident or blockage, to prevent further incidents.

New MOT rules

If you haven't booked an MOT since May 2018, there are some changes you'll need to be aware of. First up, there are new categories for car defects, which are:

  • Dangerous (fail) – direct risk to road safety and/or the environment
  • Major (fail) – could impact safety or environment
  • Minor – not impacting safety, but should be repaired as quickly as possible
  • Advisory – may impact safety in future
  • Pass – meets legal standards

For the first time, MOTs will include under-inflated tyres, contaminated brake fluid, brake pad warning lights, missing brake pads/discs, reversing lights and daytime running lights.

As Gov.UK explains, diesel cars face stricter tests in terms of emissions. This relates to cars with a diesel particulate filter (DPF), which will fail the test if there's coloured smoke coming from the exhaust or evidence the filter has been tampered with.

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