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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

Hastings Direct news: falling fuel prices & driving smoking ban

As this week's motoring news suggests, driving plays such a large part in our lives, acting as a constant from as young as 17 years old through to our twilight years. As such, any fluctuations in price or legislation — regardless how slight — can take some getting used to, meaning it's essential to stay on top of any potential changes relating to driving.

Motorists reminded about smoking ban

Smoking driver.

With a third of children — 3 million — said to be exposed to second-hand smoke in vehicles, the government has moved to make smoking in cars illegal if the vehicle is carrying a person under 18.

The legislation was approved in February but has yet to come into effect. However, with less than seven weeks until the law becomes active on 1 October, the government has begun an awareness campaign in order to spread the word.

As the Guardian reports, those that choose to carry on smoking and driving while a child is in the car beyond that date can expect to receive a fixed penalty fine of £50. The same applies to passengers if they flout the new laws, with the government determined to protect young people from the damaging effects of second-hand smoke.

The Department of Health has detailed exactly why second-hand smoke is so damaging for young people, explaining that children breathe faster than adults. Their developing lungs mean that they are "much more at risk from harm".

Diesel prices hit five-year low

Petrol pumps at a service station.

Another significant piece of news to emerge for drivers this week relates to fuel, which for drivers of diesel cars, will be especially welcome.

BBC News reported that the average price of diesel has dipped below 113p per litre for the first time since January 2010. Drivers had been concerned that prices appeared to be on the rise again since a significant fall in January, but figures from the information group Experian Catalist suggest that motorists have rarely had it so good as far as fuel is concerned.

It's a similar story for petrol, which this week hit 115.24p per litre on average, its lowest level for three months.

David Hunter, an energy industry analyst with Schneider Electric, told BBC Radio 5 live's Wake Up to Money programme that fuel prices could fall even further, if the crude oil price continues to tumble and sterling holds its value against the dollar.

Detouring for cheaper fuel a 'false economy'

Petrol pumps in field.

The RAC claims that diesel prices could even fall to as low as £1 a litre, but insurance comparison website MoneySuperMarket says that drivers should not get too obsessed with finding the cheapest fuel possible.

It carried out a study which shows how driving two extra miles for the sake of saving 1p per litre of diesel or petrol could actually work out more expensive.

At best, the drive to the fuel station cancels out the cheaper price, says Dan Plant, consumer expert at MoneySuperMarket, who says drivers should use its '2-for-1 rule'.

"Never travel more than two extra miles to hunt out each one pence per litre saving," is Plant's advice.

He adds that drivers should be looking at savings of nearer 5p a litre for it to be worth their while, explaining that anything below that would be something of a "false economy".

Families told to keep an eye on older relatives

older driver.

There is no age limit for drivers getting behind the wheel, which has prompted some motoring groups to put forward a number of different solutions to ensure people are not driving beyond an age at which they are no longer safe to do so.

However, GEM Motoring Assist believes that families have a large part to play in making sure older relatives are fit to drive. It highlights that many more experienced drivers are perfectly safe, but adds that there will likely come a time when safety is compromised.

David Williams MBE, GEM chief executive, acknowledged how important being able to drive is for many older people, but he explains that freedom cannot come at the expense of safety.

He suggests, however, that it can be difficult for older motorists to recognise when their driving skills are starting to wane, therefore it is important that family members and friends take "appropriate action" if anything causes them concern.

Bad driving makes for a bad date

phone while drving.

We wrap up this week by highlighting a light-hearted study which shows how bad driving can act as a romantic turn-off.

The survey by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) revealed how nearly half (46%) of the people questioned stated road rage as the worst first-date faux pas — which ranked fifth in the list, just below 'being self-obsessed'.

Other driving-related first date turn-offs in the top ten included:

  • Texting whilst driving' (45%)
  • Talking on a mobile whilst driving' (44%)
  • Having a dirty car (23%)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, however, rudeness was the number one reason given for why a date doesn't go beyond an initial encounter.

© M2 Bespoke 2015

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