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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: petrol prices & road conditions

A possible drop in petrol prices below £1 per litre is expected but that's a small consolation for motorists who were delayed in traffic as Storm Barney hit the UK hard with strong winds and torrential rain. Learner drivers did not have a particularly good week either — driving examiners continued their two-day strike, with many hopeful new drivers returning home without the prospect of a licence. But Highways England made us chuckle with their top ten list of the most bizarre spills on its roads, including 6,000 chickens hitting the M62 in Manchester in May last year. Luckily they managed to save 5,000 of them!

Petrol prices could sink below £1 per litre in coming weeks

car.

Let's start with the good news. The RAC is predicting that petrol prices could actually drop under £1 per litre for the first time in six years.

"There's typically about two weeks lag in the system. So there's very good chance that within a few weeks people will be selling fuel at £1.01, and then the temptation to move that extra penny or so will be unavoidable," RAC's chief engineer said on the BBC's Today show.

The RAC publishes petrol price data on its website, which reveals that the last time prices dipped below £1 was in 2009.

Wholesale prices have fallen by two pence in recent weeks and prices at the pump could follow in the next few weeks. Since 2014, oil prices have more than halved from north of $100 per barrel.

Storm Barney causes chaos for many motorists

Flooding.

Shortly after Storm Abigail, another one followed in its wake. Storm Barney hit the UK with 85 mph winds, causing floods, widespread damage and disruption.

The police and motor groups issued warnings to drivers, encouraging caution when driving on flooded roads.

The RAC's spokesman suggested that motorists should resist driving on flooded roads if possible and make absolutely sure when driving through standing water that it was shallow enough.

Driving examiners continue two-day strike

driving test.

Driving and vehicle examiners continued their two-day strike, causing confusion among learner drivers scheduled to take their tests on those days.

Plans by the Drivers and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to increase the number of driving tests per day and possibly shorten tests, phasing out reverse parking and point turns, triggered the strike by members the Public and Commercial Service (PCS) union.

The agency suggested that candidates with driving tests on these days should still come for their test.

"Not all driving examiners are union members, and even if they are, they might not choose to go on strike," the DVSA said in a statement on its website.

"Theory tests aren't affected by the strike action and will be taking place as planned," it added.

The PCS union claims the changes will result in a pay cut for its members and affect road safety.

Cash-for-Crash scams cost insurance industry £400m a year

car crash2.

The issue of so-called cash-for-crash scams resurfaced, with senior manager Mike Waters at vehicle leasing firm Arvel writing about the fraudulent behaviour on his blog.

It involves criminal gangs deliberately causing an accident and then bullying the other driver into handing over cash. And often these criminals continue to harass the other driver in the days following the crash by text or phone, asking for more money.

The gangs are known to target the elderly, people travelling with children and women driving alone in their cars. So please beware and never hand over money.

Waters claims that scams like this are costing the insurance industry a whopping £400 million every year, putting pressure on raising insurance premiums.

Tonnes of salmon cover motorway — Highways England reveals strangest road spills

chickens.

Now to the bizarre! Highways England compiled a top ten list of the strangest items spilled on its roads. The report, published on the agency's website, comes just days after 24 tonnes of lard closed the M11 motorway for 24 hours.

This should give you an idea what the agency has to deal with on a daily basis:

  1. Raw human sewage was spilled over the A3 Stoke interchanger, near Guilford, after an HGV crashed and shed its load onto the road.
  2. Thousands of tins of baked beans spread across the M11 southbound. It took three hours to clear up the mess.
  3. It took agency workers 12 hours to clean up 20 tonnes of sticky black yeast extract from the M1 in South Yorkshire.
  4. A lorry had an accident at the M6 junction 2 in Coventry, resulting in thousands of lager cans spilling out and the road having to close for four hours.
  5. Ten tonnes of salmon covered the M62 eastbound, with each salmon having to be picked up by hand from the road.
  6. The Environment Agency was called in to help clearing and cleaning spillage of melamine formaldehyde resin and phosphoric acid, when an HGV overturned on the M62 eastbound.
  7. A tanker started leaking animal blood, following an incident on the eastbound A50.
  8. Six thousand chickens hit the M62 in Manchester, when a lorry lost its load. Rescuers were able to save 5,000 chickens after searching for several hours in the surrounding area in the dark.
  9. A chemical tanker, transporting refrigerated liquid oxygen, overturned on the A303. It took nine hours to clean up the chemicals. The driver was freed with hydraulic equipment by fire and rescue.
  10. Powdered cement got mixed with oil and diesel from one of the HGV's involved in an incident on the M6 in Lancashire, resulting in an 18 hour closure.

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