Hastings Direct.

Important - Coronavirus update

In line with advice from the Government and the FCA, we now have a limited number of staff in the office and are working hard to enable more employees to work from home. During this time, we're committed to supporting you in the best way we can. We'll be here throughout to keep you updated, so make sure to check back regularly.

  • To help us prioritise urgent calls, please use our online services to manage your policy where you can. Please only call us in exceptional circumstances, as otherwise we may not be able to help you at this time.
  • If you have a car policy, you can change your address or vehicle, add or remove drivers, or make payments in MyAccount or the app.
  • You can also report a new car claim or get an update on your car's repair in MyAccount.
  • If you're worried about financial difficulties or you're using your insured vehicle or home differently because of Coronavirus and you want to update your policy, please read our Coronavirus FAQs about what to do next.
  • Our opening hours have changed to: Monday to Friday 9am - 6pm, Saturday 10am - 2pm and Sunday Closed.
  • If you do need to call us, please bear with us as it may take us longer to answer your call. We're sorry for any inconvenience this causes you.

Read our Coronavirus FAQs

Horses on the road – top safety tips for drivers

With 3.5 million horse riders regularly taking to the UK's roads, it's likely you'll come across one when out on your travels one day – particularly if you're driving in the countryside. For some drivers, it can be a nerve-wracking experience, as you can never really tell how a horse is going to react.

So, with National Equestrian Safety Day taking place on 25th March, there's no better time for you to brush up on your horse safety knowledge. Here are some top tips on how to stay safe and feel confident when you next encounter a horse on the road.

Your responsibilities as a driver

Horses on the road.
Photo Credit: Maria Eklind Flickr via Compfight cc

Horses can be spooked by loud noises and sudden movements, like a bird flying or dog barking, and even experienced riders may find it tricky to calm them down. So, slow down as soon as you spot a horse, leave plenty of space when passing, and avoid doing anything that could startle them, like beeping or revving your engine.

Also, look out for gestures from the rider: they know their horse and might signal you to slow down or stop if they sense their animal is unsettled. Often, riders will 'pull in' to the side of the road and allow you to overtake safely – but if they don't, be patient and avoid taking unnecessary risks.

Responsibilities for horse riders

The Highway Code says riders should wear light-coloured or fluorescent clothing during the day and reflective clothing at night or in poor visibility. They should keep to the left and obey traffic flow signs in one-way streets.

Nervous horse? Sometimes riding with more experienced horses can help. That said, you should never ride more than two side-by-side, and make sure you ride single file on busy or narrow roads. Roundabouts should be avoided, as horses find them challenging to navigate.

Long or large vehicles and horse carriages

Long, large or unusual vehicles are most likely to spook horses, so if you drive one, allow lots of space when passing and move extra slow. Meeting a big vehicle could make the rider anxious about how their horse will react, which in turn may make the horse more nervous.

If you meet with a horse-drawn carriage on the road, the same rules apply. But bear in mind that the carriage is as long as a car and then there are horses in front, so it'll be twice as long. Carriage drivers will often use hand signals to warn you – pay close attention and only overtake when there's plenty of time and space to do so.

5 quick tips

  • Slow down as soon as you spot a horse.
  • Be prepared to stop.
  • Avoid loud noises and sudden movements.
  • Allow plenty of room for overtaking.
  • Watch out for the rider's signals to slow down or stop.

Car insurance

Our straightforward car insurance is Defaqto 5 Star rated, so you can be sure you're getting a great product. Plus you can choose from a great range of optional extras.

Join us...