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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

Show more

  • 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

Stricter mobile phone driving laws: what's changed?

We all know that using a mobile phone behind the wheel is illegal. In fact, in March last year, the government introduced stricter penalties in a bid to reduce the number of people breaking the law.

Using a mobile behind the wheel.

The penalty for anyone caught using their phone doubled from three to six points, with a £200 fine. For drivers with less than two years' experience, six points means a ban from driving.

Radio 5 Live figures cited by the BBC showed that 290 new UK drivers lost their licence within the first six months of the rule change. If you're disqualified for driving, you have to retake both your practical and theory test to get back on the road.

Prosecuted driver numbers plummet

Data from the Ministry of Justice, shared by the Independent, showed that the number of drivers using their phones plummeted by almost half between 2012 and 2016, from 22,135 to 11,961.

Good news? Not necessarily. On paper, these figures are promising. But the RAC has warned the drop in convictions are a result of there being fewer traffic officers on our roads. A Freedom of Information request from last year showed that officer numbers declined by a third in just a decade, from 3,766 in 2007 to 2,643 last year.

RAC spokesperson, Pete Williams, said the conviction data is "really just the tip of a very large iceberg of drivers who are prepared to risk their own lives and those of other road users by continuing to use a handheld phone when driving."

Williams referenced a 2017 RAC report, which found that over nine million drivers use handheld phones to make or receive calls behind the wheel. Shockingly, just under a quarter (23%) of the respondents admitted to using their phones in the 12 months before they were questioned.

A recap of the rules

As a recap, the Gov.uk website states it's a criminal offence to hold a phone or sat nav while driving. You must have hands-free access, which could take the form of:

  • voice command
  • a dashboard holder
  • a windscreen mount
  • built-in sat nav
  • a bluetooth headset.

You must make sure the hands-free device doesn't obstruct your view of the road and traffic and the law applies if you're stopped or queuing in traffic, or if you're supervising a learner driver.

It's legal to use a handheld phone in certain situations, like when you're parked in a safe place. The other is in an emergency scenario when you need to call 999 or 112, but it's neither safe nor practical to stop the car.

As mentioned, drivers found guilty of using their mobile phones will receive six penalty points on their licence plus a £200 fine. You can also get three points if your view of the road and traffic ahead is obstructed, or you don't have adequate control of the car. If your case is taken to court, you could be banned from driving and receive a maximum fine of £1,000.

There's only one piece of advice we have for drivers when it comes to using mobile phones at the wheel: don't do it.

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