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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

The Hole Truth — what to do if your car's damaged by a pothole

In the 14th century, the word 'pothole' described a deep hole used for mining. In later years, the meaning of the word changed, becoming the name for geological features in glaciers and gravel beds. It wasn't until the 20th century that we began to use the term for describing the holes in our roads. At that time, there were less than a thousand cars on the UK's roads. Today that figure's around 32 million, and the combination of more traffic and poor road maintenance is making potholes a much more frequent occurrence on our roads.

Who's responsible?

Just one of many potholes.

Potholes are estimated to cause as many as 1 in 10 mechanical failures, costing motorists an estimated £730 million every year. Authorities pay out more than £30 million a year in compensation because of them, so it's possible to claim for the damage they've caused.

As local councils are responsible for 90% of Britain's roads, it's likely any claim will be against them, but if the incident occurs on an A road or motorway you'll need to contact the Highways Agency.

In all cases, it's best to start by getting evidence. To show the road's been poorly maintained, take photos of the pothole and its position in relation to the whole road and traffic flow. If it's safe to do so, use a tape measure or another object in the picture to show the hole's size and depth.

Making a claim

If you have comprehensive car insurance you'll be able to claim for any damage, but you'll have to pay your excess. It will also affect your no claims discount if it's not protected, or your insurer can't claim back their costs from the authority responsible, so you may prefer to pursue a claim yourself.

To do this, submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the council to find out how regularly the road's inspected and what maintenance has been done. You can find out more details about this, a www.potholes.co.uk.

You'll also need to keep a careful record of all your costs so you know how much to claim back. Be as accurate as you can, because you can't claim back more than the costs you've incurred.

Once you've done this, write to the council giving detailed information about the incident and damage. The council might not accept your claim straightaway, but if you feel you've got a good case don't give up, you can challenge their response. If that fails, consider seeking independent legal advice before deciding to make a claim through the courts.

Hastings Direct offer a range of Defaqto 5 Star rated comprehensive policies to cover you for incidents like these. Have a look to see what you could save.

All information is correct at time of publication. Hastings Direct cannot be held responsible for any misinformation displayed.

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