Hastings Direct.

Important - Coronavirus update

In line with guidance from the Government and to help look after our colleagues, we now have a limited number of staff in the office. 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.

  • 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, or for any customers wishing to cancel their insurance, please use our online forms.
  • If you do phone, we will only be able to deal with your query if:
    • You're in a vulnerable situation or an NHS or frontline health┬ácare worker who can't easily access our online services, or
    • You are worried about making future payments, or
    • Your policy is due to renew in less than a week and you're concerned the policy is no longer suitable for you, 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 how to use our online services.
  • Our opening hours have changed to: Monday to Friday 9am - 6pm, Saturday 10am - 2pm and Sunday Closed. If do you 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

Hastings Direct news: UK government switches focus to 2016

Christmas travel, weird weather, mobile phones and plug-in cars all feature in our final news round-up of the year …

Wet weather causes widespread travel disruption

Flooding.

The unseasonably warm weather has trigged storms up and down the country, causing travel chaos for Christmas travellers. The poor weather has affected some of the 31 million journeys being made in the festive period. Those considering public transport may also have to rethink their plans, with the rail network almost completely closed down on Christmas Day and Boxing Day with only nine of the UK's 31 main rail providers scheduling train travel on 26th December. Forecasters from the Met Office are predicting a weather front of gales and rain will continue to batter the UK. The effects of Storm Frank have resulted hundreds of homes being evacuated and thousands left without power according to The Guardian.

Tougher fines for motorists caught using mobiles behind the wheel

A leading police officer has urged the government to come down harder on motorists who persist in using their mobile phone behind the wheel.

Motorist caught using their mobile phone whilst driving may face tougher penalties if new government plans come into force next year. The reforms are part of the government's new Road Safety Plan and could see the fixed penalty rise from £100 to £150. The number of points a mobile user receives on their licence is also set to increase. In 2014, almost 500 accidents were caused by motorists who were using handheld devices. First-time offenders will still be offered an educational course but persistent offenders will be banned from the road altogether. Lorry drivers using phones illegally behind the wheel will see the number of points they receive double from three to six reflecting the potential severity of the accidents these larger vehicles could cause. "Using a mobile phone at the wheel is reckless and costs lives," said Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin. "I want to see it become a social taboo, like not wearing a seatbelt. The message is clear: Keep your hands on the wheel, not on your phone."

Plug-in car grants to increase by £400 million

electric cars.

The Department of Transport is continuing its plug-in car grants until 2018, it has announced. An additional £400 million has been set aside to offer grants for new battery powered and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as a push to accelerate the market for ultra low emission cars. New banding levels are also expected in a bid to encourage drivers to buy the cleanest cars when looking to renew their vehicles. The extension of the incentive scheme is hoped to treble the number of ultra low emission cars on the roads. "We are determined to keep Britain at the forefront of the technology, increasing our support for plug-in vehicles to £600m over the next five years to cut emissions, create jobs and support our cutting-edge industries," said Transport Minister Andrew Jones.

Motorway lessons for learner drivers

Busy Motorway.

Learner drivers need to be given motorway experience with an instructor before being allowed to pass their driving test — that's the message coming from the Department of Transport. New plans announced by the government could see an end to motorists passing their test in the morning and then driving on motorways — with no experience — in the afternoon. The move is aimed at improving road safety and would be backed by a £2 million research programme into driver education. "One in five young drivers has an accident within six months of passing their test, so putting the learning process under the spotlight has to be a good thing," said Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation. "Mile-for-mile, motorways are our safest roads but can be intimidating places for novice drivers. Exploring ways of letting learners have controlled access to them is welcome." The sentiment was echoed by AA president Edmund King. "The current situation whereby someone can pass their test in the morning, then drive alone on the motorway in the afternoon, without ever having driven on a motorway, is ridiculous. It makes sense that supervised learners should be allowed on motorways," he said.

And with that, we bid farewell to 2015 and wish all our readers a happy New Year. See you in 2016.

© M2 Bespoke 2015

Join us...