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

What to do if your car is skidding

With heavy rain, wet leaves covering the road, and ice and snow, winter driving conditions can mean your chances of skidding are higher than usual.

An icy road.

But do you know what to do in that situation?

To know what to do, you need to know what type of skidding's happening. Is it understeer or oversteer?


Understeer is a front-wheel skid as a result of the front wheels losing grip. This is more likely to happen in a front-wheel drive car and is often caused by taking a corner too quickly or braking too hard when cornering.

With understeer, the front tyres slip in the direction you're travelling, so instead of turning, you'll continue straight on.

What to do if you understeer

The most common occurrence for understeer is when you're driving too fast for the road conditions, so you can reduce your risk by taking things a bit slower.

If you start to understeer, keep your feet on the pedals but reduce the pressure on the accelerator or brakes and reduce the steering angle to get back control of your car.

Did you know?

  • If visibility is below 100m you should turn your headlights on.
  • You should leave twice the distance between you and the car in front in wet weather.
  • Always test your brakes after driving through standing water.


Oversteer affects the back of the car. Simply put, it's where the tyres slip and try to push in the opposite direction you're trying to turn, kicking the back end of the car out.

It often happens in rear-wheel drive vehicles, as the back end wants to overtake the front when cornering.

What to do if you oversteer

Similar to understeer, you need to reduce your speed. To bring in the back end of your car, keep looking and steering the direction you want to go, and avoid slamming the brakes or removing your foot from the accelerator.

Did you know?

  • A car can float in just 60cm of standing water.
  • A car can be moved by just 30cm of flowing water.
  • A car engine can be ruined by just one egg cup of water.

Source: Stay safe on the road when it's wet, wet, wet — theaa.com

Prevent skidding

You can't control the weather but you can reduce your chances of skidding by doing regular car maintenance to keep your car in top condition. Make sure your tyres aren't worn and check your brakes and tyre air pressure.

On the roads, manoeuvre gently and smoothly, and avoid sudden braking, acceleration and sharp steering.

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