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Motor Insurance

ABI members supported the UK’s 27 million motor insurance customers during lockdown with temporary pledges to help commuters and volunteers. As restrictions have changed, the following guidance now applies as of 30 April 2021:

Volunteering

The pledge to support those using their own car for voluntary purposes has become part of the industry’s volunteer driving commitments. If you’re using your own vehicle for voluntary purposes, such as to transport medicines or groceries to support others who are impacted by Covid-19, this will continue to be covered at no extra cost by the vast majority of ABI members. However, some insurers may wish to be informed of this use so volunteer drivers should check their individual policy.

For more information, please click here 

Driving to work

To support drivers who needed to travel to their workplace during lockdown but who previously wouldn’t have used their own vehicle to do so, insurers waived the need for anyone with ‘Social, Domestic and Pleasure’ cover to update or amend their motor insurance policy. Key workers needing to travel between different workplaces also did not need to contact their insurer.

As restrictions change, and travel to workplaces becomes more routine, it will be necessary for drivers to check their insurance cover is appropriate for their needs. You will need to speak with your insurer or broker if there are ongoing changes to your working and driving activities since taking out the policy.

This includes using your own vehicle to commute to work or driving to different locations for work purposes, and will also apply to key workers.

Insurers appreciate this may continue to be a difficult time for some customers and will be ready to discuss insurance cover, including options for those who may be experiencing financial hardship.

For more information, you can read our commonly asked questions here:

If I have to self-isolate and need someone to drive my car to the shop to pick up supplies for me, will they be insured?

  • You should contact your insurer and have them added them to your policy as a named driver.
  • If the person who is helping you has car insurance that includes a “Driving Other Cars” section and they use your car with your permission, they can drive your car. However, they will only get third-party cover and “Driving Other Cars” is intended for short-term emergency use.
  • If you have comprehensive insurance and want to ensure that damage to your own car is covered when someone else uses your car, you should contact your insurer to add the other driver as a named driver to your own policy.

If I choose to drive to work now instead of getting public transport, will my car insurance still be valid?

  • If your motor insurance policy does not include cover for commuting, and you’re using your own vehicle to travel to work, you will need to contact your insurer.

If I have to self-isolate, can I pause my car insurance?

  • It is a legal requirement to have valid car insurance unless you register your vehicle off the road and apply for a SORN. Different insurers have different processes for these situations. If you want to keep your car but won’t drive it for a while, contact your insurance provider to see how they can support you.

If I have an accident, will I be able to have my car repaired or replaced?

  • Insurers’ main priority is to make sure their customers can continue to have their claims paid in this challenging environment. Given the disruptions to international transport and manufacturing because of Covid-19, it may take longer to get the necessary parts to repair your car.

I drive for a voluntary organisation to help people who can’t leave their homes. Is my insurance still valid?

  • Most ABI members have signed up to the industry’s volunteer driving commitments. This means using your own vehicle for volunteering purposes should be covered at no extra cost. However, some insurers wish to be informed of this use so you should check your individual policy.
  • For more information, please click here.

I am self-isolating, and my MOT is due. Is my insurance still valid?

  • If you cannot take your car for its MOT, ask someone else to do this for you. If they are not already named drivers, contact your insurer to add them to your policy.
  • If this is not possible due to the impact of Covid-19, insurers will be pragmatic and not penalise you for something that is out of your control. Safety is paramount and it is illegal to drive a car in a dangerous condition, so make sure to check your brakes, tyres and lights before driving. Please remember to get your MOT done when you can. 

Can I still get an MOT test booked at my local garage?

  • The Department for Transport have advised that heavy and light vehicle testing will continue in England throughout the lockdown period and therefore you should be able to arrange for an MOT to occur if required. The Scottish and Welsh Governments do not have any restrictions on garages under their current respective restrictions. 
  • However, if restrictions mean you are unable to get a test because of the impact of Covid-19, insurers will be pragmatic and not penalise you. Safety is paramount and it is illegal to drive a car in a dangerous condition, so make sure to check your brakes, tyres and lights before driving. Please remember to get your MOT done when you can.

 

If I drive during the lockdown period, will my insurance be invalidated?

  • Your cover will not be affected if you drive during the lockdown period. However, all motorists should follow Government advice and avoid non-essential travel.