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As we go into lockdown in the face of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) threat many people are asking what help their insurance provider can give in these incredibly trying times.
Help from your insurer when it is needed
The ABI (Association of British Insurers) is reassuring people that its motor and home insurance members are offering enhanced help and support to all their customers who may be affected by the impact of Coronavirus.
The commitments include waiving any requirements to extend cover for key workers who may need to drive to different locations, people who want to help their communities by transporting medicines or groceries to support those affected by Coronavirus and office workers who need to work from home. These follow on from guidance already issued by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Motor and home insurers have pledged to:
- Support those who need to make a claim
- Support those who are working from home
- Support those who cannot work from home
- Support those who use their cars to help communities
- Support our key workers
Here experts at Adrian Flux, one of the country’s largest independent specialist insurance brokers, answers your Coronavirus insurance questions.
I have been told to work from home because of the Coronavirus, will that affect my home insurance policy?
If your work is clerical in nature, working from home due to the need to self-isolate or because you have been ordered to do so by your employer because of the Coronavirus outbreak, you should be covered by standard home insurance policies.
However, if you need to have visitors in the course of your work you should check with your insurer as there may be restrictions in the cover permitted.
Because of my age I am advised to self-isolate for an extended period. Can I pause my car insurance?
It is a legal requirement to have valid car insurance unless you register your vehicle as being off the road and apply for a SORN. In this case it may be appropriate for you to consider laid-up motor insurance cover.
Even when unused and parked in a garage while you keep safe from the Coronavirus, cars can be damaged by accident or by fire and they can be targeted by thieves and criminals. With laid-up cover they remain protected but the policies are cheaper because, as they are not being driven, there is no third party or liability insurance needed.
Adrian Flux laid-up insurance is available at two levels, fire and theft or fire and theft plus accidental damage, so they suit any budget and any need.
I have been laid off because of COVID-19. I’m worried I may not be able to meet my insurance instalments. What should I do?
One of the benefits of dealing with a specialist broker such as Adrian Flux is that we can be sensible and offer flexibility in times of uncertainty such as these.
Adam Hollinger, Customer Service Floor Supervisor at Adrian Flux, explained: “We’ll do our best to arrange individual payment plans given the current climate.
“Individual plans will be based on a client’s previous payment history. If the customer has a good payment record we will do whatever we can to help. But advise us in good time that you are having financial difficulties and we will help you get through it.”
My car is booked for an MOT, do I still need to get it during the Coronavirus lockdown?
Garages undertaking MOT tests have been deemed an “essential service” by the government, which means they’ll stay open despite the lockdown. That means your insurance could be invalidated if your vehicle doesn’t have a valid test certificate. This may change if the government decides to reclassify MOT test centres as “non essential”.
If I have to self-isolate and need someone to drive my car to collect groceries or medicine, will they be insured?
In these circumstances you should contact your broker and have them added to your policy as a named driver.
If the new driver has car insurance that includes driving other cars and they drive yours with your permission they will only get third-party cover.
If you are fully comprehensive and want to ensure damage to your own car is covered when someone else uses it, contact your broker to add the other person as a named driver to your policy.
I have lost my job because of Coronavirus. What should I do and what are the financial implications on my motor insurance?
Adam said: “Get on the phone to your broker and let them know what has happened and they will do their best to help you.
“We’re not applying Additional Premiums for mid-term changes to unemployed customers and we won’t be issuing Road Traffic Act notices for unacceptable risks due to unemployment as a result of COVID-19.
“We are doing what we can to accommodate this, please get in touch to talk to a member of the customer service team.”
Will home insurance cover the cost of a deep clean to my property should it become contaminated by COVID-19?
Most standard home insurance policies do not provide cover for the costs of cleaning a property, even deep cleaning in the event of Coronavirus.
I have been quarantined and my home may be left unoccupied for more than the 30 day limit on my policy. Will I be covered?
Insurers will be pragmatic when considering those who are quarantined and unable to return to their property within the timescales set out in their policy. However, individuals should contact their broker at their earliest convenience, Adam advised.
I have volunteered to drive for those who can’t leave their homes because of COVID-19. Will my current insurance be valid?
If you are using your own car for voluntary purposes to collect and deliver medicine or groceries to support people affected by COVID-19, your cover will not be affected and you will not need to notify your insurer.
I’m stuck abroad in lockdown and concerned my foreign use motor insurance cover will run out. What should I do?
The terms and conditions of your foreign use motor insurance policy will differ from person to person so you should get in touch to talk about your individual circumstances as soon as you can.
I work for the NHS. What is Adrian Flux doing to help me?
Adam said: “With immediate effect Adrian Flux has decided to waive all mid-term admin adjustment fees and insurer admin fees when NHS workers call to make changes to their policies. We think this is the least we can do to help our NHS workers during this extremely difficult time.”
Need more help regards the Coronavirus and your insurance?
Adrian Flux customer services can be contacted on 0344 381 6502 – lines will be very busy so please be patient.
If you have questions about how Coronavirus may affect your insurance leave a comment below or email Customer Services.