It’s an uncertain time isn’t it? And the media doesn’t help with it’s sensationalist headlines. So here we set the record straight with our FAQs on lockdown and car insurance.
You may have seen a report in the press that claimed your “car insurance may be invalid for non-essential journeys in lockdown“. When you read the article it was clearly just an opportunity for the industry ‘expert’ (who incidentally also made the claim) to get their name up in lights. Their innocuous advice was simply that you should check with your own insurer.
Well, along with that particular issue, here are the real answers to some other FAQs relating to lockdown and car insurance…
If I use my car for non-essential journeys, will I be covered?
Yes. Ci4C certainly advocates that you follow the Government’s guidelines/instructions in relation to staying at home and not making non-essential journeys. Ultimately, these rules are designed to ensure that everyone is protected. However, there is nothing in our insurer partners’ policy wordings to suggest your cover will be void if you drive for an unauthorised reason. The Association of British Insurers expects providers to continue cover. Non-UK based companies are not subject to the same rules. So, if you’re insured with an offshore firm, then you should check to be safe.
My renewal is due soon. Can I just let the cover lapse and then insure again when this is all over?
It depends. The law states that any vehicle which isn’t SORN’d must carry insurance. You could SORN your car but you’ll have to store it off-road. If you choose to do this you’ll lose the fire, theft and vandalism cover, for example – not just the road risk cover. If this is something you’re considering for your Ci4C policy we’d advise that you speak to us first.
Will I get a refund on my premium because I haven’t covered the expected mileage?
Again, it depends. carinsurance4cyclists.com is a broker and it’s the insurers themselves who are responsible for offering any rebate. In the last lockdown, only Admiral (plus its associated brands) and DirectLine offered an across-the-board refund in the form of a flat £25 per policy. Our view is that this is more of a marketing ploy than a reflection of the unused part of policyholders’ cover. Otherwise it would be proportionate to the premium paid. No-one else is offering refunds as a matter of course at this point. Insurers have generally responded by extending cover as follows rather than offering refunds. Of course, if your insurer does start issuing refunds we’ll be glad to pass those on.
I’m a key worker and due to COVID-19 I’m going to be doing more miles than I thought. Is this going to be a problem?
No. Insurers have agreed to be pretty relaxed about it. They understand that these are unusual circumstances and that few people would actually choose to do extra miles. You don’t need to inform them of the increase or even if you’re now having to commute where you weren’t covered for that.
I’ve registered as a vcolunteer driver to help out during the virus. Do I need to tell my insurer about this change of use?
No. Volunteer driving is most likely included under your policy anyway. The only restrictions are usually around using the vehicle for hire or reward, courier work, etc. With regard to making deliveries of items such as PPE equipment and food parcels, insurers are being flexible. We can’t imagine any insurer refusing to pay a claim where you’ve been helping out in such a way. Any such use would still have to fit within the definition of voluntary work i.e. unpaid.
Is Ci4C still open for business?
Yes. Quite early on in the pandemic, we enabled our teams to work from home. Our technology meant that we could be agile and respond quickly as the Government’s advice changed and each lockdown was announced. In fact, whereas some brokers have reduced their opening hours, we’ve actually increased ours to ensure we’re available when you need us. You can contact now us Mon-Fri 9am to 6pm and Sat 9am to 1pm (an extra 6 hours a week).
Can I make changes to my existing policy or are you only open for new quotes?
We’re here for whatever you need. Our entire operation is functioning as normal – there really is no discernible difference for customers. What’s reassuring is that customers have noticed and we’re receiving feedback to that effect. One customer said “Service has been great so far, even with the virus problems, which do not seem to bother [the team] much”.