Coronavirus help and support for our Towergate Insurance Brokers customers

Risk Alert – Home and Personal Motor Insurance

Risk Alert – Home and Personal Motor Insurance

The information contained in this bulletin is based on sources that we believe are reliable and should be understood as general risk management and insurance information only. It is not intended to be taken as advice with respect to any specific or individual situation and cannot be relied upon as such. If you wish to discuss your specific requirements, please do not hesitate to contact your usual Towergate Insurance Brokers advisor.

The ABI (Association of British Insurers) is reassuring people that its home insurance members are offering enhanced help and support to all their customers who may be affected by the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19). View a full list of the ABI members.

COVID-19: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

ABI motor and home insurers have committed to:

  1.  SUPPORT THOSE WHO NEED TO MAKE A CLAIM
  2. SUPPORT THOSE WHO ARE WORKING FROM HOME
  3. SUPPORT THOSE WHO CANNOT WORK FROM HOME
  4. SUPPORT THOSE WHO USE THEIR CARS TO HELP COMMUNITIES
  5. SUPPORT OUR KEV WORKERS

Visit the ABI website to learn more.

This means that if you are an office-based worker and need to work from home because of government advice or because you need to self-isolate, your home insurance cover will not be affected.

You do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover.

ABI motor and home insurers have pledged to:

1. Support those who need to make a claim. Insurers have implemented business continuity plans and work closely with service providers to do everything possible in these challenging circumstances to continue to handle claims and support their customers. We recognise there will be many customers who will need additional support and insurers will prioritise those in vulnerable circumstances.

2. Support those who are working from home. If you are an office-based worker and need to work from home because of government
advice or because you need to self-isolate, your home insurance cover will not be affected. You do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover.

3. Support those who cannot work from home. If you have to drive to your workplace because of the impact of Covid-19, your insurance
policy will not be affected. You do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover.

4. Support those who use their cars to help their communities. If you are using your own car for voluntary purposes to transport medicines or groceries to support others who are impacted by Covid-19, your cover will not be affected. You do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover. This applies to all categories of NHS Volunteer Responders, including transporting patients, equipment, or other essential supplies.

5. Support our key workers. If your work is critical to the national response to Covid-19 and you need to use your own car to drive to
different locations for work purposes because of the impact of Covid-19, your cover will not be affected. You do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover.


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

MOTOR

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

If you have to drive to your workplace because of the impact of Covid-19, your insurance policy will still be valid. You do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover.

If you work in one of the critical sectors listed by the government and you need to use your own car to drive to different locations for work purposes because of the impact of Covid-19, your cover will not be affected. You do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover.

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 Coronavirus, it may
take longer to get the necessary parts to repair your car.

The ABI (Association of British Insurers) is reassuring people that its home insurance members are offering enhanced help and support to all their customers who may be affected by the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19). View a full list of the ABI members.


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

If you are using your own car for voluntary purposes to transport medicines or groceries to support others who are impacted by Covid-19, your cover will not be affected. You do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover. This applies to all categories of NHS Volunteer Responders, including transporting patients, equipment, or other essential supplies.

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.


I cannot get an MOT test booked because my local garage has closed. Can I still drive my car?

The Government has announced that all cars, vans and motorcycles, which would usually require an MOT test will be temporarily exempted from needing one from 30 March 2020. Your insurance will not be affected because of this.

If your MOT is due before 30 March 2020 and 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.


HOME

Will my home insurance policy be affected if I have not told my insurer that I’m working from home?

Working from home, due to the need to self-isolate should be covered by standard home insurance policies, assuming that the work is clerical in nature.

If individuals are working from home and receiving visitors to their home on business matters, they should check with their insurer. In some cases, there may be some restrictions in cover, such as loss of money and theft being excluded unless there is evidence of forcible and violent entry to the property.

The business equipment used (e.g. Laptop) is likely not to be covered. However, in most cases the employer would be liable for ensuring their equipment is insured away from the office.

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.

My property has suffered damage (from a fire, flood or other named peril) and it’s uninhabitable. I am self-isolating, so will my insurer help me find alternative accommodation?

Insurers’ priority is the safety of their customers and the wider community.

Insurers will continue to provide cover for customers as promised in the policy - including funding the cost of alternative accommodation - whilst acting in accordance with the UK Government’s advice at that time.

It is vitally important that you contact your insurer to discuss your claim further, as each one will be managed on a case-by-case basis to ensure that customer interests are best protected.


I have been quarantined or am unable to travel from abroad and therefore my home may be left unoccupied for over the 30-day or 60-day limit on my policy. Will I be covered?

Insurers will be taking a pragmatic approach to individuals who are quarantined or stuck abroad and are unable to return to their property within the timescales set out in their policy. However, individuals should contact their insurer to obtain advice on this issue.


A friend or relative is staying with me during the lockdown period. Will this affect my home insurance?

Insurers will take a pragmatic approach to additional visitors that may be staying with you during the lockdown period, as specified by
Government. Insurers understand that some individuals may require additional care and help during these unprecedented times and will not require you to contact them to advise that you have additional long-stay guests. This advice is subject to change depending on the length of time that Government require the current social distancing requirements.

Remember it may be that some claims for theft will only be accepted if there is evidence of a break-in, so make sure you fully trust the person you’re allowing to stay in your home for free.

Keep your home protected by showing your house guest how to ensure the property is secure, where the stopcock is, and any other information that they may need to know.


I have a guest staying with me during Coronavirus lockdown, will their possessions be covered while they stay with me?

If your guest has their own home insurance policy, this may cover their possessions away from home while they are temporarily staying with you. There may be a limit to the cover provided, so they should check their policy wording. If your home insurance policy includes ‘Visitor cover’ this will often cover your guests’ possessions, up to a limit, while they are staying with you.

Source: www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/topics-and-issues/coronavirus-hub/home-insurance

If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.


Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Update for Towergate customers


During the COVID-19 Coronavirus crisis, we want to reassure our customers and partners that we are following UK Government guidance,
and as a result our national offices are closed to both safeguard the health of our employees and our ability to look after our valued clients.
Where possible, our employees are working from home and we are still fully able to support with renewals, new cover requirements and
claims guidance and support. This includes giving our colleagues the ability to work from home or alternative locations,
which we hope will limit the disruption and enable you to speak to us for advice and support should you need it.
Read more