Drivers warned to act as insurers’ COVID pledges end on 30 April 2021
- Drivers using their own car for commuting or work purposes need to make sure they have the appropriate level of cover, otherwise they could unwittingly invalidate their car insurance, should they need to make a claim.
- Revised guidance applies to drivers, including key workers, using their own car to commute to work or to drive to different locations for work.
- Volunteer drivers are urged to check their car insurance policy documents to make sure they follow any conditions, such as informing their insurer of their activities.
GoCompare Car Insurance is warning motorists who have changed their driving habits during the pandemic that they will need to speak to their insurer to make sure their cover is appropriate for their needs. The warning comes following an announcement by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) on 20 April 2021 that temporary measures put in place to support motorists during the pandemic will end on 30 April.*
Originally introduced in March 2020, the commitments supported policyholders who needed to drive to work during lockdown, but who previously would not have used their own car to do so. Insurers waived any requirements to extend cover for key workers who needed to drive to different locations, volunteers helping their communities by transporting medicines or groceries to support those affected by Coronavirus and, people who needed to use their car to drive to different locations for work because of the pandemic. Policyholders were not required to contact their insurer to update their documents or extend their cover.
Following the relaxing of COVID restrictions across the UK, members of the ABI have now reviewed their position and issued updated guidance.
Driving to work
The revised guidance applies to drivers, including key workers, using their own car to commute to work or to drive to different locations for work.
Drivers whose car insurance policy does not currently include cover for commuting, who are using their own car to travel to work, will need to contact their insurer to update their cover accordingly.
Most insurers will continue to support drivers using their own cars for voluntary purposes at no additional cost. However, volunteer drivers are urged to check their car insurance policy documents to make sure they follow any conditions, such as informing their insurer of their activities to ensure that, if they are involved in an accident, they will be covered for any damage to their car.
Ryan Fulthorpe, motoring expert at GoCompare, commented, “It’s been just over a year since the first National COVID lockdown and, as the latest restrictions begin to be lifted, we are all finding our new normal. For many people, this means getting back to the office or other workplace. To reflect changes in driving behaviour as commuting and driving between different workplaces starts to pick-up, insurers have reviewed their position. From May, drivers who insured their car only for social, domestic or pleasure purposes, but following the pandemic now use their car to travel to work, will have to upgrade their cover.
“How a car is used has a bearing on the risk perceived by insurers and, therefore the premium charged. Drivers using their cars for commuting or driving between workplaces are likely to be on the road at busier times of the day and spend more time in their cars, than motorists simply driving for domestic reasons or for pleasure purposes. Following the end of insurers’ pledges to automatically extend cover during lockdown, it’s essential that drivers make sure their car insurance covers them for their new normal usage. If a motorist fails to declare that they drive to work, or drive as part of their work, this could invalidate their insurance and, driving without insurance carries severe penalties.
“So, if you've started driving to work since the pandemic and you are unsure whether you're covered, the best thing to do is to contact your insurer immediately so your policy can be updated if necessary. Likewise, it’s essential to tell your insurer if you’ve changed job or moved address since you arranged your insurance.”
For more information on Coronavirus and your money visit: https://www.gocompare.com/coronavirus-insurance-money/.
For further information please contact:
Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845
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Notes to editors
*For further information about the ABI and its pledge, please visit: https://www.abi.org.uk/news/news-articles/2021/04/insurers-support-for-office-home-workers-to-continue/
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