Your car, car insurance, & COVID-19
This information was updated on 21st October 2020
We recognise that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has disrupted everyone’s day-to-day lives, the way you work, travel and use your cars. The national lockdown from the earlier part of 2020 has now evolved into more regional measures around the country, creating a patchwork of travel disruption.
Understandably, you’ve got lots of questions, not just about how COVID-19 might affect your car insurance, but about arrangements for road tax and MOTs during this time. Some customers also have financial concerns about their car insurance. We’d like to respond to those concerns and reassure you that Complete Cover Group is still here to support and guide you.
Getting in touch with us
If your question isn’t included in the list below, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
Our main assistance numbers are:
- Motor claims: 0800 221 8627
- Roadside Assistance: 0333 400 9245
- Customer Service, Renewals and Sales: 0344 557 0006
We successfully transitioned all customer-facing agents to home-working in April, but if you do experience a short delay in answering your call we hope that you will be understanding during this period. Some of our people have now returned to the offices however, in order to meet the Government’s requirements for social distancing and local lock down restrictions, we remain largely home-working.
You may find it quicker to communicate with us over our webchat function or via email. For existing customers our email address is email@example.com.
I’m not using my car – do I still need car insurance?
Yes, it’s important to maintain insurance, even if you’re not driving your car at the moment. If your car is parked on a public road or any other public place, you’re still legally required to have a minimum of third-party car insurance. You can, however, register your vehicle as SORN (Statutory Off-Road Notification) if your car is completely off the road, i.e. on private land such as a driveway, or in a garage. We’ve written detailed guidance about declaring your vehicle SORN.
I have to self-isolate – can someone else drive my car to pick up shopping or collect my medication?
There are two options that could make this possible:
- The first is that their own car insurance includes cover to drive another vehicle. If it does, their Certificate of Motor insurance will say something like, “The policyholder only may also drive a car not owned by them or hired to them under a hire purchase agreement and which is not used in connection with the motor trade provided”. You should be aware, their insurance will be limited to third-party cover only while they are driving your car, so should they damage it, either you or they will need to meet the cost of repairs.
- Alternatively, you might be able to add them as a named driver to your own car insurance, although this may result in an additional premium.
Stay updated with the UK’s latest government guidance on self-isolating.
How does the 3-tier system of COVID alert levels affect car travel?
In England, there is now a system of COVID alert levels that could place restrictions on car travel to, from or within a region. Please check the government’s guidance relating to safe travel. You should also check your local COVID alert level before you travel.
Rules for travelling may differ in other UK nations. Find out local COVID alert levels in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.
I’m using my car to bring essential shopping and medications to vulnerable people in my neighbourhood – am I insured?
Your cover won’t be affected if you’re using your car for voluntary purposes to transport medicines or groceries to support others who are impacted by Covid-19. You don’t need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover.
This includes NHS Volunteer Responders who might be transporting patients, equipment, or other essential supplies.
In both instances, any journeys you undertake must be purely voluntary, you cannot use this concession to undertake paid delivery work, although Complete Cover Group does offer specialist policies for this kind of activity.
If I have to make a claim, will my car still be repaired?
We will strive to process your claim in the normal way. The majority of repair centres have now reopened, but they are still experiencing some delays in the sourcing of replacement parts, especially for prestige vehicles. The situation is improving week by week, however.
Customers with ongoing claims will be kept informed if their car repairs are affected.
Coronavirus has affected my earnings. Can I get a short-term car insurance policy, or pay monthly?
We’ve introduced a 30-day policy for customers looking for short-term car insurance, with payment on a monthly basis. Please get in touch for more information and a quote.
I’m worried about making the monthly insurance payments – what should I do?
We appreciate that some customers may be experiencing financial hardship during these difficult times. Please call us on 0344 557 0006 to discuss your situation. We’ll try our best to find a flexible solution for you.
Is there still an exemption from having to get an MOT?
Some vehicles may still be affected by the 6-month extended MOT rules which the government introduced because of coronavirus. If your MOT was due for renewal before 31st July 2020, your MOT will automatically be extended by 6 months.
For example, your MOT was due to expire on 20th July 2020. This will automatically be extended to 20th January 2021.
A full explanation about how the MOT extension works can be found on the government’s website.
However, you must make sure your vehicle is in a safe and roadworthy condition. If you’re in any doubt about this, don’t drive. If you enter your vehicle for an MOT early and it fails, you must not drive and you could invalidate your insurance if you do.
My MOT expired after 31st July 2020 – what should I do?
MOTs that expired after 31st July 2020 should be renewed in the usual way, unless:
• you or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms
• you’re extremely vulnerable from coronavirus
Please see the government’s guidance on what you should do in each of these circumstances to get a valid MOT.
Irrespective of the above, you must not drive your vehicle on the public road without a valid MOT and road tax. The only exceptions are if you are driving:
• to or from somewhere to be repaired
• to a pre-arranged MOT test
It should reassure you that members of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) have agreed to a range of concessions to support customers during this challenging time.
- There’s no public transport – if I use my car for commuting, am I insured? If you have to drive to your workplace because of the impact of Covid-19, your insurance policy will not be affected, even if your policy does not usually cover commuting. You do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover.
- The EU borders closed before I could get home – will the “foreign use” limit on my car insurance be extended? Yes. The limits on foreign use will be extended to those drivers adversely affected by travel restrictions during the Coronavirus pandemic.
- Travel restrictions mean I’m not living at my usual address right now – should I update the records you have for me and will it affect my insurance? If you are living at a temporary address because a family member is self-isolating, or because you are a key-worker who needs to be close to their place of work, or because of general travel restrictions, your insurance will not be affected. However, please let us know your temporary address so we can note it on your policy.
- I sold my car but the buyer can’t collect it on the date we arranged – can I extend my cover? Yes. Just let us know if you’re in this situation and we’ll extend your cover. Please don’t let insurance cover lapse, even if you no longer drive the vehicle. You must keep continuous insurance cover on a vehicle unless it is SORN.
Our commitment to customers
These challenging times will come to an end one day, even if no one is exactly sure when that might be right now. In the meantime, Complete Cover Group is totally committed to providing enhanced support to customers affected by Coronavirus wherever possible.
We hope this information offers reassurance to our customers, but if you still have questions or concerns, please get in touch for help.