STRUGGLING motorists can get up to £50 off their car insurance bill during the coronavirus crisis, depending on which insurer they're with.All major c
STRUGGLING motorists can get up to £50 off their car insurance bill during the coronavirus crisis, depending on which insurer they’re with.
All major car insurance firms offer help to customers who’ve been hit financially by Covid – we explain all you need to know.
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Many motorists are likely to drive less during the pandemic, meaning you’re paying for a car that you’re not really using.
Since November 5, England has also been in a second lockdown, with the restrictions expected to remain in place until December 2.
Earlier this year, drivers were warned they could invalidate their insurance if they made unnecessary journeys.
Meanwhile, drivers who have now started commuting to work because of coronavirus could also invalidate their insurance – and risk a £300 fine.
If you’re struggling to pay your car insurance bill, or if you’re driving less during the pandemic, we explain what support is available below.
We’ve asked five of the major UK insurers, but if yours isn’t listed, make sure you check with your provider directly about the help on offer.
Ways to cut down on your fuel costs
IF you’re still driving during the pandemic, here are some tips on how you can slash the cost of fuel.
- Make your car more fuel-efficient. You can do this by keeping your tyres inflated, taking the roof rack off, emptying your car of clutter and turning off your air con when driving at lower speeds.
- Find the cheapest fuel prices. PetrolPrices.com and Confused.com allows you to search prices of UK petrol stations. All you need to do is enter in your postcode and tell it how far you want to travel (up to 20 miles).
- Drive more efficiently. Some ways to do this, include:
- Accelerate gradually without over-revving
- Always drive on the highest possible gear
- If you can, allow your car to slow down naturally as your brake is a money burner
- Re-starting your car is expensive, if you can keep moving
What are car insurers offering in support and refunds?
In April, Admiral announced it’d offer a £25 refund to all of its 4.4million car insurance customers by the end of May – worth £110million in total.
The insurer told The Sun it’s also cut its car insurance prices by the equivalent of £92million since March.
And by the end of the year, it’ll implement price reductions worth a further £40million to reflect the drop in claims.
Admiral is also continuing to waive any motoring claims excess fees for NHS or emergency service workers in the second lockdown.
If you’re still struggling, Admiral says it’ll be flexible with customers who pay monthly so make sure you ask the insurer for help.
During the first lockdown, Aviva offered payment holidays of up to three months for car insurance customers.
If you’re still struggling, Aviva’s still supporting with deferred monthly payments and it may waive admin or cancellation fees too.
If you take a payment holiday, just keep in mind that your repayments will rise in future.
Customers are also able to make changes to their policies, including changing their mileage, which may result in a pro-rata refund.
It is not, however, offering refunds to all car insurance customers.
The package of support, which also includes free breakdown cover for NHS workers, will remain in place until January 31, 2021.
When coronavirus hit the UK in March, monthly Axa customers were given the option to pay off their policy in one payment.
Alternatively, they could arrange a payment plan to clear arrears over an agreed period of time – on a case by case basis.
Current support on offer includes flexible repayment options, which could include a payment holiday or repayment plan.
Axa told The Sun no additional interest or fees will be added to the original amount.
Customers who aren’t planning to use their vehicles in the long-term can also decide to take their car off the road and cancel the policy, and Axa will then waive the cancellation fee.
Axa added that it’s prioritising vehicle repairs for key workers to get them back on the road faster.
Depending on your individual circumstances, Direct Line may review your levels of cover, change your payment dates or offer payment deferrals.
If you defer your payments, keep in mind that they’ll be bigger over the remaining term, although Direct Line said it won’t charge extra interest.
The insurer has also introduced a “Mileage MoneyBack” option, which allows policy holders to estimate the number of miles they normally drive in a year.
If they end up driving less than expected, they can ask for a refund on the miles they haven’t driven at renewal.
Customers are still also able to register for a mileage refund from the previous UK lockdown (March 23 – July 31).
Direct Line said 161,000 car insurance customers have so far applied for the help, which you can do on its website.
In May, LV= announced it’s offering cash grants and refunds to customers who are struggling financially due to Covid from a £30million fund.
The support is still available, with the insurer expecting to be able to give between £20 to £50 to eligible customers.
To be eligible, you’ll need to have an existing car or motorbike insurance policy directly with LV=GI.
One of the following must also apply to you or anyone in your household:
- Have been furloughed
- Are self-employed and unable to work or trade due to coronavirus
- Have become unemployed due to coronavirus
- Are struggling financially from a reduction in working hours due to coronavirus
The cash can be paid as a non-repayable grant or as a refund on insurance policies, depending on the customer’s preferences.
To claim, you’ll need to give LV= a call by following the instructions on its website.
Other support on offer for LV= customers includes waived administration and cancellation fees.
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