Male driver wearing gingham shirt in wing mirror of car

Coronavirus: Motor Insurance

With changes to how and when we need to travel, and increasingly more of us returning to the road, you may have questions about your motor insurance or want to check if anything has changed as restrictions continue to lift.

Please note that as of the 31st May 2021, if you require your vehicle for commuting, you must contact us to check your policy covers this. Please see the FAQs below for further details.

My MOT is due shortly and I cannot get to a garage (or test centre in Northern Ireland). Will this affect my insurance?

In Great Britain, MOTs due between 30th March 2020 and 31st July 2020 on cars, LGVs and motorcycles had been extended for six months. MOT testing resumed as normal where the MOT is due from 1st August 2020 onwards. Following the latest restrictions in England, Scotland and Wales in December 2020, garages providing MOT services can remain open, so MOT testing continues as normal. As no more extensions are being granted your vehicle must have a valid MOT if it is over three years old.

In Northern Ireland, MOTs had been suspended with the authorities issuing Temporary Exemption Certificates (TECs). Testing resumed for some vehicles from 1st September 2020 and the intention is that testing will resume for all other vehicles once testing centre capacity increases. Full details are at:https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/services/book-motvehicle-test-online.

Whilst policyholders will not be penalised where a MOT has been legitimately delayed, there remains an obligation to maintain vehicles in a roadworthy condition.

To support drivers who needed to travel to their workplace during Covid-19 restrictions, but who previously would not have used their own vehicle to do so, insurers temporarily waived the need for anyone without commuting cover to update their motor insurance policy. From 31st May 2021, you need to contact us to extend your insurance to cover commuting.

Volunteering to deliver food and supplies for free to those who are vulnerable or otherwise unable to leave the house due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) is already included in your cover. You don’t need to let us know if you’re delivering food and supplies. 

If you’re carrying equipment (such as medicines or portable medical equipment), this won’t invalidate the insurance but please note these will not be covered under your motor policy.

Adding any additional drivers to the policy, including those who wish to engage in volunteering activity, will need to be added in the usual way by calling your local agent or Mutual Direct.

To support those who needed to travel to different locations for work during Covid-19 restrictions, but who previously would not have used their own vehicle to do so, insurers temporarily waived the need for anyone to update their motor insurance policy. From 31st May 2021 you must contact us to ensure the correct cover is in place.

Additional drivers can be added to your cover.  To do this contact your local office or get in touch using our online forms.  An additional premium may be charged if there are now more drivers using the vehicle or the additional driver is younger than existing drivers.   

Although you might not be driving your car, you should consider whether you want to keep it insured, for example to cover losses as a result of fire or theft.  It’s a legal requirement to have valid car insurance unless you apply for a Statutory Off Road Notification. Please be aware that, if you do SORN your vehicle, you won't be able to leave it parked on the road.

If your car has a SORN and you want to reduce your cover from ‘Comprehensive’ to ‘Fire & Theft’ only, a pro-rata refund will be provided. If you want to amend your cover, or cancel your insurance, please contact us.

You can find more information about a SORN on the Government website.  

We aim to treat our customers as individuals, whilst also treating each customer fairly. Many of our motor customers are continuing to use their vehicles regularly and therefore, they don’t have a reduced level of risk. While we continue to review further ways to help, this means that taking a broad-brush approach to motor premiums would not be appropriate.

However, in order to respond to a specific customer having a change in circumstance due to Coronavirus, we can offer either a mid-term adjustment or a mid-term cancellation which, unlike many of our competitors, we offer free of charge.   

Many of our motor and business customers are already taking advantage of mid-term adjustments and we are encouraging any customer who has had a change in circumstances or is struggling financially to contact us so we can support them. For more information, please refer to the adjustments FAQ. 

Our approach as a mutual is also based on offering long term value informed by our claims experience, looking across the full year and with a holistic view across all our policies.  

This means that profit resulting from reduced claims for motor and our other insurances is reflected in the Mutual Bonus that we give to our members, which provides premium discounts at renewal and rewards loyalty. 

We expect to provide £250m worth of premium discounts to customers who renew between July 2020 and June 2021, and our Mutual Bonus has already saved our loyal customers £820m in premiums during the past five years.

The situation is constantly evolving, and our teams are continually researching and developing new ways to help our customers further across all our insurances and processes, including our motor customers. This is in addition to the £32m Coronavirus Support Package we announced a couple of weeks ago which includes £24m worth of changes to insurance, incorporating additional cover across a range of policies and speeding up claims.  

If you are no longer using your vehicle due to the lockdown, you can make changes to your policy which may reduce your premium. Unlike many of our competitors, we offer midterm adjustments or cancellations free of charge. Any refund due as a result of a midterm adjustment or cancellation would be issued according to how you currently make your payments:

  • If you pay your premium in one annual payment, the difference will be refunded to you direct
  • If you pay by monthly direct debit instalments, your monthly payments will be reduced. 

If you would like to discuss a mid-term adjustment, please contact us.  

In line with Government advice, from 12th April 2021 Drive Doctors can return to providing one-to-one drive sessions in England and Wales, and drivers have been contacted directly to confirm a drive date.

If you are a customer in Northern Ireland or Scotland, Drive Doctors will be in touch with you as soon as drives are able to take place.

For areas where driving sessions are suspended: 

Where practical driving sessions are suspended, if you are in the second and third year of the Young Driver Scheme, you are invited to complete the Virtual Drive and the four Online Modules which can be found when signed into the Drive Doctors portal.

For areas where driving sessions are permitted:  

In line with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DSVA) recommendations, we have implemented social distancing and safety measures for both our members and driving instructors. Please see below for full list of recommendations. 

For the members in years one and three of the scheme that do want to resume with face to face driving sessions, please book in your driving session when you log into the Drive Doctors portal. Scheme members may also receive emails or text messages from Drive Doctors asking if they want to book in a driving session. Please ensure contact details are up to date on the portal. 

Social Distancing and Safety Measures

Download our Social Distancing and Safety Measures that we have implemented to keep you and the Drive Doctors measures. It is advised that you download these and read before booking your practical driving session.