Coronavirus - Car Insurance FAQs

(article posted 05/05/2020)

Driving and insurance during Coronavirus

Answers to the questions you're asking.

As you’ll know, Chris Knott has been providing car insurance to owners club and forum members for the last 37 years but it’s fair to say we’ve never faced times quite like these.

Here we explore what Coronavirus means for you and your car insurance. Through some FAQs we’ll deal with the main queries you may have.

Is Chris Knott still open for business?
Yes. Quite early on, we enabled our teams to work from home. Our technology meant that we could be agile and respond quickly as the Government’s advice changed. In fact, whereas some brokers have reduced their opening hours, we’ve actually increased ours to ensure we’re available when you need us. You can contact us Mon-Sat 9am to 8pm (an extra 23 hours a week).

Can I make changes to my existing policy or are you only open for new quotes?
We’re here for whatever you need. Our entire operation is functioning as normal - there really is no discernible difference for customers. What’s reassuring is that customers have noticed and we’re getting online reviews to that effect. One customer said “Service has been great so far, even with the virus problems, which do not seem to bother Chris Knott Insurance much”.

I’m a key worker and due to COVID-19 I’m going to be doing more miles than I thought. Is this going to be a problem?
No. Insurers have agreed to be pretty relaxed about it. They understand that these are unusual circumstances and that few people would choose to do extra miles. You don’t need to inform them of the increase or even if you’re now having to commute where you weren’t covered for that.

I’ve registered as a volunteer driver to help out during the virus. Do I need to tell my insurer about this change of use?
No. Volunteer driving is most likely included under your policy anyway. The only restrictions are usually around using the vehicle for hire or reward, courier work, etc. With regard to making deliveries of items such as PPE equipment and food parcels, insurers are being flexible. We can’t imagine any insurer refusing to pay a claim where you’ve been helping out in such a way, though it would still have to fit within the definition of voluntary work i.e. unpaid.

If I use my car other than for one of the Government’s essential reasons, will I be covered?
Yes. Chris Knott certainly advocates that you follow the Government’s guidelines/instructions in relation to staying at home and not making non-essential journeys. Ultimately, these rules are designed to ensure that everyone is protected. However, there is nothing in our insurer partners’ policy wordings to suggest your cover would be void if you drove for an unauthorised reason.

My renewal is due soon. Can I just let it lapse and then insure again when this is all over?
It depends. The law states that any vehicle which isn’t SORN’d must carry insurance. You could SORN your car but you’d have to store it off road. If you choose to follow this route you’ll be losing the fire, theft and  vandalism cover, for example – not just the road risks cover. If this is something you’re considering we’d advise that you speak to us first.

Will I get a refund on my premium because I haven’t been able to use the car?
Again, it depends. Chris Knott is a broker and it’s the insurers themselves who need to offer any refund. So far, only Admiral (and its associated brands) has offered an across-the-board refund in the form of a flat £25 per policy. Our view is that this is more of a marketing ploy than a reflection of the unused part of policyholders’ cover, otherwise it would be proportionate to the premium paid. No-one else is offering refunds as a matter of course at this point. Insurers have generally responded by extending cover as above rather than offering refunds. Of course, if your insurer does start issuing refunds we’ll be glad to pass those on.

For any other general questions or if we can help with your insurance needs, please give Chris Knott a call FREE on 0800 917 2274, Mon-Sat 9am to 8pm.


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