COVID-19: Car Insurance and MOT

There have been various welcome financial reliefs introduced since the Covid 19 upheaval took effect. The FCA recently published updated guidance for insurance firms on how the industry should accommodate customers who are struggling with payments at the moment. The measures, which came into force on 18th May, outline what firms should consider as part of their duty to act in the best interests of their customers. This includes:-

  • Re-assessing the risk level of a policy in light of the change in circumstances caused by Coronavirus and providing an offer of lower premiums where possible;
  • Re-assessing customers’ requirements and removing add-on extras which could reduce costs;
  • Waiving cancellation and other penalty fees to reduce policy liabilities;
  • If no option is of benefit, payment deferrals between one and three months and/ or rescheduling of policy terms;
  • Review of interest rate levels for instalment payers to ensure there is fairness to the customer in the current circumstances.

Here is a link to the full guidance:

https://www.fca.org.uk/publications/finalised-guidance/coronavirus-customers-temporary-financial-difficulty-guidance-insurance-premium-finance

Regarding vehicle insurance and usage in Northern Ireland, from 11th May, the DVA has automatically generated Temporary Exemption Certificates (TECs) to vehicles whose MOT certificate expired on or after the 26th March 2020. Eligible vehicles must be registered at an address in Northern Ireland and do not include buses and taxis. The MOT expiry for eligible vehicles is postponed for twelve months unless the vehicle is four years old and subject to its first MOT in which case it is six months.

It is important to note that this accommodation does not mean that cars can now be driven without being properly maintained for another year. Vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition when being used and this continues to be a strict requirement of motor insurance cover.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance if you have been involved in a road traffic accident or require any advice on this topic.