Key workers warned as ABI confirms COVID-19 changes to car insurance will end on 30 April

Key worker

April 26, 2021

Key workers such as NHS staff and carers who had to use their own car for work purposes during the height of the pandemic automatically had their car insurance changed to allow for this, but the ABI has announced that this support is ending soon.

Thousands of key workers across the UK had their car insurance policy’s relaxed last year during the pandemic, but they are now being advised to check their cover as the support is due to end this month.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has confirmed that the temporary measures put in place to support drivers during the pandemic will come to an end on 30 April 2021.

The ABI’s statement said:

“To support drivers who needed to travel to their workplace during lockdown but who previously wouldn’t have used their own vehicle to do so, insurers waived the need for anyone with ‘Social, Domestic and Pleasure’ cover to update or amend their motor insurance policy. Key workers needing to travel between different workplaces also did not need to contact their insurer.

“As restrictions change, and travel to workplaces becomes more routine, it will be necessary for drivers to check their insurance cover is appropriate for their needs. You will need to speak with your insurer or broker if there are ongoing changes to your working and driving activities since taking out the policy.”

The extra support from the car insurance industry last March made it easier for key workers to travel to work during the first national lockdown. It meant that people such as carers who had to use their own car for work, or had to drive to different work or volunteering locations, would automatically have their car insurance cover extended to include those tasks.

Policyholders were not required to get in touch with their insurance company to update their documents or extend their cover.

However, with lockdown restrictions continuing to ease across the country, insurance companies have reviewed their position and issued updated guidance to motorists. From 30 April, if you are using your car for work, or to commute to and from work, then you will have to inform your insurance company to make sure you are covered for this.

A spokesperson for car insurance comparison site GoCompare said of the new guidance:

“To reflect changes in driving behaviour as commuting and driving between different workplaces starts to pick-up, insurers have reviewed their position.

“From May, drivers who insured their car only for social, domestic or pleasure purposes, but following the pandemic now use their car to travel to work, will have to upgrade their cover.

“That’s because your insurance premium is calculated based on ‘risk’.

“Drivers using their cars for commuting or driving between workplaces are likely to be on the road at busier times of the day and spend more time in their cars, than motorists simply driving for domestic reasons or for pleasure purposes.

“If a motorist fails to declare that they drive to work, or drive as part of their work, this could invalidate their insurance and, driving without insurance carries severe penalties.”

As well as ensuring that you're fully covered to drive on UK roads, it is important that you know when your renewal date is approaching, as you could end up paying a lot more for cover if you just let it auto-renew with the same provider.

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