The cover will run until the end of August.

Insurer NFU Mutual has announced plans to give its customers RAC breakdown cover for the duration of the coronavirus lockdown. Warwickshire-based NFU Mutual is providing its 600,000 customers with home cover to help them “get back on the road” if and when the lockdown measures are lifted.

The RAC says home start callouts, where the recovery service is called to the customer’s home, have increased by 78 percent during lockdown. With drivers covering fewer miles since the social distancing measures were introduced on March 23, Kwik Fit has said battery failures are becoming increasingly common.

Any customer with NFU Mutual’s private car or light goods vehicle insurance will be entitled to the cover, which runs for three months between May 22, 2020 and August 31, 2020. It also applies to new customers who take out NFU Mutual’s insurance before the offer ends.

The cover runs alongside the breakdown cover already provided as part of NFU’s private car insurance. It will include emergency roadside assistance, recovery of the vehicle, driver and passengers to any UK destination if the vehicle cannot be repaired at the roadside, accidental mis-fuelling cover, unlimited call outs and no call-out charges, and small hire car for 48 hours if the vehicle needs a longer repair and the repair cannot be done the same day.

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“During these challenging times, many of our private car customers haven’t been using their vehicle as frequently and flat battery starts are expected to rise over the next few months,” said Steve Tucker, car insurance specialist at NFU Mutual. “We want to ensure our customers aren’t disadvantaged for acting responsibly by staying at home and driving less, which is why we are giving them home and national recovery cover at no extra cost in addition to the ‘Mutual Assist’ RAC cover they already receive as standard. For our customers who live in remote areas of the countryside without access to a nearby garage, this could be a lifeline.

“To help to keep our key workers and vital services moving, and help businesses get back to normal when restrictions are lifted, customers with small vans (light goods vehicles up to 3.5t weight and 5.5m long) are also being given complimentary national recovery and home start cover, even if the basic level is not already included in their policy.

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“This means from Friday, May 22, to Monday, August 31, our car insurance and light goods vehicle insurance customers will be covered if they are in need of 'at home' ‘roadside’ or 'national recovery' breakdown services with the help of our partner the RAC. Our customers don't need to do anything - it will be given to them automatically. This also applies to eligible new customers who insure with us before the offer ends.

“This is just one of the many ways we are supporting our motor customers and key workers during lockdown. We are still welcoming customers who are driving significantly differently to make midterm adjustments or midterm cancellations, both of which we don’t charge fees for as standard. We also expect to give back £250m worth of premium discounts to loyal customers across all insurances who renew between July 2020 and June 2021, through our Mutual Bonus.”