Car insurers will continue a range of measures designed to help customers through the Covid-19 pandemic until at least mid-March. The assistance, which has been in place since lockdown was implemented last spring, has been extended until March 19, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has confirmed.

The measures in place include automatic cover for drivers who have to drive to work as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Those who would not normally use their vehicle to commute will not have to contact their insurance provider to update documents or extend the cover.

Similarly, those using their own vehicles for voluntary purposes, such as transporting medicines or groceries for those impacted by the virus, will not need to inform their insurers. This also applies to all kinds of NHS volunteers, including those who are transporting patients, equipment or other essential supplies.

Motor or car insurance application with car key

The ABI says it hopes these measures “could be of significant help to many”, with 27 million car insurance customers currently in the UK. However, the ABI has told drivers who have made less temporary changes that will continue into the next 12 months they should discuss the changes with their insurer.

This is the latest in a line of extensions of these measures, which will have been in force for 12 months by the time the most recent extension has expired. The measures were due to end on December 31, but the continuing pressures of lockdowns, social distancing measures and shielding of vulnerable people have caused the ABI to extend the measures still further.

Signing an insurance policy

Laura Hughes, the ABI’s manager for general insurance, said the extensions were a display of insurers’ “commitment” to helping people and society through the pandemic.

“The pandemic continues to cause significant disruption and worry, and the further extension of these temporary pledges reflects the commitment of insurers to helping customers as we battle our way out of the crisis,” she said. “From pledges of extra support, paying over £1.8 billion in Covid-related claims, and donating through the Covid-19 Support Fund over £100 million to help the most vulnerable, insurers continue to do all they can to help their customers and wider society.”

Alongside these measures for car insurance customers, the ABI has also announced measures for home insurance customers. Under the extended rules, office-based workers who are working from home because of the pandemic do not need to contact their insurers to extend their cover.