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Home » Coronavirus Help

Have your financial circumstances been affected by COVID-19?

We understand that many of our customers will be experiencing financial difficulties and other uncertainties, due to the coronavirus crisis.

We’re here to try to help our personal and small business customers at this difficult time and we have worked out a range of different options that may assist you.

You need to tell us if you have more than one insurance policy with us and you want to make changes to more than one policy. The changes that we agree with you need to be made separately to each individual policy. Changes that we agree to make to one insurance policy will affect that policy only and won’t automatically apply to your other policies.

Please make sure that you have your insurance policy number and details to hand when you contact us.

Option one – Do you need to change the type of insurance cover for your vehicle?

You can change the type of insurance cover that you have. This may help you because it might lower the premium that you have to pay for your policy.

For example:

  • You could reduce your vehicle insurance cover from comprehensive insurance to third party fire and theft only, if that type of cover is available to you. Each case will be different, but typically, a change like this may lower your premium by 15%. We will discuss with you the effect of making this change on your premium; or
  • You could reduce your vehicle insurance cover from business use, to social domestic and pleasure use only. Each case will be different, but typically, a change like this may lower your premium by 20%. We will discuss with you the effect of making this change on your premium; or
  • You could remove some of the features of your insurance cover, such as breakdown cover or policy excess protection if you don’t think that you need them anymore.

In some cases, if we agree changes to your insurance policy, it may mean that you are due a refund of the insurance policy premium that you have paid us. Your entitlement to a refund will depend on several things, including whether you have made a claim on the insurance policy, if you have paid the premium in full and how long your insurance policy has left to run. We look at refunds on a case by case basis and will discuss this with you. If you are due a refund of your premium, then we will usually use the refund to lower your remaining monthly premium instalment payments, unless this is not in your best interests.

If you think that you would like to take up one of the options listed above, then please email us at rerate@acorninsure.com for more information and a personalised quote.

Important information for option one.

You need to be aware that there could be serious consequences if you change the level of your insurance cover. We can discuss these points with you, but you need to remember that:

  • If you change your vehicle insurance cover from comprehensive to third party, fire and theft only then it means that the risks covered by your vehicle insurance policy will be very limited. For example, you won’t be covered for any damage to your vehicle unless the damage results from fire or theft. This means that you would not be covered for accidental damage or damage to your vehicle caused by mechanical or electrical breakdown. Haven policy holders can find out more information by clicking here. This will take you to the Haven website and allow you to view the Insurance Product Information Documents (IPIDs).
  • If you change your vehicle insurance cover from business use to social, domestic and pleasure use only, then it means that if you continue to use your vehicle for commuting to work, or use it for purposes connected with your work or business, then your insurance policy won’t cover this activity. This could have very serious consequences for you.
  • If you drop certain areas of your insurance policy cover like breakdown cover, or policy excess protection then you won’t have any insurance cover for these risks.
  • You should think carefully about what type of insurance you need and you should make sure that you have enough cover under your policy.

You may also need to change your insurance cover for other reasons. For example, if your vehicle is covered only for social, domestic and pleasure use, but due to the coronavirus crisis you want to avoid public transport and you start using your vehicle to travel to work and/or for your business purposes, then you may need to add commuting and business use to your vehicle insurance policy. Please email us at rerate@acorninsure.com for more information if you think that this may apply to you.

We won’t charge you any administration fee for making a change to your vehicle insurance cover where you need to take this action due to circumstances caused by coronavirus.

Option two – Do you need to temporarily suspend your insurance policy and premium payment?

If you don’t need your vehicle at the moment and you are not driving it on public roads, then you could suspend your insurance policy and premium payments. This may help you because from the date your insurance policy is suspended, until the date you restart it, you will not have to pay anything for your policy.

For example:

  • if your insurance premium payments are up to date, you can ask us to put your vehicle insurance policy on hold for a maximum period of up to three months;
  • you can ask us to restart your policy when you want to use your vehicle again;
  • you will not lose your current ‘No Claims Discount’ under your existing vehicle insurance policy if you restart your policy with us at the end of the suspension period; and
  • if you pay your insurance premium by direct debit, you will need to get in touch with your bank to stop your direct debit for the period during which your insurance policy is on hold.

In some cases, if we agree to suspend your insurance policy, this may mean that when you restart the policy with us again, you are due a refund of the insurance policy premium for the time your policy was suspended. Your entitlement to a refund will depend on several things, including whether have made a claim on the insurance policy, if you have paid your premium in full and how long your insurance policy has left to tun, at the point you restart it. We look at refunds on a case by case basis and will discuss this with you.

This option might work for you if you are currently working from home and do not need to drive your vehicle at all, but you need to be aware of the potentially serious consequences listed below.

Important information for option two

Option two won’t work for everyone. You need to be aware that there will be serious consequences if you put your vehicle insurance policy on hold for any time.

    • If you suspend your vehicle insurance policy, then your vehicle won’t have insurance cover until we re-start your insurance policy.
    • This means that until your vehicle insurance policy restarts, you cannot drive the vehicle on the road at all.
    • You will need to get in touch with the DVLA as soon as possible and make sure that your vehicle is subject to a ‘Statutory Off Road Notification’ (SORN). The DVLA can tell you how to do this and you can find information about SORNs on their website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/driver-and-vehicle-licensing-agency
    • If you do not apply for a SORN, then you must have insurance for the vehicle, otherwise you will commit a criminal offence (under s.144A Road Traffic Act 1988).
    • If, whilst your vehicle insurance policy is suspended, you drive your vehicle on the road or allow anyone else to drive your vehicle on the road, then you will commit a criminal offence (under s.143 Road Traffic Act 1988).
    • If you are found guilty of an offence under the Road Traffic Act, then you will face a penalty of between six and eight penalty points on your driving licence and a fine of up to £5,000. If this happens, we may refuse to restart your vehicle insurance cover if you ask us, and you may find it difficult to get cover from other insurers.
    • You need to think about whether you can keep your vehicle safe for the period during which your insurance is suspended and/or the vehicle is off road.
    • For example, if your vehicle was stolen, or caught fire, or was damaged for any reason then you would not have insurance cover and you would need to pay for the costs of repair or replacing the vehicle yourself. This could be very expensive for you.

We won’t charge you any administration fee for suspending and then restarting your vehicle insurance cover where you need to take this action due to circumstances caused by coronavirus.

If you would like to proceed with option 2, please click here.

Option three – Do you need to cancel your insurance policy?

If you think that you won’t need your vehicle again, or if you have sold it, then you could cancel your insurance policy. This may help you because it will end your vehicle insurance policy with us for good and you will not need to pay anything after the date of cancellation of your policy.

  • You can ask us to cancel your vehicle insurance policy at any time.
  • If you cancel your vehicle insurance policy you will lose your ‘No Claims Discount’ that you have earned whilst you have been insured with us.
  • If you pay your insurance premium by direct debit, you will need to get in touch with your bank to stop your direct debit.

Important information for option three

Option three won’t work for everyone. You need to be aware that there will be serious consequences if you cancel your vehicle insurance policy.

  • If you cancel your vehicle insurance policy, then your vehicle won’t have insurance cover at all, unless you get a new insurance policy.
  • This means that unless you get a new policy, you cannot drive the vehicle on the road at all.
  • You will need to get in touch with the DVLA as soon as possible and make sure that your vehicle is subject to a ‘Statutory Off Road Notification’ (SORN). The DVLA can tell you how to do this and you can find information about SORNs on their website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/driver-and-vehicle-licensing-agency
  • If you do not apply for a SORN, then you must have insurance for the vehicle, otherwise you will commit a criminal offence (under s.144A Road Traffic Act 1988).
  • If, whilst your vehicle insurance policy is suspended, you drive your vehicle on the road or allow anyone else to drive your vehicle on the road, then you will commit a criminal offence (under s.143 Road Traffic Act 1988).
  • If you are found guilty of an offence under the Road Traffic Act, then you will face a penalty of between six and eight penalty points on your driving licence and a fine of up to £5,000. If this happens, we may refuse to offer you a new vehicle insurance policy if you ask us, and you may find it difficult to get cover from other insurers.
  • You need to think about whether you can keep your vehicle safe for the period during which your vehicle is without insurance and the vehicle is off road.
  • For example, if your vehicle was stolen, or caught fire, or was damaged for any reason then you would not have insurance cover at all and you would need to pay for the costs of repair or replacing the vehicle yourself. This could be very expensive for you.

We won’t charge you any administration or cancellation fee for cancelling your vehicle insurance cover where you need to take this action due to circumstances caused by coronavirus.

If you would like to proceed with option 3, please click here.

Missed payments under insurance premium finance agreements and premium pay-as-you-go arrangements

We understand that at this time, many of our customers are finding it difficult to keep up with their payments for their insurance policies where they have a credit agreement to finance their insurance premium payments.

If you have an insurance premium finance agreement with Granite Finance Limited, (“Granite”) and you have missed a payment, or if you need a bit more time to pay under your agreement, then we will need you to make up your payments. However, you can spread the cost of your missed payment over a period of up to four weeks. We’ve worked out some different options for you that we have explained below.

If you have more than one insurance policy with us, then you will need to apply and pay separately for each policy where you have missed a payment.

  1. If you can do so, then you should pay the missed payment in full in a single payment by debit or credit card. You can do this online using the self-service payment facility. If you took out your insurance premium finance agreement, Granite would have given you a PIN number. You will need to have your Granite PIN number to hand in order to make your payment online.

If you want to pay now online, then please click here: https://gfpaynow.com/

 

  1. If you need to spread the cost of your missed payment, then you can do this over two, three or four weeks. You will need to choose which option you want to take, as follows:
  • You can make up the missed payment by paying it in two equal weekly instalments. If you take this option, then the first instalment is due today and the second and final instalment is due in seven days’ time. You will need to make the first instalment online by debit or credit card. When you have paid your first instalment by debit or credit card, we will automatically take the second instalment from the same debit or credit card on the due date, seven days later. By taking this payment option, you agree that we can collect payment in this way. Please note if we are unable to take the second instalment in seven days due to insufficient funds we will re-attempt the payment two days later, however if this payment is also unsuccessful your policy will be cancelled with immediate effect due to non-payment.

    If you want to take this payment option, then please click below:

     

  • You can make up the missed payment by paying it in three equal weekly instalments. If you take this option, then the first instalment is due today, the second instalment is due in seven days’ time and the third instalment is due seven days after that. You will need to make the first instalment online by debit or credit card. When you have paid your first instalment by debit or credit card, we will automatically take the second instalment from the same debit or credit card on the due date, seven days later and the third from the same debit or credit card on the due date seven days after that. By taking this payment option, you agree that we can collect payment in this way. Please note if we are unable to take the second or third instalment due to insufficient funds we will re-attempt the payment two days after its due date, however if this payment is also unsuccessful your policy will be cancelled with immediate effect due to non-payment.

    If you want to take this payment option then please click below:

     

  • You can make up the missed payment by paying it in four equal weekly instalments. If you take this option, then the first instalment is due today, the second instalment is due in seven days’ time, the third instalment is due seven days after that and the fourth and final instalment is due seven days after that. You will need to make the first instalment online by debit or credit card. When you have paid your first instalment by debit or credit card, we will automatically take the second instalment from the same debit or credit card on the due date, seven days later and the third instalment from the same card on the due date seven days after that and the fourth instalment from the same card on the due date seven days after that. By taking this payment option, you agree that we can collect payment in this way. Please note if we are unable to take the second, third or fourth instalment due to insufficient funds we will re-attempt the payment two days after its due date, however if this payment is also unsuccessful your policy will be cancelled with immediate effect due to non-payment.

    If you want to take this payment option, then please click below:

     

Alternative payment options for customers with insurance premium finance agreements

We understand that if your circumstances have been badly affected by coronavirus, then the options for making up a missed payment listed above, may not be enough to help you. If you think that this is the case and you have an insurance premium finance agreement with Granite Finance Limited, (“Granite”), then you need to make an application to us so that we can look at your individual circumstances to see if there is more help that we can offer you under our  Coronavirus insurance premium finance payment deferral scheme.  Basically, if you are accepted for help under our scheme, the Coronavirus insurance premium finance payment deferral scheme allows you to delay payment of your insurance premium instalments for a longer period of time.

The Coronavirus insurance premium finance payment deferral scheme won’t be suitable for everyone. Also, conditions apply meaning that not everyone is eligible for help. We have explained the scheme below.

Applying for the Coronavirus insurance premium finance payment deferral scheme

If you want to apply for the Coronavirus insurance premium finance payment deferral scheme, then all of the following need to apply to you:

    • you need to have an existing insurance policy;
    • you need to have an existing insurance premium finance agreement with Granite;
    • you have made at least one repayment, by direct debit or another payment method, under your insurance premium finance agreement with Granite;

  • at the time you apply for a payment deferral, you do not think that you can make your payments under your insurance premium finance agreement on the due dates.

In addition, if you want to apply for the insurance premium finance payment deferral scheme, one of the following needs to apply to you:

  • You have been furloughed by your employer due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and have not yet received the 80% payment or maximum payment from your employer under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme; or
  • You are self-employed and unable to work due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and you have not yet received the 80% payment or maximum payment from the Government under the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme; or
  • You have been made unemployed at any point after 1st March 2020 due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you do think that you are eligible to apply for our Coronavirus insurance premium finance payment deferral scheme, then please complete the form using the link below and send us the supplemental information required and we will reply to your request as soon as possible.
If your application to defer your insurance premium finance payments under our Coronavirus insurance premium finance payment deferral scheme is accepted, then you can delay payment of your premium finance instalments due under your agreement with Granite for a period of up to one month initially.