Rias car insurance

How does Coronavirus (COVID-19) affect my car insurance?

We know customers are still having to adapt to the precautions put in place to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. If you're an existing Rias customer, we hope these answers to frequently asked questions are helpful.


Frequently asked questions

If I’m not driving, do I still need car insurance?

If you will be using your vehicle at all, you do need to insure it as a legal requirement under the Road Traffic Act. While you're not using your vehicle, your insurance also covers you for fire, theft, malicious or accidental damage.

If you will not be driving your vehicle, you can contact the DVLA and declare it off the road (this is called a SORN – Statutory Off Road Notification). If you SORN your vehicle, you do not need insurance but will not have any cover for fire, theft or damage, and you will not legally be able to drive your vehicle until it has insurance again. If you're looking to SORN your vehicle but wish to keep it insured, you may want to contact your insurer to see how this may affect your premium. It's important to note that, if you do SORN your vehicle, you cannot store it on public roads, so you'll need a garage, driveway or other non-public road space to store it.

You can learn more about SORN here.

Please let us know if you are worried about payments or if your circumstances have changed – find out how we can help.

I couldn’t get an MOT for my car, am I still insured?

You will need to get an MOT for your vehicle as usual, however do not take your vehicle to an MOT centre in person if:

• you need to quarantine because you recently entered the UK
• you’re self-isolating, for example because you tested positive for COVID-19

If you cannot take your vehicle in person
• Some MOT centres will collect your vehicle for the MOT and then return it.

Contact your local MOT centre to see if this service is available.
• You can also get someone else to take your vehicle into a test centre if you insure them on your vehicle.

If you cannot get your vehicle collected or taken in for you, you must wait until you’re no longer self-isolating to take it into a test centre.

More information can be found here.
For Northern Ireland please click here. 

Do I need to inform you if I’m volunteering to deliver food and medicines to my community?

If you are using your own car for voluntary purposes, to transport medicines or groceries to support others who are impacted by COVID-19, your exisitng cover will not be affected. You do not ned to contact us to update your documents or extend your cover.

This applies to all categories of NHS Volunteer Responders, including transporting patients, equipment or other essential supplies.

I’m a key worker and now travelling to different locations for work, do I need to amend my policy?

If your work is critical to the national response to COVID-19 and you need to drive to different locations for work purposes because of the impact of COVID-19, your exisitng cover will not be affected.

You do not need to contact us to update documents or extend cover. A list of key workers can be found here.

My circumstances have changed and I’m having trouble paying my premiums, can you help?

We know that the precautions put in place to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus will have affected some customers' finances. If you purchased your insurance directly with us and are in this situation, we urge you to contact us to see how we can support you.

We might, for example, be able to review admin or cancellation fees or arrange different payment plans, if you're unable to meet your insurance repayments.

If you have purchased your car insurance with us, you can call our team on 0345 650 0345. Lines are open Mon to Fri 8:30am - 8:00pm and Saturday 8:30am - 4:00pm.

I’m likely to exceed the mileage quoted on my policy because of the extra travel I’m doing as a result of COVID-19. Will this affect my cover?

If you are using their own vehicle:

  • for voluntary purposes to support others who are impacted by COVID-19; or;
  • because you work in one of the critical sectors listed by the Government and need to drive to different locations for work because of the impact of Covid-19.

Then your cover will not be affected. You do not need to contact us to update your policy or extend your cover.

If I have to self-isolate and need someone to drive my car to pick up supplies for me, will they be insured?

If someone else needs to drive your car to pick up supplies while you are self-isolating, we will not provide cover unless the driver is named on your policy.

If the person helping you has ''Driving Other Cars'' cover through their own insurer, they may be able to drive your vehicle. They should check their policy documentation and check with their own insurer to see if this applies.

If I have an accident are you able to repair or pay to replace my car?

We are working hard to keep people moving. Inevitably, there might be delays in sourcing some car parts, but we continue to keep people motoring by repairing their cars and, in cases of total write off, providing cash settlements for customers to purchase a different vehicle.

I can't renew my photocard driving licence, am I still insured and can I still purchase insurance?

Photocard licences or entitlement to drive that expired between 1 February and 31 December 2020 were automatically extended for 11 months from the date of expiry.

So, if you have a valid photocard driving licence and it meets the above criteria, this will not invalidate your current insurance policy and you will still be able to take out a new policy with us.

You will not have received a new licence as part of the automatic extension. You’ll only get a new licence when you renew it.
Please note, you must remember to renew your photocard driving licence when the extension is due to end. You can find more information here

For Northern Ireland you can find more information here.

Is my EU breakdown cover still valid?

Yes, customers who have EU breakdown cover as part of their policy still enjoy the benefits of that cover. The speed of breakdown and recovery services may vary due to localised restrictions related to COVID-19. Please check restrictions that may affect your journey before you travel.

If you have not been able to benefit from your EU breakdown cover because of restrictions related to COVID-19, please call us on 0345 650 0345 to discuss your options. Lines are open Mon to Fri 8:30am - 8:00pm and Saturday 8:30am - 4:00pm.

Remember, you currently need to take a few additional steps if you intend to drive outside of the UK. Please click here for more information.

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This page was last updated on 15th January 2021.