How will the new FCA guidance to insurers help me?
We are enabling our Policyholders to apply for a Payment Deferral for those who are or who expect to be in temporary financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19.
Payment deferral requests are subject to a suitability check; this is to ensure that taking this step will not worsen your future financial situation, based on your individual circumstances.
What is a Payment Deferral?
A Payment Deferral is an arrangement that will allow you to make no payments of premium for your policy for an agreed period. During this time your policy will not be considered to be in arrears or trigger any cancellation of your policy due to non-payment of the premium.
Payment Deferral requests are subject to a suitability check; this is to ensure that this will not worsen your financial situation, based on your individual circumstances.
Please read below for more information on what happens when you apply.
Is a Payment Deferral right for me?
If you are experiencing or expect to experience temporary financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19 you may wish to consider using the Payment Deferral option. However, please note that this is a temporary break to regular premium collections in order to support you.
We will still need to collect all the deferred premium payments at the end of the agreed deferral period. This means that will collect from your account all deferred premium payments in one go, in addition to the next scheduled premium payment for that month. So, you should ensure that your future financial situation will enable you to make these future, increased, premium payments.
If you are less than 3 months from the end of your policy term, a Payment Deferral may not be best option for you. We will discuss your situation with you when you contact us.
If you are currently not seeing an impact on your finances and can continue to make your premium payments as normal, we recommend that you do so. This does not prevent you from contacting us in the future to request a Payment Deferral while this assistance remains available.
How do I qualify and apply for a Payment Deferral?
Payment Deferrals are for our Policyholders who are finding or expect to find themselves in temporary financial difficulty specifically due to COVID-19 and unable to pay their monthly premium payment.
When you contact us 0345 200 8614 we will ask you to confirm all of the criteria below:
- You want to continue your policy; and
- You are up to date with your premium payments; and
- You are now experiencing or you expect to experience temporary financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19; and
- You understand that you remain liable to pay your full premium.
Following this eligibility check, we will stop your next premium payment from coming out of your account. We may ask you further questions to check that deferring your premium payments to a later date will not worsen your financial situation, based on your individual circumstances, and discuss other options with you, where appropriate.
When will my Payment Deferral start?
After you have requested a payment deferral we will stop your next direct debit payment.
I have contacted you regarding a Payment Deferral and I wasn’t offered one, do I need to get back in touch with you?
If your financial situation changed during the COVID-19 period or you are expecting it to do so as a result of COVID-19, please get back in touch with us to discuss your circumstances and to confirm that you now meet the eligibility criteria set out above.
If you have already made an application to us but have not yet heard back, we ask you to please be patient as we will be dealing with extremely high volumes.
Will this affect my credit rating?
Any premium payments that are deferred will not be considered as in arrears.
Do I need to cancel my direct debit?
No, please leave this in place so we can restart your payments easily at the end of your payment deferral.
How long can I defer my payments?
We are offering a month by month Payment Deferral process to our Policyholders, as long as you continue to meet the eligibility criteria. For each monthly deferral period that you require, we will ask you to contact us to make your application.
You will be able to defer your premium payments for a maximum of 3 months. You will be able to defer a maximum of 3 monthly premiums.
Please note that you will still be liable to bring your premium payments up to date in one go at the end of the agreed deferral period, so you should take into account your current and your likely future financial situation when making your application for Payment Deferral.
What happens when my Payment Deferral period ends?
If a payment deferral is deemed suitable, we will be in contact to confirm how this will change your future monthly payments once the agreed deferral period has ended.
After your payment deferral period has finished we will automatically start collecting your monthly payment again, so please do not cancel your direct debit as this may cause your policy to be cancelled.
Your premium payments will need to ‘catch up’ with the premium payments that have been deferred. We will collect from your account all deferred premium payments in one go, in addition to the next scheduled premium payment for that month.
Can I just cancel my direct debit and take a payment deferral that way?
No, it’s important that you don’t cancel your direct debit payment so that there is no danger of any imminent payments failing (with a possible impact on your policy); and to allow us to recommence as normal after the deferral period.
Will my future monthly premium payments increase?
You are still liable to pay your full premium, so the payments delayed during the payment deferral period will need to be paid by ‘catching up’ the payments at the end of the deferral period. We will collect from your account all deferred premium payments in one go, in addition to the next scheduled premium payment for that month.
If you have a regular enquiry about your insurance policy with us, please return to our Home Page where you can find further information including our contact details for other types of enquiries, claims and complaints.