From today (Friday 22nd May), UK insurer NFU Mutual is giving its existing and new car and small van customers complimentary or upgraded RAC home start and national recovery breakdown cover until the end of August, to help customers get back on the road if lockdown restrictions are lifted during the coming months and to keep key workers and vital services moving in these exceptional circumstances.
The cover, delivered by the RAC, will be automatically given to more than 600,000 eligible customers with NFU Mutual’s Private Car or Light Goods Vehicle insurance for three months between 22nd May 2020 until 31st August 2020. It also applies to new customers who take out NFU Mutual’s insurance before the offer ends.
With at-home call-outs already up by 78% in the past few weeks, a problem that NFU Mutual expects to increase in the coming months if lockdown restrictions are lifted, the extended cover will provide a lifeline for customers with vehicle recovery at, or within ¼ mile of the home as well as national recovery.
This is on top of the breakdown cover benefits NFU Mutual’s private car insurance customers already receive as standard all year round, which will also now be temporarily provided on a complimentary basis to its light goods vehicle customers to support them through the crisis as key workers and as restrictions are lifted. The cover 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.
Steve Tucker, Car Insurance Specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “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. 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.
“This means from Friday 22nd May to Monday 31st August, 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. This means we give any profit we make back to our customers every year – for instance, claims savings made as a result of motor customers driving less in lockdown. We’ve already saved our loyal customers £820m in premiums during the past five years through the Mutual Bonus.”
RAC patrols are currently dealing with more at home flat battery breakdowns than ever, a trend that NFU Mutual expects to surge during the coming months as Brits begin to use their vehicles more for essential work, exercise away from home, or essential shopping in line with their country’s government announcements.
Steve continued: “Without being driven regularly for periods of more than 15 minutes, car batteries can lose charge and won’t have enough power to start the engine. This is likely to be the case if your essential journeys are especially short or you haven’t been using your vehicle at all, which has been the case for most people during lockdown and is causing a nationwide surge in home breakdowns. Follow the RAC’s advice on how to care for your car battery in lockdown.” RAC advice above notes to editor.
Eligible NFU Mutual customers don’t need to do anything to activate the cover. To request a call-out, simply ring the 24/7 helpline on 0800 282 652, select ‘breakdown’ when prompted, and quote the vehicle registration. Full details can be found by visiting www.nfumutual.co.uk/rac-breakdown