Will my car be insured if I drive it without an MOT during the coronavirus outbreak?

A reader who's considering using his car to deliver food wants to know if his insurance will cover that, and if insurance companies have recognised the government's decision to defer MOTs...

MOT technician

I'm concerned about the implications the Covid-19 outbreak could have on my car insurance, so I’d be grateful if you could answer the following questions, so that I and others know where we stand with insurance in the event of a bump.

While it’s great that the Government has deferred MOTs for six months from 30 March, what is the insurance situation for these cars? 

I’ve also been wondering if my car will still be covered if I have the misfortune of having an accident while I’m using it on a voluntary basis to transport meals to those who are self-isolating.

Bag of groceries

Alternatively, what if I decide to work for a local food takeaway business, delivering food for them – would I need business cover as well as the usual social, domestic and pleasure cover? 

Stephen Sharpe

What Car? says…

We asked the Association of British Insurers (ABI) what its member insurance companies were doing regarding policy cover during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“In this unprecedented situation, insurers will not penalise you if you can’t get an MOT. Safety is paramount and it is illegal to drive a car in a dangerous condition so check your brakes, tyres and lights before driving, though,” said a spokesperson. 

“Insurers have committed to support those who use their cars to help their communities. 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 cover will not be affected.

“You do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover. This applies to all categories of NHS Volunteer Responders, including those transporting patients, equipment and other essential supplies.” 

However, if someone uses their car for hire or reward purposes, such as paid work to deliver food, their standard social, domestic and pleasure insurance will not cover this. They would need to amend their policy to include hire and reward cover. 

ABI members have signed up to motor insurance pledges that can be viewed here: https://www.abi.org.uk/news/news-articles/motor-and-home-insurance-commitments/

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Read more: All the latest coronavirus advice for drivers >>