Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

We have compiled a list of answers to some of the questions you may have about the car insurance policy provided through Hastings Essential.

Should you not find the information you require please contact our Customer Service Advisors on 0333 321 9636 (Calls are charged at 13p per minute from a BT landline. mobiles and other network charges may vary).

1. What cover is provided with a Hastings Essential comprehensive policy?

A Hastings Essential comprehensive car insurance policy provides cover for damage to your car as a result of an accident, vandalism and fire or theft.

2. Am I covered for personal belongings in my car?

The Hastings Essential product has been designed to provide you with what we believe are just the basics in order to keep the premiums low. Therefore, Hastings Essential car insurance policies do not include cover for personal belongings.

3. Am I covered for medical expenses or personal accident?

Our Hastings Essentials product has been designed to provide you with the basics to keep the premium low. Therefore, Hastings Essential car insurance policies don't include cover for medical expenses (other than the cost of emergency treatment as required by the Road Traffic Act).

For full details about personal accident cover, please check your policy documents.

4. What is a protected no-claims discount?

If, in the event of a claim, your insurance company cannot recover their outlay from the person responsible, or you cannot recover your excess, your no-claims discount is normally reduced at the next renewal. By paying an extra premium and subject to qualifying criteria, you can choose to protect your no claims discount. This allows you to make up to two non-recoverable claims in a three year period without reducing your no-claims discount.

No claims discount protection does not protect the overall price of your insurance policy. The price of your policy may increase following an accident eve if you were not at fault.

5. What is an excess?

An excess is a contributory amount you pay when making a claim. There are two types of excess that can be applied to an insurance policy - compulsory (or standard) excess and voluntary excess:

Standard policy excess

There is a standard policy excess set by your insurer which you cannot change. You will be required to pay this amount for each incident of loss or damage to your vehicle, including repair or replacement of windscreen or windows. All excesses are shown on your schedule. If you should choose not to use the repairer nominated by the insurer, the excess that would otherwise apply will be doubled.

Voluntary excess

If this option is available, you can choose to pay an additional amount on top of the standard policy excess for each incident of loss or damage to you vehicle. If you choose a voluntary excess you will generally reduce your premium. All excesses are shown on your schedule.

6. What is a Thatcham security device?

The Thatcham Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre evaluates the effectiveness of car security products against the British insurance industry's criteria. Most insurers acknowledge the benefits of these devices and give you discounts.

7. What is a tracking device?

This enables the police to track a stolen vehicle via an electronic signal emitted from a sensor concealed in the car. The recovery rate for these stolen vehicles is very high. Insurers usually offer a discount off the premium if the vehicle is fitted with a tracking device.

8. Does my policy include a courtesy car in the event of a claim?

If you make a claim and your car is being repaired by the insurer-approved repairer, they will provide you with a Group A vehicle such as a Ford KA.

9. Do you offer legal expenses cover?

For Hastings Essential customers this is an additional product. Our legal expenses cover, managed by Arc on behalf of Inter Partner Assistance SA, provides you with assistance when claiming for the following in the event of an accident that is not your fault.

  • Compensation for not being able to use your vehicle
  • Any excess you may have paid under your motor insurance policy
  • Compensation if you or any passenger are injured or killed
  • Compensation for damage to your clothes, luggage or personal belongings
  • Reasonable costs for a hire vehicle whilst yours is being repaired
  • Repair costs if you don't have comprehensive motor insurance cover
  • You are covered for claims reported within 180 days of your accident
  • Legal costs to defend prosecution arising from a motoring offence
  • 24/7 Legal advice

You are not covered for:

  • Any legal costs you pay before Arc agree to pay them
  • Any claim if there is less than a 51% probability of success

The insurer is Inter Partner Assistance SA. Full terms and conditions can be found in our optional extras booklet. You may be able to get legal support after an accident without this policy, but you would need to arrange this yourself.

10. Do I have windscreen cover?

No, there is no cover for windscreen replacement or repair under our Hastings Essential policy.

11. Does my policy allow me to drive abroad?

Yes, you're covered to drive anywhere in the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Andorra and Serbia. The level of cover and number of days vary, so check your policy documents for full details.

If no Brexit deal is reached, or a transitional period agreed, from the date the UK leaves the EU, you'll need to provide a Green Card at European borders to prove you're insured.

12. Why do I need a password to save my quote?

We will ask you to save your quote with a password to ensure that no one other than you can view or alter your personal details.

13. Can I get immediate cover?

Yes, providing you have a credit or debit card or the facility to pay by Direct Debit, we can issue you with immediate cover on your car insurance. This is subject to normal terms and conditions. Please note that if you choose to pay by Direct Debit we will require a deposit from you which can be payable by credit or debit card.

14. Can I spread my payments and pay by monthly instalments?

Yes, we offer the facility to pay by instalments. Terms and conditions will apply.

15. What about the security of online payments?

We know that when you purchase items or services online you want your personal details and your credit or debit card information to be private and secure. We are committed to providing this security for you.

Our secure-server software encrypts all the details in your online transaction. The encryption process takes the characters you enter and converts them into a coded form, which is then securely transmitted.

16. If I cancel will there be any charges?

Please see Our fees for details.

17. How quickly do I need to report an accident?

All claims should be reported as soon as possible and, at the latest, within 48 hours of the incident.

18. Why do I need to tell you about an accident so quickly?

By notifying us as soon as possible about an accident, we can settle your claim quicker and, if your car is repairable, get one of our approved repairers notified as soon as possible. Furthermore, quickly notifying us of the accident means the details of the incident are fresh in your mind and will help us mitigate the costs involved in dealing with your claim, helping us to keep our prices as low as possible.

19. What if my driving licence type changes?

If your licence type changes after you have taken out a policy you are required to let your insurer know. Changes to your licence can cause your premium to change substantially. Examples of changes to licence can include: provisional to full license or change of licence category. Further information on driving licences can be found at

If you need to update your policy or have any other questions relating to this topic please contact our Customer Services team on 0333 321 9801who will be happy to help you.