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Personal Lines Perspectives | November 2021

Motor – Considering Electric Cars During the Petrol Crisis

The petrol shortage has created long waits and rising prices just as the UK is attempting to return to life as it was before the coronavirus pandemic. It’s possible that the petrol crisis may motivate people to purchase electric cars.

Electric vehicles were already garnering greater interest in recent years prior to current petrol issues. According to research by Aviva from three different studies in 2017, 2020 and 2021, the rate of drivers planning to select a fully electric car as their next vehicle has steadily risen. Specifically, this rate jumped from 2 per cent in 2017, to 11 per cent in 2020 and 14 per cent in 2021. Similarly, the rate of drivers planning to purchase a hybrid model rose from 10 per cent to 32 per cent during the same period. 

What’s more, this increased interest may have already started to further accelerate due to the petrol shortage. According to classified ad website Autotrader, there was a 60 per cent increase in online searches for electric cars during the week after the shortage began.

When considering an electric vehicle, consumers should think about the following factors:

  • Upfront costs—Electric cars continue to have higher prices than combustion engine vehicles. This trend is expected to continue for at least another five years.
  • Ongoing expenses—The day-to-day costs of operating and maintaining an electric vehicle are generally lower than that of a traditional car. According to a survey by insurer LV=, drivers of electric cars with an annual mileage of 12,000 save approximately £900 every year.
  • Insurance and taxes—Historically, motor insurance for electric vehicles has been more expensive than for petrol-powered cars. However, electric cars that produce zero emissions are exempt from the road tax. It’s important to talk to your insurance broker about motor cover options.

Home – The Importance of Contents Insurance

A home is far more than just the floors, walls and roof that make up the building itself. While a homeowners insurance policy can protect the aforementioned parts of your house or flat, it’s important to realise that additional cover may be required to fully protect your property.

Contents insurance is a key type of cover for homeowners. A contents policy can help recoup losses related to various possessions inside a home, such as:

  • Furniture
  • Clothing
  • Electronics

Such a policy can also be customised at an additional cost to protect items that are regularly taken outside of your home, such as:

  • Jewellery
  • Mobile phones
  • Laptops and tablets
  • Handbags

Furthermore, this type of cover can be further augmented to protect belongings that might be taken on holiday.

A contents insurance policy is a necessary precaution that can protect your valuables and treasures from costly losses due to fires, storms and even theft.

Travel – Understanding the New Travel Rules

As festive season approaches, it’s important to understand current travel rules and restrictions while planning your holiday.

Starting 4th October, the rules for international travel to England underwent major changes. Previously, the government had utilised a traffic light system to indicate various requirements for people arriving from other countries or territories. This system was changed to include a single list of ‘red’ countries or territories.

For countries not on the red list, requirements will depend on a traveller’s vaccination status. For those who are fully vaccinated, these rules are now in place:

  • A pre-departure COVID-19 test is no longer required when travelling to England.
  • A day eight COVID-19 test after arrival is no longer required.
  • A 10-day quarantine following arrival in England is no longer required.
  • A passenger locator form and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test two days after arrival are still required, although the government may soon replace PCR tests with simpler lateral flow tests.

For unvaccinated travellers arriving from countries not on the red list, the following rules apply:

  • A pre-departure COVID-19 test is required.
  • A pair of PCR tests must be completed on days two and eight after arrival in England.
  • A 10-day quarantine is required after arrival.
  • A passenger locator form must be completed.

Regardless of vaccination status, travellers are only allowed to travel to the UK if they are a UK resident, or a UK or Irish national. Upon arrival, they are subject to the following requirements:

  • A pre-departure COVID-19 test must be completed and the traveller must present proof of a negative result.
  • A 10-day quarantine in a quarantine hotel— booked and paid for in advance—is required.
  • A passenger locator form must be completed.

Travellers should stay apprised of the current list of red countries and territories. The government is expected to further review international travel policies in 2022. For more information on travel requirements, click here.

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