SmartMiles FAQs

 

The good news is that our SmartMiles policies allow use in the EU and several other European countries as standard. We provide the same level of cover you and any named driver has in the UK for any trip providing its not longer than 90 consecutive days.

Please review your policy document for full terms and conditions.

The UK is part of the Green Card Free Circulation Area (GCFCA) so you do not need to carry a green card when travelling in Europe but you will need to provide proof of insurance if requested.

What do I need to drive in Europe?

If you drive in Europe you'll need to take a few essential items with you, including:

  • Your certificate of insurance (this is available in your Manage my policy)
  • Your vehicle registration document (often referred to as your V5C or log book). If you don't have this because the car is leased, the only legal alternative is the Vehicle on Hire Certificate (VE103), which is available from your leasing provider
  • A valid full driving licence
  • Your passport - some countries may also require you to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP)
  • A UK Sticker (From the 28th September 2021 you are required to display a UK sticker instead of a GB sticker unless your number plate includes the UK identifier with the Union flag also known as the Union Jack, you do not need a UK sticker)

You can find out exactly what's needed for the countries you intend to travel to, including any mandatory safety equipment needed, by visiting the UK government (here).

What countries are automatically covered?

You're covered for each trip (up to 90 consecutive days) to use your car in any EU country, plus Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gibraltar, Iceland, Montenegro, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Andorra and Serbia.

What happens if I'm driving abroad with a trailer or caravan?

If you plan to take a commercial trailer weighing over 750kg or a non-commercial trailer weighing over 3,500kg, you must also register it with the Government before you can travel to, or through, most EU and EEA countries. Find out more about IDPs and how to get one.

Can I still call and if so, what are your opening hours?

Most of our team are now working from home and are taking calls however we still need your help to prioritise the most important calls, so if you need to make a change to your policy or view your documents you can do this via your Manage My Policy. You can also get in touch at contact@hastingsdirectsmartmiles.com.

Where possible, please only call us if:

Your policy is due to renew and you're concerned it's no longer suitable for you or you're thinking of cancelling your insurance, or

You're in a vulnerable situation or an NHS or frontline health care worker who can't easily access our online services, or

You need to make a claim and your vehicle is un-driveable or if you need urgent roadside assistance.

If you're having difficulty paying for your insurance - annually or by Direct Debit - please get in touch with us on 0333 321 8566 and we can discuss the right options for you. If you pay by Direct Debit and just want to enquire about your payments please visit www.closebrothersbanking.com.

If you are calling, our opening hours are Monday to Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday 10am-5pm.

We're very sorry if it takes you longer to get through, we'll be with you as soon as we can.

Do I need to tell you if I get Coronavirus?

No, but you should keep up-to-date with the Government's advice and make sure you're doing everything you can to stay safe.

I need to change my policy, how do I do that?

If you need to make a change to your policy you can do this online as normal via your Manage My Policy or you can give us a call on 01733 308380.

How do I renew my policy if I can't get through on the phone?

We're prioritising calls from our renewing customers, but if you're finding it hard to get through, we're very sorry. Please bear with us and we'll get to you as soon as we can.

Most of our policies will renew automatically on their renewal date, so your cover will continue for another year. This will be clearly stated on your policy documents.

If you don't want to renew, you also have a 14 day cooling off period to cancel your policy without charge.

If your policy doesn't automatically renew, you can accept your car renewal in your Manage My Policy.

I'm worried I won't be able to pay for my insurance - what should I do?

We'll do everything we can to support you if you've been affected by the Coronavirus either financially or otherwise, so please contact us as soon as possible if you're worried. All conversations are confidential and, if it's easier, we can talk to a relative, friend or debt counselling organisation about your account we'll just need your authorisation to do this.

Please don't cancel any payments or direct debits without speaking to us first. Missing payments means you run the risk of your policy being cancelled and we don't want you to be left uninsured.

If you're having difficulty paying for your insurance - annually or by Direct Debit - please get in touch with us on 0333 321 8566 and we can discuss the right options for you. If you pay by Direct Debit and just want to enquire about your payments please visit www.closebrothersbanking.com.

You can also find lots more impartial advice online with Money Advice Service, National Debtline, StepChange Debt Charity and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

If I have to self-isolate for months, can I suspend my cover or get a refund on my insurance?

Unfortunately, you can't suspend an insurance policy but you can cancel it by giving us a call on 01733 308380. If you decide you want to cancel outside of your cooling off period, you'll be charged for the length of time you were insured for, plus any applicable fees. If you haven't made a claim during your policy, any money owed to you will then be refunded.

Remember, it's a legal requirement to have insurance (unless you declare your vehicle as SORN). Even if you aren't driving your car it is important to protect against other events such as fire and theft. If you keep your policy you'll also be able to earn this year's no claims discount.

You may be able to get a refund by reducing the mileage your policy was based on. Have a look at I'm driving less. Can I get a refund?'

How do I cancel my policy if I can't get through on the phone?

If you're having trouble getting through to us by phone, you can email us at contact@hastingsdirectsmartmiles.com to cancel your policy. Please make sure you contact us from the email address on your policy to do this.

I'm driving less - can I get a refund?

If you have a car policy and your annual mileage is going to be lower than usual, you can easily reduce it in your Manage My Policy.

You won't be charged a fee to change your mileage and it could reduce your premium. The size of any decrease will depend on many factors and will vary from policy to policy. If your price goes up when you make this change, or you have any questions or problems while reducing your mileage online, please get in touch so we can help.

Don't worry if you're not sure how much to reduce your mileage by. You can change it now and change it again once the situation is clearer.

Make sure you remember to review your mileage once you go back to driving normally, otherwise you may not be fully covered.

Due to Coronavirus, I'm using my vehicle differently. Do I need to let you know?

Yes, please let us know, as we will need to note the policy.

I'm temporarily working as a delivery driver during the Coronavirus outbreak. Will my existing policy cover me?

No, you won't be covered to use your vehicle to deliver parcels or fast food if you're being paid to do so.

If I have Breakdown cover on my policy, will I still be recovered if I break down?

Yes, you'll still be recovered to the best of the RAC's ability. You can check their website for updates, or call them on 0333 202 1867.

If I have Coronavirus can someone else drive my car to get me to hospital?

Yes, if they're a named driver on your policy or they're covered for driving other cars by their insurance policy. They'll need to check their insurance certificate to see if they have this and they may only be covered on a third party basis.

If you'd like to add someone as a named driver, you can do this online: If you have a car policy, you can add a driver in your Manage My Policy.

You'll be given a quote for the change, which will include any difference to the price of your policy and any applicable fees.

Should I declare my vehicle SORN if I am unable to drive for a period of time?

You should only declare your vehicle SORN if you cancel your policy and your vehicle's left uninsured. Please be aware that, if you do SORN your vehicle, you won't be able to leave it parked on the road. It is important to protect your car against other events such as fire and theft even if you aren't driving it. You can check Gov.uk for more information about this.

Am I covered if I'm abroad and can't get home, taking me over 90 days away?

The Foreign Office have all the latest advice on overseas travel. You can check their advice page before leaving. You'll also find the latest guidance on what to do if you're caught abroad.

If you're overseas with your vehicle for longer than 90 days, your insurance will be reduced to third party cover only. Please get in touch if this happens, so we can make sure you've got the cover or help you need.

How do I make a claim if I can't get through?

Sorry you've been involved in an accident and you're struggling to get through. Please bear with us as we're doing all we can to answer calls as quickly as possible.

Will I still get a courtesy car?

Yes, you'll get a courtesy car where available while your vehicle's being repaired, using one of our nominated repairers. However, it may take slightly longer than normal for your car to be delivered as it will be prepared and cleaned before we give it to you. Please note the standard terms and conditions around courtesy car will apply.

Will I have to give back the courtesy car if my repairs take longer than planned?

No, you're entitled to a courtesy car for the duration of the repair. However, if your vehicle's found to be uneconomical to repair, your claim will be settled as a total loss and we'll be in touch to discuss the valuation as soon as we're able to do so. In this instance, you'll need to return the courtesy car as stated in the terms of your policy.

Will my claim take longer to be settled and will it take longer to get a payout?

We've taken measures to make sure this doesn't happen and are working with our suppliers to keep any disruption to a minimum. Our repairers will keep you updated if there's anything relating to your individual repair, such as a delay to sourcing parts if they are coming from overseas.

If you've been told your claim's being handled as a total loss, your claim will continue to be actioned and we'll be in touch to discuss the valuation as soon as we're able to do so.

I've been sent court documents in relation to a claim, what should I do?

Please don't worry, it's not unusual for court documents to be sent to you.

All you need to do is scan or photograph each page of the document and email it to us at litigation@hastingsdirect.com, making sure you put your claim reference number in the subject line. We'll review it as soon as we get it and be in touch to explain the next steps.

I'm not insured with SmartMiles but you're repairing my car. Will it continue?

Yes, we'll continue to repair your car and provide you with a hire car if you need one.

What are you doing to prevent the spread of Coronavirus?

We're committed to minimising any impact for you and keeping our employees safe. Having valid motor insurance is a legal requirement and we have a duty of care to keep you on the road. It's really important we keep working so we're here for you when you need us and can support you as quickly as possible during this time. However, you could experience longer call waiting times or delays to your claim or repairs - we're very sorry about this.

During these times, please use our online services to help us prioritise urgent calls.

Can the policy have more than one named driver?

Yes, as well as the main driver (the Policyholder) you can add up to three additional drivers.

Does my car need to be kept at my home address?

With SmartMiles you can keep your car at a different address, but you'll need to let us know as this is important in making sure you're paying the right price for your insurance. For example, if you're a student you can give us your university address as the place your car is kept most often, but use your home address for correspondence. If your car is kept somewhere other than your home address most of the time you can choose this option when getting your quote, or call and let us know on 01733 308 380.

Can the policy include business travel?

Yes, if you drive to different places as part of your job and not just to and from the office you'll need to take out business travel cover. Just make sure to select business use' when you get a quote.

Can I earn a No Claims Discount?

Yes, you can.

Can I protect my no claims discount?

Yes, you can choose to protect your no claims discount when you get a quote.This means you won't lose all your no claims discount straight away if you make a claim during the policy year. However, your insurance will cost a little more.

Please note protecting your no claims discount doesn't protect the overall cost of your insurance. Your price can increase after an accident even if you aren't at fault. If you choose to protect your no claims, full details will be included with your quote. If you've already bought your policy, you can see details on your policy schedule. This is stored in your online portal.

I have a Pass Plus certificate - can I save more?

Yes, if you are under 25 and have a Pass Plus certificate, let us know and it could reduce the cost of your insurance premium.

What happens if the police ask for the data?

We will only ever provide the data to the police, or any other civil authorities, if we suspect fraud or we are required to do so by law or a court order. 

Is there anything other than my SmartMiles policy that the data could be used for?

We'll use the data to help us identify false claims, or to protect you against a false claim being made by someone else. We may also use the data as evidence to help resolve a claim dispute with another insurer.

Will you supply any personally identifiable data to any third parties?

We will only do this to service your policy, prevent fraud, meet legal obligations or carry out research into telematics and other insurance products. Please see our use of SmartMiles box data page for more information.

Why isn't my policy going to renew?

We don't offer SmartMiles policies anymore, so we can't provide you with a renewal quote at the end of your policy year. But, we'd love you to stay, so why not get a new quote from us? Our Hastings Direct and Premier policies come with a 5 Star rating from Defaqto and you'll have 24/7 access to your policy through our app and MyAccount , so you can manage your insurance at a time that suits you.

Can I get another policy with Hastings Direct?

Of course! We'd love you to stay all you need to do is get a new quote from us or you can shop around on a price comparison site. We want to make sure you get the very best price.

How can I talk to you about this?

If you have any questions about this, please get in touch so we can help. If you need to make a change to your current SmartMiles policy, visit your Manage My Policy.

What do I do with the black box in my car?

Please check out our Removing your SmartMiles box' FAQs for information on how and when to remove the black box from your car.

Will I get proof of my no claims discount?

Yes, this will be sent to you along with the confirmation of your policy ending.

Do I need to tell my new insurer you didn't renew my SmartMiles policy?

No because we didn't cancel your policy, we've just not offered you a renewal. You only have to tell your insurer if we cancelled your policy during the year.

Do I need to keep the black box in my car?

Yes, unless we've asked you to remove it, you need to keep it in your car.

However, once your policy has ended (or we've told you to remove your box) the box will be deactivated and it can be removed.

If you fitted your SmartMiles box yourself or an engineer fitted it to your car battery, you should safely remove it from your car. If it was fitted in a different way, you should either leave the box where it is, or get in touch with us to arrange an engineer to come out to you. (There will be a charge of £45 for this).

How can I safely remove the black box from my car?

You should only remove the black box if you fitted it yourself or if an engineer fitted it to your car battery.

If this applies to you, check out our step-by-step guide on how to remove it safely.

If it was fitted in a different way, you should either leave the box where it is or get in touch with us to arrange an engineer to come out to you. (There will be a charge of £45 for this).

What should I do with the black box once I've removed it?

You'll need to recycle it, as it can't go into your general household waste. The best thing to do is take it to your nearest recycling centre.