The war in Ukraine has sadly left millions of innocent people without a place to call home. In response to the growing refugee crisis, the Government recently launched the Homes for Ukraine scheme. This scheme allows UK homeowners to open up their homes to temporarily house a Ukrainian refugee. So far, over 138,000 homeowners have registered their interest in providing a home. The UK has also seen a staggering amount of people using their own cars, or commercial vehicles to deliver humanitarian aid both within the UK, and to other countries which border Ukraine and have seen a massive influx of people fleeing the war.
Here we explain what affect providing humanitarian aid will have on your home, private car, and commercial vehicle insurance.
The Association of British Insurers have declared that insurance providers will support homeowners who want to provide assistance to Ukrainian refugees. There is little change in cover for the first 12 months of housing a refugee, but you should be aware of the following:
- UK homeowners who want to temporarily house refugees under the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, do not need to inform their insurance provider and the terms of their cover will stay the same.
- This applies for the first 12 months from any refugees living with you. If you house refugees for longer than this, you must inform your insurance provider.
- All current policy terms and conditions will extend to any refugees you choose to house (whether that be covers or exclusions).
- A home contents policy will cover you for a public liability claim if a guest is injured and you’re found to be responsible.
In addition to this, you may want to check the following:
- The limit of cover on your contents policy may not be enough to cover your guests’ belongings. You should check the limits of your contents cover and increase cover where necessary.
Please note that this guidance currently applies to housing Ukrainian refugees only, under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. If you wish to house refugees from any other country, you must contact your insurer as different terms may apply.
Similar terms apply for landlord insurance as they do for home insurance. You do not need to inform your insurer if you are housing refugees in your rental property for the first 12 months, as long as you are not charging rent.
The £350 Government thank-you payment will not be considered to be rent.
Private vehicle used for volunteer driving in the UK
Most insurers will permit you to use your vehicle to transport goods for the purpose of humanitarian aid around the UK under the existing terms of your policy. However, it is best to check the terms of your individual policy, as there may be exclusions.
If there are exclusions and you still intend to use your vehicle for this purpose, please speak to your insurer first.
Private vehicles used for providing aid within the European Economic Area
For travel within the ‘Free Circulation without Green Card zone‘, provided your insurer gives cover for this already, there aren’t any changes to your policy. This only applies in the case of providing humanitarian aid. You should note the following:
- Any UK private vehicle insurance policy will provide third liability cover for a defined period when driving within the Free Circulation without Green Card zone
- Check your insurance policy documents for any limits in cover, or exclusions that may apply.
- Please also note that there may be restrictions on the transport of goods across borders. If you are planning on using your vehicle for this purpose, be sure to check the guidance from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
Commercial vehicles for providing aid within the European Economic Area
Temporary changes are permitted for commercial vehicles providing cross-border humanitarian aid; however, the current guidance only applies until the 11th of June 2022. After which the guidance will be reviewed.
- Commercial vehicle policyholders that have comprehensive UK cover will be granted the same level of cover for cross-border journeys, taken for humanitarian reasons, at no extra charge until the 11th of June 2022. This only applies to journeys within the Free Circulation without Green Card zone.
- If you are planning on entering areas outside of the European Economic Area you should discuss this with your insurance provider in advance.
- If your comprehensive policy has an exclusion for cross-border journeys, you should discuss this with your insurer prior to making the journey.
If you have any queries about the scheme, please refer to the Government’s Homes for Ukraine FAQs, if your query relates to your insurance cover please call us on 01603 218000 for further advice.
Please note that this is general guidance; the terms of your specific policy may have different rules. It is always best to check with your insurer if in doubt.