Our cookie policy

We use cookies to give you the best possible experience of our website. If you continue, we'll assume you're happy for your web browser to receive all cookies from our website. See our Privacy & security policy for more information on cookies and how to manage them.

× Back

COVID-19: Key & Non-Essential Workers’ Insurance

Discover which actions key workers and non-essential workers should take with their insurance policies during COVID-19 with Brightside's handy guide.

With the COVID-19 outbreak ongoing and the UK’s lockdown in full effect, the separation of the UK’s workforce into key and non-essential workers has rarely been out of the headlines or the nation’s minds.

Life for both key workers and non-essential workers has changed drastically as a result of the lockdowns. Key workers, worried about the health risks of their jobs and still must travel to and from workplaces may be concerned about whether their car insurance covers these activities.

Non-essential workers, who may be now working remotely or even furloughed, may also be unsure what to do with their insurances while confined to their homes.

Here, we will detail who is and isn’t considered a key worker and address potential uncertainties concerning various insurance coverages for all workers.



Please note: The nature of COVID-19 means that guidelines and enforcements are changing rapidly. This information was correct as of 16th April 2020 and we will work to keep this page updated if there are more changes. However, please check in with your insurance provider directly to confirm any details provided on this page.

Covid-19 – Car Insurance FAQs

Explore Brightside's FAQs concerning what car insurance customers should do with their policies in this period of uncertainty during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Find out more

Website line

Who is considered a key worker?

The following types of workers have been categorised as key workers during the UK’s coronavirus pandemic and lockdown:

  • Health and social care workers including doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers and frontline staff, including volunteers
  • Education and childcare workers including teachers, childcare and support staff and any specialist educators that must remain active during COVID-19
  • Workers in key public services such as those essential for running the justice system, charity workers providing frontline support, those who manage the deceased and public broadcasters/journalists
  • Local and national government workers
  • Food production workers, including processing, distribution, sale and delivery of both food and key goods such as medicines
  • Public safety and national security staff, such as the police, prison workers and those in the armed forces
  • Transport workers such as taxi drivers, train drivers, bus drivers and freight transport workers, amongst others
  • Workers in utilities, communication and financial services, including insurance, such as (but not limited to) those in the oil, gas, sewerage, electricity and IT and data infrastructure sectors, as well as some bank and building society workers. For example, many of our colleagues are still working, and are available to support you.

Could my insurance providers now only be covering key workers?

Car Insurance

Fortunately for many essential and non-essential workers, any car insurance providers that are signed up under the Association of British Insurers (ABI) will be required to continue supporting their members. This effectively means that not only must support be given to anyone making a claim during this time, but key workers will also not need to inform their insurer of their key worker status, update documents or apply for cover extensions. Support will also be provided for both key workers and non-essential workers that either must use their cars to help their local communities or who are unable to leave their homes at all. However, not every car insurance provider is registered under the ABI, so, if you are concerned, it is worth checking with us to see whether or not your provider is registered with them. For further information considering car insurance during COVID-19, see our COVID-19 Car Insurance FAQs.

Business Insurance for Non-Essential Businesses

Understandably, owners of businesses that have been deemed non-essential during the COVID-19 outbreak, such as cafes, restaurants, gyms and cinemas, are worrying during this period. This may likely include concerns about their business’s insurance coverage for such a severe global health crisis. Many businesses that have been classed as non-essential are small businesses. As such, to find out whether your business insurance policy will cover your business as a result of this interruption to service, visit our Small Business Insurance During COVID-19 article for further details.

What steps should non-essential workers take with their insurance?

If you are a non-essential worker and are no longer leaving your home or have been furloughed, you may be concerned about your car and home insurance.

Car Insurance

For non-essential workers that are no longer using their cars at all, existing cover will continue to be provided during the COVID-19 crisis. If you have concerns that you will be unlikely to continue making payments for your insurance coverage as a result of being out of work, then please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your options. For more information, see our COVID-19 Car Insurance FAQs.

Home Insurance

For those now working remotely from home as a result of COVID-19, most home insurance policies will generally cover you automatically to perform work from home, so you will not need to contact your insurer in this instance. Additional contents cover that you may have on your policy will cover work items up to the limit recognised by your policy’s wording. Some, but not all, insurers have now stopped providing quotes or selling new home insurance policies at this time. This is so that existing customers’ policies can be prioritised by their teams, which should reassure existing home insurance policy holders. In a similar fashion to car insurance, if non-essential workers are concerned about being unable to make monthly payments due to new circumstances, then they should contact their home insurance provider imminently to discuss options. Otherwise, those that have been furloughed or put out of work due to COVID-19 will not need to inform their home insurance provider of this change in circumstances. Any equipment provided to you by your employer to work from home should be covered by their insurance, not yours, so amendments will not need to be made to your policy to cover such items. For those who are quarantined outside of their homes or stuck abroad due to COVID-19, your policy will continue to fully cover your home until you return, and you will not need to contact your insurer. Similarly, if you have chosen to spend your lockdown period elsewhere and left your home unoccupied, then the unoccupancy limit on your home insurance policy may begin to apply, although in many cases this has been extended. For the specificities of this, you will need to check your policy’s wording. For any further questions or uncertainties regarding your home insurance policy, please us and our team can help you get to the bottom of your query.

Key Worker Insurance for Businesses

Some business insurance providers may specifically offer Key Worker insurance policies to those businesses with employee(s) that meet the requirements, either as standalone insurance or as an add-on to an existing policy. Some may also provide Critical Illness cover as an additional policy point. Not every provider offers these though, so if you operate a business with one or more employees that you deem necessary to be covered, please check with your specific insurer as to whether or not they offer this type of cover.

Need insurance for your business during this time? Explore Brightside’s range of business insurances and get a tailored quote through our brokering service today.

Remember, if you're a Brightside Car, Van or Bike customer you can manage your policy online including confirming you're going to renew your policy with us if you haven’t already opted-in.