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Motor insurers help volunteer drivers to go that extra mile

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Community TransportVolunteers who use their car as part of their duties no longer have to worry about paying more for their car insurance premium, after more than 50 companies committed to not charging extra for those who use their car as part of volunteering.

Discussions between insurance companies and the voluntary sector had showed that some volunteers were put off by the increased premiums and strict guidelines which discouraged them from volunteering their time and their cars to help out in their communities.

The agreement means that volunteers for charities such as WRVS can continue to perform vital tasks to help their community and reduce isolation, such as taking older people to the shops or to the doctors, or deliver meals to those who can’t get out and about.

WRVS have over 45 community transport services and help around 7,000 people a year to get to the shops, attend medical appointments and stay in touch with their friends and family. It's especially important where mobility issues can make it difficult, if not impossible, for older people to use public transport and in rural areas with limited transport services.

"Since joining WRVS I have been involved in several services including being a community transport driver, taking people to the library and becoming a bus escort.

"As well as providing company and friendship to the people I meet, it gives me a huge amount of personal satisfaction, which is why I get so much out of it."

John, WRVS volunteer

"This marks real progress. Over 10,000 volunteers use their cars to help older people for WRVS; last year they covered over 3.5 million miles. We know there are going to be a lot more older people in Britain in the years ahead and WRVS is going to grow to meet that need. Overcoming isolation is one of the targets to help older people, and that often involves driving."

Alastair McDougall, WRVS Executive Director of People

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) website has a list of the 54 insurance companies who have joined the agreement, along with advice on who to contact if necessary.  For more information visit www.abi.org.uk

The commitment applies to private car motor insurance policies. Policyholders must be using their own vehicle and will be allowed to accept expenses up to the Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs mileage rates, currently 45p per mile, but will not be permitted to use their vehicle for hire or reward.

For further information

WRVS is one of Britain’s leading age positive volunteering charities with over 45,000 volunteers working to help make Britain a great place to grow old in.  If you are over the age of 14, we have volunteering opportunities in communities, in hospitals and in emergency situations.

Find out how you could become a WRVS volunteer, call 0845 601 4670 today or search for volunteering opportunities in your area. Or help make a difference by making a secure online donation to WRVS.

If you are a member of the press and have a media enquiry please contact the Media Department.  For all other enquiries, contact us.

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