DRIVING in snow is notoriously difficult.
When visibility issues and ice slides weren’t irritating enough, some car insurers have special regulations for frosty weather.
Heavy snow could be a welcome event for school children looking for a day off.
But for motorists, it can be tricky — let alone expensive.
Some may not know that their car insurance has rules that apply in freezing weather.
Here are the insurance rules for using your engine in inclement weather and a few tips on how to check if you are covered.
Is my car insured in the snow?
Your car insurance will still be valid if you take it out in the snow – but be warned.
If your insurer believes you negligently put your car at risk, every claim could be thrown into question.
So if you take a risk and travel during severe yellow or red weather warnings and end up in an accident, you can scupper.
Kevin Pratt, consumer protection expert at MoneySuperMarkettold The Scottish sun : “Your insurance coverage should remain in place whatever the weather, but don’t take that as a green light to drive red without a snow alert.
“Just knowing you’re getting a payout shouldn’t mean you’re taking undue risks.
“If your insurance company can show you were at fault, your claim may be called into question and your payout may be reduced.
He said you might not even be eligible for recovery through your curbside rescue policy.
Kevin added: “The same applies if you went down a road contrary to official roadblock signs and were subsequently involved in an accident.”
Direct Line spokesman Simon Hendrick added: “We will advise all customers, for their own personal safety, to be aware of local news and local authorities when it comes to venturing out in extreme weather.
“But it doesn’t make your insurance null and void.
“People should be careful when the weather is this extreme and not really venture out unless it’s an extreme necessity.”
A spokesman for the Association of British Insurers added: “We would urge all drivers to heed the advice of local authorities and emergency services closely in areas affected by snow – particularly where a red warning is in place.
“People’s safety is of paramount importance. However, rumors on social media that car insurance is voided if people drive during a red warning are untrue.
“Car insurance will cover you as usual, provided you drive within the law.”
DOES YOUR TYPE OF INSURANCE DURING A RED WARNING IMPORTANT?
“When you have comprehensive motor insurance, you are covered for damage to your own vehicle and any other vehicle or property to which you are liable for damage caused.
“With liability insurance, you don’t get a payout for your vehicle, but your liability is covered.
“If your car is damaged but you cannot locate the driver responsible, you can claim your own comprehensive insurance, but you would be sacrificing your excess.
“In the event of a serious accident where the driver responsible cannot be located, your insurer should put you in touch with the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, who may be able to fund compensation.”
How to drive in the snow without breaking the law
These seemingly innocent practices are to be avoided if you would rather not be fined or break the terms of your insurance.
- Defrost car – the lazy way
But you can void your insurance if you leave the engine running unattended.
That’s because most brokers refuse to pay if drivers fail to do their “duty of care” — a common clause in contracts.
- Driving with snow on the roof: While it’s not illegal to have snow on your roof, it could land you in a deep drift with the law. If lumps fall on your windshield or on another car, you could be fined for “reckless driving.” Worse still, you could be considered to be operating a motor vehicle “in a dangerous condition”.
- Not cleaning every window or your lights: Every pane of glass that you can see out of, and even your headlights and taillights, need to be cleared of ice and condensation to ensure you’re staying within the law. The RAC said: “The Highway Code requires that when driving in adverse weather conditions you must by law be able to see out of any pane of glass in your vehicle.” This is supported by Section 41D of the Road Traffic Act 1988. That means it’s a legal requirement to have a clear view of the road ahead before driving.”
- Do not de-ice license plate: Your license plate must also be free of ice and snow. Drivers could be accused of deliberately trying to avoid speed camera detection by keeping them covered. The RAC explains: “It is also a legal requirement that all lights and license plates are also clearly visible.”
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/2252556/car-insured-snow-drive-uk-weather/ Is my car insured in the snow? How to find out if you’re insured to drive in adverse weather conditions in the UK