The UK was recently hit by the ‘Beast from the East’ and Storm Emma, which led to travel chaos and a series of red weather warning alerts. As snow continues many motorists are worried about the effects on their insurance following a wave of social media stories. To put your mind at ease we take a look at the insurance facts and explain what a red weather warning actually means.
If there are severe or hazardous weather conditions which have the potential to cause “damage, widespread disruption and/or danger to life”, a weather warning will be issued by the Met Office. Depending on the seriousness and likelihood of an accident happening, the warning will range from yellow to amber and red, with red being the most serious.
A red weather warning means that widespread damage, travel and power disruption and risk to life is likely. During red weather warnings you should keep yourself and those nearby safe, whilst following the advice of the emergency services and local authorities.
According to MoneySuperMarket your insurance is still valid during a red weather warning, but if your insurer can prove that an accident was a result of negligence on your part, the claim could be questioned with any pay-out reduced.
For example, if there are road warnings in place stating specific roads should be avoided and you ignore these warnings, you may not be entitled to a claim. This also means that your roadside assistance may be void, as you have recklessly put yourself in trouble and avoidable danger.
If the weather is extreme, you should avoid driving unless it is absolutely necessary. If you are forced to make a journey, stick to the law and obey any road signage to ensure that you are fully covered by your insurance and will be covered for rescue if needed. If the road conditions are so severe that you question the safety of driving, do not take any undue risks as you may not be able to fully rely on a pay-out.
It is worth remembering that comprehensive car insurance will cover you for damage to your own car, but if you only have third part cover you will not receive a pay-out for your own vehicle. If you are involved in an accident which was not your fault and the responsible driver cannot be traced, you will be able to make a claim under your own comprehensive policy, but you will have to pay the excess amount on the policy.
If you need to have your car repaired following an accident or are looking for more advice about driving in poor weather conditions, please contact your local Carwise centre in Harlow and Maidstone. Our teams are always on hand to assist and provide a variety of services which you may find useful.