Storm Eunice has arrived in the UK and is expected to bring 90mph winds and disruption to roads and public transport – but what if you have to drive today?
Millions of people are being told to stay home today as Storm Eunice arrives in the UK.
It’s been dubbed the worst storm in 30 years, with forecasters predicting 90mph winds and disruption to roads and public transport.
A red weather warning – signifying danger to life – is also in place for parts of South West England, London and the South East, East England and large parts of the country. of Wales.
About 2,000 properties are already without power in Devon and Cornwall this morning.
But what if you have to drive to get to work? We explain if your car insurance still covers you if you drive in a storm.
Does a weather alert affect your car insurance?
The good news is that your car insurance should cover you if you’re driving through a storm – but that doesn’t mean you should be on the roads in the first place.
People are being told to stay home if they can, so it’s safest to avoid using your vehicle if you can at this time.
This is because Storm Eunice is likely to leave roads blocked with debris and fallen trees, which could be life threatening.
A Direct Line spokesperson said: “We will advise all customers, for their own personal safety, to listen to local news and local authorities about venturing into extreme weather conditions.
“But that doesn’t render your insurance null and void. People should be careful when the weather is so extreme and shouldn’t really venture out unless it’s dire necessity.”
A spokesperson for the Association of British Insurers added: “We urge all drivers to pay close attention to the advice of local authorities and emergency services in areas affected by snow, particularly where there is has a red warning.
“People’s safety is paramount. However, rumors on social media that car insurance will be invalidated if people drive during a red warning are not true.
“Car insurance will cover you in the usual way, provided you drive within the law.”
Although you should be covered overall, your auto insurance claim could technically be challenged if your provider can prove “contributory negligence” on your part.
Had a car insurance claim canceled because you drove in a storm? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org
For example, if you drove into a swollen ford where there was a warning in place and your car stalled and was destroyed by water, your claim might not be paid.
Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “You may not even be entitled to a clawback from your roadside bailout policy because you recklessly got yourself into trouble.
“The same applies if you drive on a road in contravention of official road closure signs and are then involved in an accident.”
So if you have to leave the house, drive as carefully as possible and take all necessary precautions to avoid damaging your car, and your insurance should still pay.
The AA has provided the following tips for driving in a red weather warning:
- Drive slower in extreme weather conditions. Your downtime may be affected and steering may be more difficult when a weather alert is in place.
- Stay on main roads if you can and try to avoid country roads. Busier roads are more likely to be sanded, while quiet roads may have fallen branches, flooded dips, and thick snow or ice.
- Keeping an emergency survival kit in the car is especially important in extreme weather – for example, a torch and batteries, a first aid kit and an empty gas can.
The AA’s website reads: “You can drive during any weather warning, be it red, amber or yellow. But the point is to make you aware of the risks and their likelihood so so you can plan ahead.
“Your insurance company will not invalidate your policy just because you had to drive in heavy snowfall or high winds. If your car is taxed, has a valid inspection and is insured, you are entitled to be on the road.”