As the wintery conditions roll in through the month, there will be the inevitable journey for motorists in some rather difficult conditions.
Whether it is to go to the shops or commute to work, there is always one trip that will leave you rather worried about the snow and ice that can endanger you on your drive.
But apart from the danger of having a serious accident, there is also the risk that you could invalidate your insurance by heading out in winter weather.
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Comparison website GoCompare has warned that failing to take the appropriate course of action before driving in wintery conditions could invalidate your insurance or even leave you breaking the law.
GoCompare Car Insurance’s Matt Oliver, said: “While driving when a yellow weather warning is issued doesn’t affect your insurance cover, there are actually a number of ways drivers could invalidate their cover, or break the law when driving in adverse weather conditions.
“This means, even if your area has had its weather alert downgraded, you should still exercise caution when it comes to taking your car on the road, and avoid doing it if at all possible.”
There are four mistakes which could leave you in serious trouble
1) Not clearing snow from the roof of their car before heading off
Not clearing the roof of your car of snow could both invalidate you cover and even land you with a police fine.
Having snow on the roof of your car when driving can be a hazard for both yourself and other drivers. This is because there is a chance that the snow may fall off and obscure your vision or that of another motorist, especially when travelling at speed or braking.
In most cases your insurer is unlikely pay out if you have been driving illegally or recklessly, and if you were to have an accident as a result of not clearing your roof, it could be deemed that you had been irresponsible.
2) Not de-icing and demisting the whole car
It is a legal requirement that before driving you need to ensure your windshield is clear from any obstructions, including ice – which means you have to thoroughly de-ice and demist your vehicle before setting off.
However, what people sometimes forget is that this applies to all of the windows and mirrors on your vehicle, even if your car has parking sensors.
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3) Leaving your car unattended while it warms up
Despite freezing conditions, motorists will not be covered if they leave their vehicles unlocked and unattended while de-icing their car, especially if they leave their keys in the ignition.
This is due to most policies having a duty of care clause.
So, while it might be tempting to stay inside the house as the car warms up and demists, if someone were to jump in the car and drive off with it, you wouldn’t be covered.
4) Not driving appropriately for the conditions
While most providers will pay out if you happen to have a collision in wintry conditions, it is also up to you to take responsibility for how you are driving.
If the insurer deems you were driving irresponsibly, in light of the conditions, there is a higher chance they won’t pay out.
It’s essential you check the details of any third party cover, as although many comprehensive cover policies will pay out if there is damage caused by adverse conditions, the same cannot be said for third party policies – which usually only cover damage to other vehicles.
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