Duxback demonstrate how to use de-icer product
Although there are no rules against driving a car in wintery weather, drivers could see their policies suspended by making a range of errors. Leaving a car unattended for just seconds or forgetting to clean snow and ice off your windscreen could be considered negligence and see insurers lose patience with drivers.
USwitch spokesperson Florence Codjoe has also warned driving against weather warning advice or having a crash could also affect cover.
She said: “Cold weather paired with snow and fog could affect your car insurance cover.
“With adverse cold weather conditions, your engine oil can be affected as well as your car battery.
“Your premium could be impacted if you drive against weather warning advice, and you’re involved in an accident.”
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Preparing for a journey
uSwitch warns leaving a vehicle running unattended may seem like a good idea to defrost a windscreen before a journey.
However, USwitch warns this will fail to live up to a duty of care clause issued in most drivers contracts.
Criminals also view cars which are left running and parked on driveways as easy targets and often steal them within seconds.
Data from the RAC revealed 37 percent of road users still admit to leaving their cars unattended to warm up on cold mornings.
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Clive Wain, Head of Police Liaison at Tracker has warned “few insurers will pay out” if drivers have not taken “reasonable care” to prevent their car from being stolen.
He added: “Frost-jacking is when your vehicle is stolen in the minutes the car engine is on to defrost or warm up the car, and the car is left unattended.
“It could be frost-jacked when you are getting ready for work, popping into a shop or dropping the kids into school, with or without keys or a car fob.
“Whenever you leave your car engine on, unattended, you are inviting criminals to take your car from you.”
USwitch adds drivers should also clear all snow off their roof, windows and number plate before setting off to avoid being caught out.
Driving in weather warnings
USwitch admits driving when there is a weather warning in place will not automatically invalidate your cover providing drivers follow precautions.
A statement from the AA said: “Yes, you can drive during any weather warning, be it red, amber or yellow.
“But the aim is to make you aware of the risks and their likelihood so that you can plan ahead.
“Your insurance provider won’t invalidate your policy just because you had to drive in heavy snow or strong winds.
“If your car is taxed, has a valid MOT and is insured, you’re legal for being on the road.”
However, Rule 125 of the Highway Code states driving at speeds too fast for the road and driving conditions can be dangerous.
Motorists who fail to reduce their speed in adverse weather conditions could be stopped by police with insurers possibly saying this was against the rules.
Drivers will need to be able to show an insurance provider they were driving safely for the weather conditions and justify their actions if they are questioned.
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