Insurers urge motorists to be weather-wise
Motorists in Northern Ireland should stay on red alert when it comes to their car insurance in the snow, experts have warned.
Weather warnings may be downgraded but insurers have told drivers not to invalidate car cover over the coming days.
GoCompare Car Insurance’s Matt Oliver said there are actually a number of ways motorists could invalidate their cover, or break the law, when driving in adverse 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,” he said.
He said drivers could invalidate their policies in four ways:
1. Not clearing snow from the roof of their car before driving it. “It might surprise you, but not clearing the roof of your car could both invalidate your cover and even land you with a police fine,” he said. “If you 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,” he said.
“This applies to all of the windows and mirrors on your vehicle, even if your car has parking sensors.”
3. Leaving your car unattended while it warms up. “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,” he said.
4. Not driving appropriately for the conditions. If the insurer deems you were driving irresponsibly, there is a higher chance they won’t pay out.