With The Met Office forecasting this week’s weather will be a mix of floods, snow and gale-force winds, motorists and home owners are warned to take extra care by preparing where possible and being aware of what their insurance policies do and don’t cover when protecting their home and car.
While motorists with fully-comprehensive car insurance should be covered for any damage caused by debris during high winds and storms, they may not be covered for water damage caused by driving through flooded roads.
One of the UK’s largest car and home insurance comparison sites, Quotezone.co.uk, warns that some car insurance policies include clauses advising policyholders not to drive through flooded roads, and may specifically exclude from coverage any water damage to the car if the motorist goes against this advice.
Flood damage can also affect your home and if you haven’t declared your location accurately your policy could be invalid. If your house is located within 400 metres of a river, stream or coastline you will need to have informed your insurance provider. Even if you’ve never experienced flooding yourself, your house could be classed as a ‘flood-risk property’.
Many insurance providers do take anti-flood doors and other permanent flood defence features into account when calculating insurance premiums – provided they meet the appropriate industry standards and have been installed by an industry professional.
There are currently 37 flood alerts in place in England (‘possible, be prepared’) and 1 flood warning (‘flooding is expected, immediate action required’), with another 5 flood warnings and 13 alerts in Scotland, as well as 7 alerts in Wales. Now is the time for policy holders to be aware of the legalities, keep their insurer up to date and protect their policies both home and car.
The UK is expected to be hit with up to 150mm of rainfall this week with temperatures plunging by as much as 7C (12.6F) – with severe gales. A spell of snow could also be seen in mountainous regions in the north-west of England and Scotland.
Insurance comparison expert and Founder of Quotezone.co.uk, Greg Wilson, advised: “Some car insurance providers stipulate that motorists must not drive the vehicle through flooded roads, and this clause is often present in fully-comp policies as well as less comprehensive levels of cover – rendering the policy invalid should this advice be ignored.
“With the added possibility of snow and ice, it’s also sensible to make sure your car is roadworthy by checking tyres, oil, water and petrol before you set off. Investing in a winter emergency survival kit for your boot is also advisable; thermal blanket, torch, phone charger, emergency food/water rations, first aid kit – some of our insurance providers offer these as standard.
“With home insurance it’s always best to be honest with your provider, use the online flood map tool if you’re unsure of the exact distance to nearby rivers and double check your home for any potential issues especially in relation to the colder weather, such as added insulation for pipes.”
Quotezone.co.uk compare prices from over 110 UK car insurance providers and over 50 home insurance proivers – helping over 3 million users find a more competitive deal on their insurance. Advice on both home and car insurance products and suggestions for surviving the winter weather can be found on the guides section – quotezone.co.uk/guides.