Drivers have been warned of five summer weather habits that could invalidate your insurance.
While the start of the summer holidays has been a mixed bag so far with plenty of rain and thunderstorms on the way, forecasters say warmer weather could make a comeback later in August. Last year was the first time the mercury rose above the 40C mark in the UK and a new report issued last week predicted that 40C summers like 2022’s could become more common in the UK as climate change’s impact increases.
Along with the extreme heat, the coming years will see an increase in grass fires, summer droughts, downpours and rising sea level. While downpours are expected to continue for much of this week, warmer weather is forecast for later in the month.
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Matthew Stokes, specialist insurance manager from Motorcycle Insurance, who has detailed five mistakes that could compromise your insurance and ways to stay safe when driving this summer.
He said: “During the scorching summer heat, it’s crucial to remember that driving with caution is not just a matter of comfort but also a matter of safety and insurance coverage. As a car insurance expert, I cannot stress enough the importance of adjusting your driving habits to the prevailing weather conditions.
“Extreme heat can take a toll on your vehicle’s performance and exacerbate potential risks on the road. By maintaining a vigilant mindset and practising responsible driving, you not only safeguard yourself and others but also help ensure that your insurance coverage remains intact.
“So, keep your ‘cool’ behind the wheel, stay hydrated, and drive attentively, because a little caution under the summer sun can go a long way in protecting your safety and insurance peace of mind.”
If you’re unsure about what may invalidate your insurance and how to stay safe whilst driving on the roads, here are five easy tips to follow:
1) Leaving your car unattended with windows open – Leaving your car unattended with windows open, even just slightly, can make it an easy target for theft or damage. Insurance policies often require you to take reasonable precautions to protect your vehicle, so leaving it unlocked or with windows open during a heatwave may be considered negligence.
2) Parking in hazardous areas – Extremely hot weather can lead to certain hazards like wildfires or areas prone to heat related accidents, such as near flammable materials or in direct sunlight for an extended period. Parking your vehicle in such areas, where there is a high risk of fire or other damages, may invalidate your insurance coverage.
3) Neglecting vehicle maintenance – Heatwaves can put additional stress on your vehicle, particularly on the cooling system, tires, and battery. Neglecting regular maintenance, such as checking coolant levels, ensuring proper tire pressure, and inspecting the battery, could lead to mechanical failures and accidents. If it is determined that neglecting maintenance contributed to the accident, your insurance claim may be denied.
4) Ignoring recalls or safety notices – Car manufacturers may issue recalls or safety notices related to specific models or components that could pose a risk during extreme weather conditions. Failing to address these recalls or ignoring safety notices and not taking appropriate action may jeopardise your insurance coverage.
5) Driving recklessly in extreme heat – Extreme heat can affect road conditions and vehicle performance. Engaging in reckless driving behaviours such as speeding, aggressive driving, or ignoring traffic rules can increase the likelihood of accidents. If it is determined that your reckless driving contributed to an accident during a heatwave, your insurance may not cover the damages.
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