Car insurance Updated:
With winter well on its way, leading insurers are urging motorists to take care over the next few months to ensure they don't need to make any unnecessary (and potentially costly) claims.
According to research from Direct Line, 43% of motorists drove when their windscreen was partially obscured (either through ice or because it was misted over) last winter, putting themselves and other road users at risk. Driving with reduced visibility drastically increases the risk of collision, not to mention expensive claims needing to be brought forwards, so the insurer is urging motorists to make sure their vehicle is safe to drive before heading out into wintry conditions.
But, don't think that using hot or boiling water to get rid of that pesky ice is the solution – last year 16% of drivers used this method to clear ice and 2% damaged their windscreen as a result, with de-icer being a far more reliable (and less potentially costly) method of preparation.
Leaving the engine running while the car warms up and the windows de-mist is another big no-no. Forty-two percent of those surveyed admitted to leaving their vehicle unattended for this purpose but doing so can be an invitation for opportunist thieves, and you could be invalidating your insurance too – if the keys are in the ignition and you've left the car unattended a lot of insurers won't pay out if the vehicle's subsequently stolen.
Making sure the insurance policy itself is up to scratch is another key part of winter preparation. Failing to do so means you could have a hefty bill to pay should you be involved in an incident, so having a suitable level of cover should be at the top of the agenda.
But, make sure you're not a victim of "ghost broking". There's recently been a spate of fraudulent insurance brokers offering non-existent products, and last year alone some 600 people (according to research from NFU Mutual) were caught out.
Having a valid insurance policy with a decent level of protection is vital, so if it's time to renew make sure to use our handy comparison tool to find legitimate and great value car insurance deals so you can be prepared this winter.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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