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Thursday, January 13, 2011

UK Car Accident Insurance Claims Double Due to Snow and Ice

By Jo Bilson
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As snow ploughed through much of the U.K. and Northern Europe, it was reported by AA insurance on December 2010 that snow causes car accident insurance claims to increase. The highest percentage of snow and ice claims was made this holiday and snowy season. Indeed, 70 per cent of all claims are snow- and ice- related.

Drivers Who Drive on Icy Roads are Only Inviting Car Insurance Claims

Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, said: "If you take your car out on icy roads, you are at significantly greater risk of suffering a collision." He added even those who have fitted winter tyres or snow chains are at risk because it won't stop someone else from sliding into their car. He urged drivers to heed the advice of local police and only drive if absolutely necessary.

Highway authorities are unable to clear all roads and those that have been treated are re-freezing because in many areas the temperature is lower than minus 9 degrees C, below which salt becomes ineffective, thus inviting the car accident insurance claims.

Snow- and Ice-related Car Accident Insurance Claims

The most common accidents with regards to snow- and ice related car accident insurance claims were tail ends, usually occurring at roundabouts or junctions. Collisions with parked cars after slipping on the ice or snow were also another common trait.

The car accident insurance industry is preparing itself for a rough winter as the arctic conditions have hit a lot earlier than expected. Last winter, which was reported to have been the coldest in 30 years, saw the insurance industry pay out an estimated £650 million, according to the Association of British Insurers.

What is Car Accident Insurance?

Accidents caused by snow or ice will be covered under comprehensive car accident insurance policies. The cost of breakdowns or vehicles that fail to start is usually not covered. Drivers should contact their breakdown or roadside assistance provider, which is often bundled with car accident insurance policies. Car insurance claims against other drivers will be valid only if negligence can be proved.

What Affects Car Accident Insurance Premiums when Driving in the Snow?

Many drivers are unsure of the effect snow tyres are likely to have on their car accident insurance premiums. When buying new tyres, drivers should try to purchase the same wheels they already have. If they are different, drivers should check with their car insurer, as some wheels may be considered to be a modification and incur an additional car accident insurance premium.


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