Motorists are being urged to prepare as the Met Office continues to issue weather warnings for Storm Ciaran – with many regions across Northern Ireland continuing to battle with rising flood water.
CompareNI.com warns motorists to carefully plan their journeys, and even if routes are partially blocked, drivers should think twice before using waterlogged roads.
The experts say some car insurance policies include clauses advising 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 – even on fully comprehensive policies.
Other issues such as failure to see through the windscreen properly, if caught in heavy rain and ‘rubber necking’ at the storm itself could be classed as careless driving, resulting in 3 penalty points and a £100 fine – more serious cases could see a fine of up to £5000 and 3-9 penalty points.
Ian Wilson, Managing Director at CompareNI.com comments: “The weather has been extreme this year and we continue to face challenges as we brace for winter but there are things drivers need to know to avoid risking penalty points or fines and keep themselves safe on the roads.
“If a storm is predicted, drivers should make essential trips only, look at official flood warnings, avoid roads that are likely to flood and allow more travel time. Note, drivers may have to pull over and wait it out if the downpour starts to affect their visibility – as well as being incredibly dangerous, drivers can be fined if they can’t see clearly out of all windows.
“Some car insurance providers include terms which state motorists must not drive through flooded roads, rendering the policy invalid should this be ignored and leaving the driver unprotected. So we would urge drivers to check the weather before setting off on their journeys and err on the side of caution.”
Insurance companies paid £473 million just to cover the damages caused by storms Dudley, Eunice, and Franklin in February last year so it’s important that drivers read the terms and conditions of the car insurance policy and check what’s protected* – 39% reportedly don’t read the fine print, as part of a recent CompareNI.com survey.**
**CompareNI.com’s survey findings are based on a randomised survey of 1,200 respondents across the UK during October 2023, which represents a margin of error of approximately 5% at a 95% confidence level.
For more information and access to the New Driver NI magazine see www.newdriverni.com.
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