Insurance: Red Card for Red Alert Drivers?

After 4pm today the whole country will shut down following a national Status Red weather warning.

Drivers are being advised, encouraged and warned to stay off the roads during Storm Emma.

Many questions are being asked if drivers are insured during a status Red Alert weather warning. ‘Money Super Market’ say your insurance is still valid, however, if your insurance company can prove contributory negligence on your part then your claim may be questioned.

Motor insurance cover applies as normal in extreme weather as your legal liability to others is covered by all policies. Damage to cars caused by severe weather is covered by comprehensive motor insurance policies.

Consumer Affairs expert at ‘Money Super Market’ Kevin Pratt said: “Your insurance cover should remain valid whatever the weather, but don’t take that as a green flag to drive without giving heed to the red alert for snow. Simply knowing you’re going to get a pay-out shouldn’t mean you take undue risks. If your insurance company can prove contributory negligence on your part, your claim might be questioned, and any pay-out reduced”.

Some people had trouble in making claims for flood damage to cars following Storm Ophelia at the end of last year. Drivers fea that they could be held responsible for going out in hazardous conditions, in the first place, despite Red Alert warnings.

Insurance Ireland, the insurance industry body, have indicated that people are, in general, covered, with both comprehensive and third party cover during the current red alert.