Does a red weather warning affect your car insurance? What the UK Alert Really Means for Your Vehicle Coverage

A RED alert has been issued as Storm Arwen is expected to hit the UK, bringing up to 20 inches of snow.

Motorists are worried about how rare red alerts can affect their insurance, here’s what you need to know.


Storm Arwen is expected to hit the country

Does a red weather warning affect your car insurance?

MoneySuperMarket says your insurance IS still valid – but if your insurance company can prove contributory negligence on your part, your claim may be in question.

Kevin Pratt, consumer expert at MoneySuperMarket, told the Scottish Sun: “Your insurance coverage should remain valid regardless of the weather, but don’t take that as a green flag for driving without considering the red alert for the snow.

“Just knowing that you are going to receive a payment shouldn’t mean you are taking unwarranted risks.

“If your insurance company can prove contributory negligence on your part, your claim could be called into question and any payment reduced.

“For example, if you drove through an inflated ford where there was a warning in place and your car stalled and was ruined by water, your claim may not be paid.

“You might not even be entitled to a clawback under your roadside rescue policy because you recklessly got yourself into trouble.

“The same would apply if you took a road in contravention of official road closure signs and were subsequently involved in an accident.

“Your home insurance should cover you against the ravages of the storm, no matter how severe.”

Direct Line spokesperson Simon Hendrick added: “We will advise all customers, for their own personal safety, to listen to local news and local authorities about venturing into extreme weather conditions.

“But that doesn’t make your insurance null and void.

“People should be careful when the weather is so extreme and shouldn’t really venture out unless it is an extreme necessity.”

A spokesperson for the Association of British Insurers added: ‘We urge all drivers to pay close attention to the advice of local authorities and emergency services in areas affected by snow, especially where there is has a red warning.

“People’s safety is paramount. However, rumors on social media that auto insurance will be invalid if people drive during a red warning are not true.

“Auto insurance will cover you in the usual way, provided you drive within the law.”

What is a red weather warning?

The Met Office issues warnings in advance of severe or hazardous weather conditions that could cause “damage, widespread disturbance and / or danger to life.”

The warnings are given a color to reflect the severity and likelihood of impact, ranging from yellow, amber, and red.

Red is the most serious of weather warnings.

This means that “extreme times” are expected.

The Met Office said: “Red means you need to take action now to protect yourself and others from the impact of weather.

“Widespread damage, travel and power interruptions, and risk to life are likely.

“You should avoid dangerous areas and follow the advice of emergency services and local authorities.”

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Justin D. O'Neill