Ah, the great British summer. You know the story. One moment we’re baking, in over 30-degree sunshine, the next, it’s a scene that resembles Hades and we’re suffering downpours, floods and torrential, endless rain.
Yes, this past weekend saw most of the UK bid farewell to the summer heatwave, and instead be dealing with endless rain and flooding. Some places in the UK, such as Wales, saw almost biblical amounts of the wet stuff fall in just a few days. Meanwhile, many major roads and motorways ground to a halt, thanks to flash flooding.
The southeast, especially Kent and Essex saw many major roads closed thanks to floods, and Canterbury saw 24.1mm of rain fall in just an hour over this past weekend.
But, I hear you ask, what does this have to do with car insurance?
Well, quite a lot, as it happens.
Not only do these sudden downpours and flash floods risk drivers getting stuck for hours (or even days) while they wait for it to subside, but what you may not know is that driving in very wet conditions could invalidate your car insurance.
How so? Well, obviously it goes without saying that driving in the wet is not without considerable danger. A wet road is a slippery road, which can quickly turn conditions into something akin to driving on ice.
Obviously, if you get caught out in a torrential downpour, slowing down and increasing your braking distance should be a no-brainer. If you are caught up in an accident caused by skidding in wet conditions and insurers find that you had not taken the precaution of slowing down, then it could cause any insurance claim you make to be rejected. Not only that, but if the courts are of the opinion that you were driving dangerously, then you could also be hit with a fine, points on your license, or, in extreme cases of dangerous driving that results in a loss of life or injury, even a custodial sentence, which could, in extreme cases, be as long as 14 years. Just for a bit of stupidity in the wet weather. Not a risk we would fancy taking.
Likewise, if you are caught up in floods and take the risk to drive through and flood your engine, you may not have your insurance claim accepted. Just two feet of water is enough to flood the inside of most vehicles and potentially carry the car away.
If you do make the mistake of driving through flood water, it is recommended that you turn off the engine and not restart it for some time to give it the opportunity to fully dry out. It may require professional cleaning to restore it back to normal.
So, the simple answer – if you know there’s a risk and you don’t have to travel – don’t go. It’s not rocket science. Here’s to the sun coming back soon!