Home Good to know Snow brings sharp rise in claims, winter tyres could help

Snow brings sharp rise in claims, winter tyres could help

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AA Insurance is recording a sharp increase in the number of claims for snow or ice-related collisions, particularly in Scotland and Wales as blizzards start to become more widespread.  By midday today (17 December) AA Insurance had dealt with over 300 claims and in Scotland, over half of claims and in Wales a third were blamed on the arctic conditions.

Meanwhile, AA says that properly fitted winter tyres should not affect users’ car insurance premiums.

Latest snowfall brings blizzards of car insurance claims

– Over half of claims relate to snow and ice collisions in worst affected areas

– Winter tyres could reduce number of claims

Snow and ice sweeping Britain is expected to bring a big jump in car insurance claims, according to AA Insurance.

The current blizzards blanketing parts of the UK have, to mid-day today (17th December), already brought in 331 claims: a 10% per cent increase overall, and 21% are snow and ice related compared with a snow free December Friday.  But the pattern is much more dramatic in Scotland and Wales.

Of all claimants, 51% in Scotland and 34% in Wales say their collision was because of snow or ice.

Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance says: “If the police in your area are advising drivers not to travel then it is sensible to heed that advice and monitor the situation locally.  During the run-up to Christmas, plan your journey to take account of the latest local forecasts and try to stick to main roads, which are more likely to be gritted.

“If the road surface is icy, our advice is to try to keep a gap of 10 seconds between yourself and the vehicle in front to minimise the risk of you sliding in to the car in front.”

He points out that tail-end crashes, especially at road junctions and roundabouts, are the most common type of winter claim, followed by collisions with parked cars. He adds that cars fitted with winter tyres are less likely to lose traction on snow and ice.

Should we fit winter tyres?

With the second snowy winter in succession, many drivers are fitting winter tyres to their cars which has led to confusion about whether insurers consider this to be a ‘modification’ that attracts an additional premium.

Mr Douglas says: “Provided you are fitting wheels and tyres that meet the car manufacturer’s specification – you can confirm this by checking your car handbook or with your local main dealer – and they are professionally fitted, AA Insurance doesn’t consider this to be a modification and it shouldn’t be an issue for other insurers.”

In some European countries that have predictable winter snow, fitting winter tyres is obligatory: Germany being the latest country to require them.

Winter tyres are made from a rubber compound that performs better at temperatures below plus 7 decrees C and tests show that cars fitted with them stop in a much shorter distance on snow and ice than those with conventional tyres.  If such tyres are to be used, it is vital that all four wheels are so fitted.

Most users keep a second set of wheels fitted with winter tyres so that they can be conveniently exchanged when necessary.

Source : The AA Press Release