De-icing your windscreen could invalidate your car insurance and get you fined!

For any driver, frozen windscreens in the winter months can be a massive inconvenience. From having to stand in freezing temperatures to being late for work through having to clear your car of ice and snow, the winter months can scale from minor hinderance to full scale prevention of day-to-day lives. To add insult to injury, motorists are being warned this winter, that the way you de-ice your windscreen could actually be illegal. So to make sure you don’t fall into the trap of invalidating your insurance and being slapped with a fine, read on.

A Fine Location

Please do not worry, you will not be having to look over your shoulder at 7.30am for bobbies distributing fines left, right and centre! The only thing you have to concern yourself as a motorist is that you must ensure all snow and ice is removed from your vehicle before you begin your journey. However, temperatures vary through the season and there is no reason that your windscreen won’t again develop ice over the course of the day, and this is where you need to be careful.

If you have to de-ice your windscreen whilst out in public, you need be vigilant that you do not leave your car unattended with the engine running. It’s a very simple mistake to make, stepping away for a moment while you leave the windscreen to heat up, but this is where you will be landed with a fine. Insurers will not pay out either, if your car is stolen under these circumstances.

When was this agreed?

 Since the ruling is under section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, a copy of which can be found here, it cannot be called a recent amendment to the rules of the road. However, there are those that argue that there are always grey areas in the law. Is it totally necessary to fine somebody for having their engine running whilst de-icing their vehicle? It’s as if drivers are being penalised by one law for trying to adhere to another!

Don’t let your claim break down

From an insurance perspective, although this post is mainly relevant for the winter, something like this is a key example of why drivers need to be vigilant when it comes to the terms of their car insurance. There are nuances between most policies, and there are plenty out there, so to ensure you’re getting the cover you are expecting when you pay your premiums, compare car insurance here. Obviously there are legalities that supersede policies, such as the one above, but there are certainly drivers out there that have been informed that their insurance is invalid due to ‘X’ circumstance or other. This is a situation that can be prevented if you choose your provider and policy wisely, and be totally clear as to where you are covered, and where you are not.

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