Car insurance valid in severe weather

Motorists and homeowners have been assured that their insurance is valid during severe weather events, despite claims to the contrary on social media.

There had been online speculation that cover for vehicles was invalidated if motorists chose to drive when red weather warnings are in place.

A representative body for the insurance industry moved to dispel such concerns.

Insurance Ireland represents almost 130 companies providing insurance domestically in Ireland, and said motor insurance cover operates as normal during Ophelia’s impact.

“This is not impacted by the weather conditions,” the group said in a statement.

“Damage to cars caused by the storm is covered by comprehensive motor insurance policies.

“Third-party fire and theft policies cover motorists for damage to other cars in the event of an accident, injury to other people, or damage to your car in the event of a fire or theft.”

It advised that household buildings and contents insurance policies will cover damage caused by storms.

Homeowners who have suffered damage have been advised to document any impacts on their property and keep receipts to claim back costs of temporary repairs.

“Insurers will also usually pay for the cost of alternative accommodation if the home becomes uninhabitable,” said Insurance Ireland.

The AA took to social media to respond to the numerous queries it received from its customers.

“While your comprehensive car insurance will still cover you during #Ophelia we advise against driving unless absolutely necessary,” the insurer posted on its Facebook page.

Axa offered similar advice. “We would ask that drivers exercise caution, heed the advice of the gardaí and don’t take unnecessary journeys but your cover is still valid,” it said.

Aviva said it will extend its call centre opening hours todayto deal with the added demand.

The Irish Claims Consultants Association, the representative body for public loss assessors, also offered its advice to industry policy holders.

It said anyone who has suffered damage should take photographs of the fixtures affected, to make an inventory of the damage, and secure the property from further damage when safe to do so. It also advised that any wet or damaged contents can be removed, but recommended not disposing of these items off-site.

Jonathan Hehir, the managing director of www.insuremyhouse.ie and www.coverinaclick.ie, said insurance policies will cover damage suffered during the storm.

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