10 ways you might accidentally invalidate your insurance this summer

10 ways you might accidentally invalidate your insurance this summer
Summer time and the driving is easy…

With warm weather and plenty of places to explore in the sunshine, summer can be a great time to get behind the wheel. But before you grab your shades, do you know how summer driving could end up affecting your premium?

To keep you from unwittingly invalidating your policy, here’s our guide to what to think about when driving this summer.

1. Don’t get swept away

With so many great beaches to choose from in the UK, what better way to enjoy the sunshine than by driving down to your nearest one. You might even want to drive onto the sand, if permitted.

But if you do drive onto the beach, make sure you check local conditions first as letting your car get swept away or submerged by an incoming tide could invalidate your policy.

2. Close your windows

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When it’s hot outside, you might be tempted to crack open the windows and let the summer breeze cool you down – but don’t invite thieves by forgetting to close them back up when leaving the vehicle unattended.

Leaving your car unlocked or with its windows open could land you with an invalidated insurance policy if you become a victim of crime, so be prepared and lock up your car whenever and wherever you leave it.

That includes the sun roof, so don’t forget to shut this too!

3. Fore! Watch out at the golf course

If you’re an avid golfer, what better way to spend those long summer evenings than taking in the whole eighteen holes on your local course? But while it might be good news for your handicap, it could be bad news for your premium.

Parking in a danger zone – i.e. somewhere you know your car could end up getting damaged by, say, flying golf balls – could nullify your attempts to get a pay-out if your car ends up getting damaged by something that’s a known risk.

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4. Don’t get stuck in the mud

Summertime in the UK means the great British festival season is well underway and, while you might get lucky with the weather, you never know when the campsite will be hit with rain and become a mud fest overnight.

But if you park up in the mud and your car gets stuck or damaged in any way, your insurer may not pay out – so choose to park somewhere a little drier instead and avoid worsening your post-festival blues.

5. Cover your pooches

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If you’re taking your four-legged friends out and about this summer, make sure you don’t end up with a dog’s dinner of a holiday by letting your pets accidentally invalidate your insurance policy. 

Driving with an unrestrained animal in the car could leave you without cover. In addition, if you’re involved in a collision because you’re distracted by your pet, it’s also likely your provider won’t pay out.

6. Be careful of your load

If you’re heading to the beach this summer, it’s tempting to load up your vehicle with everything you need to make a day of it – surfboards, bikes, food, beach games...

But overloading your vehicle, whether you want to catch that all-important wave or just fancy a picnic to end all picnics, could invalidate your insurance policy if it leads to a collision, so pack wisely, be sure to secure any items stored on your roof or vehicle rack and don’t overdo it.

7. Don’t leave your roof open

When the weather’s fine, a convertible can be an excellent way to top up your tan and cool down at the same time. But they also cause a whole host of issues if you don’t put the roof down when you park up.

Damage caused by a sudden summer storm, pesky seagulls or even revellers coming home from a night out might not be covered by your insurer if you’ve left your roof down. So, take precautions and always make sure your car’s secure, however long you plan to leave it.

As with closing your windows, leaving the sun roof open can be an invitation for disaster as well, so close that up too.

8. Stick to the local rules

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If you’re heading abroad this summer, you need to make sure you’re well-versed in the local driving laws of your destination as failing to adhere to the rules could see your insurance invalidated should the worst happen.

And don’t forget that the rules in one country aren’t the same as those in another, so check out the RAC country guides for more information, and get clued up before you set off.

9. Know what you tow

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Summer’s a great time to get outside and enjoy everything the UK has to offer, but if your favourite hobby involves towing anything heavy – think quad bikes, caravans, or even a boat – check you don’t break your towing capacity.

If your vehicle gets into difficulty due to excessive towing weight – such as a burnt-out engine – it could see your insurance policy invalidated so do your homework and don’t tow more than you can handle.

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10. Don’t go storm-chasing

There are few things in life more mesmerising that an electrical storm in the heat of the summer. But while they might be fascinating to watch, a sudden bolt of lightning might end up being something you can’t a-Thor-d…

Many insurers see thunder and lightning damage as ‘Acts of God’ and that means they’re unlikely to pay out if your car ends up impaired in any way – so make sure you don’t end up on the wrong side of the God of Thunder!  

Make sure you stay covered and save money with our insurance guides:

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* 10% of all customers buying Car Insurance Plus with us from 1st January 2019 to 30th June 2019 paid less than £123. Based on comprehensive Car Insurance Plus, purchased direct, excluding any additional products and upgrades, with payment on an annual basis. Your premium will depend on your circumstances and the level of cover you choose.