Motorists could be invalidating their insurance if they are on the roads when Storm Christoph hits later today.

The storm is set to bring heavy rain to Essex throughout this evening, tomorrow (Wednesday, January 20) and Thursday morning, with flood warnings in place in some parts of the county.

And with a yellow weather warning issued for the whole of Essex, car insurer Admiral is warning motorists driving through flood water could be invalidating their insurance.

A survey carried out by Admiral showed 68 per cent of drivers were unaware flood water could invalidate their insurance and 50 per cent would continue to drive even if a weather warning has been issued for their area.

As part of its investigation, Admiral surveyed 2,000 motorists in the UK and found almost a quarter of Brits (23%) have been involved in a car accident after driving in severe winter weather conditions, including thunderstorms, heavy rain, flood water, high winds, and fog.


January (along with November, December) is one of the months which sees the highest volume of car insurance claims over the year according to Admiral.

Data shows the highest percentage of severe incidents take place during the winter months, 11% in January being classified as severe.

Severe incidents relate to those where the vehicle is so badly damaged it’s undrivable, and potentially where someone is injured.

Lorna Connelly, Head of Claims at Admiral said: “Winter brings with it a range of unpredictable weather that could dramatically impact driving conditions and makes even the shortest of journeys dangerous.

"Our data shows that not only is there an increase in accidents taking place during the winter months owing to adverse weather conditions, but that the severity of accidents also increases.

“It’s important motorists are aware of the risks involved and follow safety advice when travelling in order to keep themselves, their passengers, and other road users safe, particularly in tricky conditions. 

Road Safety expert, Dave Harford added: “Don’t ignore the weather warnings – they’re put in place in order to protect people.

“Yellow warnings are the more regular ones issued, whereas amber and red aren’t as common but are much more serious.

“Weather warnings can be issued and removed quickly, a bit like the weather itself – dynamic and always changing. If an area you’re in or going to has a weather warning, consider the times, severity and if your journey is worth it.

“As a water Rescue Technician, I’ve worked in flood situations and also swam to recover cars from floods. My advice for anyone, is do not drive into or enter a flood.

“Moving water is highly dangerous. Just six inches of fast flowing water will sweep an adult off their feet, twelve inches will make a car float, and two feet of moving water will wash a car away.

But it’s not just the water you need to watch out for, there many other dangers you cannot see under the surface. This could include raised manhole covers, washed away roads, and other debris which could hurt, trap, or cause you problems.

"It’s always better to turn around and find another route. Remember, you should never ignore or move a Road Closed sign as it is there to protect you and other road users.”