18 July 2022

  • Heatwave and summer holiday getaway sees drivers set to face a perfect storm
  • Major insurer warns of a potential 15% increase in motor claims during heatwaves
  • Claims could also rise by almost a fifth when school holidays get underway

Leading motor insurer, Co-op Insurance, is warning drivers setting off on summer trips this week to take extra care as claims data highlights the higher risk of chaos and collisions on the UK’s roads.

The combination of forecasted extreme heat, disruption to the rail network and schools beginning to break up for summer is likely to create a perfect storm for drivers according to past claims data analysed by the Co-op.

Typically, the insurer reports that vehicle claims by motorists for issues such as collisions increase by 15% week-on-week when the mercury rises to heatwave levels.

The warning comes as the Met Office extends an amber extreme heat warning, with temperatures set to build later this week and early next week for much of England and Wales, reaching more than 35°C in the South East.

Increased travel at the start of the 2021 school holidays saw claims rise by almost a fifth (18%) week-on-week. As school summer holidays get underway over the next two weeks the increased traffic across major holiday routes has potential to present dangerous conditions for drivers embarking on their summer break.

In response to the predictions, Co-op has released its VACATION safety tips for drivers embarking on summer trips over the coming days:

VENTILATE - Under Rule 237 of the Highway Code failing to appropriately ventilate your vehicle could lead to a fine if drowsiness is found to have been a cause of an accident. So take steps to cool your car before setting off and open windows or use air conditioning if driving in the heat.

ANIMALS - When it comes to bringing the family hound on holiday, people risk breaching the Highway Code if they drive with an unrestrained pet. You could receive a fine from the police, and in the event of an accident it could even lead to your insurance not paying out for a claim.

CHILDREN – Embarking on long journeys with children can lead to lots of distractions for drivers. Thinking ahead about in-car entertainment such as travel games, snacks and even screentime can help make for a smoother journey.

AIR – Extreme weather conditions mean that having good quality tyres with the right amount of air in them is vitally important. Checking tyre pressures and tread before longer journeys is a vital step towards staying safe on the roads this summer.

TIME – With the heatwave set to also disrupt rail journeys, extra pressure is likely on UK roads. Leaving lots of time for journeys, with regular rest stops will help to ensure drivers remain focused and calm despite the extreme heat.

INSURANCE – Drivers should make sure that their insurance policy covers them for all of their trip, particularly if driving abroad or sharing the driving with other passengers. Think also about breakdown cover and check it is still in place before setting off.

OVERLOADING – Rule 98 of the Highway Code says drivers must not overload their vehicle. Also, Annex 6 of the Highway Code states that ‘windscreens and windows must be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision’, and that you must ensure that ‘items of luggage’ are ‘securely stowed’.

NIGHT – Stay cool and avoid the traffic by embarking on journeys overnight. This can also help when driving with children, as they might sleep for some or all of the journey. Make sure you’re properly rested before setting off though, that you take appropriate breaks, and maybe even practice driving at night beforehand, if it’s been a while since you’ve done it.

Paul Evans, Head of Motor at Co-op Insurance said: “The much longed-for UK summertime brings its own set of challenges for motorists. Hotter temperatures can lead to difficult driving conditions both within and outside the car, with melting roads and driver drowsiness just some of the common issues that motorists will have to contend with.

“Concerningly, our analysis of historic claims data shows that drivers embarking on journeys over the coming weeks are significantly more at risk of being involved in a collision as they face the dual challenge of busier roads and extreme heat. Therefore we’re urging all motorists to take extra care and to leave additional time for their journeys so that their summer travel plans get off to a safe and happy start.”

Customers taking out or renewing their motor insurance with the Co-op can now benefit from a new member offer. From Monday 11th July right until New Year’s Eve, any member who buys or renews their car insurance will get a whopping £50 in their Co-op wallet to spend on a range of groceries and services.

And what’s more the insurer will also donate £5 from every policy sold to help out local community food projects right across the UK.

Non-members can also benefit from this amazing offer by joining for just £1. They’ll get a range of exclusive discounts on a range of services from Co-op Insurance, Co-op Funeralcare and Co-op Legal Services.

Offer details

Ways to become a Co-op Member: either visit https://www.coop.co.uk/membership, download the Co-op app or go into your nearest store to join. To find your local store visit https://www.coop.co.uk/store-finder

Ways to buy Co-op Motor Insurance: Please visit https://www.coop.co.uk/insurance/car-insurance to renew or purchase comprehensive car cover for your vehicle.

Terms and conditions This promotion opens at 00:01, 11 July 2022 and closes 00.59, 31 December 2022.

It is only open to Co-op members. Any new members who sign up before the opening date or after the closing date will not be entitled to the promotional offer. The £50 cannot be redeemed in independent cooperative societies including Midcounties, Central England, Southern or Chelmsford Star Co-operatives, or in non-Co-op branded stores such as Nisa or Costcutter.
Full terms and conditions can be found at https://coop.co.uk/insuranceoffer

About Co-op Insurance

Co-op Insurance is part of the Co-op, one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives with interests across food, funerals, insurance, legal services and health. It has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Owned by millions of UK consumers, the Co-op operates 2,600 food stores, over 1,000 funeral homes and it provides products to over 5,100 other stores, including those run by independent co-operative societies and through its wholesale business, Nisa Retail Limited. It has more than 63,000 colleagues and an annual revenue of over £10 billion.

For further information please contact

Lauren.pogson@coop.co.uk or pressoffice@coop.co.uk