Heatwave hazards: avoid claims where you can


Why claims swell during the summer, and how to avoid heatwave hazards such as windscreen cracks and damaged electronics.

In typical British fashion, we’ve entered a summer season where, quite frankly, you never really know what weather you’re going to get. When you see that long-awaited heatwave forecast, you’re wasting no time in making weekend plans. You could pile the essentials (and the family) into the car to head to your favourite sunny destination. It could be a house by the sea, a campervan on an idyllic site, close to the water parks, or perhaps a city hotel. And not forgetting the UK’s number one ‘go-to’ – a BBQ in the garden!

We all know it’s important to exercise caution in the heat. But did you know a heatwave can bring other risks beyond dehydration and sunburned skin?

How might a heatwave affect your windscreen?

In 2021, the MET office issued its first ever extreme heat warning, with highs of 31.3 degrees Celsius In some regions. But sunburn wasn’t people’s only disappointment; the heatwave brought about a 15.5% increase in windscreen claims for chips and cracks, according to Auto Windscreens.

Very warm weather has the same effect on your windscreen as very cold weather, meaning any existing minor chips can turn to cracks in the heat. This could mean you’ll need the whole screen or window replaced – a hefty cost when glass chips can typically be repaired for between £50 and £70 on average.

Windscreens will usually be covered if you have comprehensive insurance on your vehicle, and won’t affect your no claims bonus if you make a claim via your own insurer to have it repaired. As always with these things, prevention is better than a cure and it’s a good idea to have any chips repaired before they escalate into a more costly matter.


Newsletter Signup

ipad unsplash.com


What else is at risk in a heatwave?

Some of the insurance claims that hot weather has been responsible for include:

  • A man put his laptop and Kindle under his car to keep them out of the sun – he forgot they were there and drove straight over them.
  • Glasses can concentrate sunlight enough to start fires. One claimant found holes burnt into their carpet after leaving their glasses on the floor. Armchairs, laptops and a sewing machine are among other victims of burns caused by sunlight passing through glass objects.
  • Sunglasses getting sat on, stepped on, dropped, driven over, lost overboard on boat trips, and chewed by the dog.
  • Fly-away parasols causing damage to homes, smashing glass garden tables and even mobile phones.


How can you avoid these heatwave hazards?

  • Keep your electronics safe, cool and dry. If you’re moving your electronics out of the sun to keep them cool, move them to a safe location where they can’t be stepped on or worse. A recent warning from Apple says exposure to high temperatures could also permanently shorten the battery life of iPhones.
  • Make sure parasols are secured and closed when not in use, so they can’t be lifted off in the wind.

Barbecue safely

  • If placed too close to a window, the heat from the BBQ could cause it to crack or smash. Similarly, if placed too close to the home, washing line, fence or bushes, it may start a fire.

Whatever you choose to do on these sporadic hot summer days, enjoy the season. Be cautious but also adventurous. The concluding message: have a great, safe summer. And if you need us, just call!

garden parasols

To speak with an advisor about your insurance needs, please contact your personal client manager or, if you’re not already a customer, give our team a call on 0121 248 9440.

Stay up to date with the latest driving news by signing up to the Norton newsletter below: