AA car insurance claims are up 40 per cent for December, the insurer has reported, due to the bad weather conditions and a lack of goodwill amongst drivers on the UK's icy roads.
Recent snow fall and freezing conditions have left many of Britain's roads resembling an ice rink, and many drivers who have been forced to abandon their vehicles are having to make a claim on their car insurance because of damage done to them by other drivers.
Many car owners are finding that their cars have been damaged or even broken into, returning to pick up their cars to find them wrecked or scratched by other drivers or stolen by opportunistic thieves.
One driver returned to pick up his car to find that it had been destroyed by another much larger vehicle crashing into it, but no note was left by the offending driver for car insurance purposes.
Commenting on recent events, Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, said: "There's no worse Christmas gift than finding someone has left a dent or scrape on your car and not left a note to admit it."
He added: "I would appeal to the conscience of drivers who do accidentally collide with a parked or abandoned vehicle to leave the best Christmas card possible - a note with your contact details so that insurers can sort out the claims."
AA car insurance has also experienced the first claims of this winter for instances where cars have been left to warm up with the engine running, only for the owner to return hoping to find a defrosted car, but instead finding that it has been stolen.
"Every winter we have to deal with a spate of such thefts," Mr Douglas said. "There is evidence that organised criminals wait for just this kind of opportunity to steal cars, especially upmarket ones, which are otherwise almost impossible to take without the keys."
Mr Douglas warns against leaving vehicles unattended, because a car insurance company wil "almost always" reject such a claim on the grounds that they are specifically excluded from policies.
"Never, ever let your car warm up on your drive without being present. Far better to use de-icer and scrapers. It also uses much less fuel," Mr Douglas added.
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