Does Auto Insurance Cover Snow and Ice Damage?

Motorists need to have full coverage car insurance if they want to be protected from weather related damages in all seasons including winter. State required Liability policies only compensate for injuries and damages insured vehicles cause to other people and doesn’t include any physical damage provision for own auto. However, Comprehensive coverage together with Collision pay for snow and ice related losses and they come with a full policy. Both have deductibles.

Snowy and icy conditions can cause problems on the roads and even where a vehicle parked snug under a tree. It may cause accidents due to poor visibility or icy, slippery roads. Also, build-up snow can fall on automobiles causing damages. The way damages occurred determines which portion of a vehicle insurance policy would pay.

If a policyholder has an accident due to snow, ice or bad winter weather, Collision coverage deals with repairs or written off automobiles. Usually, it doesn’t matter how the accident happened and even if you were to blame. Collision compensates for the losses from the resulting accident. It pays for fixing it if the auto is repairable. And it pays for its market value if it is determined to be beyond repair and totaled by loss adjuster. In both cases, there is a deductible to be paid or come out of the settlement.

If you were at fault in the accident and there were others involved, you may be liable to pay for damages and injuries you caused to other people. Then, your liability coverage will come in and compensate those people up to your liability limits. Bodily Injury Liability Coverage would pay for the injuries. And the Property Damage portion would pay for any damages you caused to other people’s cars, fences or other properties.

At fault accidents tend to cause large premium increases at the next renewal but that would be a problem to deal with then. Even if it was totally due to bad weather, policyholders would at least lose their no claim discount. That alone can raise rates a bit.

Snow and ice can cause direct damages by falling onto your automobile, in which case Comprehensive coverage would pay for the damages, minus the deductible. Perhaps, policyholders should check how much is the damage before they open a claim file. If it is a small damage, they may be able to pay out of pocket and avoid making a claim, which can allow them to keep their discounts. If the roof of the car caved in because of snow, damages would be much larger than the deductible and they can use their insurance.

Motorists are more exposed to accidents in winter climates due to perilous road conditions, increased automobile malfunctions, reduced visibility, and freezing temperatures.

Ice can reduce tire traction, increase assertive braking, and lead to poor negotiation of curves. Black ice and reduced daylight are other problems.

Experienced drivers would try their best to adapt to changing weather by reducing traveling speed and raising following distance. However, even them may fail to react to fast changing conditions. But you have vehicle insurance coverage for all weather conditions. Companies integrate weather related losses in their premium calculations.

Obviously if a liability only car insurance policy is chosen there won’t be any coverage for physical damages to your own automobile. If you want to be fully protected for most damages your vehicle can suffer you need to arrange a full policy. Even if you think it would be too expensive for you to afford, you should still get a few quotes before giving up on coverage, which can help in the above-described situations.