Severe winter weather conditions can cause mishaps while you're on the road, and once you’re over the initial drama, the next thing you may be wondering is: will my car insurance cover me? Here we explain the role car insurance plays in covering common road incidents during snowy, windy and icy weather.
In most cases, optional collision coverage will repair any damages to your car coming from a weather-related accident. Your liability coverage would pay for damage you cause to other cars. Comprehensive insurance, which is also optional, pays to repair your car if it's damaged by hail, falling icicles or a snow-heavy branches. Both coverages pay out up to the actual cash value of your car, after your deductible.
"If you're behind the wheel during a snowstorm and slide on ice and crash, then it would be a collision claim for your car's damages," explains Penny Gusner, senior consumer analyst for CarInsurance.com. "Collision covers your vehicle, minus your deductible, when it hits, or is hit by, another vehicle or object. But if a storm causes a monster icicle to fall on your car, smashing the windshield, then comprehensive would cover the damage, again minus your deductible."
These optional coverages are fairly affordable. The average yearly cost for collision is $526; for comprehensive, it’s $192, based on an rate analyst by CarInsurance.com's staff of experts. Given that the majority of drivers live in areas with wintry conditions, opting for these additional coverages is recommended.
Winter driving statistics
Over 70% of the nation's roads are located in snowy regions, which receive more than five inches of snowfall annually, on average, according to the Federal Highway Safety Administration (FHWA).
Winter driving statitistics from FHWA say that 24% of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy or icy pavement and 15%happen during snowfall or sleet. Over 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 people are injured in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy or icy pavement annually. Every year, nearly 900 people are killed and nearly 76,000 people are injured in vehicle crashes during snowfall or sleet.
Here are 10 seasonal scenarios, with what you should know about insurance: