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10 winter driving hazards and your car insurance

SnowplowSevere 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, 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 $297; for comprehensive, it’s $139, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).

Here are 10 seasonal scenarios, with what you should know about insurance:


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