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Written by:
Shivani Gite
Contributing Writer
Shivani Gite is a personal finance and insurance writer with a degree in journalism and mass communication. She is passionate about making insurance topics easy to understand for people and helping them make better financial decisions. When not writing, you can find her reading a book or watching anime.
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Reviewed by:
Laura Longero
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Executive Editor
Laura is an award-winning editor with experience in content and communications covering auto insurance and personal finance. She has written for several media outlets, including the USA Today Network. She most recently worked in the public sector for the Nevada Department of Transportation.

Comprehensive is the portion of your physical damage coverage that covers events that are “other than collision.” So, if you purposely drove your vehicle on ice, for instance, to park and go ice fishing, your comprehensive coverage would pay for repair or replacement, assuming you have it.  A collision could possibly be used if your accident started with a collision on a roadway where your car was pushed onto the ice or your car flipped and ended up on the ice.

It’s possible that your car insurance policy might not cover this situation at all due to an exclusion for off-road recreational activity. If your policy says this, your insurer’s definition of this phrase would determine if driving on ice would be covered.

You should contact your insurer before driving or parking on ice. Verify with your insurer that your comprehensive coverage will cover your vehicle. And ask your car insurance company if the extraction of your vehicle will be covered. If you have to pay for this on your own, it can be pricey — $2,000 to $6,000 on average.

Don’t be surprised if once your car is retrieved if it’s found to be a total loss due to the water damage to the engine, electrical system, etc. If this is the case, you’ll receive actual cash value (ACV) for your vehicle instead of having it repaired.  The car would then be given a salvage title and go to your insurer.

If you had an older vehicle with only liability coverage on it and it fell through the ice, then you’d have no coverage and be personally responsible for the extraction of your vehicle and the repair (or disposal) of your vehicle.

— Penny Gusner contributed to this story.

Laura Longero

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Laura Longero

Executive Editor

Laura is an award-winning editor with experience in content and communications covering auto insurance and personal finance. She has written for several media outlets, including the USA Today Network. She most recently worked in the public sector for the Nevada Department of Transportation.

John McCormick

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John McCormick

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John is the editorial director for CarInsurance.com, Insurance.com and Insure.com. Before joining QuinStreet, John was a deputy editor at The Wall Street Journal and had been an editor and reporter at a number of other media outlets where he covered insurance, personal finance, and technology.

Leslie Kasperowicz

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Leslie Kasperowicz

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Leslie Kasperowicz is an insurance educator and content creation professional with nearly two decades of experience first directly in the insurance industry at Farmers Insurance and then as a writer, researcher, and educator for insurance shoppers writing for sites like ExpertInsuranceReviews.com and InsuranceHotline.com and managing content, now at CarInsurance.com.

Nupur Gambhir

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Nupur Gambhir

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Nupur Gambhir is a content editor and licensed life, health, and disability insurance expert. She has extensive experience bringing brands to life and has built award-nominated campaigns for travel and tech. Her insurance expertise has been featured in Bloomberg News, Forbes Advisor, CNET, Fortune, Slate, Real Simple, Lifehacker, The Financial Gym, and the end-of-life planning service.

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Contributing Writer

Shivani Gite is a personal finance and insurance writer with a degree in journalism and mass communication. She is passionate about making insurance topics easy to understand for people and helping them make better financial decisions. When not writing, you can find her reading a book or watching anime.