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Winter weather and car insurance

When harsh winter weather throws snow, ice, and other cold driving conditions at you, it's important to understand what is and isn't covered by your auto insurance. Here, we'll answer some of the top questions about winter weather and car insurance.

woman clearing snow off of car

Do I need special car insurance for winter?

No. While winter weather increases the odds of a being in a collision, there isn't a specific insurance coverage you can buy when the temperature outside plunges. However, reviewing your auto insurance before winter is a good idea.

For example, you may want to think about raising your liability limits or lowering your Comprehensive and/or Collision deductibles based on how much you drive.

Will my car insurance cover winter weather-related accidents?

Yes, but it depends on the type of coverage you have. Collision can cover hitting other vehicles or objects. Therefore, if your car slides on ice and hits another car, you'll have coverage. Comprehensive Coverage helps protect against damage to your car caused by non-collision events outside of your control. For example, a tree, heavy with snow, falls on your parked car damaging your windshield. In this case, Comprehensive could help with the damage.

Is there specific coverage for snow and ice?

Winter weather or not, if you have Collision Coverage, it can help cover damage to your car if it's involved in a covered claim. For example, you car slides on black ice and hits the side of a fence causing damage to your car, Collision Coverage would help with repairs to your car. The damage to the fence would be covered by your Liability Coverage.

What about falling trees and ice?

Falling objects, like tree limbs and heavy ice aren't covered by your policy's Collision Coverage. This type of winter weather damage requires Comprehensive Coverage.

Comprehensive Coverage can help protect your car from weather related damage and/or hitting an animal. For example, claims from falling ice, tree limbs, or other winter damages such as hail or icicles, are covered under Comprehensive.

Is there coverage for a broken or cracked windshield caused by cold winter weather?

Broken windshields caused by winter-related things like ice or hail are also covered under your auto policy's Comprehensive Coverage.

However, if your windshield is damaged due to hitting another vehicle or tree, it may fall under your Collision Coverage. Contact your insurance company or agent to review your coverage.

Will the 24-Hour Roadside Assistance on my auto insurance policy cover me in winter weather?

Yes. Having 24-hour Roadside Assistance on your auto insurance policy will provide you with coverage for things like towing you out of an icy ditch or a battery jumpstart in cold temperatures.

Roadside assistance is a great way to make sure you have the help you need when you need it—regardless of the season. Keep in mind, this coverage is optional, and would need to be added separately.

Winter safety tips

Winter weather is unpredictable but there are a few things you can do to help avoid accidents or claims.

  • Know the weather in your area and check road conditions before heading out.
  • Avoid parking under objects that can fall on your car, like trees and building awnings. When possible, park in covered areas.
  • Consider snow tires for better traction in the wintertime, especially if you live in an area where the winters are harsh.
  • While driving, give other vehicles plenty of space in case there is black ice on the road.
  • Ensure that you have enough time to stop on a wintery road by driving as slow as weather conditions require.
Learn more about car insurance coverages and the scenarios they cover

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Please note: Information presented on this page is intended to be general information about insurance and is not specific to Liberty Mutual policies. Policies and coverages vary by state and insurer. Contact your insurance company to understand specifics regarding your policy and coverages.