Types Of Insurance Coverage You Need For Winter Weather-Related Accidents

When winter strikes and brings with it treacherous driving conditions, it's important to have the necessary auto insurance coverage in place in the event you are involved in a weather-related accident. While there are a wide variety of policy options available, there are basic types of coverage you should definitely carry.

Collision Coverage

Weather conditions such as snow, ice, and fog can hamper your ability to see while driving. Some conditions may even cause you to lose control of your vehicle. If poor driving conditions lead you to be involved in a motor vehicle accident and you collide with another vehicle or slide and run into a tree, utility pole or other object, you will need to have collision coverage.

If you are the driver at fault, even if the accident is weather-related, you will be responsible for paying the cost of damages to any property and/or other vehicles involved in the crash. Without collision coverage, you may be liable for paying for the damages to your and/or another vehicle out of your own pocket.

Liability Insurance Coverage

Being the driver at fault for an accident also may make you liable for paying the medical expenses for anyone injured in the accident. It won't matter that you slid on black ice. But if you don't have liability auto insurance, you won't have the coverage you need and likely will find yourself facing stiff penalties under your state's laws. Since most state laws require that all drivers have liability coverage, you also may find yourself in court being sued, especially if someone is seriously injured in an accident for which you are at fault.

An exception is if you live in a no-fault insurance state. Only in certain circumstances, such as if a person's medical expenses exceed that state's threshold amount, can you be sued even if you caused the accident. Generally, in a no-fault state, drivers must file claims with their own insurance companies. But if you are injured in a single-vehicle collision, like one caused by your vehicle sliding on ice or down a snowy hill, you need to have personal injury protection for your insurer to pay your medical bills.

Comprehensive Coverage

Even if your vehicle is damaged when you slide on black ice, not all insurance companies classify the accident as a collision. Many policies only cover if another vehicle is involved. In that case, you would need comprehensive coverage to pay for the cost of repairs to your vehicle.

Winter weather can bring with it other potential problems for drivers. Damage to your vehicle caused by heavy winds or ice falling during a winter storm would be covered if your auto insurance policy includes comprehensive coverage. For more information, talk to a professional like Oliveira Gilbert C Insurance Agency Inc.