Bad Weather: Are You Covered?


Bad weather could hit us anytime and if you live in the United States or even Canada, then you’re not immune to it. Lately, Europe and now the greater America suffered from heavy snowfall and widespread flooding – don’t you think it’s about time to talk to your insurance company? We think this is necessary just to make certain that they (the insurers) got your back covered in case you end up sliding down the slippery road.

Weather Disturbance: Claims and More

The idea of minimum liability is simple: pay the other party in case you’re at fault. This means that if you hit a patch of ice, slide down the road, broke your car’s windshield, side mirrors and whatnot after hitting a tree, you get nothing. On the other hand, if you’re carrying full coverage auto insurance, you’re generally safe. Your insurer will cover all future repair costs or the most, replace its entirety.

Filing a Weather-Related Insurance Claim

Your state has the power to control what insurance companies will honor or not. Usually, you file a claim because someone hit your bumper and your car skidded in the curve before finally hitting a mailbox. In this case, investigations are carried over to determine who’s at fault. During such unfortunate event where you’re at fault, expect an increased premium rates next time around or if your state’s law allows it, the policy is cancelled in favor to your insurer.

To help us understand about weather-related claims, let’s take Alabama as our example.

We all know that if you live in the west coast or in New England, you’re enjoying consumer-friendly laws as compared with the southern states. Of course, there is one notable exception – Alabama.

Insurance regulators in that state acknowledged that weather-related accidents are totally beyond the control of the driver himself. This means that insurers are not allowed to raise premiums, cancels or forbids a driver from renewing his policy based on such incident.

What insurers did as a workaround for weather-related claims is to impose the so-called “surcharges.” Even so, these types of charges will soon be eradicated starting February of this year for all policies including the new ones. However, keep in mind that insurers still have the power to cease any discounts that a customer could have enjoyed if he fails to file any claims.

So, what do we do now?

Stormy winter weather is here again, so our advice is to have some conversation with your insurance provider. Make sure you understand what particular scenarios are covered or not and what they can do about it. If you think that adding more coverage to protect you in the coming months, then go for it. If budget is tight, consider using public transportation service in the meantime and just wait for the bad weather to pass by.

If driving through the bad weather is inevitable, always go slow and don’t drive late. Whenever possible, minimize using breaks by driving in lower gear. In case you hit a patch of ice and your car is skidding, drive towards the direction of the skid and not against it.