Does insurance cover black ice?

Yes, your car insurance can cover damage from black ice accidents, depending on your coverages and the circumstances. Collision coverage can cover damage to your vehicle in a black ice car crash with another vehicle or stationary object. If you were at fault in the accident, your liability coverage would pay for damage and injuries you caused to others. And if someone else were at fault in a black ice accident, their liability coverage would cover your damages.

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Does comprehensive insurance cover black ice accidents?

Comprehensive insurance doesn't typically cover black ice accidents, but collision and liability can. Comprehensive auto coverage is for damage to your car resulting from unexpected events that aren't collisions. So comprehensive might cover damage to your vehicle from falling ice, hail, or other non-collision events.

How does car insurance cover black ice accidents?

Coverage for black ice accidents will depend on who hit the black ice and caused the accident.

  • If you slide on black ice

    If you hit a patch of black ice and crash into another vehicle, a tree, or another stationary object, your auto collision coverage may pay for repairs to your vehicle minus your deductible.

    If you hit another vehicle after you slide on black ice, your auto liability insurance can cover the other party's damages and injuries, just like in any other car accident you cause.

  • If another driver slides on black ice

    If another driver crashes into your vehicle after sliding on black ice, their liability coverage could pay for your resulting injuries and property damage through a third-party claim.

Who is at fault in accidents caused by black ice?

The driver who slides on black ice is typically considered at fault in the black ice accident. The presence of black ice may cause drivers to think that they're not at fault in causing a crash, but black ice accidents are typically treated the same way as any other motor vehicle crash — drivers are expected to exercise appropriate caution to prevent themselves from crashing in potentially icy conditions. So if you cause a crash with another vehicle, whether ice is present or not, you may be considered the at-fault driver.

What happens if your car hits black ice?

Hitting a patch of black ice can cause your tires to temporarily lose traction and skid when turning, accelerating, or applying the brakes.

If you feel your car is skidding on black ice, follow these steps:

  1. Try to remain calm
  2. Take your foot off the gas (don't slam on the brakes)
  3. Keep the wheel as straight as you can
  4. If you start to skid or fishtail, gently and slightly turn the wheel in the same direction your back wheels are sliding
  5. Do not turn sharply or overcorrect the wheel
  6. Turn on your hazards and let your car come to a stop

Slow down once you get on dry pavement again. AAA recommends increasing your driving distance between cars to five or six seconds to give you plenty of space to stop.

Black ice gets its name from being hard to see. And the Federal Highway Administration reports that more than 70% of U.S. roads are located in regions where snow and ice occur. About 24% of weather-related crashes occur yearly on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement, and 15% during snowfall or sleet. If you have to drive in wintry conditions, follow these winter driving tips.

If you live in a state that frequently hits freezing, consider getting collision coverage if you hit black ice and damage your car. Learn more about car insurance in the following states prone to winter weather:

Get collision coverage to protect your car from black ice damage

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