Does auto insurance cover hydroplane accidents?

Depending on your policy, your auto insurance may cover hydroplane accidents. If you get into a single-car hydroplane accident, collision coverage would cover damage to your vehicle. Additionally, if you hit someone else in a hydroplane car accident and are found to be at fault after your insurer investigates the accident, your liability coverage may cover injury to the other party and damage to their vehicle.

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What is hydroplaning?

Hydroplaning happens when a vehicle slides uncontrollably on the wet surface of a road. This occurs when the water that normally flows between your tire treads instead remains between the tires and the street or highway, sometimes combining with oil or other slippery road deposits. During wet conditions, this layer of water can cause drivers to lose control, increasing the chances of hydroplane car accidents.

How many inches of water can cause hydroplaning?

There's no specific amount of water that triggers hydroplaning. Depending on how fast you're traveling, the tread of your tires, and road conditions, even just a small amount of water can lead to hydroplaning.

What happens if hydroplaning causes a single-car accident?

In most single-car accidents, the driver is considered at fault. Collision car insurance coverage may pay for damage to your vehicle, less the cost of your car insurance deductible. If you're injured in the accident, medical payments coverage or personal injury protection (PIP ) may pay for your medical bills. When weather-related factors such as hydroplaning cause a car accident, however, there may be situations when the driver is not at fault. These could include:

  • Manufacturer defects: If your tires or brakes failed because of faulty equipment, the car maker or a specific part manufacturer might be responsible.
  • Dangerous road conditions: If you hydroplane and crash because the road was in poor condition, and there wasn't proper signage indicating hazards, you may be able to file a claim against the city or town responsible for road maintenance.

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