Compulsory winter tires: does your insurance cover you if you are not equipped?

The application of the mountain law comes into force this Tuesday, November 1st. It is mandatory to have special equipment in several municipalities and departments affected by the decree. No sanction is foreseen but beware of your insurance.

On November 1, motorists traveling on the roads of 34 departments will be required to adopt the winter equipment required. Winter tyres, chains, socks… There are many authorized devices, as we reminded you this Monday morning.

A lack of support?

This year, the obligation should not be sanctioned by the police. On the other hand, it is likely that your insurer will not cover you in the event of an accident if you are not equipped. “Insurance may not cover damage if the vehicle is not equipped with approved tires or chain in the event of an accident”, assures a spokesperson for the insurer Leocare at BFM TV. The equipment obligation therefore applies even without verbalization on the insurance side.

The absence noted by the insurer of these tools is only one of the many reasons which can lead to a cancellation or a reduction of compensation during an accident.

It all depends on the context

But then, how can the insurer note the violation of the traffic rules in the territories concerned? “The insured is required to send us the detailed elements of his claim, supporting photos. An expertise or a tele-expertise (remote expertise) can help to contextualize the claim”, assures Leocare to our colleagues.

However, insurers often show leniency and pragmatism in their decisions. If the context demonstrates a partial or minimal involvement of weather conditions, the lack of equipment would not be sanctioned. This is what Christophe Dandois of Leocare assures in any case: “If, during the incident, the expert indicates that there is no correlation between the cause of the accident and the non-use of tires winter, due to mild weather, this point will not be raised.”

To be sure of being covered in the event of a claim under these conditions, it is best to reread your contract and seek advice from your insurer if in doubt.

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