without snow tires, are you covered by your insurance in the event of an accident?


The fitting of chains is made compulsory (or another device such as snow socks or winter tyres) in areas where the B 58 sign is displayed. Photo DR

Let’s start with a reminder. The mountain law aims to improve the safety of motorists on snow-covered or icy roads in order to avoid the blockage of traffic axes if vehicles are unable to free themselves.

As a result of this law, all vehicles with four or more wheels (car, utility vehicle, truck, bus, etc.) must have at least one of these items of equipment: winter tires or removable anti-skid devices, snow chains or socks. This concerns 48 departments.

From 1er November to March 31

As of November 1, the tires must be installed and/or the equipment must be present in the user’s trunk, until March 31. During this period, the police can carry out checks to verify that the driver is in good standing.

If last year was a period of learning, it’s a safe bet that the controls this year will be followed by a possible verbalization. In the event of lack of suitable equipment, the sentence is €135, i.e. a fourth-category fine. But that’s not all.

The insurer may refuse to compensate a loss if the vehicle is not fitted with winter tires or removable anti-skid devices at the time of the accident.  Photo DR

The insurer may refuse to compensate a loss if the vehicle is not fitted with winter tires or removable anti-skid devices at the time of the accident. Photo DR

What are the consequences in the event of an accident?

If you are the victim of an accident and your vehicle is not equipped, your insurance may not cover the damage. He may also ask for proof that the wheels were fitted with approved tires or removable anti-skid devices to cover the claim.

If the equipment was not present, the guarantees provided for in the contract may not be supported. Ditto for the support contract. All of this should be checked with your insurance contact.

Pay attention to the equipment!

Let us also draw your attention to another aspect of the consequences of the Montagne law. If you are not concerned by the provisions of the law but you have to cross one of the 48 departments concerned, you have an obligation to comply with the law: the equipment is compulsory.

This is also the case for driving in the municipalities where the prefect has decided to enforce this decree, even if you live in an area that is not subject to the obligation.

Finally, for workers, company vehicles must be equipped with the same devices. In the event of an accident, the criminal liability of the person in charge of the company will be engaged, but the offense will be borne by the employee.

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