Does Weather Impact Car Insurance?

Posted: August 5, 2022

weather related accidents

Lake-effect snow, white-out conditions, black ice, high-wind warnings, and driving bans are all too common in this part of the state. While Western New Yorkers tend to pride themselves on an ability to handle winter weather conditions, do those conditions affect car insurance rates?   

Car Insurance Rates and Bad Weather 

According to the Insurance Information Institute, car insurance rates are affected by a number of factors, including driving record, location, age, credit, and the car driven. For example, drivers who live in big cities may have higher auto insurance rates than those who reside in small towns.   

The Insurance Information Institute also suggests that “weather trends” can also influence the cost of insurance premiums. Areas that are prone to severe weather conditions such as tornadoes, flooding, hail storms, and heavy snowfall, may have more instances of car accidents and vehicle damage than areas that see less extreme weather. That could affect insurance rates because the risk of insuring a vehicle in an area with extreme weather could be seen as increased. 

Weather-Related Claims and Your Insurance 

Another way weather can impact car insurance is if you have an accident or file a claim due to weather-related damage. 

Insurance Claims Where the Insured is at Fault : 

According to Car and Driver if someone is involved in an accident during a severe weather event and found to be at fault, insurance rates may increase when the policy renews. While you cannot control the weather, you can generally control whether you operate your vehicle in a safe manner, taking into account road conditions. 

Insurance claims where the insured is not at fault: 

According to Car and Driver, if someone is involved in an auto accident that was not their fault, car insurance premiums will likely not be affected unless there are other circumstances—such as a prior at fault accident—that can justify a premium increase. In other words, there is no definitive answer: whether premiums increase may depend on the insurer and the driver’s record. Every situation is unique, especially considering that New York is a no-fault state, where claims can be made with insurance companies whose insureds may not be responsible for causing the accident .   

What Can You Do to Potentially Mitigate the Effects of Inclement Weather? 

If you live in an area that experiences slippery, snowy roads, regular hail storms, or winter weather driving conditions, you may be at an increased risk of being involved in a car accident during winter months. If you are not inclined to move to a region with a milder climate just to reduce your insurance rates, here are a few things to consider: 

  1. Protecting your vehicle from potential weather-related accidents. Drive safely and take the necessary precautions. Generally speaking, the less insurance claims you make, the lower your rates can be. Keeping the car winter-ready and staying aware of potential weather-related risks will help increase the chance of safe driving.
  2. Checking your policy to make sure you’re covered for weather damage. Collision and liability insurance can help protect you in case of a winter-weather collision. Supplementary uninsured/underinsured motorist (“SUM”) protection can help protect you, your passengers, and family members with whom you reside from financially irresponsible drivers who do not have insurance coverage or lack sufficient insurance coverage.
  3. Looking for discounts to offset the added cost of living in a severe weather area. If you know your insurance rates are high, it might be helpful to find discounts and deals for reduced rates due to good driving, added safety features on your vehicle, driver safety courses, and more. 

Hurt in a Winter Weather Car Accident? Call William Mattar

Despite all preparation and precaution, sometimes we just cannot predict what the weather will bring. If you do find yourself injured in a weather-related accident, finding legal help can go a long way. 

At William Mattar P.C. we focus on helping people recover from personal injuries after motor vehicle accidents. With more than 25 years of experience representing thousands of injured victims like you, we know auto accident law. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident in winter weather, we’re here to help. 

Call our office any time at  (716)444-4444, or visit our website to fill out a contact form or chat with us directly. 


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