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

The application of the mountain law comes into effect this Tuesday, November 1. It is mandatory to have special equipment in several municipalities and departments affected by the decree. No penalty is foreseen, but be careful with your insurance.

On 1 November, motorists traveling on the roads in 34 departments must put the necessary winter equipment into use. Winter tires, chains, socks… There are many authorized units that we reminded this Monday morning.

Lack of support?

This year, the commitment will not be sanctioned by the police. On the other hand, it is likely that your insurance company 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 spokesman for the insurance company Leocare BFM TV. The property obligation therefore also applies without verbalization on the insurance side.

The absence noticed by the insurance company of these tools is only one of the many reasons that can lead to a cancellation or a reduction of compensation during an accident.

It all depends on the context

But how can the insurance company ascertain the violation of the traffic rules in the areas in question? “The insured is obliged to send us the detailed elements of his claim, supporting images. An expertise or a tele-expertise (remote expertise) can help contextualize the claim”, Leocare assures our colleagues.

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

To make sure you are covered in the event of a claim under these conditions, it is best to re-read your contract and seek advice from your insurance company if in doubt.

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