What insurance do you need for an icy collision?

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It can happen in a matter of moments.

A driver hits a patch of black ice, only to spin out and slam into another car.

However, not all types of insurance will actually pay to cover that kind of crash.

Necessary insurance for weather-related crashes

“If you are in your vehicle and you actually lose control of your car and get into an accident, it would not be covered unless you had collision coverage under your policy,” said Amanda Farmer, the co-founder of A and S Insurance Solutions.

Collision coverage might be necessary for weather-related accidents, but Farmer recommends uninsured motorist coverage as well.

One study estimates that Mississippi had the highest rate of uninsured motorists in 2019, with an estimated 29.4% of drivers hitting the roads without any form of insurance. Tennessee was the third highest, with an estimated 23.7% of drivers foregoing insurance.

“The most important thing is to always have liability insurance and uninsured motorist,” she said. “I think full coverage is good to have, especially if your car is a newer car.”

Also, she cautions drivers to stay on scene until they’ve contacted authorities.

“Always call the police, especially if you know that you are not at fault,” she warned. “You never want to let somebody else say, ‘Oh, we’ll pay for it out of pocket.’”

Protecting your car from off-road damage

You don’t need to hit the streets to damage your vehicle in icy weather.

“You don’t want to just walk up to the door and jerk as hard as you can,” said Brian Murphree at Raleigh Tire.

He said customers can pay up to $200 to fix a broken door handle. Murphree demonstrated how a de-icing spray can speed up the melting process.

Drivers can also use lukewarm water to melt the water, but never use hot water.

He cautioned everyone to stay off the roads until it’s safe.

“If you don’t have to drive, stay home,” he said.