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Mountain law. Are you without winter tires covered by your insurance in the event of an accident?


Fitting of chains is mandatory (or other 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 Act aims at improve the safety of motorists on snow-covered or icy roads to avoid blocking 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 pieces of equipment: winter tires or removable anti-skid devices, chains or snow socks. This concerns 48 departments.

From 1eh November to 31 March

From 1 November, the tires must be fitted and/or the equipment must be present in the user’s luggage compartment, until 31 March. During this period, the police may carry out checks to verify that the driver is in good condition.

If last year was a learning period, it is certain that the control this year will be followed by a possible verbalization. In case of lack of suitable equipment, the penalty is €135, i.e. a fine in the fourth category. But that’s not all.

The insurance company may refuse to cover a loss if the vehicle is not equipped with winter tires or removable anti-skid devices at the time of the accident.  Photo DR

The insurance company may refuse to cover a loss if the vehicle is not equipped 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 involved in 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 warranties 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 affected by the provisions of the law, but you have to cross one of the 48 affected departments, you have an obligation to comply with the law: the equipment is mandatory.

This is also the case for driving in the municipalities where the prefect has decided to enforce this order, even if you live in an area that is not covered by the duty.

Finally, for workers, company cars must be equipped with the same devices. In the event of an accident, the person responsible for the company is held criminally liable, but the fault rests with the employee.

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