This winter, will your insurance cover you in case of damage if you are not equipped?

As if the end of the mountain law’s “tolerance period” was not enough, another problem is starting to crop up: compensation in case of damage if your car is not equipped with winter tires. equipment required to travel in Haute-Loire during the period from 1 November to 31 March.

Compulsory snow tires in Haute-Loire: our answers to your questions

While most insurers seem quite conciliatory on the matter, explaining that “no official directive has been communicated at the moment”, some new insurers (especially offering fully digital services) do not hesitate to sound the alarm. This is the case with Leocare online insurance.

“It is important to respect this law and to equip your vehicle correctly in order to drive safely. Some insurance companies may choose not to cover an injured driver if he is not properly equipped. This can therefore be accompanied by heavy financial consequences and invalidate the compensation for their requirements for individuals”.

Christophe Dandois (Leocare)

And that’s not all. In the event of a claim, insurers may even ask for proof that the wheels on your vehicle were fitted with approved tires or special equipment now required by law. Some insurance companies may reserve the right not to apply the contract’s coverage guarantees.

Snow tires, chains, socks, which equipment to choose?

Always, according to Leocare, “the insurance expert will be able to check whether the condition of the road at the time of the accident required the installation of chains or socks”.

Bring proof of equipment

On the traditional insurance side, the comments are more nuanced. On Maif’s page it is explained, for example, that “at the moment there has been no information in relation to this new law. If we take the case of Luxembourg, where the equipment is mandatory, it has no impact on our care. The contracts will maybe develop, but at the moment that is not the case”.
To be sure of being well compensated in the event of a claim, members should carefully check the general conditions of their contracts.

Christopher Coffey

Extended tolerance

In the prefectural decree of 2021, it is clearly specified that the equipment obligation, if limited in time (over the winter period, from November 1 to March 31), is “valid every year”. No 135 euro fine, at least for the next few weeks. The government decided on Friday 28 October to delay the measure on mandatory winter equipment for driving in mountain areas. Tolerance and pedagogy will prevail until the end of 2022 before the repressive measures.


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