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Insured without winter tires
Home Blog Am I insured without winter tires?

Am I insured without winter tires?

Dec 29, 2016
3 min reading time

It's questionable whether we'll get another real winter, but it's the time of year for winter tires. Are you insured without these tires? And what about abroad?

Being well prepared on the road during the winter months is very important. How do you winterize your car?
The added value of winter tires in winter conditions is not disputed. Due to a different composition, winter tires perform better in cold weather. There is no need for snow. Already at temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius, winter tires do a better job than summer tires. Still, you are not obliged to put them on your car. At least not in the Netherlands.

What happens in an accident?

With winter tires, you are less likely to have an accident in winter. These tires remain softer in cold weather than tires not specifically designed for winter. More grip means better handling and safety. In an accident, it makes no difference to the liability issue what type of tires are under the car. For example, in black ice, you are more likely to lose grip on the road with summer tires. Car insurance companies do not pay attention to this. But in many other countries they are mandatory in winter conditions.

What about in the countries surrounding us?

The Netherlands and Belgium do not have mandatory winter tires. On the contrary, they are mandatory in Germany and Luxembourg. In Germany, you have to adapt your car to winter conditions. Do you drive in the snow in Germany? Then you risk a fine. But that's not the biggest danger. When causing an accident, the misery really begins. As the driver of the car without winter tires, you can be held liable for the accident. In the case of a damage with injuries, the damage costs can be substantial.

Also winter tires in winter sports countries

In Austria, they are very strict on offenders. If you don't have winter tires on your car in the period between Nov. 1 and April 15, you risk a fine of up to 5,000 euros. Your car can even be impounded. In Switzerland, they won't fine you, but just make sure you don't get involved in an accident with summer tires in winter. In France, winter tires are mandatory only if it is indicated by road signs. It is difficult to comply with this obligation if you are already on the road.

Not required in the Netherlands, but recommended

It is not mandatory to put winter tires on your car, but you are taking great risks. You would do it just because of the long braking distance of summer tires in winter conditions. With winter tires, the braking distance averages 30 meters; with summer tires, the braking distance is 65 meters.

When are snow chains mandatory?

Snow chains are mandatory in several European countries. This is indicated by signs. We have listed for you the countries where snow chains are or are not required.

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