In the last two weeks motorists involved in 'chain reaction' crashes caused by multiple winter storms are learning that they need comprehensive coverage. If you don't know what you've got, now's the time to check.

Winter Storm Cleon raked through much of the U.S. last week, bringing freezing conditions to—among others—Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee as the weather system barreled eastward.

Winter Storm Dion struck over the past weekend and ended Wednesday but the storm won’t dissipate before leaving more of its own tangled mess on the roads.

Earlier this week, 'Dion' dumped so much snow on the mid-Atlantic U.S. that it snarled the morning commute for I-95 drivers there and forced a federal shutdown for many offices in Washington, D.C., where local news station WUSA9 reported “tons of minor accidents all around” surrounding areas and “slipping, especially on ramps.”

Unfortunate motorists who’ve been involved in weather-induced collisions or had their vehicle damaged by the wintertime conditions, will have to lean on their car insurance coverage for post-crash protection.

With winter not yet even set to start until next week, drivers without comprehensive or collision coverage are urged to get auto insurance quotes for those optional policy add-ons so that they can ensure protection when disaster strikes in upcoming months.

Here is the skinny from on how snow- and ice-caused crashes and damage can be covered by those types of vehicle coverage (deductibles apply to all forms of coverage).

In Plano, Tex., CNN reported on a Youtube video from local Nicole Jaime. The clip showed that Cleon’s heavy snowfall froze sheets of ice atop Jaime’s apartment building, only to send those sheets tumbling five stories down onto a vehicle’s roof when conditions warmed.

CNN report showed a number of other similar instances, and local news station WFAA reported that dozens of vehicles were damaged.

Those drivers can rest easier if they are policyholders with comprehensive coverage. In this wintertime wonderland, the Insurance Information Institute (III) said in an advisory that optional form of protection would likely come into use when a policyholder’s vehicle is damaged by:
?heavy wind
?fallen ice or tree limbs

In Massachusetts, the Worcester Telegram reported that car insurers there are in the midst of dealing with car insurance claims from the recent 65-car pileup on I-290.

A Worcester-based insurer told the Telegram that policyholders with collision insurance can expect their auto insurance company to foot the bill, minus the deductible. According to the III, collision coverage compensates policyholders for damage to their own vehicle from:
?flipping over
?colliding with another vehicle
?colliding with an object
?driving into potholes

The Institute also highlighted property damage protection, a portion of the liability coverage that drivers are required to have to be on the road. Property damage liability coverage “pays for damage” caused, according to the III, “to someone else’s property caused by ice, snow and slippery roads.”

The Institute listed these instances when property damage liability comes into play:
?Damage to other cars
?Damage to lamp posts and telephone poles
?Damage to fences, buildings or other structures that the vehicle may strike

For peace of mind, make sure you've got 'comprehensive coverage.'