There are a lot of misconceptions about if your vehicle goes through the ice on a body of water. I've heard things from it absolutely doesn't cover it, to people claiming it's a once-in-a-lifetime coverage, to claiming it's covered all the time. So, I reached out to a local expert to get to the bottom of it.

Tough year for Minnesota + Wisconsin Lakes

It's been a bad year for vehicles going through the ice in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The entire region saw a bunch of snow early in the season, followed by warmer temperatures. Slushy, thin ice has formed on Minnesota and Wisconsin Lakes. On most lakes, you still can't drive on with a pickup truck and it's February. Some of the northern Lakes have had thicker ice, but trucks have still been falling through on Lake Of The Woods. Just last week a video went viral of a vehicle going through the ice on a Wisconsin lake.

Truck retrieval isn't cheap, plus there are fines from the DNR. But then what about your vehicle? Does insurance cover the damage or a replacement?

What The Insurance Experts Say

I reached out to my friend Charlie Johnson with Holden Insurance in Superior, Wisconsin. I was surprised at his short answer: If you have comprehensive coverage in most cases it is covered. 

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What? All these years I've been hearing different rumors and didn't know it was that simple. Charlie says that you should be sure to check your policy, but as long as it's comprehensive it should be covered. In some policies, it will even cover the cost of retrieving your vehicle from the lake bottom!

It's pretty interesting to see how divers and teams get these vehicles out. Can you imagine diving down in freezing, murky water to hook up a truck?

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Here's a pretty interesting video on how it's done, from start to finish.

Charlie mentioned it was funny that I brought it up, because he and another agent, Nick Korhonen with American Family were just talking the other day about the misconceptions. He said that most of his customers were unaware that their vehicles were covered if they went through the ice.

What About The Once-In-A-Lifetime Coverage Rumor?

I had to ask about this rumor because I'd heard it forever. Charlie says that there is no such thing as once-in-a-lifetime coverage. But, common sense should be used. If you are repeatedly putting your truck through the ice, your insurance company may drop you. I mean, could you blame them?

Be safe out there, check ice conditions, and maybe check your policy just to be sure!

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