In my opinion, if your gutters are installed correctly it should be impossible for them to be damaged by ice or snow. Your gutters should be mounted lower. If you take a straight edge and lay it on your roof so that it carries out past the edge, the gutters must be mounted below that. That way water will still go into them, but sheets of ice and snow will just slide on by without ripping them off. Anyone mounting gutters in cold climates should know this. It is pretty basic stuff.