car accidents

Do I Have Enough Collision Insurance?

Car insurance is expensive – we get it. You don’t want to pay more than you have to. But you also don’t want to compound the challenge of an accident with additional expenses. Don’t pay for coverage that you never use, but don’t pay too little and end up paying too much out of pocket. Make sure that you have enough coverage if you are insured for collisions.

The Basics of Collision Coverage

Collision insurance covers you for repair bills caused by collisions. The plan does not cover you for thefts, explosions or damages caused by natural disasters. Receive coverage for all types of collisions that involve other cars and property. Truck accidents are the most expensive types of crashes, costing as much as $20,000 to $100,000 in property damages. And according to George Salinas, these types of accidents are on the rise.

The state has minimum requirements for car insurance coverage. In most states, you need liability, property damage and personal injury protection. This data gives you a good idea of the minimum coverage you need, but it’s a general plan, so many drivers get more coverage.

Determine the Car’s Value

Determine your car’s current value as you obtain collision coverage. Know if the plan covers the full amount of the car because many cars are totaled in collisions and cannot be repaired. The car’s value and your driving record affect the cost of your policy.

Compare Repair Costs vs. Insurance Coverage

Compare the average costs of collision repairs with the costs of insurance coverage to make sure that you are getting enough coverage. Consider the maximum amounts that you would pay for repairs if you ever get into a collision. Then, determine the maximum amount of coverage that the insurance company provides.

In a head-on collision, the entire front part of the car is damaged from the bumper to the windshield. Replacing a bumper costs an average of $500, and replacing a windshield varies from $200 to $1,000 on average. The prices vary based on the car’s make, model, age and condition.

Add up the repair costs and see if the total exceeds the replacement value of the car. In some cases, you should not extend coverage on your insurance. Save more money by replacing the car altogether. Some insurance companies offer a replacement if you did cause the accident.

Make sure that you are covered for collisions before one happens. Review the policy instead of having a claims adjuster contact you after an accident. By then, it’ll be too late once you discover that the insurer cannot pay for all of the damages. Before the accident occurs, get the full benefits out of your collision coverage plan.

How An Auto Accident Affects Your Insurance Rates

You’ve probably heard somewhere that car accidents tend to increase your insurance rates. Before you start panicking after an accident you should know some of the facts. Whether or not a rate increases and how high the increase is, depends on the insurance company’s policy. There are three common factors that determine a driver’s insurance rate after an auto accident.

Your Driving History Affects Your Premium

Some insurance companies look at the driver’s past driving history to determine whether to increase a premium. With most companies, poor driving history—like having multiple traffic tickets—is likely to influence these insurance rates. Most companies that view driving history as a determining factor charge higher rates after the accident and when the driver is joining the insurance company. Over time, however, if the driver has not had anything else added to his motor vehicle record, the rate usually decreases. This is because good driving is rewarded, and the insurance company is less likely to see the driver as reckless.

Your Rate Usually Increases When You’re At-Fault

Similar to receiving traffic tickets, being at-fault in a car accident is frowned upon when it comes to receiving a good interest rate. Insurance companies look at whether or not a driver has recently caused any car accidents. At-fault accidents make drivers appear to be more of a liability, and insurance rates can be higher for this reason. Even small infractions like side-swipe accidents after not checking a blind-spot can influence with certain providers. If the driver hasn’t had an at-fault accident, or if it’s been years since they have, insurance rates usually decrease.

Your Age May Determine Your New Insurance Rate

Statistics usually show younger drivers have car accidents more frequently, and insurance companies tend to follow statistics when deciding on their next move. Many teenagers and younger adults are often distracted behind the wheel, whether the distraction arises from phone-use or from talking to other passengers. Although not all young people are careless, the data shows that people in younger age groups are likely to have at-fault accidents and therefore, the company’s risk of having to pay out money to claimants increases. As the company’s risk increases, so does the driver’s premium.

Some insurance companies look at all three of these factors to determine future insurance premiums while other companies may only have one determining factor. Companies tend to follow the data that’s in front of them, however, so the fact remains that age, driving history, and past at-fault accidents are important in determining how much a driver should be charged for coverage.

5 Common Causes Of Car Accidents

If you drive a car long enough, you are likely to get into an accident yourself or at least see one on the road. Accidents can range from minor fender benders that do little or nor damage to major crashes that cause serious injuries and death. To avoid car accidents, it’s important to know the common causes.

Distracted Driving

5 Common Causes Of Car Accidents

The most common cause of car accidents, at least in the U.S., is distracted driving. This has been a problem as long as cars have been around, but it’s gotten much worse over the past couple of decades with the advent of cell phones and other small wireless devices. To help lower your chances of an accident caused by distracted driving, never use a phone or other electronic device while you are driving.

Speeding

Speed limits are in place for a reason: safety. If you don’t follow the posted speed, you are more likely to cause an accident. Speed limits typically reflect the amount of traffic and hazards present. Inner-city streets with lots of car and pedestrian traffic have the lowest limits, while highways and expressways have the highest one. Following the speed limit gives you time to brake properly and react to unexpected hazards.

Impaired Driving

5 Common Causes Of Car Accidents

Everyone knows that drunken drivers are more likely to cause an accident, but other impairments can also be a big risk. People on prescription medications can be impaired while driving and not even be aware of it. Sleep-deprived drivers also can be an accident risk. You should refrain from driving if you have been drinking, are overly tired or are taking a medication that lists driving impairment as a side effect.

Weather Conditions

A big contributor to car accidents is the weather. Icy or wet roads and poor visibility caused by rain, fog or snow are among the most-common causes of weather-related accidents. If you have to drive during inclement weather, you should slow your speed and make sure you are being vigilant.

Inexperience

There’s a reason that younger drivers pay higher insurance costs. Inexperience behind the wheel is a top cause of auto accidents. And it’s not just overall inexperience. Experienced drivers who are driving a different type of vehicle, such as a motorcycle or large truck, also can be more prone to accidents.

Car accidents kill tens of thousands of people each year in the U.S. To stay safe and avoid them, it’s important to know how they happen and take appropriate precautions.

References

https://braunslaw.com/practice-areas/car-accidents/

http://www.enddd.org/the-facts-about-distracted-driving/

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/growing-number-states-fine-slowpoke-drivers-highway-fast-lanes/

http://www.drivehomesafe.com/article/inexperience_and_immaturity_causes_teen_accidents__deaths-12.html