Recent weather reports show that there will be more snow this winter than the previous. Drivers should be on high alert considering between 2011 and 2015, about 10% of all fatal accidents happened in inclement weather. Drivers need to be ready. Here are some car insurance tips for the winter:
If the Roads are Closed, Stay Home
When roads close due to a storm, you should just stay home. For one, not only is it dangerous but a car insurance company may also have grounds to deny any claim you may file due to an accident. If roads are declared closed by the government, and you drive anyway, your insurance company can say you were committing "contributory negligence".
What to do if a Tree or Snow Causes Damage to Your Car?
If Mother Nature still decided to wreck your car, you shouldn't fret so long as you have comprehensive insurance. Comprehensive coverage is an optional part of car insurance that covers damages to your car caused by forces outside of your control. Whether it's a falling tree, a thick hail storm, or even a baseball through your windshield, your comprehensive coverage will take care of it. On the other hand, if you do not have comprehensive on your policy, you will not be covered in these types of cases. Comprehensive coverage is relatively inexpensive, going for less than $100 per year for a driver with a good record. We recommend you consider adding it to your policy.
What to do if You Skid into a Parked Car or Building
If you are caught in a storm, and skid into a parked car or a building, causing damage, your property damage liability insurance will take care of it. Property Damage liability is mandatory in every state, so as long as you have car insurance, you won't have to worry about not having it. Whoever's property you cause damage to will have to file a claim against your property damage to get compensated. You won't have to pay anything out of pocket so long as the damage costs are under the limits of your PD. Just remember if you crash into a parked car, and the owner is not around, leave a note with your information. Failing to do so is a felony, and will disqualify your from your insurance as well.
What to do if Someone Hits Your Car
In the opposite situation, if someone hits your parked car while you are away, you may have two options. The first is one we discuss above, where you can now file a claim against the other driver's Property Damage Liability insurance. You may also file a claim through your collision insurance if you have it on your policy. Collision insurance covers all damage to your vehicle, regardless of who caused it. While collision coverage is the easier of the two options, filing a claim may cause your rates to go up. You should speak to your agent first, before you file a claim.
What to do if Your Car Skids and You are Injured
If you are injured in an accident caused by snow or ice, your personal injury protection or health insurance will cover you. Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, is a mandatory coverage in 13 states, and optional elsewhere. It pays for the cost of your injuries that are sustained in a car accident. Without PIP, your injuries will not be covered. Unless there is another driver whom you can file a claim against, you will not able to seek compensation through you injuries -- other than relying on your health insurance.