October 11, 2009

October: The Month Of Auto Insurance Claims

October has arrived, and for auto insurance companies, so has the month that results in an increased number of claims. The fall months typically come along with a very high number of accident claims, and none more so than October. According to some estimates, over 10 percent of all auto insurance claims are filed in this month, and for several reasons.

The changing weather that hits most of the country in October brings a host of new road conditions that motorists aren't used to. In areas of the U.S. that receive freezing rain, snow or more persistent rainfall, the autumn can be something of a shock to those on the roads. It's easier to lose control of a vehicle in these conditions, leading to accidents and, of course, auto insurance claims. Fall is also the time of year where teenagers and college students, many of them drivers, return to school and begin to drive in conditions and at times that they might not normally drive. The changing seasons also lead to more instances of driving in the dark or driving into the sun with a dangerous glare coming through a car's windshield. This can temporarily blind a driver and cause an accident. Animals like deer begin to also become more prevalent in October, before hunting seasons start. These large animals can cause serious accidents in cases where drivers aren't paying careful attention to the roads and their surroundings. The danger is diminished as drivers become accustomed to the changes, but in the meantime the roads can be a dangerous place.

Even if one driver does pay sufficient attention, another driver can easily cause an accident spurred by one of the changes of the fall season. Any accident results in an auto insurance claim, and any claim results in a higher auto insurance rate for the driver.

As these additional claims are costly both to policyholders and to insurance companies, the auto insurance industry tries to urge drivers to take special care when the seasons change. The fall season can be a dangerous time to drive and it's essential to follow good defensive driving technique during these months. The most effective driving during this time requires watching out for new road hazards brought by autumn. To guard yourself, consider taking a defensive driving course. This can help a motorist drive safely all year round, and may even lead to an auto insurance discount the insurer is notified.

Remember – a single auto insurance claim can greatly increase auto insurance rates. So, it's well worth the time to adjust to safer driving habits in the fall and winter, both for a driver's safety and for his or her auto insurance budget.