December 14, 2009

Winter And Auto Insurance Claims

Winter can be a depressing season for many motorists, as the colder months tend to be those when most auto insurance claims are filed. Auto insurance companies are often quick to point this fact out, as their interest is, of course, to decrease the amount of claims they handle in any way possible. They do this by sometimes sending out information on winter driving or even use press releases to try to urge drivers to behave more carefully in colder conditions. Nevertheless, it’s still a treacherous season to be on the road, according to accident statistics on American highways.

The reason behind the elevated number of claims on auto insurance coverage during the winter is easy to figure out – road conditions change drastically during the winter months. Colder temperatures mean more ice, snow, impaired vision via frost on windshields and mirrors, and accidents due to vehicle malfunction. Drivers can, of course, plan for and adapt to these new conditions. Learning the correct procedures for driving on snow and hitting patches of black ice, as well as monitoring your speed on highways or other roads are all crucial for safe winter driving. It also pays to spend a bit of money before the winter hits to get your car ready for the season. Investing in snow tires and getting regular tune-ups can help you coast through the winter months without incident. In addition, dealing with vehicle problems as soon is they’re apparent is also important. Remember, if you make any claims where you’re at fault, you can expect a higher auto insurance quote in the future, so spending a little precautionary money actually saves quite a bit in the long run.

Unfortunately, even if you take every possible step to ensure your safety during the winter months, you can’t do the same for other drivers. One of those other drivers may end up causing an accident with your car, which results in a claim – maybe not a claim that will affect your insurance, but an annoyance nonetheless. Before you hit the road, double check to make sure you’ve got up-to-date insurance information in your car, and make sure you know the correct process for documenting and reporting a claim. A seemingly minor mistake like apologizing for an accident that wasn’t your fault can end up ruining your claim and costing you a lot of money.

Some areas of the country have to worry more about the winter than others, but even if you live in bad winter weather, taking time to know your auto insurance policy and to keep your car (and driving habits) winterized will be incredibly helpful throughout the season.