When you mix auto insurance and weather, you will come across many gaps in information. One of the common ones relates to winter making auto insurance more expensive. To a certain extent, that might be the case, but the truth is that your location (and its weather patterns) has the most impact regarding rates.
As a matter of fact, weather in itself doesn’t have much effect on cost until your car sustains damage on account of a storm. Why? Well, read on to find out more about why and how weather impacts car insurance rates—and most importantly, what you can do.
How Weather Impacts Car Insurance
Did you know that 70% of the U.S. roads end up with 5 inches or more of snowfall annually? As such, 24% of weather-related car accidents occur on snowy, icy, or slushy paths and up to 15% during hail or snowfall events. Winter can bring many car issues, from losing control while driving to hitting a guardrail and ending up with snowy tree branches on your car.
Aside from facing harsh conditions while on the road, your car could just sit stationary in your driveway when a hail storm arrives and causes damage to the chasse. With these factors in mind, you might consider looking into an addition to your current policy if you’re only carrying liability.
For weather-related claims, comprehensive insurance for covering damages that are sustained during a storm. Comprehensive coverage will take care of any non-crash weather-related damage, ranging from falling objects on your car to windshield chips that tend to expand to during freezing temperatures.
On the other hand, if you hit another car or an object while driving with low visibility during a blizzard or hydroplaning during a severe thunderstorm, collision insurance will cover car repair expenses.
Also, keep in mind that in at-fault auto accidents, your state-mandated liability insurance covers any injuries suffered by the other party along with their damaged property. In no-fault accidents, personal injury protection insurance kicks in to cover medical expenses.
Reasons Behind Increased Rates
One thing is certain. If the car accident is your fault, even due to a weather-related condition like slippery roads, insurance companies will do their due diligence. Thus, you can anticipate that your rates will go up at your next renewal due to a surcharge. Based on analysis from industry experts, it has been found that after an incident, rates tend to increase by 32%, or about $455, than the previous rate before you filed the claim.
How Weather and Location Affect Insurance Rates
Areas with harsh weather claim more car damages than areas with a moderate climate. Locations with extreme weather prone to car damages would make drivers have more expensive premiums. Even if you live in areas where that bad winter stays for just a couple of months – expect to pay higher prices.
Based on the insurance policy you have, you can expect an increase of up to several hundred dollars. This is where you might need to consult with a car insurance expert not only to find out how weather impacts your insurance rates but also to look for any applicable discounts, like those for a safe driving record or for bundling policies.
The Importance of Being Prepared
With that in mind, if your state is prone to floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, or any other type of extreme weather, comprehensive insurance can be of vital importance and possibly a collision policy. However, as we already mentioned, as this is insurance related to costs caused by natural disasters, you can expect a more expensive policy.
Yet, on the other hand, comprehensive coverage is still the most affordable choice. With few price comparisons and implementing online quotes, your coverage expenses can be decreased by up to 25%. Plus, you gain the peace of mind of knowing that you’re covered financially if your car requires major repairs, bodywork, or needs to be replaced altogether.
Likewise, suppose you know that you’re going to travel often, and you’re bound to hit some unavoidable harsh weather conditions. In that case, you might also look into a policy that covers uninsured/underinsured drivers. Even on the highway, you might get into an accident that involves another driver who is not carrying their own insurance. So you’ll need to make sure that you’re prepared for this situation as well.
Finally, you can also look at other types of coverage that would bridge any gaps in expenses, deal with unforeseen emergencies, and help you maintain your daily schedule without using your vehicle for a while. These policies include:
- Roadside assistance-aside from a tow truck would help if you’re ever stuck in mud or snow or charging a battery that’s running low during a storm.
- Rental reimbursement-this pays for a rental car while your vehicle is in the shop.
Weather can be unpredictable, so having this extra coverage can make a difference in having to pay hundreds for a tow truck and ride back home or having to deal with your daily duties without a vehicle at all.
How Filing a Weather-Related Claim Affects Rates
Fortunately, claims filed on comprehensive rates generally don’t affect your rates. Specifically, claims related to weather would not have any impact on insurance because flood, hail, snow, or any other event is beyond your control. You would just need to remember that the number of claims would affect the cost—not the cause in this situation.
Where to Find the Best Deal on Car Insurance
If you had an accident and your car insurance rate is no longer the same as before, maybe it is time for you to go back to the market and see what policies are offered at that given moment. While choosing car insurance is not easy and finding a reliable one will always be a challenge, finding a company that will provide the top rates for your situation might save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year.
But you don’t have to go it alone because the reps at Baja Auto Insurance can answer any questions you might have or pair you up with a reputable insurance agent at a location near you. So go ahead and call 1-800-401-6870 or get your free car insurance quote online.