One of the most frustrating things about life is that no matter how hard you try to play it safe, accidents can happen unexpectedly. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have as a driver, or how cautiously you try to avoid collisions, statistically speaking, you’re going to run into something at some point or another when you’re behind the wheel. Nobody understands this fact more than the millions of drivers who collide with random debris while driving. Whether it’s pebbles flying onto your windscreen, or stray tires bouncing into your bumper, it’s all too easy to find yourself trying to figure out what to do next after your car’s been damaged by an object you couldn’t see coming at all.
Here are a few tips on what to do if and when you hit debris on the road:
- Understand the Insurance Implications – The insurance industry classifies the majority of collisions with debris in a category known as “at-fault claims.” This means that drivers who collide with random non-vehicular objects in the course of traffic are considered to be responsible for the accident. This assumption sounds strict, but it’s reasonable since it’s based on the idea that drivers generally have the ability to maneuver around visible obstructions on the road. Depending on how much Comprehensive Coverage you purchased, you’ll probably have to pay a deductible if you file a claim to repair damage from debris. Long-story-short, your insurance company will help you pay for repairs after colliding with debris, but you’ll have to contribute financially as well since you were involved in an at-fault accident.
- Decide Whether the Damage is Worth Filing a Clam – Sometimes debris only causes nicks and scratches, but sometimes it causes damage which compromises the integrity of your vehicle. If the damage to your car from debris is superficial, it’s probably wiser not to file a claim. This is because filing claims for at-fault accidents raise the rates in which insurers charge you for your policy. If you accumulate three at-fault accidents within a three-year period, your policy may even be discontinued. However, if the damage to your car materially affects the safety of your vehicle, do not hesitate to file a claim in order to initiate repairs. Be especially cautious about damage to your windscreen and damage to your front-end – these should NEVER be ignored.
- File your Claim as Soon as Possible – Granted there’s a lot to process and figure out after hitting debris, the longer you wait to take action on the situation, the more red-tape you’ll get caught up in while explaining the timeline of events. Immediately after hitting debris in traffic, pull over to a safe area, park your car and assess any damage. Take photos of it, document what happened and investigate if the damage is dangerous or superficial. If the damage is dangerous, call your insurer immediately and report the incident. The longer you wait to react to the accident, the harder it is to accept your claim as legitimate.
Running into debris is just one of those things that happen now and then. That’s why it’s important to invest in Comprehensive Coverage as a driver. Without comprehensive insurance policies, drivers would be left stranded in situations where unavoidable or coincidental accidents occur. The key to handling emergency situations is not panicking. Simply stop what you’re doing, assess the damage, document it and then iron out how to interact with the insurance company. For more information on how Adriana’s Insurance Services can help you stay safe on the road, visit any of our offices or give us a call at 1-800-639-7654. We got you covered!