It’s bad-weather season again, and that always reminds me of auto insurance claims. They’re never fun.
As much as I enjoy spending time talking with my customers, I’d rather be talking about happy things going on in your life, and not about a tragedy.
Of course, if you have a claim, call me. It’s what I’m here for.
But read and heed these five tips, and maybe we can reduce your chances of having a claim.
1. Car break-ins: Hide your stuff.
Every time you park your car in public, assume that someone will come by five minutes later looking for goodies you left behind.
Goodies like your laptop, your purse, or your recent purchase from another store.
Hide your stuff.
Hiding things in the trunk is a great idea, or under seats. Better yet, take expensive things with you and don’t leave them in your car at all.
The fringe benefit is a clean car, and that’s not bad either!
2. Parked car damage: Choose your parking like a pro.
Thinking of squeezing into that ridiculously tight spot because it’s closer?
Don’t do it.
Not everyone is as skilled a driver as you, and you may come back to find your car dented, and the other driver gone. They often don’t leave a note, so the claim is on you.
Another idea: clear out that second stall in your garage and use it for your car instead of storage.
Every car you can park off street is a car less likely to get damaged in the middle of the night.
3. Windshield damage: Count more car lengths.
We think of rocks hitting the windshield as “an act of God.”
We feel that it’s not our fault. And interestingly, so does the insurance company. That’s why it’s covered under the “Comprehensive” part of your policy.
But if you drive defensively, you can reduce the chances of this happening.
How? Be aware of what’s on the road.
If you are driving on a gravel road, or if there is debris on the road, stay even farther back than normal from the vehicle in front of you. Let gravity work for you.
Stay back, and let that rock the guy in front of you kicked up fall beneath your wheels instead of smashing into your windshield.
4. Rear-end collisions: Save that text for later.
Distracted driving may catch up with you some day. And that will be a bad day.
Whether it’s texting, or a phone call, or fumbling with the burger you just picked up from the drive-thru... distractions cause rear-end collisions.
Rear-end collisions are almost always preventable. Turn your phone off and deal with it after you stop.
Also, eat in a restaurant, not the driver’s seat. It’s safer, better for your digestion, and your pants will thank you for not dripping mustard on them
5. Back-up accidents: Look again and then look again.
Finally, start a new habit. Look before backing up.
I don’t mean glance in the mirror for a nano-second. I mean, turn your head around and take a good long look behind your vehicle before you put it in gear.
Then look again.
It’s often that second look that saves a claim... or a life.