8 Great Auto Tips to Save Money Before and After a Car Accident
Every day, there is an increase in the number of cars on the road and many of the drivers can be either aggressive or distracted. More than 50% of the interstate miles in America are strained at 70% traffic capacity and 25% are jammed at 95% capacity. Even if you do your best to avoid much of the bad traffic, the chances that you will at some point get into an accident are high. Getting into a car accident is not only stressful, but it can get quite expensive as well. Here are eight great auto tips to save money before and after a traffic accident.
Practicing safe driving techniques goes a long way in saving you money. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, a crash is reported every 59 seconds in the state in a single year. You can avoid crashes by keeping your eyes on the road at all times and maintaining a comfortable distance from any cars in front of you. This can help eliminate fender benders if should you have to slam on the brakes.
Improve Your Credit Score
Improving your credit score can contribute immensely to lowering the costs of your insurance premiums. Many insurance companies factor in a person’s credit rating when determining how much of a premium they should be charged. Their reasoning is that if you are a responsible person with your financial life, that responsibility may spill over into other areas of your life such as your driving habits.
If you are a responsible driver, then it’s highly likely you won’t file an insurance claim. That means less out-of-pocket costs for them. That money is then passed on to you with the number of premiums you have to pay on a monthly or yearly basis.
Save Medical Care Costs By Avoiding Traffic Accidents
Getting into an accident can also cost you money with medical expenses. If you get hurt in a crash, you’ll have to take a trip to the emergency room or an urgent care center. In 2016, more than 27% of patients in the U.S. reported that they had made an urgent care center visit within the previous two years. These medical visits can be quite expensive.
If you don’t have health insurance, you could pay up to $150 for an urgent care visit and more than $600 for a trip to the emergency room. That doesn’t cover any fees for lab tests and prescriptions. Even with health insurance, you could spend up to $100 for a trip to an urgent care center. Doing everything you can to avoid an accident in the first place will save your pocketbook from these unnecessary expenses.
Check Your Insurance Coverage Regularly
It’s bad enough to get into an accident but it makes it worse if you find out afterward that you either have no insurance or not enough insurance. Pay your insurance bill on time each and every month. Make sure that every driver in your household is listed on the insurance. Know exactly what is covered on your insurance and what isn’t before you ever get into an accident. Having insurance options such as roadside assistance and rental car coverage can save you money during emergencies like car accidents.
Some insurance coverage options may or may not make good financial sense for your situation. Reconsider items such as collision and comprehensive coverage. If the total value of your car is less than what you pay yearly for these two options, it makes sense to drop them. Your insurance company most likely going to total the car after it’s been in an accident, which makes these coverages useless.
Consider Gap Insurance
Drivers with newer cars may want to consider purchasing gap insurance. This insurance covers the difference between your car’s total value and any money you still owe on your car loan. This could potentially save you thousands of dollars. It may also help pay your deductible as well. Having gap insurance can save you on making car payments on a car you don’t have anymore because it got totaled.
Report Accidents Immediately To Your Insurance Company
Sometimes you make think it’s easier to not report an accident to your insurance company, especially if the damage is minimal. But that can be a costly mistake. If you later get sued by the other driver and your insurance company finds out, it could cost you way more than if you had just reported it in the first place. By not reporting it immediately, the insurance company won’t have enough time to investigate and fight the claim. If they lose, you will be the one that has to pay with higher premiums.
Ask Your Insurance Company For Forgiveness
Many insurance companies offer accident forgiveness in their policies. This insurance coverage protects you from your insurance premiums going up after your first accident. You may want to check with your insurance company to see if accident forgiveness is included in your policy.
If not, you may want to shop around and find an insurance company that does offer it. Make sure you ask about the specific details because they vary with each company. Some offer immediate accident forgiveness while others will only provide it if you’ve been accident-free for at least three years. There may be other requirements as well.
Shop Around For Car Repair
If you decide to pay for repairs yourself rather than making an insurance claim, you can save money after an accident if you can take your time to shop around various auto repair shops. You can ask for estimates, guarantees, and how long it will take them to fix your car. Ask family and friends for recommendations. By getting different quotes, you may be able to save hundreds of dollars than if you took it to the first shop you could find.
Traffic accidents can cause major pains and stress on your body, but also your pocketbook as well. Following these eight great auto tips to save money both before and after accidents can help you eliminate any unnecessary expenses. You’ll also have peace knowing that you are covered should something unfortunate occur while you are on the road.