In these hot summertime months, your car faces sizeable risks and financial burdens. Summer weather brings with it heat- and UV-related damage, unexpected natural disasters, and a higher risk of congestion-caused auto accidents. You need to be properly prepared to protect your car and your wallet this summer.
What are the risks of summer weather, and what kind of auto insurance do you need to defend against these potential incidents?
In the summer months, one of the biggest concerns is the other drivers on the road. There is generally more congestion since nice weather means everyone wants to get out and drive to a new adventure. Along with this congestion comes a higher risk of collisions. This is true for three main reasons:
- There are more teen drivers out on the roads when school closes. This is often referred to as the “100 deadliest days” of summer. Teenagers’ lack of experience and impaired judgment can endanger their own lives and yours. In fact, AAA found that more fatalities are caused by teens than other kinds of drivers.
- There are also more bikers and motorcyclists out on the road when the sun is shining. These motorists tend to create different sorts of traffic patterns, which can, unfortunately, lead to accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
- Drunk driving incidents are also more common in barbeque and party season (with the highest number of fatalities on Memorial Day and Labor Day, according to CBS News). The CDC found that in 2015 nearly one-third of auto-related deaths were due to alcohol impairment behind the wheel. Drunk driving is a huge problem all across the United States, with Wyoming the most dangerous state for drunk driving, according to Backgroundchecks.org.
Generally, these types of accidents would be partially or fully covered under your automobile insurance. If the other party is found at fault for an accident, you could sue for damages if your collision and personal injury protection don’t fully cover your property and medical expenses. If you are found at fault, bodily injury and property damage liability policies would likely help cover these costs.
Thunderstorms, hailstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes are common in summer months throughout the U.S. With these storms can come unpredictable and shocking damages.
When it comes to summertime natural disasters, it’s important to have comprehensive auto insurance. Comprehensive policies cover “acts of God,” like getting stuck in a flood, a tree falling on your car due to a lightning hit, or hail breaking your windshield.
However, there are certain storm-related incidents that are not covered under comprehensive policies, despite the “comprehensive” name. For example:
- If you crash into a stationary object due to low traction and hydroplaning of your car, then likely this damage would be covered under collision insurance.
- If you crash into another car due to low visibility: the damage to your car would be under collision insurance; the damage to their car under property damage liability; injuries to the other driver or passengers under bodily injury liability; and injuries to you under your personal injury protection.
- If another car crashes into you, it would be covered by your PIP and collision insurance—but you could also sue them for damages.
Learn about the precautions you should take when hit with a surprise storm in our article, “Driving Tips For Thunderstorms.”
How To Protect Your Car From Heat Damage,” We recently discussed the precautions you can take to help safeguard your vehicle from unexpected summer incidents. But still, things happen. Whether it’s because you forgot to open your windows a crack when parking outside or maybe you didn’t react quickly enough to the flashing low oil warning on your dashboard. Whatever the case may be, damage to your car can be dangerous and costly.
Generally, damage caused to your car by heat or UV rays will not be covered by your auto insurance. It is rare that a policy will cover this sort of damage unless it is deemed to be caused by a natural disaster or fire (in which case it would be covered under comprehensive auto insurance). Thus, it’s crucial to take care of your car since you could be stuck paying for any damages.
A huge question we often get asked is: What if you plan on using a car only for the summer? Do you still need insurance?
Some people only use a car during the summer because of a seasonal job, they’re out of school, or even because they want to take an extended road trip! Whatever the situation, you do still need auto insurance. Even if you are driving a car that someone else owns, you are still liable to pay for certain damages and costs if you are driving at the time of an accident. Auto insurance can help shelter you from enormous expenses.
All 50 states require every driver to have bodily injury liability and most require property damage liability. This is to ensure the proper protection of all citizens while also minimizing the number of auto accident lawsuits in courtrooms. You may also want to discuss other types of auto insurance protection with an agent to determine your driving risks and the appropriate forms of coverage.
The Bottom Line
There are a lot of intricacies when it comes to holding inclusive auto insurance. Safeguarding yourself from all of the potential summertime incidents means holding a package of auto insurance.
Expect the unexpected, and protect your car and finances from any summertime blues. Get a quote with InsuraMatch today to find out how little you’ll pay this season for a sunny peace of mind.