2021 has been a costly year for many Texas motorists due to collisions, weather and distractions. While all automobile insurance claims are not avoidable, most are by driving defensively and following simple tips. In addition to reducing the risk of a claim, it’s a good idea for drivers to be aware of the most common claims to avoid paying higher premiums. AAA Texas reveals the top automobile insurance claims amongst Texas members in 2021.
- Rear-end collisions/Fender Benders
A seemingly minor automobile crash in Texas can cost more than $13,000 in damage, on average, and increase the cost of insurance as well as result in serious injury or death. This type of crash made up 18% of all auto insurance claims AAA Texas processed in 2021. Often these types of crashes are the result of distracted driving. To avoid being involved in a rear-end collision or fender bender AAA Texas recommends:
- Put down your phone and stay focused on the road. Taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your risk for a crash.
- Ask passengers for help or pull over if you need to read or write a text message.
- Activate Do Not Disturb on your smart phone while driving.
- AAA Texas encourages drivers to take the pledge to end distracted driving by visiting aaa.com/dontdrivedistracted.
- Backing Up
Collisions caused by backing a vehicle up, on average, cost more than $3,400 per claim in 2021. This type of crash made up 10% of all auto insurance claims AAA Texas processed in 2021. Many of these incidents occur in parking lots or driveways. Drivers should be especially cautious when backing out of a driveway or navigating parking lots during the holidays. Drivers can follow these tips to reduce their risk of being involved in a back-up collision.
- Drive slowly and obey all traffic and directional signs.
- Avoid shortcuts such as cutting across parking lanes and rows of parking spots.
- Watch for pedestrians and other vehicles when slowly backing up and do not rely on backup cameras alone.
- Be extra alert for small children, pets, and parents pushing baby strollers in parking lots.
- Hail Damage
Hail damage to vehicles made up more than 9% of AAA Texas automobile insurance claims in 2021, with an average cost of more than $5,700. Hail is incredibly damaging to homes, crops, and cars. Here’s how to protect a car from hail before it falls from the sky.
- Always remain aware of the weather forecast and park your vehicle in a covered area such as a garage.
- If you’re out, then try to find shelter in a parking garage where you can wait out the storm. Even if you must pay to access a garage, it will be far cheaper than paying to repair hail damage.
- If you can’t find shelter for your car during a hail storm, then use a hail cover or even blankets as a last resort. There’s often not much warning before a hail storm strikes. Only go outside to cover your car if it’s safe. It’s important to protect a car from hail, but not as important as your personal safety.
AAA provides more than 62 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of independently owned motor clubs and nearly 1,000 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, AAA has been a leader and advocate for the motorist and safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. AAA Texas branch offices throughout the state can be found by visiting www.AAA.com. Follow AAA Texas on Twitter: @AAATexas and Facebook: www.facebook.com/AAATexas.