Winter is in full force. It has been dropping snow regularly and even ice in Marion, Illinois. Snow and ice can be picturesque, but deadly. If you are a stay at home parent or have a job that lets you have snow days, that’s great. For many of us, we have to work even when the weather is bad. Nurses, firefighters, police, and utility works have to battle the weather because lives depend on it.
A study of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, says about 24 percent of car collision are weather-related and the government spends about $2.3 billion for snow and icy road control. Even with all of that money spent and the necessary precautions, it isn’t enough. You must prepare your, yourself, and have insurance to make sure that you are financially covered.
Here are a couple of reasons why you need insurance when the weather becomes treacherous.
The Cost of an Accident
No matter how carefully you drive, mother nature is in control. In 2018, a 90-car pileup occurred in Huxley, Iowa. That is 90 cars that needed to be towed and repaired. Let’s say that each car had a very conservative $4000 towing and repair bill. That accident alone would be $360,000!
Cars and Passengers Only
In 2015 a 150 car pile occurred due to snow. Using the conservative figures above that accident would have cost $600,000. The cost of those accidents was much higher because most vehicles had both front end and rear end damage.
That doesn’t take into account the injuries of the people involved. An average whiplash claim is $10,000 and can even reach $30,000. If even half of those 90 people filed a whiplash claim that could be $450,000.
Whiplash claims are much smaller claims because they are considered soft tissue injuries. Broken bones and any claim where a victim had to have surgery gets really expensive, really fast.
Anytime there is an injury the driver at fault is responsible for work missed and pain and suffering.
According to AllLaw.com, a motorcycle driver was awarded $1,175,000 when a car pulled out in front of him resulting in a broken collar bone and ribs. The motorcycle driver required surgery. That claim was for one person. Imagine that an injury like that occurred with four passengers. That is $4,700,000 for one accident.
Not every accident occurs on the interstate. Many accidents occur in residential neighborhoods. That means a whole new problem, property damage. What happens when your vehicle slides into a home. That becomes a nightmare.
We’ve established that car repairs are about $4,000. Let’s say that you have one passenger with you that files a whiplash claim. You are up to $14,000. Now, because you crashed into a home, that figure is going to skyrocket. You will have to pay to repair their home which can be $30,000 plus. Anything else that was damaged like furniture, will need to be replaced. Next, you will have to pay for them to stay in a hotel, temporarily while they look for somewhere else to live while repairs are being made. They may need somewhere to live for 3-6 months while their home is being repaired. While they are in a hotel you will be on the line for their meals. You could be looking at a bill of $100,000. Most people do not have an extra $100,000 to give.
Those drivers that have insurance only have to worry about healing and having their cars repaired. Those without insurance experienced financial devastation. Using the stats from above. If an uninsured motorist was responsible for two vehicle repairs and one whiplash settlement, that could be $18,000. That increases significantly if there were multiple passengers.
What Can Insurance Cover
Insurance coverage differs from company to company and the coverage of the policy. You need to speak with your insurance agent to see what your coverage is and if it is enough.
Typically insurance covers:
- Damage to property
- Personal Injuries
- Medical Bills
- Attorney and Legal Fees
- Lost income
- Pain and Suffering
Hopefully, if you didn’t understand the severity of even one auto-accident, you now know just how bad things can get and how quickly. Even if you are prepared with tire chains and four-wheel drive, sometimes it is just out of your control. The only thing you may be able to control is your financial risk.
Bottom line insurance is your best friend in the winter.