Staying Safe While Thanksgiving Auto Insurance Claims Skyrocket

Fran
Fran Majidi
November 27, 2019

Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude and to enjoy close family and friends, but it’s also the busiest driving season. It’s around Thanksgiving that insurers see the highest auto insurance claims and some of the highest motor vehicle deaths. According to AAA, over 55 million people will travel for Thanksgiving 2019.

College kids come home for the holidays, taking to the road in droves. We drive to visit family members or friends who live far away. Some of us have family members driving to us. There are many factors that make driving during the Thanksgiving holiday more dangerous than any other time.

This is a good time to increase your auto insurance coverage limits, even if you do so temporarily. Accidents are expensive. If you’re more likely to have one due to the holidays, it makes sense to take a few steps to lower your chances of having out-of-pocket expenses.

If you’re interested in new car insurance quotes or to explore your other insurance options visit here. Below are some issues you should be aware of before hitting the road.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is one of the downfalls of Thanksgiving festivities. Thanksgiving Eve often called “Blackout Wednesday,” “Whiskey Wednesday,” and “Drinksgiving” by college students is one of the most dangerous nights of the year to be on the road. Drunk drivers abound on this holiday so be especially alert if you can’t avoid driving.

Inclement Weather

Thanksgiving 2019 is projected to have bad weather all across the map. Even Southern California is getting unusual rainfall, in excess of one-half inch per hour. Flash floods are possible. There are two storms tracking across the nation, so in several parts of the country are experiencing a mix of rain, snow, and wind. There is a prediction of 6 to 12 inches of snow across portions of the western and central USA.

Taking Turns Driving: Who Is Covered by My Car Insurance?

When you signed up for auto insurance coverage, you were probably given the option of excluding people on your car insurance. Often, the people in your household will affect your car insurance rate if they are not excluded so check your policy jacket and declaration page to make sure you are clear before you hand over the keys. Excluded individuals will not be covered by your car insurance if they have an accident. For example, let’s say you have a teenage son who is of driving age and you excluded him because he’s not allowed to drive the car and you wanted to avoid a rate hike. That’s all fine unless he gets into an accident using your car and doesn’t have his own liability insurance. In short, he will not be covered by your car insurance. If you have collision insurance and the accident was his fault, you may not be able to get your insurer to foot the bill for repairs. 

Others driving the car will also be fine, due to the permissive use clause. The driver can be a friend, family member and even out-of-state driver who are visiting you. In most cases, these people are covered by your auto insurance policy, up to the policy’s limits. With that said, some carriers will not cover a permissive use driver 100% for various reasons, especially if they reside in another state. If you’re planning on allowing guests to use your car, it’s always best to call your insurance agent beforehand to see what you are and are not covered for. You may even want to include that driver on your policy. In general, every insurer and every policy is different, so it’s important to ask questions and never make assumptions. Once an accident has happened, it’s hard to change the circumstances, but if you do a little footwork ahead of time, you may be in the clear if something goes wrong.

When’s the Worst Time to Travel?

Wednesday afternoon is the absolute worst. Expect traffic jams in big cities, jams that may tack on 3 hours to your trip easily. You’re better off heading out early in the morning.

Do You Have Roadside Assistance?

Breaking down in the middle of your trip is something you should anticipate. Don’t think it can’t happen to you because it can. If you don’t have time to get your car checked out before hitting the road, it only takes seconds to add roadside assistance to your car insurance. You never know when you’ll have a flat tire or may need a jump-start.

Will You Be Covered Out of State?

Most insurance companies honor your policy regardless of where you drive in the U.S. and Canada. However, it’s always a good idea to speak with your agent about your concerns ahead of time.

7 Golden Steps for Thanksgiving Road Safety:

  1. Have your car checked out before you leave.
  2. Bring a winter safety kit with you.
  3. Avoid driving on Wednesday and Sunday. 
  4. Avoid driving when drowsy, sleepy or drunk.
  5. Take breaks often, very often if you’re driving far. 
  6. Share the road with other drivers in a considerate manner.
  7. Focus on the road, not on others, texts or music.
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