As the season changes, so do the types of insurance claims adjusters see. Every season has its own set of risks and hazards that pose potential danger, but knowing what to look out for will hopefully help you avoid disasters. Here are the top 5 insurance claims that increase in the fall and early winter.
1. Animal Collisions
Animals and large game tend to be more active in the fall season, especially at dusk and dawn. Hitting animals like deer or moose can be just as damaging as hitting another vehicle, so it is important to always wear your seatbelt and be alert to your surroundings. Pennsylvania makes the top 5 list for animal collision insurance claims and these types of accidents only increase during the months of October through December.
2. Rear-end Collisions
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), out of the 6 million car accidents that happen on U.S. roads every year, over 40% of them (2.5 million) are rear-end collisions. Nearly 90% of these accidents are attributed to drivers who are not paying proper attention. Avoid using your cell phone, adjusting the radio frequently, and checking your mirrors often can help prevent accidents. It is recommended that you leave at least a 3 second following distance between the car in front of you if you are travelling at 45mph. A good rule of thumb is one car length of space for every 10 mph you are driving. For example, if you are traveling at 70mph, 7 car length of space is recommended to give you time to react effectively.
3. Parking Lot Accidents
With the holidays around the corner, shoppers flock to malls and stores to prepare. The increased number of drivers increases the number of parking lot accidents. A staggering 1 in 5 auto accidents happen in parking lots, and the numbers increase even more between October and December from damages caused by shopping carts, tight parking spaces, and theft.
To lower the risk of your vehicle being damaged:
- – Avoid parking by cart returns
- – Consider parking further from other vehicles
- – Park in well lit areas and be aware of your surroundings when pulling out of a space
Fire and Smoke
As the weather cools and people begin spending more time inside, fire damages from woodstoves, fireplaces and candles increase. According to Ready.gov, over 2,500 people lose their lives in house fires each year, and another 12,600 are injured. Property losses from these fires total more than $7.3 billion yearly. The time it takes a small flame to engulf a home can be just seconds.
To reduce the likelihood of fires, inspect chimneys annually and clean as needed. A chimney needs to be cleaned more frequently depending on use. Never leave candles lit in unoccupied rooms. Be sure they are not placed near curtains, clothing, or where they can be easily knocked over by pets. Don’t leave pots or pans cooking unattended and avoid overloading electrical outlets.
5. Water and Freezing Damage
The annual cost to insurance companies from water damage and mold in the U.S. totals an estimated $2.5 billion dollars, with the average cost of a home claim totaling $6,965. Water damage is commonly put into two main categories – weather events, including snow melt or rain, and other issues, including burst or leaking pipes. Be sure to check the pipes in your home and repair any leaks or cracks before cold weather hits. Repair any other leaks around window seals, doors or roofing while summer weather is here to prevent further damage.
Risks are always present, regardless of the season, but knowing what to look out for can help you avoid the dangers associated with the fall and early winter seasons before claims hit. For more ways to protect your belongings, just call us at 724-929-2300 today. Our friendly agents will be happy to get you a free quote tailored to your needs. Let us do the comparing for you, so you save more time and money on the right coverage!