Insurance claims

Before needing to submit an insurance claim for an accident, policyholders should have a solid understanding of what out-of-pocket expenses they might face. The different types of coverage available combined with the variety of claims individuals file can lead to a large deviation in how much a customer ends up paying.

The expenses associated with filing an insurance claim are not cheap. They can range from a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars. With the proper foresight and planning, policyholders can be sure to have enough cash on hand to cover additional out-of-pocket expenses that arise when filing a claim for car insurance.

Determining to lower or raise your deductible can open up room in your monthly budget.Lowering or raising your deductible can open up room in your monthly budget.

Defining deductibles
The deductible is the amount of out-of-pocket money the motorist is responsible for paying before the insurance company covers the remainder. If you have a $200 deductible and suffer $2,000 worth of damage to your vehicle, you need to dish out $200 while the insurance company pays the rest.

Policyholders can lower their monthly premiums by raising their deductible. However, when the unexpected happens, those paying low premiums will end up having to fork over much more money. For instance, if you choose to raise your $200 deductible to $1,000, you'll save money monthly, but you'll need to pay $1,000 if you are in an accident or if you damage your car.

By calculating risks and comparing how much you can afford for monthly premiums and how much you have saved up to pay a high deductible, you can determine a deductible rate that works best for you.

How much people are paying
According to the Institute of Insurance Information, property damage liability claims cost the average motorist $3,290 annually, a $59 increase over 2013. The average claim for bodily injury was $16,640, an annual rise of $1,199, while the average claim for collision insurance was $3,160, a jump of $16 from 2014. In a rare change of pace, the average comprehensive claim was $1,567, a decline of $54.

With the exception of the anomalous decline in the average comprehensive claims, these rates having been trending upward for the past decade, and will no doubt continue to increase ever slightly into the future as well. As claims become pricier, policyholders should be aware of the likely out-of-pocket expenses they'll get saddled with if the unexpected happens.

"Motorists file insurance claims roughly once every 17.9 years."

Frequency of claims
A good piece of data to consider when trying to discern which route works best is knowing how frequently policyholders make an insurance claim. By understanding the probability of having to file a claim, customers can more accurately weigh their chances and make better informed decisions about how much money they're willing to pay for a deductible. Much like insurance companies use actuarial data to determine rates for various demographics, so too should policyholders also use the available information to make smarter choices. 

Many drivers might feel invulnerable behind the wheel, but the reality is motorists file insurance claims roughly once every 17.9 years, according to Fox Business. While this might seem like a long time for younger drivers, this means by the age of 34, every person driving since they were 16 are likely to have filed at least one car insurance claim. By the time a person reaches 70, they will have filed roughly three claims on average throughout their life if they started driving at the age of 16.

Drivers can compare deductible options and auto insurance rates by visiting CoverHound's convenient and easy-to-use website.

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