Car Insurance Scenario
A squirrel crosses the road in front of you — and naturally, you stop. Unfortunately, a lead-footed, tail-gating motorist slam into you from behind. While the squirrel is unscathed, the rear end of your vehicle is heavily damaged. What should you do about rear end damage?
How Much Does It Cost to Fix Rear End Damage?
It’s almost impossible to put a price range on this kind of damage. Rear bumper replacement costs can range from a few hundred dollars for a single bumper up to $10,000 or more if the frame of your car is bent.
Your Insurance Coverage
Since you are not at fault in this scenario, the other driver’s insurance should cover both the damage to your vehicle as well as any injury you sustain, assuming he is insured.
Damage To Your Car
In the scenario given, damage to your vehicle would be taken care of, first, by the property damage portion of the other party’s liability policy. The requirement for property damage in California at the time of posting this blog is only $5,000. If your fellow motorist is only carrying the required state minimums, you may end up responsible for the costs to repair your car.
Let’s say the other driver is completely uninsured, or is carrying low coverage levels, your own collision coverage would likely cover the cost to repair or replace your vehicle, minus your deductible. If you did not purchase collision coverage for your policy, your only other option would be under your uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage. This coverage kicks in to repair or replace your vehicle if the person who hit you is uninsured or not carrying enough coverage to fix your car. The maximum limit for uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage is $3,500.
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries in a rear-end accident. There are roughly three million new whiplash cases every year in the United States. In many cases, mild to moderate whiplash claims can result in anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000 in medical costs. If the driver who hit you doesn’t have proper coverage, you may be on the hook for these medical costs.
Should You File a Claim?
In the given scenarios, it’s the other person’s insurance that should cover both your vehicle and your own injuries. If the other driver is uninsured you may have to make a claim under your own uninsured policy coverage. This could also be true if their insurance is simply insufficient. In all of these scenarios, it is recommended that you report the claim to your insurance carrier to better protect yourself.
It’s important to fully understand what the various aspect of your policy mean. Your experienced, local independent insurance agent can walk you through your policy. We’re here to ensure that your policy is right for you and your needs.