Should You File a Claim If You Hit a Road Obstruction?

Last Updated on April 3, 2020

Running into an object in the road can be very dangerous – in some cases, almost as dangerous as hitting another car. Road obstructions will often cause damage to your car, and in some cases, they can even lead to injury as well. You may wonder how to handle this with your insurance company. Here’s how to file a road obstruction claim with your insurance company.

Consider if it’s worth filing a claim

Should You File a Claim If You Hit a Road Obstruction?The first thing you should do if you’ve experienced damage from a road obstruction is to consider whether it’s worth filing the claim. In many cases, it’s actually more affordable to pay for the repairs out of pocket, particularly if the damage was minor. This is because filing any sort of claim can raise your insurance rates for a few years afterward. The compounded cost of higher insurance payments is often more expensive in the long run than just paying for the repairs once. This is particularly true when you hit an object in the road because most insurers will consider that an at-fault collision, and it’s difficult to prove otherwise. In the insurer’s eyes, common road obstructions like speed bumps, potholes, curbs, traffic cones, traffic barriers, and construction equipment, are all easily avoidable.

If you are worried about these types of collisions, getting an insurance policy with accident forgiveness can help. Accident forgiveness policies ensure that your rates won’t go up after one accident, and they are usually available to drivers with good records. If you don’t already have an accident forgiveness policy, you should consider your past record before filing a claim. If you don’t have any at-fault claims on your record, your rates may not go up very much. However, if you have already made some claims in the past, the amount that your insurance will go up is likely to be much higher.

The first thing you should do after hitting an object in the road is to have your car assessed by a mechanic to determine how much the repairs will be. Of course, you should document their assessment thoroughly in case you do decide to file a claim. Then, do some research to get an approximate idea of how much your rates will go up for the claim. You should also consider how much the deductible is on your collision insurance, which will add to your expenses. You can compare the amounts to determine which makes more sense financially.

Collision vs. Comprehensive Claims

In some cases, the damage to your car will be too great not to file a claim. In these instances, there’s often confusion as to how to file the claim with your insurance company. If you hit an object lying in the road, this is considered a “collision claim“, and you will likely have to pay a deductible in addition to the increased premiums.

However, if you collide with a flying object, the process is a little different. These are considered unavoidable accidents, as there’s not much you can do to get out of the way of an object that’s already in the air. This can happen if you’re driving in a mountainous area with falling rocks, or if you’re near a truck with unsecured cargo in the bed. Typically, these will be considered comprehensive insurance claims. You will have to pay a small deductible, but they shouldn’t increase your insurance rate. The only instance where you may see an increase is if you file several comprehensive claims in a relatively short period of time. However, this assumes that you have comprehensive insurance to cover it. Since it’s not mandatory, not everyone takes out comprehensive insurance. If you do a lot of highway driving and are concerned about flying debris, make sure your policy includes comprehensive insurance.

How to get your rates down after a collision claim

If you do need to file a claim after hitting an object in the road, you may be wondering how to get your rates back down. Luckily, your rates should come back down on their own after a few years – they won’t follow you around forever. However, if you want to lower your rates faster, there are a few things you can do. The first thing is to take a driver’s safety course. Many insurance companies will give you a discount if you take one, as it shows you are committed to being a safe driver. Another way to get your premiums down is to increase your deductible. This means the amount you’ll pay will be higher if you file another claim, but your monthly payments will be lower.

Although we all try to avoid road obstructions while driving, sometimes accidents just happen. Keep in mind that in many cases, it’s safer to hit a small object than to swerve. Swerving could result in a much larger collision with another car. Sure, it’s not fun to make a collision claim, but you’ll be safer and healthier in the long run, which is what matters most.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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