Car accidents are never planned, but they are definitely expensive. While it’s obvious that your insurance rates will increase if you are found at fault, there are many other costs to consider too.
My husband just totaled our 2008 Toyota Yaris in May. There were a lot of costs that I did not even realize I should’ve planned for. Here are a few costs you should be aware of the next time you are involved in a fender-bender.
1. Chiropractic Care and Healthcare
Car accidents can do a number on your body. Thankfully my husband was not hurt during the crash, but it was still important for him to receive chiropractic care the next day. If your car insurance or health insurance covers this cost, then be thankful you won’t have to worry about it.
Our health insurance covered two visits, and our car insurance paid the $30 deductible. The chiropractor told my husband that because he receives monthly adjustments, he was able to bounce back quicker after the accident and only needed two adjustments/checks. You might want to consider investing in preventative health services, like regular chiropractic care or therapeutic massages, since they will save you money if something bad happened, like a major car accident.
After an accident, be sure that any health-related care you receive is documented separately so that it can be submitted for a claim. Try negotiating with healthcare providers to pay partially up front for costs, since it can take time for the at-fault party’s insurance to pay up.
2. Rental Car/Purchasing a New Car
If you chose not to have rental car coverage on your insurance, then you are limited on options. Rental cars are expensive. If your car requires repair, consider borrowing a car from a friend or family member or using a car riding service like Uber or Lyft.
Since we knew that our car was totaled, and we opted out of rental insurance, we started searching for car deals that day. We had talked about getting a van in 2017-2018, but since this accident changed up our plans, we chose to find an affordable used car that we could sell in a few years, rather than feel rushed to purchase a van that was out of our budget.
In our case, the insurance company gave us quite a bit for our totaled car. We received about $7,900 for our 2008 Toyota Yaris that had over 100,000 miles on it. However, getting the money took much longer than we expected, so remember to factor this in if you also need to get a replacement vehicle.
3. Litigious Parties
As if this world isn’t already full of enough crooks and thieves, I have heard so many stories of people trying to profit from auto crashes. Even in minor accidents, it is best to just have the police come to write a report and ensure that all injuries are reported. Having the right coverage on your insurance will also prevent you from costly lawsuits and lawyer fees.
It will cost money in order to gain a personal copy of a police report. However, your insurance company should have access to it, and they will be able to share the findings in the report without additional costs.
4. Insurance Claims
Have you ever been in a minor accident, and the other person doesn’t want to deal with insurance? In most cases, this should be a red flag, especially if the damage is more than $500 worth.
No one wants to be that “jerk” who runs to the insurance company, but unless the at-fault party can hand you the cash that day, then most likely it will take a lot of back and forth to get the money you need for necessary repairs.
Car accidents can be costly. Do everything you can to prevent them, from leaving your phone in your bag to using a self-installed dash cam.
Have you ever been in a car accident? How have you prevented costly expenses after an accident?