My Car Accident Story

Article Note: This is a guest post from THE Wife, who has a car accident story to share. Yes, she’s OK. No, that is not the photo of her car accident (which was significantly less dramatic, fortunately). And Yes, I have forgiven her. She has since gotten in another accident, so I thought it best to highlight what to do when in an accident (before leaving the scene) to get the best result with insurance companies.

It was a nice sunny Saturday, Cinco de Mayo to be exact, and I was driving home from grocery shopping. Traffic was heavy as usual downtown, yet fluid in movement. Students from the local university were outside drinking, partying, and taking in the sun.

Then it happened. I absently took my eyes off the road and the car in front of me for a second to look to take in the scenery and when I looked back, the car in front me me had come to a quick stop. I slammed on the brakes, but it was not enough to prevent a car accident.

Thankfully no one was hurt. Numbers and dollar signs started running through my head, as typical for anyone who has been in an accident, but especially so for a wife of a personal finance blogger!

What is Worse than a Car Accident? A NEW Car Accident

Just a few months earlier, G.E. had highlighted the Tale of Grandy, our dying car, and the subsequent car hunt and negotiation strategy that had delivered a 2012 Malibu for almost $7,000 off MSRP.

That’s right, my first car accident story in over a decade just so happened to be with our brand new car!

car accident

Since I was only driving 25 mph, there was only exterior damage to the front bumper and head light and I was able to drive the car home from there just fine, but STILL!

I exchanged contact information with the other driver (who’s rear bumper only had a paint mark from my front bumper), we filed a police report, and I was then given a “failure to stop” ticket, which would later cost us $120.

A number of questions then started rushing through my mind:

“Will insurance cover damage repair since I am at fault?”

“Will a car accident raise our insurance rates?”

“Will the points from the ticket raise our insurance rates?”

“How much is the deductible for a car accident per our policy?”

“Since we were not planning to keep this car long term, how will an accident show up in a Carfax report, and will it impact our resale value?”

“How will my husband react when he finds out?”

One thing I was sure of: this car accident was indeed going to be an expensive mistake.

Over the next few weeks, I learned a number of things about car accidents that I never had to deal with previously as my last accident was in high school and I was on my parent’s insurance policy.

Some of these tips have not been easy to find and are not the most intuitive, so as I work through them I want to share them with you in an upcoming post(s), including:

How to drop points and get insurance discounts by taking a defensive driver class, what type of insurance covers you if you are at fault in an accident, and accident forgiveness. Also, there’s a little known report called a CLUE report where any insurance claims will be added, that could impact your rates.

Meanwhile, what is your car accident story (if you’re comfortable reliving that moment), and what tips do you have to share, post accident?

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