CHICAGO — With the number of holiday shoppers increasing, so are the opportunities to have a car accident. The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is offering tips to help shoppers avoid auto insurance claims this holiday season. According to the National Safety Council, 60,000 people are injured in parking lot accidents each year and distracted driving is a major factor.
“During the holidays, parking lots can pose a major problem and lead to vehicle accidents,” said Bob Passmore, PCI’s assistant vice president of personal lines. “It’s important to pay close attention to your surroundings and use extra caution while driving or walking in parking lots. The hustle and bustle of the season creates an opportunity for you to become even more distracted.”
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, collision claims increase by 20 percent just in the month of December alone. In the event you have an accident, be prepared to document the details regarding where the claim occurred and collect insurance and driver’s license information from the other motorist.
“While Americans know distracted driving is a problem, too often, making a quick call, firing off a text, adjusting the navigation system, or turning our attention to kids and pets in the back seat, results in a short lapse of focus that can lead to a crash. And the holiday season only increases these types of distractions for drivers,” added Passmore.
7 Quick Tips to Have a Claim Free Shopping Trip
1.) Take your time and slow down, everyone is in a hurry and it’s best to plan ahead and make sure plan for extra time in parking lots to avoid any accidents.
2.) Assume no one else is paying attention, make sure you scan the surrounding and watch for pedestrians who dart in front of your car.
3.) Stay off your cell phone it’s important to avoid distractions. And it’s not just the driver that is distracted. Pedestrians will be distracted by their smartphones.
4.) Make sure you place your shopping bags and even extra money in the trunk of your car to avoid thieves from attempting to break-in your car.
5.) Plan for sudden stops--it’s a good idea to avoid the front of the shopping store entrances where you’ll potentially find more pedestrians who could possibly dart out in front of your vehicle.
6.) If your vehicle is stolen, report the theft to the police immediately and contact your insurance company or agent as soon as possible. Personal property stolen from a vehicle may be covered under your homeowners or renters insurance policy.
7.) If items are stolen from your vehicle, make a list of personal property taken. Coverage for personal items varies from state to state, and your homeowners or renters insurance policy may provide additional coverage for personal items that were stolen.