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Seven Surprising Causes of Car Insurance Claims

Because only the most serious vehicle accidents make it into the media, it’s easy to start picturing accidents as scenes of mangled car wreckage. While damaging a car beyond repair in a car accident happens all too often, insurance industry statistics show that the majority of accidents on Australian roads are a surprising blend of the unspectacular and the unexpected.

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1. Damage while parked

A big portion of car insurance claims are made for damage to cars that were quietly minding their own business in parking lots at the time of the accident. Parking lot accidents rarely cause serious damage but can be annoying and expensive to repair. The areas most at risk of incurring damage on a parked car include doors, bumpers and side-view mirrors.

2. Glass damage from airborne gravel

Gravel is innocuous enough looking stuff until a car in front of you kicks some of it up into your face, leaving you with a chipped or cracked windscreen. The risk of glass damage from gravel increases in rural areas where there are fewer paved roads. It should therefore come as no surprise that glass damage is a major source of car insurance claims in Western Australia.

3. Hail

Car panels are surprisingly vulnerable to extensive and expensive hail damage. Because of this hailstorms are a major concern for Australian insurance companies. A single major hailstorm can result in thousands of claims being filed simultaneously and can put a literal dent in an insurance firm’s finances.

4. Single car crashes

Sometimes all it takes to generate an insurance claim is simple bad driving. Single car accidents in which drivers leave the road and roll or collide with a stationary object not only make up a substantial portion of all car accident claims, but are responsible for around half of the non-pedestrian fatalities on Australian roads.

5. Angry exes

It’s not unusual for cars to bear the brunt of a relationship gone bad. At least in Australia, where the majority of car vandalism claims arise from disgruntled exes venting their rage on their former partner’s car. The damage inflicted in these cases can be quite creative, and ranges from smashed windscreens to slashed tyres, key scratches and fuel contamination.

6. Rear-end collisions

Widespread scepticism towards the concept of a safe following distance is apparent in the number of insurance claims made by drivers who have been hit from the rear by another vehicle. In fact read-end collisions are the leading cause of accidents involving two vehicles, edging out intersection accidents, head-on collisions and accidents caused by failure to give way.

7. Collisions with kangaroos

Of the many thousands of accidents caused by livestock and wildlife in Australia every year, around half are caused by kangaroos and wallabies. These types of collisions are likelier to happen at night and on rural roads hedged by lush vegetation that can attract kangaroos. The damage caused by these collisions can be significant, and they are particularly hazardous for motorcyclists.

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