Crashes Don't Have Monopoly on Car Damage

By Matt Schmitz  on February 12, 2013

If you think managing to avoid hitting or being hit by another moving vehicle is a foolproof way to maintain a spotless claims record with your insurance provider, beware of obstacles in the road ahead. According to a study by, crashes are among dozens of potential perils that drivers face.

Crashes in which a driver strikes, or is struck by, another moving car do comprise the greatest proportion of auto-insurance claims (nearly 45% combined). Still, according to an analysis of 42,000 online quotes delivered between Sept. 1, 2011, and Feb. 5, 2013, for collision, comprehensive and liability insurance on single-vehicle policies where users reported an incident in the preceding five years, a host of other types of claims exceed moving crashes.

"We buy auto insurance because we envision two cars careening toward each other and screeching brakes," said Des Toups, managing editor. "But more than a third of all incidents involve things like a parked car, the weather, vandalism, hitting animals or road debris."

The other top reasons for auto-insurance claims include:

10. Hit a pedestrian: 0.4%
9. Theft of car or car parts: 1.5%
8. Windshield or glass: 2.2%
7. Struck animal: 2.4%
6. Vandalism: 2.4%
5. Debris or other non-accident damage (i.e., a pothole): 2.9%
4. Car struck while parked: 5%
3. Struck parked car or tree: 5.4%
2. Act of nature: 5.8%
1. Single-car accident: 7.9%

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Safety Social Reader

News Editor Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers.  Email Matt