Accident while drifting – is this covered by insurance?
A car accident while drifting is covered by collision auto insurance as long as your vehicle was the only one involved since car insurance covers single-vehicle accidents of all types. After an accident while drifting or being reckless, you should assess your financial situation to decide whether you should file an auto insurance claim for the car accident.
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UPDATED: Nov 12, 2020
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The following is an exported forum post from our discontinued forum. If you would like to reply to this old forum post, please post a comment below.
So I was being stupid and was playing around in the snow with friends and ‘drifting’
Well, I hit some nasty ice and accidentally slid into the curb and messed up my strut and steering on my Honda Accord…
I know it was stupid… will my insurance cover this?
We’re glad you acknowledged that you were stupid. We didn’t want to be the ones to tell you! Drifting in an empty parking lot after a snowstorm may be fun – but it can also be dangerous (as you obviously found out).
Sounds like your car has some serious damage. That’s bad. Fortunately, the accident should be covered by insurance, assuming you have collision coverage.
Your car insurance covers single vehicle accidents of all types. If you’re dumb and drive into a snowbank, for example, then your car insurance will cover this accident.
Your car insurance even covers accidents where you were drunk driving. If you were drunk and slid on the ice, for example, then rolled down a bank, then your car insurance should cover this accident.
With that in mind, your car insurance should cover the damages you sustained while drifting. You might want to leave out some details. We’re not going to advise lying to your car insurance company. However, you can file an insurance claim and just say you were driving through a parking lot and slipped on ice.
Tell the insurance company the truth: you were “driving” down a snowy street and slipped on some ice. You lost traction and steering, then slammed into the curb. If the insurance company asks further questions, then we recommend answering those questions honestly.
Remember: you’re not the first person to get into a single vehicle accident while driving on snow and ice. People make all sorts of stupid mistakes while driving on snow and ice. Often, these mistakes result in a single vehicle accident. Your mistake may have been a little more stupid and a little more deliberate, but it’s still a mistake that your car insurance company should cover.
Is it worth making a claim?
There’s one other thing to consider: it may not be in your best financial interests to make an insurance claim.
It’s unclear how much damage your Honda Accord sustained. Based on what you told us, the damage could be significant – or it could only cost a few hundred dollars to repair.
You may want to take your car to a mechanic for an independent assessment. The mechanic might tell you that it will only cost $1,200 to fix, for example. If your deductible is $1,000, then it may be worth paying for repairs out of pocket.
A quick search online tells us that the average cost for a suspension shock or strut assembly replacement is between $315 and $450 total. Labor costs are estimated at $115 to $150, while parts are estimated at $200 to $300. Some manufacturers even recommend replacing your struts every 50,000 miles – so it may be in your best interest to get your struts replaced anyway.
Based on this cost estimate, it seems paying out of pocket could be your best option (assuming you only damaged your strut).
Remember: making an insurance claim costs more than just your deductible. You will have an at-fault accident on your record. This will raise insurance premiums for anywhere from 3 to 5 years. As a young driver, those higher premiums can be devastating. You might pay hundreds more dollars per year for car insurance – even thousands. Over the years, it can add up to significant losses.
For this reason, it may not be worth it to make a claim.
Consider contacting your car insurance company
Your car insurance company can help you decide if it’s worth making a claim. Your car insurance company might assess your vehicle damage and determine how much it should cost to repair it.
At this point, you can decide whether or not to proceed with a claim.
Ultimately, we expect your car insurance policy to cover damage to your vehicle. You’re right: it was a stupid mistake. But you sound young, and we all make mistakes when we’re young. You’ve (hopefully) learned from it.
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This is a tough one.
If I were you, I might “conveniently” leave out some information. Just say the accident was caused by loss of traction due to slippery conditions.
Accidents caused by your own stupidity are usually not covered. Do you understand that Camry’s are not meant for this type of driving?