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The Cost Of A Low Impact Parking Lot Accident

The cost of one little Parking Lot Accident

Jerry Nicklow parked behind Nancy Nicklow at Huff Insurance in Pasadena MD

Navigating the True Costs of Parking Lot Accidents

Parking lot accidents are a common yet overlooked aspect of driving that can have surprisingly costly consequences. Despite their low-speed nature, these incidents often result in significant financial, emotional, and insurance-related repercussions for involved parties.

The Financial Impact: Beyond the Surface

At first glance, a parking lot accident may seem inconsequential. However, the reality is far different. Modern vehicles, adorned with cutting-edge technology, have transformed minor bumps into major expenses. For instance, repairing or replacing sensors, cameras, and plastic parts can quickly escalate costs, with some incidents leading to repair bills in excess of $4,500. This figure starkly highlights the financial burden these accidents can impose, underscoring the need for awareness and caution.

The Role of Technology in Repair Costs

Technological enhancements in vehicles, while improving safety and driving experience, have paradoxically increased the costs associated with parking lot accidents. The integration of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), bumper sensors, and cameras has made even minor collisions a costly affair. Consequently, what used to be a simple fender bender now involves complex repairs and replacements, amplifying the financial impact on drivers.

Insurance Dynamics: A Double-Edged Sword

Parking lot accidents don’t just affect immediate repair costs; they also influence long-term insurance premiums. Many drivers are unaware that even minor incidents can lead to increased rates, as insurers adjust premiums based on the frequency and severity of claims. Understanding the specifics of your auto insurance coverage, particularly regarding deductibles and coverage limits for such incidents, is crucial in managing potential costs effectively.

Psychological and Emotional Considerations

Beyond the tangible costs, parking lot accidents can also have a psychological toll on drivers. The stress of dealing with insurance claims, repair shops, and potential increases in premiums can be overwhelming. Additionally, there’s often a sense of embarrassment or frustration associated with these incidents, despite their common occurrence. Recognizing and addressing these emotional aspects is important for drivers navigating the aftermath of a parking lot accident.

Proactive Prevention and Awareness

While it’s impossible to eliminate the risk of parking lot accidents entirely, drivers can significantly reduce their likelihood through vigilant driving practices and the use of available technology. Parking in less congested areas, utilizing parking sensors and rearview cameras, and maintaining a safe driving distance in parking lots can all contribute to a decrease in incidents. Furthermore, educating oneself on the specifics of one’s auto insurance policy can provide clarity and peace of mind in the event of an accident.

Conclusion: A Comprehensive Approach to Parking Lot Safety

Parking lot accidents, though often considered minor, carry a range of financial, emotional, and insurance-related implications for drivers. By adopting a proactive approach to prevention, staying informed about insurance coverage, and recognizing the broader impacts of these incidents, drivers can better navigate the complexities of parking lot accidents. Awareness and preparedness are key in mitigating the unforeseen costs and stresses associated with these all-too-common occurrences.

Insurance agents do have auto accidents.

I know…. Hard to believe.    You would think we would know better.  And cost of this low impact parking lot accident really took me by surprise.

My husband, Jerry Nicklow, had parked behind me at work— just three feet behind my car (just like in the photo).   I saw his car behind me, got in my car, starting talking to the kids and backed up right into his (brand new) car.

By the way, my back up sensor that was supposed to alert me to a car behind me….. Never went off until after I hit his car.

In three feet, I could not have been going more than 5 miles an hour, It was a low impact accident.

Twenty years ago, there would have been a few scratches, maybe a dent or two. They would have buffed it out and all would be right with the world.   The accident would have cost less than $500 for both vehicles to be repaired.

Well, fast forward to 2019, where this is no longer the case.

With all the cameras, and sensors and safety equipment in the vehicles, even a low impact parking lot accident can cause thousands of dollars in auto repair bills.

Vehicles are now made with plastic clips and if those clips break then the entire unit has to be replaced.

I have a Jeep Cherokee and my husband has a Dodge Charger.  (His baby and it’s still less than a year old)

My Jeep looked twice as bad from the outside, I had a quarter panel pop out, a tail light popped out, and a dent in the bumper.

The damage to Jerry’s Charger did not look that bad at first glance.  It a dent on the hood and a dent on the bumper.

There was some minor scratches on both of the vehicles, but nothing that you would not notice unless right up on the cars.

We took the cars to the body shop to have the repairs done.  The Jeep was over $2,200 in repairs and the Dodge was a little over $2,400.

Evidently, when they took the bumper off the Dodge, one of the plastic clips that holds the headlight kit in place was broke.  Just to replace the headlight is over $1000.

Let that soak in…..$1000 to replace a headlight.

So this 5 mile an hour has now costs us over $4,500 between the 2 vehicles.

Luckily, I did not break the backup camera in the Jeep or that would have been another $3,000 to replace that.

As an insurance agent I am asked every day:  Why are auto insurance rates increasing?

Well as vehicles are made safer, there are more parts that we have to replace if there is an accident.

And with vehicles made more of plastic then metal, there is less buffing and popping out dents and more replacing the entire bumper or quarter panel.

There is no $50 parts on a car these days. Even if you break a light it is hundreds of dollars to replace.  Tail lights are now LED and they need to have the entire piece replaced not just the bulb or the cover.

I never would have imagined that this small parking lot accident would have been so costly.

In some ways it scares me, what would it have cost if it would have been a 20, 40 or 60 mile an hour collision?

At this point I am grateful that no one was hurt and that my Jerry has his baby back and the Charger is as good as new.

I Guess, he will not park behind me anytime soon.  The photo was staged to use in the blog, believe me, he does not actually park there any more…..

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