Covering your auto accident in the Tri-State area

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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) – Whether you are running late for work, or driving safely and following the speed limit, accidents can happen.

Insurance companies say no matter how fast your going, roads do not discriminate.

Agents say in the worst winter weather conditions, just going the speed limit could cause an accident.

Insurance companies in Iowa, recommend having up to $300,000 worth of insurance coverage in case of an accident.

Simple things like slowing down and giving yourself extra time to get to your destination can make a difference to your safety but also others.

“Someone gets into an accident they need to make sure everyone’s okay first of all, and make sure it’s safe before you exit your vehicle,” said Jennifer Stilwell, Officer Manager for American Family Insurance. “And then be in contact with the other party. You do need to contact the police department and file a report. That is very important to get that police report.”

Insurance companies say it’s very important to make sure the correct information is exchanged between the two parties involved.

If you haven’t looked at your rates recently, you might want to check them out in case you find yourself involved in an accident.

“I think people are busy they are running late they need to get kids dropped off at certain times they need to get to work,” saidStilwell.

“A lot of times ice plays a bigger factor than the snow, unfortunately,” said Josh Vondrak, Owner, Vice President and an agent of Securus Insurance Group.

With winter weather comes slippery roads that can impact anyone’s day.

“Four-wheel drive is great to go but it’s not great to stop in…you need to stop your car regardless,” said Vondrak.

And these conditions can leave a dent in your wallet as well.

“It matters as far as the severity of the damage to the vehicle or other vehicles or injuries,” says Stilwell.

In Iowa, the state minimum for auto insurance can range from $20,000-$40,000 , depending on if your accident puts someone in the hospital.

“We highly recommend at least minimum $100,000 for bodily injury, $300,000 for bodily injury if multiple people are hurt and then $100,000 for property damage that would be even better,” said Stilwell.

In South Dakota rates are similar to Iowa.

“$20,000 would be the state minimum and $40,000 would be for the aggregate limit so any per accident,” said Vondrak.

Companies in South Dakota says there’s a per individual, a per accident, and a physical damage portion that covers the actual vehicle.

” If you wipe out a Cadillac that’s worth $100,000 and you only have a $50,000 limit, you’re on the hook for that other $50,000,” said Vondrak.

Meanwhile in Nebraska, rates look at little like this.

“Nebraska is actually $25,000, $50,000, $25,000. So if someone is going down Dakota Avenue and they hit a fairly newer Chevy Suburban or Ford Explorer, you’re going to use up the 20,000 real quick in damage and anything that’s above that is coming out of your pocket,” said Jared Langel, a Northeast Nebraska Insurance Agency producer.

Wherever you might live, companies say it’s important to be covered, regardless of your experience on the road.

“Its any age 16-90 it doesn’t matter the roads don’t discriminate against age,” said Stilwell.

When it comes to driving in winter conditions, being on the safe side is what counts. And that may require hitting the road just a few minutes earlier each day.

“Remember to slow down and take their time and be patient and be respectful of the roads and the weather conditions,” said Stilwell.

Depending on your insurance, some companies will offer extra types of coverage.

Rental reimbursement and emergency roadside services are available depending on your service.

Be sure to take plenty of pictures, and no matter how minor the accident may be, you are always encouraged to contact the local authorities and report the accident.

Danielle Saitta

Danielle Saitta

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