Road Rage On Rise: How Does It Impact Your Car Insurance?

Unhappy male driver holding hands on steering wheel and looking at road with anxiety

11 Mar Road Rage On Rise: How Does It Impact Your Car Insurance?

Road rage incidents are on the rise in New Zealand, raising concerns about driver safety and the potential impact on car insurance. From speeding and tailgating to unsafe lane changes and confrontations at traffic lights, aggressive driving by high-risk drivers who vent their frustrations on other road users is becoming more common. Understanding how this trend could impact your car insurance is essential to protecting yourself and your vehicle. Here are some things to know.

1. Road rage is not always covered by car insurance

Whether it’s a minor altercation or a more serious confrontation, road rage incidents and aggressive driving can lead to serious injuries and cause considerable damage to vehicles. Depending on the type of car insurance you have, damage resulting from road rage may not always be covered.

While most comprehensive car insurance covers damage from accidents and collisions, intentional acts of aggression or damage caused by aggressive behaviour is usually not covered. This implies that if you have comprehensive car insurance and become a victim of a road rage accident, you’ll most likely be covered. However, if your road rage results in an accident, your insurance policy may not cover it, as road rage is often listed as an exemption in many car insurance policies. And when it comes to third party car insurance, it’s important to note that your insurance provider normally won’t cover damages to your own car, even if you’re the victim of a road rage accident. This is because third-party car insurance is mainly designed to handle the responsibilities and damages related to the other parties involved in the accident – it doesn’t typically cover the costs of repairing or replacing your own vehicle.

It’s important you carefully review your car insurance policy to have a clear understanding of what you’re covered for and what exemptions apply, to ensure you’re protected in the event of a road rage incident.

2. Road rage can lead to higher car insurance premiums

When calculating the cost of premiums, car insurance providers assess a number of risk factors. A history of engaging in road rage incidents could raise concerns about your driving behaviour, while an ongoing pattern of aggressive driving or road rage incidents could result in you paying higher car insurance premiums.

To avoid potential increases in your car insurance premiums, maintain a clean driving record and address any anger or stress-related issues that could contribute to road rage. For more advice on finding the right car insurance cover at the best price, talk to an Insurance Adviser specialising in helping arrange insurance NZ wide, such as those at Max Insurances.

3. A calm and collected approach is necessary

Most road rage incidents are caused by poor driving behaviours or bad decisions that trigger a negative response. Things like tailgating, talking on a mobile while driving, lane changing at the last minute, or overtaking when it’s not safe to do so. In all of these instances, it’s easy for you or someone else to respond with aggression or anger.

Dealing with road rage takes a calm and collected approach to ensure both your safety and the safety of others on the road. When faced with an aggressive driver:

  • Stay calm. Avoid engaging in aggressive behaviour or responding in any way. Remain focused on keeping you and others in your car safe and out of harm’s way.
  • Don’t make eye contact. Making eye contact or responding in any way is likely to escalate the situation. Instead, focus on the road ahead and avoid unnecessary interactions.
  • Keep a safe following distance. Increase the distance between your vehicle and the aggressive driver. Create some space to allow them to pass you to avoid potential confrontations.
  • Report any incidents. If you feel threatened or in danger at any time, report the aggressive driver to the authorities. Take note of the registration number, vehicle description and location to assist with an investigation if required.
  • Install a dash cam. Recording continuous footage of the road ahead while you’re travelling and keeping track of the date, time, speed, G-force and GPS co-ordinates, as well as in-car behaviour, can be helpful in road rage incidents or when you need to lodge a claim with your car insurance provider.

Car insurance protects your important assets

In New Zealand, road rage is a contributing factor to many cases of dangerous driving and serious accidents, and it’s not uncommon for road rage incidents to escalate into physical violence and face-to-face confrontations. By understanding the potential impact that road rage could have on you, those in your car, and your car insurance cover, and by taking the necessary steps to prevent aggressive driving behaviour, you’re helping to keep the roads safe for everyone.

Get help with car insurance, review your existing policy, understand coverage limits and exemptions, and discuss additional coverage to fit your lifestyle and needs, by contacting a Max Insurances Adviser. Get the right car insurance cover at the right price!

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