How Knowing My Car Insurance Coverage Saved Me $250
Well, Clever Friends, itâ€™s been quite an expensive couple of days. Last Saturday I shelled out $330 for two new tires on the family van so that weâ€™d be as safe as possible as we left town Saturday night for a charity event. At 12:15am Sunday morning, while we were driving home from the event, I hit a deer that darted out in front of me while I was going 65mph. I slammed on the brakes which just about gave the deer enough time to get across the road unharmed. Unfortunately, I struck his back end with the passenger side front corner of our van.
Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Most importantly, nobody was hurt. The van was drivable, therefore we continued on our way towards home. Even though it was very late, I immediately made some phone calls.
- Call the Police: I dialed the non-emergency number and explained what had occurred. The dispatcher connected me with the highway patrol since the incident occurred on a state highway. The highway patrol officer explained to me that because the vehicle was drivable and no injuries occurred, their involvement was not necessary. I simply had to call my insurance company.
- Call Your Insurance Company: I answered questions for about 20 minutes as they opened up a claim. He explained my coverage, as well as my deductibles. My collision coverage carried a $500 deductible, while my comprehensive coverage was set at $250.
I was curious as to how my deer incident would be categorized, as it would make quite a difference as to how much Iâ€™d be paying out of pocket. I hit the internet to brush up on my car insurance education.
- Liability Insurance: This is the type of insurance that is required to have your vehicle on the road. Should you get into an accident with another vehicle, this insurance will pay to fix the vehicle of, and any personal injury to the other person involved up to a certain limit.
- Collision Insurance: This insurance will pay to fix your vehicle if you are involved in an accident. It also covers drivers that collide with a stationary object such as a tree, telephone pole, or other stationary object.
- Comprehensive Insurance: This level of protection covers things outside the control of the driver such as a flat tire, being car jacked, storm damage, or most importantly in this example, hitting a deer.
Feeling properly educated I continued with the process of getting my van fixed, and called my dealership to get the ball rolling. I brought my van in for an estimate. When the estimate was emailed to me later that day there were two figures that I found very interesting:
- The estimate to fix my van was $3000. Wow. Stupid deer.
- The estimate classified the insurance coverage as collision, with a deductible of $500.
Knowing this was incorrect, I called my insurance agent who promised to call the dealership to straighten things out.
The next day I brought my van in to have them install a new headlight so that I could legally drive my van until they could fit me in to complete the repairs. When I picked up the van, they collected my deductible: $250. I nodded to myself and internally thanked my insurance agent for handling the situation promptly.
Knowing what coverage you have, and how they apply to different situations along with your deductible amounts is critical. Auto body shops and insurance companies do their best, but sometimes mistakes are made. If nothing else, ask questions, and make sure you get the same answer from both parties before resigning yourself to the amount owed.
Have you ever caught a mistake while dealing with auto insurance? Was it difficult to get it straightened out?