Monday, September 15, 2008

Auto Insurance: Avoiding Last Year's Mistakes

Our Auto Insurance renewal notice is sitting in my inbox.  This year I'm going to do a few things differently to avoid another year of nervous driving.   We had a conversation the other day and came up with the following points that we are going to ask our insurer:
  • What discounts do we get for having a safe driving record, and what happens to that discount if we get into an accident?
  • What if we are driving out of Province ( State) or Country and get into an accident?  Who do we contact and what resources are there to get the car fixed?
  • Our car is getting older.  If it is totalled, how much do we get for it.  Can we get replacement insurance and buy a new car?  I don't want a car payment.
  • How fast is the claim process?  We are in a remote area and need a vehicle.
  • Does the car insurance cover a rental car while we get our car fixed?
  • Are there specific drivers assigned to the auto insurance policy?  Who is not covered by the car insurance?  
I'm adding to the list as I think of things, but these seem to cover the important points so far.  Last year we didn't go through this process.  When our auto insurance came up for renewal we were very busy.  We ended up going to see a local insurance broker near the last day.  Buying car insurance was just one more thing on a long list of things to do that weekend.

The insurance broker said he had a new insurance company that would save us a few hundred dollars.  A few hundred buck insurance discount sounded great considering all the shopping we were heading out to do.  So we signed up and took off.

But once we got all the chores done and life leveled out I began to read the fine print of the policy.  The worst part was there was very little documentation.  We just had a phone number to call if we had an accident.  Not very reassuring!

So this year we took a good look at how we use our car and decided to buy an auto insurance policy according to that criteria.  What good is a great insurance discount if the insurance is no good?  

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