When I started driving at age 16, I was on my parents’ insurance policy. When I got ready to join the military at age 19, we mutually decided that it was time to get my own policy. I compared quotes from several agencies, and decided to go with a different insurer than the ones my parents used, as I could save about 50% on my monthly premium. Big mistake.
Before I joined the military, I was going to school full-time and working at a local pizza place full-time. I was the Assistant Manager at that time, but sometimes filled in for drivers or helped out during heavy rushes by delivering a few pizzas. I informed my new insurance company of this, and was assured that everything was cool. In the case of an accident, I was promised that my policy would cover me even if I was on the clock. Good to go, right? Wrong.
One night, we had a thunderstorm, and of course everyone decides to order delivery when the weather was bad, so I had to get out and take a few pizzas to a neighborhood about 5 miles from the store. Everything was great until I was on my way back from this run. Some kid in an Oldsmobile Cutlass plowed through a light and t-boned my car. I waited for the police to come, they issued him a ticket, towed both our cars and I went back to the store to call my insurance company. Lo and behold, they denied my claim since I was on the clock (even though my policy stated I was covered).
Long story short, I had to pay to fix my car myself. I spoke with several attorneys, but no one would take my case since I was leaving in two months for basic training, and I knew nothing about the Soldiers & Sailors Civil Relief Act at that time, so I let it go. That little incident cost me $2,000. It was $1,000 just to get my car drivable, another $1,000 later to get it looking decent. The other guy’s insurance didn’t pay because it was declared a “no-fault” accident. I learned a hard lesson about using a no-name, two-bit insurance company that no one had ever heard of. They have since gone out of business, which is a bit of Karma.
It is true that you get what you pay for. Now that the internet is out there for use (we had dial-up AOL back when I was in my teens, and you couldn’t find the types of reviews you can today), do your research before you buy an auto insurance policy. Compare not only prices, but customer service and customer reviews before you select an insurance company. Hopefully you never have to go through what I went through. Good luck!
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