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Car insurance advice, please...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

We are moving from MA to CT and are researching car insurance rates. How do I know what kind of coverage I should have??

 

I was looking at our old policy, but have no recollection of how we landed at the coverage we chose and I have no idea whether it was well thought out or not (!)

 

A little background...

 

We have two paid-for cars.

 

DH uses his 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee for work. It's got almost 300k mi on it and has served us well, but I imagine it is on it's last legs.  We do not carry collision or comprehensive on this vehicle.  We have the compulsory Insurance and some "optional" insurance which is basically "Optional Bodily Injury to Others" ($250,000/$500,000) and "Bodily Injury Caused by Underinsured Auto" ($250,000/$500,000).

 

I drive a 2003 Chrysler Town & Country and use it to drive the kids around/run errand etc. This car has $500 deductibles for collision and comprehensive.  Also has substitute transportation($30/day for 30 days) and the same "Optional Bodily injury to others" and "Bodily injury caused by underinsured auto" as the Jeep.

 

Are we on the right track as we shop this around?? Thanks for any input!

post #2 of 7
I'm not an insurance expert but on the plus side, you should save a ton of money just by moving out of MA (since the insurance is so regulated there... although maybe this has changed in recent years).

Do you own a home (or other large assets)? If so, you want enough insurance to cover the value of your home so you don't lose it... if not, you should be able to get away with a little less.

I wouldn't do substitute transportation unless there is NO WAY you could arrange rides with DH/friend/etc. if your car were unusable.

I agree with the no collision/comprehensive on the 96... on the 03, I would get quotes for a higher and a lower deductible. We have $1000 on ours.

Sorry I am not more helpful though!
post #3 of 7

Look at your deductibles on both, and increase them as much as you can. Also make sure that you accurately estimate how far your commute is - the premium on DH's vehicle went down when he changed jobs, and his commute went from 25 miles each way to 3 miles.

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by nd_deadhead View Post

Look at your deductibles on both, and increase them as much as you can. Also make sure that you accurately estimate how far your commute is - the premium on DH's vehicle went down when he changed jobs, and his commute went from 25 miles each way to 3 miles.



I have to disagree with this, at least partially.  You should increase your deductible to whatever you will reliably have in savings, and feel comfortable spending, at any given time.  If your deductible is $1500, but you only have $500 in savings, if you are in a crash, you won't be able to afford to have your car fixed.  And if that vehicle is your only way to work, then you're SOL unless you can borrow money.  

 

I agree with only having the minimums on the Jeep.  If something were to happen to it in a crash, I'm assuming you would just replace it rather than have it repaired.

 

I agree with nixing the substitute transportation on the van.  $30/day seems kind of high...  I just randomly searched Enterprise in Hartford, CT, and for a Chevy Aveo (I'm assuming you have 3 or less kids and could switch vehicles temporarily with your DH to accommodate everyone) it's $900 a month including taxes.  Even a full-size car like a Chevy Impala is about $1000/month.  So you could almost certainly find something on your own for about $30/day instead of paying your insurance for it.  

 

Another option, depending on how many miles your DH drives per year, is insuring his as a "pleasure vehicle".  That's what we did when DH had a Saturn he only drove a few thousand miles/year on.

 

Good luck!

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Great advice, all! Thank you! The coverage for the rental is only, like $18 every 6 months, but yes, I probably could find something cheaper than that on my own. And really, if I were to get into a situation where I was without a car, I could always borrow one of my parents or stay at home, as I don't work and the two older girls could take the bus to school. It doesn't really save me $ as far as my premium goes, but might cost me money if I go through the ins. co and am locked into $30/day. DH also thinks we should increase our deductibles, which I was a little nervous about, but sounds like the unanimous advice (although I totally agree that we ned to keep in consideration how much we'll have available to put towards a deductible should the need arise....)

post #6 of 7

Just wanted to chime in that I almost dropped the rental coverage due to the $30/day but my husband said the insurance company said this was the amount they would pay for a rental car per day, not the amount we would pay. Maybe it's the same with yours?

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whalemama17 View Post

Just wanted to chime in that I almost dropped the rental coverage due to the $30/day but my husband said the insurance company said this was the amount they would pay for a rental car per day, not the amount we would pay. Maybe it's the same with yours?



Oh! That would make a huge difference! I wish insurance wasn't so confusing! We're also looking at health insurance, which is another nightmare, and something we've been badly burned with before.  But dh's employer is paying 50%, as opposed to us paying for self-employment insurance, so maybe it won't be so murky this time around.  But that's probably for a separate thread...

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