Car Insurance 101

Here at GACB, we always have a lot to say about auto insurance, sometimes good things, sometimes not so good. Suffice to say, it’s a complicated subject.

But you’d never know that from the ads and TV commercials most insurance companies run. The focus is always on the price, never on what you get for it – the quality of service, company reputation, coverage details and so on. All policies are pretty much the same, the thinking goes, so the best one must be the cheapest.

The result, at least from our experience, is that few drivers seem to actually know what’s in their policy. And that can be a huge problem when you have to make a claim.

Consider what Consumer Reports has to say about that in their most recent Car Insurance Buyer’s Guide:

“Claims payment is where the rubber hits the road in car insurance. Your insurer might push you to use shops in a direct-repair program (DRP) or use cheaper replacement parts, rather than the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. Tests by Consumer Reports and others have found that some non-OEM parts fit poorly, are more prone to rust and corrosion, don’t always meet federal safety standards, and may not provide good protection in a crash.”

Of course, we’ve already had plenty to say about the OEM problem as it relates to the integrity of the work we do. And in the coming weeks and months, we’ll be using this space to explore some of the other issues we think every driver should be aware of regarding their insurance coverage.

But for starters, we strongly advise everybody who owns a car to get educated about their auto insurance. Start by reading the Buyers’ Guide, then read your own policy, talk to your agent, and if you feel like it, come in and talk to us. It may take more than 15 minutes. But it’ll save you a lot more than that 15% on your next premium, too.