Vehicle Insurance - Better Safe Than Sorry

I’m sure none of you are guilty of this, but amazingly some people take the risk of driving without insurance. I don’t know about other areas, but here in BC that is illegal…and a pretty dumb risk regardless where you live.

You may be the best driver, but with lots of bad drivers out there, some accidents are unavoidable. Someone else can run a red light. They can swerve into your lane while driving home from the bar. Or maybe they’ll tailgate so close that they can’t stop before rear-ending you. In times like that it doesn’t make much difference how good your driving skills are.

Then there are the times when you might just make an error in judgement yourself. It just takes a single split second decision to end up in a car accident. Most of us have probably driven when tired or with something important on our minds.

Beyond car accidents, something can happen to your vehicle when it is just parked on the side of the street. Car thieves could decide to target your vehicle in search of something to steal or just for a joyride. You could be the victim of a mindless vandal keying cars.

The list of situations that could occur really is endless. The bottom line is that you need protection so that none of these random events put you in a financial bind. Vehicle insurance is that life preserver that prevents you from drowning in those unplanned expenses.

My Experience With Vehicle Insurance

In my 15+ years of driving I’ve actually only been involved in 2 accident insurance claims. I consider that a pretty good driving record.

The first incident occurred in a parking lot. Somehow this guy found it unnecessary to properly check what was behind him before backing out of his parking space. Needless to say he was completely at fault and the insurance company agreed. That experience went very smoothly and the damage was fixed without costing me anything other than some wasted time.

The second incident was unfortunately my fault…well according to the insurance company anyway. You see, here in BC the government has a monopoly on vehicle insurance. So they seem to have a policy of trying to put 100% of the blame on one side whenever possible to limit the number of potential lawsuits or appeals.

With that one I was driving my girlfriend to work and we were running a little late. When a traffic light turned yellow (yes I know it’s called amber, but who actually says that?), I rushed to make the light and turned left. As luck would have it, someone else was rushing to make that light. I don’t know for sure, but I think she may have even got it as it was turning red. Well she ran right into me, totaling my car. Thinking back about it, if I was less honest I probably could’ve avoided taking the full blame by claiming that she had definitely ran the red light.

The really dumb part is that at the time I had 9 years of clean driving on my record. One more clean year and I would’ve qualified for what’s called Road Star. With that I would’ve been entitled to one ‘free’ accident that wouldn’t affect my rates. Instead my rates drastically increased and I have to try to work my way back up to Road Star.

On the bright side, I did have full coverage. So they cut me a check for the replacement value of my Acura Integra. That did clear up the amount still owing on the car loan and provide the down payment on my Mustang.

Obviously that incident was a lot worse dealing with the insurance company. For one it wasn’t just a minor fender bender. Secondly I was on the losing side of the decision which is never a fun experience. I really think the other lady should’ve taken at least 25% blame, but I guess they don’t do things that way.

At least I wasn’t suddenly out the full price of my car. That would’ve been a lot more stressful. As much as I don’t like the insurance company, I am glad there was coverage to help deal with the problem.

Still I am pretty jealous of the people who have a choice of what company they buy their vehicle insurance from. It would be nice to insure your vehicle with whoever you choose. Then you can use tools like this calculator to find the best deal. You aren’t stuck paying whatever one company charges.

How have your experiences with vehicle insurance been? Have you been blamed for any accidents?

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