I have been involved in selling and servicing auto insurance in the Springfield, Mass area for close to 20 years now and I see this as a big problem.
Most people simply do not review their auto insurance policy until they need it and/or have to file a claim. This is a mistake.
When someone purchases an auto insurance policy from our offices we clearly and simply go over your exact coverages. The Mass auto policy has 12 different parts and we explain in detail exactly which coverages you have chosen and which coverages you are not getting.
The customer then signs several forms indicating that they understand what their coverages are and which parts they have chosen to purchase. Yet that seems to be where it stops.
It is then the customer’s responsibility to not only understand but to carefully review their coverages to be sure they have exactly what they want.
The biggest problems come in with the “optional” coverages.
- Part 10 is “Substitute Transportation” – this allows the customer to get a rental car in the event of a claim – many customers do not check their policy for this coverage until after they have had an accident or been involved in some sort of incident that damages their vehicle. It is an optional coverage and must be chosen and discussed by the customer. If it is very important coverage to you then be sure to request it when you are purchasing your policy.
- Part 11 is “Towing and Labor” – this part allows for the reimbursement of any towing or labor charges up to $100. It is an optional coverage and must be chosen and discussed by the customer. We always recommend that our customers get AAA for $95/year – this allows towing of up to 100 miles for free.
- Part 7 is “Collision” – this is the most expensive part on the policy. It covers your vehicle if you cause an accident or you get hit and run – the company will repair your car with this part – you pay the deductible and the company pays the rest. Many times when a customer purchases Part 9 – which is Comprehensive (covering stolen, vandalism, fire damage and glass) the think they are getting Collision coverage for their vehicle – even though it is carefully explained to them that they do not have Part 7 Collision.
So, the lesson here being to carefully review your policy before you have an incident. Come into our office or call us on the phone and we would be more than happy to review your coverages with you and make any changes you may want.
Ken Ross – (413) 543-3800 – Indian Orchard
Charlie Ross – (4130 781-3800 – Forest Park