While driving is not a particularly pleasant experience for me, I do enjoy being able to travel large distances, and help others do the same. I also feel secure in knowing that if someone else, whether by accident or careless driving, crashes into my car, I will not be financially responsible for repairing my vehicle. These are the two biggest reasons I appreciate auto insurance and why it is important to me.
Thanks to state legislation, I am required, as is every current US resident, to own some type of auto insurance in order to legally drive my vehicle. Since I am a natural born rule follower and a law-abiding citizen, car insurance is important to me. I am glad that while all fifty states require that every driver has some minimum amount of car insurance, the minimum amount is very manageable. As a new driver, I was careless and I crashed into a fire hydrant. Had I not had insurance, that accident would have financially destroyed me. The repair costs for the car were over $10,000. Because the accident was my fault, my risk and correspondingly my rate went up for auto insurance. I regret that, but I appreciate the system. After about a year, I was no longer able to afford the level of insurance I had. I was able to downgrade to the minimum coverage in which I was protected from other people’s recklessness. Even though my insurance coverage bailed me out after my first accident and saved me from a lot of trouble, I learned a valuable lesson. My auto insurance has, in a sense, taught me the importance of safe driving the “easy way”.
More recently, I became acquainted with the financial benefits of even the minimum coverage car insurance. As a college student, I do not have very much free cash to spend on things like car repairs. About a year ago, I had to drive to school, as I did every weekday, to attend my classes. Nothing about that day was any different from any other day. That is until I parked my car in the parking garage on campus. I was squarely in my space. Since I drive a Prius, fitting into parking spaces is not difficult for me, and the back end of my car is always well contained. For some reason I had decided to stay in my car and call my friend while I waited for my first class. Suddenly, I noticed a car in my rear-view mirror. It seemed to be going a little too fast. It turned sharply, trying to occupy the available parking space directly next to mine. I heard a thunk and felt my car jolt forward. I couldn’t believe it. I told my friend that I believed someone had just crashed into my car and hung up. I had always pictured accidents as occurring out on the road where distractions, rash decisions and road rage lead to foolish actions and car crashes, and yet there I was, properly parked in a parking garage, minding my own business, and I got hit. I am grateful that I was in my car that day because I was able to exchange information with the driver immediately. I took pictures of the scene and then called my insurance provider. They put me in touch with a repair facility, paid for the repairs, and even paid for a rental car for me while my car was in the shop. I am grateful that I had had auto insurance in that moment because If I had not, I would have had to pay a few thousand dollars for all of that despite having done nothing wrong.
Auto insurance can seem like a pain and a waste of money while everything is going well. I know that I do not enjoy handing over my hard earned cash every few months for a service I have no intention of using, but that is what makes it so important. Life has a way of ignoring our plans and intentions and throwing us the occasional curve ball. Whether it was my fault or not, when I had the right coverage, I was able to hit the ball over the fence and make it home. My auto insurance has saved me a lot of stress and heartache, and as time has gone on I have come to appreciate what it does for me and the security it provides. Because of it, I am able to get in my car and drive my friends and family around, knowing that if something were to happen while I was on the road or even parked in a parking space, I am financially protected.
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