For the purposes of this essay I would like to relate my personal experiences with auto insurance. Some people can go their entire lives without needing to file a claim with their insurance for any reason. I am 21 years old and have had to do this on more than one occasion.
First I will tell you of my most recent experience. This past December I was enjoying a weekend get away with my my mother, sisters and grandmother. We were about 120 miles from home and had just had a very enjoyable evening at the most beautiful Christmas village. We had arrived in 2 cars and we left at about 10 pm to go back to the hotel. The road leading from the village was one lane in either direction. The location is in a very rural part of Pennsylvania and the road was not well lit. I was driving my grandmother’s 2012 Toyota Rav 4. My grandmother does not drive at night or far distances, so I am well acquainted with this vehicle. I was rounding a curve and a full grown deer appeared on the side of the road on the right. I tried to stop the car because I wasn’t sure what the deer would do. I had not fully stopped and much to my surprise and complete shock, the deer came into the road and literally ran itself into the Rav 4. After making sure we were all ok, I got out to look at the damage. The entire front headlight was smashed. The grill had smashed in to the radiator and steam was coming out of it. The front quarter panel was also damaged. By this time my sister has called my mother who did not see us on the side of the road as she passed. She turned around and came back to help with the next steps. We called the Pennsylvania state police and while waiting for the trooper my mother called the car insurance company. My whole family has a very good insurance company and we are very appreciative of their excellent service.
Once the trooper got to the scene and assessed the situation, he advised that the car was not drivable and he called for the tow truck. Having a reputable insurance company eased every step of this process. The tow company knew that they would receive payment for their services and towed the car without taking any payment from my grandmother. As you would imagine this was a very upsetting situation and any little thing that takes the stress away is invaluable. The next day my grandmother, mother and one sister starting driving home with a stop or two along the way. That was a Sunday. The next day, Monday, I took my grandmother to a car rental location. Again because of having excellent insurance with a reputable company, renting a car for her was a very straightforward process. She took possession of a vehicle and a few days later wanted to switch it for a smaller one and this was also no problem. There was a very generous daily car rental allowance and a generous overall cap of $2000.00. The rest of the process was fairly seamless. The Rav 4 was not totaled and it was expertly repaired by a well established local body shop in Pennsylvania, recommended to us by the insurance company. They were paid promptly for their work and the only thing left do was to wait for it to be done and to have a friend drive my grandmother the 120 miles back to pick up her repaired car.
My other experience was when I myself was a fairly new driver. I made a foolish maneuver and backed into something and my very nice car was totaled. When the insurance company settled the claim, I received far more than I could have imagined I would for the car which enabled me to purchase a decent used vehicle so that I could continue working and going to school. The process was identical to the above scenario except for the part where my car was declared a total loss. I will also mention that the company we have insurance through does not levy surcharges for accidents. For your average family trying to make ends meet, this is a very important consideration.
Having a car accident, whether it’s your own fault or because of wayward wildlife, is a very stressful experience. Having an insurance company that alleviates all of your concerns and handles every step with professionalism is a real win win in my book. Insurance by the very definition of the word, is something you pay for over time with the assurance that when a calamity hits, you will be covered. This of course does not only apply to cars. Life insurance, health insurance, homeowners insurance and such all provide the same peace of mind. I guess it can be said that your insured to be assured. Assured that when life throws us a curve ball and the unexpected happens all is not lost and normalcy can be restored.
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