I didn’t understand insurance until I needed it. I bought my first car with my then boyfriend at the age of 20. On top of the car payments, I thought that insurance was just a necessary evil. We were both safe drivers, neither one of us had ever gotten into an accident, and we lived in the country where few people drove on the same road as us.
Then I decided to go back to school. The University of Arizona is in the large city of Tucson. I had never driven in such a chaotic place and I was chronically terrified. Our insurance naturally went up because of the sheer amount of people driving around us.
It only took four weeks of driving until I was hit at an intersection. It was raining outside and I hydroplaned into the intersection in a residential zone. Me, in my little two door Toyota Echo, got hit by a 1995 Jeep Cherokee. Needless to say that the car crumbled and wasn’t even drivable after that. Since the bigger car didn’t have a stop sign, the wreck was technically my fault. Though, I still believe that the other was speeding because I was barely moving and got hit so hard that the car completely changed directions. But I’ll save my views on the crash for another time.
My insurance company was amazing. The Since we had just moved, it was very confusing as far as where and when everything happened. My insurance office was in a different state, so they didn’t have a good idea, or communication hours to stay in contact. But they figured it out and were completely awesome.
We ended up totaling out the car and less than a week later, my now fiancé lost his job. So here we were, two 21 year olds, living in a new city, with no jobs, no cars, and I was going to college full time. Luckily, I had a bicycle to get to class. He found another job, but it didn’t pay nearly as well and the hours were about half. There was basically no way to save up for a new car.
But, luckily, we had insurance. We totaled out the car for somewhere around $3,000. We ended up living off of that money for months on end. Between paying rent and utilities, and not having a strong or reliable source of income, that insurance money saved us. It was extremely upsetting that we were relying on this, and there were times where I felt I had pulled insurance fraud, by my neck and shoulders disagree.
I am fortunate to have been wearing my seatbelt and not have gotten hit on the drivers side. Yes, by back and neck now have some serious issues, and I am even more terrified to drive now than I was previously. But riding a bicycle feels safer to me anyways. This whole crash and experience was a blessing in disguise. I feel fortunate to have such a wonderful insurance company making my first experience with them as painless as possible.
Insurance came out to be supportive, important, and irreplaceable in my situation. If it hadn’t been for Jeane on the phone walking me though all the steps of totaling out the car, and explaining what all these terms mean, I don’t know what I would have done. She was a very lovely lady and extremely helpful. There were so many parties involved in several different time zones, and she always made me feel at ease and like she would work things out with me.
After going through all of this first hand, I was able to help a friend who had been in a crash several months after mine. He had no idea how to handle the situation and I was an available resource to him. I was able to sit down with him when he called the insurance company and help explain to him what information the person on the phone would need. I helped him locate his insurance card and policy and gave him what I thought would be a practical outcome of the call. Again, my wreck was a blessing in disguise, both for me, and later people around me who needed help dealing with similar situations.
Although it sucks to have to go through situations with insurance, I am very glad that my first, and hopefully last experience was this one. But lets be honest, no body is perfect, and I know that eventually I will get a car again and eventually either me or someone else on the road will do something less than sensible and I will have to deal with insurance companies again. I just hope I prolong that situation, and when it comes, that it will be as positive as this last experience has been.
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