Last December, my husband and I decided to watch the Iowa Hawkeyes take on the Michigan Wolverines in the Big Ten Football Championship. We packed our car with luggage, food and drinks, and two other family members to make the 7-hour drive from Des Moines to Indianapolis.

After a rainy drive, we finally made it. We were following the Google Maps directions that took us a strange way through the city when another car made an ill-timed turn right in front of us.  We could not avoid the crash but luckily, we were able to slow down to lessen the impact. We were all okay, but our car was not. Fortunately, our insurance agent was in the car with us – me!

Our car was undrivable, so now what? How would we get home? How would our car get home? Was the car totaled? These weren’t the questions we had planned to ask ourselves when we set off to have a fun weekend, but we made the best of a tough situation.

Is Your Auto Insurance Coverage Good Enough?

Like all of us, I was thankful to be done with the process when we finally settled the claim. I wanted to share a few insights from the experience that can hopefully help you consider if your own auto insurance policy is providing the coverage you need.

Comprehensive and Collision Insurance

We were surprised to find out that the other party involved had a fraudulent auto ID card and did not actually have insurance. We carry full comprehensive and collision insurance as well as uninsured/underinsured motorists’ coverage. Since the other party did not have insurance, our insurance company was responsible to pay out the claim to us. If one of us had been injured in the vehicle, then our injuries would have been covered by our own uninsured/underinsured motorists’ liability coverage.

Personal Umbrella Policy

We also carry a personal umbrella policy. If we would have been determined to be at fault, and we injured the other vehicle’s occupants, then they could have come back and sued us for their injuries, pain, and suffering, etc. The extra $300 that we pay every year for our personal umbrella gives us an additional $1,000,000 in liability coverage. This is worth it for our household – consider if it would be right for you.

Rental Reimbursement Coverage

We also have rental reimbursement coverage. This covered the rental car that we needed to drive home from Indianapolis and the rental car that we needed until we determined if our car was totaled, which it was, and until we could find a new car to purchase. Rental reimbursement also covered our Uber rides for the weekend in Indianapolis when we couldn’t use our car after the accident.

OEM Coverage

I’m glad that we had “Original Manufactured Parts” (OEM) coverage on our policy. This meant that our car had to be replaced with original parts. Since this was the case, our insurance company ended up totaling our vehicle due to the cost to repair. We knew the car was never going to be the same due to the crash, so we were happy it was totaled.

Personal Advocacy

Having an agent that will advocate for you or being able to advocate for yourself with the insurance agency was also helpful. Our accident occurred on December 1 and the claim was not fully settled until after the new year, which was frustrating at times. Even when we felt like the claim was taking too long, we understood that the insurance company has to do their due diligence when paying out a claim. It helped to understand the process and our coverage so I could determine what questions to ask and ensure the process continued to move forward.

Review Your Coverage With Experts Who Care

Being in an accident is stressful enough but filing a claim after an accident can lead to additional headaches, even for someone who works in insurance. But after it was all said and done, I was grateful for our coverage and the time we’ve spent reviewing it over the years to make sure it’s providing what we need. I encourage you to review your coverages annually and talk with your agent to make sure your policies work for you.

If you have questions about your coverage, our Private Risk experts can help. Reach out today!