Elissa’s “Confessions of a Cobbler”
You know the saying about the cobbler’s children having no shoes? I have to confess to being a bit of a cobbler. Okay, my children have shoes – real ones and the financial planning version: ROTH IRAs. But I was recently going through the mail, the paper kind that comes to the mailbox in the front yard (it feels as overwhelming as the digital kind sometimes, although if I truly received as much paper mail as I get email, we wouldn’t be able to fit it inside the house). I opened mail from my Property and Casualty (P&C) insurance company and found my automobile insurance renewal that comes every 6 months. I plead the 5th and refuse to divulge how long it has been since I read that policy coverage. But Dave bought me a new car for Christmas and I needed to pull the insurance information card to put in the glove box. A cursory review of the cost of the insurance made me curious as the cost of coverage on the new car was lower than the coverage on our other cars. I guessed it was timing as we’ve only owned the new car for about 4 months of the 6-month coverage period, but it piqued my interest and I read on.
What I found made my heart skip a beat … or two. My brand new, not cheap car (there’s no such thing as a “cheap” car) was not covered by collision coverage. In case you are not clear on insurance terminology, if my car had been in a collision, its repair or replacement would not have been covered. I should mention that this was definitely an error on the part of the insurance company, and it’s all fixed now, so the legal ramifications aren’t the point of this essay. I was horrified and called them immediately. They fixed it – it’s covered as of today!
And now . . . the rest of the story. I discovered the following:
- Alisson is eligible for a good-student discount due to her grades, but that wasn’t reflected on the policy. –
- We have 4 cars because the one we would dispose of would sell for only a very few dollars, but it’s a fun convertible that we all enjoy driving periodically. But we had all 4 cars listed as being driven over 7,500 miles per year! It’s hard for three people to drive 4 cars 7,500 each per year, especially when Alisson’s school and our office are no more than 1.5 miles away from our home, and Dave and I generally commute together [Lauren has her own car, btw].
- I had been paying $180 per year for rental car coverage … but even before the latest auto acquisition, we had sufficient cars to be down one temporarily if necessary.
And just to make the point, the reduction in premium from these adjustments more than offset the fairly significant increase in premium for the collision coverage on the new car.
So, I am now going to go read the rest of my P&C policies. I urge you to do the same and to bring copies to your next meeting with us so we can review them with you.