On a regular basis our customers tell us they have been searching for cheaper auto insurance or have purchased a cheaper brand of insurance. These customer comments are concerning because a cheaper insurance policy may create problems for you and your automobile investment. Do these sound familiar?:
“15 minutes could save you 15 % or more on car insurance!” – GEICO
“You could save an average of $668 with Progressive!”
These types of advertisements are all about getting your attention, however, when the time comes to use your policy’s coverage after an accident you may find out that your cheaper coverage is exactly what you asked for… CHEAPER. This means cheaper automobile replacement parts, cheaper labor rates reimbursement, and cheaper repairs. If you really want to know what type of insurance coverage you are purchasing read the policy before you buy it!
Why do people base their insurance purchases on TV, radio ads, internet advertising and other methods of propaganda without reading or examining the product they are purchasing? Today’s savvy buyers spend a great deal of time researching appliances, automobiles, computers, televisions, etc. before they buy. However, when it comes to insurance they shop price versus coverage. Coverage, or policy liability, is what the insurance company owes you in the event of a loss. Inside every insurance policy there is a section that explains the “Limits of Liability.” It is within the limits of liability where the company plays the bait and switch game, promising to repair your crashed vehicle while also stating that they will only pay for alternative, generic parts based on a discounted labor rate. Or they will replace your totaled vehicle based on actual cash value (ACV), not average retail value. ACV is based on their skewed database values, not the amount needed to replace your transportation with a like kind and quality vehicle.
Crawford’s is not in the business of auto insurance and this message is not to promote one brand over another. However, while helping customers through the claims process we communicate with practically every brand of auto insurance in the marketplace and have a good idea of which insurance companies are accountable to their policy holders and which companies sell policies that do not properly cover a customer’s loss. There are good insurance companies and there are not so good insurance companies. You owe it to yourself to know the difference.
People buy insurance coverage for catastrophic situations. So, why would you purchase a cheaper coverage when your goal is to be reimbursed for your loss at 100%? The goal in purchasing insurance coverage is to safeguard you from a financial loss based on a contractual agreement (policy). Unfortunately, this agreement is written by the same entity you have the agreement with. We call this a contract of adhesion or a “take it or leave it” agreement. In layman’s terms, it means asking the person who owes you money to set the terms of the amount that is owed to you. Because of this, it is our recommendation to protect yourself and your property by reading the insurance policy PRIOR to purchasing it.