I Made This Mistake When Buying Car Insurance And It Almost Cost Me My Job

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It’s a mistake you don’t want to repeat.

Key points

  • Years ago I bought cheap car insurance for an equally cheap car.
  • By skimping on the cover, I submitted myself to a world of upheaval and aggravation.

When I moved to the suburbs as a young adult, it was my first real foray into driving. Of course, I had a license that I had obtained in my late teens. But having grown up and lived in a big city until about age 25, my driver’s license wasn’t something I actually used.

In the meantime, my move to the suburbs forced me to buy a car. And my goal was to buy as cheap as possible as a starting vehicle. It was my first mistake.

My second mistake was trying to save money on auto insurance by going with minimum coverage on my car. And it ended up coming back to bite me.

A mistake not worth repeating

My first car seemed safe enough to drive despite its obvious flaws, like a sunroof that didn’t quite close, so every time it rained heavily I had to wear a poncho or risk getting soaked driving. But I soon found out how bad my car was when I got into a little fender bender that left the other vehicle with not so much as a dent, when my vehicle was in bad shape .

Not only did an extremely minor accident cause both airbags in my car to trigger, but it also caused my vehicle to implode. An expensive tow to an auto shop, and I got the news that no new driver wants to hear – “your car is wrecked.”

It was quite frustrating in itself. But what made matters worse was that my car insurance policy did not cover the cost of a rental car.

During this time, I was living in the suburbs, where rental cars are not easy to find. This was the case when I tried to rent one for a few weeks back then. The few places that had cars available on short notice wanted to charge me a fortune, to the point where I would have spent more to get to work than I actually earned.

I was so annoyed with the situation that I almost considered quitting my job. Instead, my husband came to my rescue by driving me to work every day while we took the time to look for a new car to buy.

It was not a good solution, however. My work did not start until 9:00 a.m. while my husband had to be at work at 8:00 a.m. for meetings. Since our offices were 30 minutes apart, he had to drop me off at 7:30, at which time my building wasn’t even open. So I had to stand outside in the cold for 30 minutes a day, several days in a row, until we managed to find a replacement vehicle and end our carpool.

Lesson learned

As tempting as it may be to save money on both a used vehicle and car insurance, in the end you get what you pay for. Take-out? Be careful when buying car insurance, as certain benefits, such as access to a rental car or reimbursement, can be very useful when you find yourself in a traffic jam.

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