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Thread: How much auto insurance is enough?

  1. #1
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    Default How much auto insurance is enough?

    I got hit and totaled a couple of weeks ago and have started looking for a replacement. Probably going to pay cash as the loan rates are ridiculous now.
    I am looking at new or pre-owned with low miles in the $25 to $28 range.
    I know there are limits for liability in New York State. I'm just wondering about collision. What kind of percentage for replacement do you find acceptable?
    My last car was 27 years old and I just had liability.
    Never had an accident until now (and not my fault).
    Also, if you have a favorite insurance company I would be grateful for any suggestions.
    I had Geico but they did nothing to assist me in the third party claim.

    As always thank you for any and all suggestions.

    John

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    Default Re: How much auto insurance is enough?

    There are a few here who are residents of NYC and are car owners, and I think their advice would be particularly pertinent.

    But to zoom out a bit, I think the liability amounts merit a closer look. Perhaps I'm just preaching to the choir and you already know this, but liability amounts limits max UM/UIM coverage, and in most states, UM/UIM coverage is what covers you when you as a pedestrian/ cyclist should you be struck by UM/UIM. Of course, injuries suffered from those events are covered under medical insurance, but medical insurance doesn't cover everything (including deductibles, copays, and amounts charged by out-of-network providers, say most on-call anesthesiologists and cosmetic surgeons). In my mind, as a pedestrian and a cyclist, my concern for liability limit is more on the upper bound, in case of an a-hole with minimal coverage were to strike me or my wife.

    As for "favorite" insurance, I'd probably go with none of the above. Instead, a call to a local insurance broker might help.

    I've found Geico to be infuriatingly incompetent when it comes to certain things, with the aforementioned coverage to policy holder as pedestrian/ cyclist being Exhibit A of its incompetence, for it told me something that UM/UIM doesn't cover driver as pedestrian/ cyclist, which is flat out wrong in view of the insurance laws of my state of residence. I figured that if it is either willfully ignorant or just straight-up ignorant, I would be in a world of indignant rage were I to actually need coverage that it is mandated to provide under state insurance laws.

    A more local-ish insurance provider was a lot more competent on this front, but then it started to hike my rates to the tune of 10% per 6-month, despite having never made a claim (knock on wood) in the past decade plus. I then swapped to Erie, which saved me $500; from what my insurance broker stated, it's the least expensive coverage for me.

    I actually just got my rates for 2024-2025, and it has gone up from ~$1k to $1275, which is still cheaper than the local-ish insurer wanted to charge me last year, but I might be switching/ paring back on certain coverage (e.g. property damage, which might not need to be as high as I also have umbrella insurance).

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    Default Re: How much auto insurance is enough?

    I've been an Erie policy holder since the mid-80's and the coverage/attention has only been as good as the agent that owned the "book of business"...two good agents and one nimrod. Find the most knowledgeable and caring agent and the policy should take care of itself imho, and I bundle the auto and home along with a general liability policy. Don't forget to discuss the uninsured/underinsured auto segment of your policy, as I can only imagine the number of drivers in NYC that operate a vehicle without insurance and I've had to tap this resource twice over the years...once while living in metro DC and once in Philadelphia, where we were side swiped by an uninsured off-duty cop.

    As a side note, it took me three years to settle a claim against a USAA covered driver who t-boned our Odyssey while driving her Dad's car, while visiting from NYC. Three years and Erie didn't help as we don't (as most don't) have inherent diminished value insurance and the value of the Odyssey which was worth $27K, became $17K because the airbags deployed and the car ended up with a salvage title. Erie's position was that they repaired the vehicle ($19K) and USAA's position was "sue our driver for the diminished value and see where it goes" Lesson learned there...bring in the attorneys when an insurance company starts to apply the 3D rule...deny, delay and defend and USAA and Gronk...go eff yourselves.
    rw saunders
    hey, how lucky can one man get.

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    Default Re: How much auto insurance is enough?

    Quote Originally Posted by echappist View Post
    There are a few here who are residents of NYC and are car owners, and I think their advice would be particularly pertinent.
    (e.g. property damage, which might not need to be as high as I also have umbrella insurance).
    @echappist be careful as most umbrella insurance requires a certain amount of underlying coverage on your home/ auto/ boat/ motorcycle/ bicycle etc insurance if it is to cover an item/ liability while using item that has a base policy on the item.

    As an NYC driver I can say that I have NEVER found an insurer I thought was even reasonable to deal with. I have had Travelers and others. All bundled with apartmemt and/or house insurance and/or property (like rings) and/or excess liability. Due to my unhappiness with the supposedly “good” companies, I have for the last two years gone into the Geico/ Progressive world and am not happy.

    For instance, a parking garage put a 700 dollar damage on my car. I did not put it in. I would have paid cash. The garage got it fixed and used their insurance. Somehow Geico used it as an excuse to drop me. And then Progressive who I replaced them with discovered the accident after 6 months and somehow my rates are now 796 a year higher even though it was not me at fault (although my car) and I have small accident forgiveness (which is 500 bucks or less damage) and I have a 1000 deductible.

    To your original question about the amount of collision coverage to carry, I have always carried less as the car ages because I remember that from high school drivers ed but that was so long ago I probably should revisit. I have read that the rates are all high because the cost of repairs has gone up so much. I THINK part of it is the specific model and make of car. For instance, my friend had a deer commit suicide on her BMW x something. Each headlight that had to be replaced was an eye watering number. But replacing a headlight on other cars where you don’t need to replace the whole friggin unit/assembly (the old repair/replace argument) would be less. And the rates should reflect it.

    That whole diminished value thing that @rwsaunders mentioned is news to me and definitely something to check out. Again, the friend with the BMW and the deer had lost a ton of value because they repaired the car (another couple of hundred and they supposedly would have totalled it. Her feeling was the body shops and the adjuster were in cahoots to repair it rather than total it and everybody except her made out like a bandit).

    Sorry for the babble that may or may not make sense. But I just got my Progressive renewal at a ridiculous amount for 6 months for a garaged car (that should lower the rate) that is 7 years old is just so stupid so I am not thinking clearly in my blind rage.
    If I knew what I was doing, Id be doing it right now

    -Jon Mandel

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    Default Re: How much auto insurance is enough?

    Jeez the subway and the bike are looking better and better.

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    Default Re: How much auto insurance is enough?

    We just shopped our home and auto after getting a big homeowners' increase.

    Previously we had the house with Safeco (horrible company at every level) and the cars with Progressive (really good service).

    We bundled with a local State Farm agent who was able to do about 40% better on the house than Safeco, and just a little more than Progressive on the cars. The State Farm bundle saved about 35% on the combination of house and cars, and so far the service has been great.

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    Default Re: How much auto insurance is enough?

    Quote Originally Posted by rwsaunders View Post
    Don't forget to discuss the uninsured/underinsured auto segment of your policy, as I can only imagine the number of drivers in NYC that operate a vehicle without insurance and I've had to tap this resource twice over the years...once while living in metro DC and once in Philadelphia, where we were side swiped by an uninsured off-duty cop.
    I've seen estimates that 20-30% of drivers are uninsured, which makes me really glad to be in a no-fault state.

    Uninsured driving seems to fall into the same category as texting while driving, drinking and driving, and speeding. We could solve them with relatively simple technologies and approaches, but we just don't have the political will to do it.

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    Default Re: How much auto insurance is enough?

    Thanks everyone for your thoughts.
    Let the bidding begin....

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    Default Re: How much auto insurance is enough?

    A deer shoulder checked our car in December and did about $1300 in damage. Unbelievable how light a bump it was and how much damage (monetarily) happened. I called Geico the next morning, and we did the repair estimate over the phone with me taking photographs and sending them to the appraiser. Within a week we had a check for repairs minus our deductible. The main delay was getting an appointment at the body shop. Most places said May, but the local place (I can walk there from our house) said March. I did talk to friends who are long time residents up here, and they all gave the place thumbs up before I signed on. Turns out they've been in business 50 years. The place is a mess, except for the areas where they work on the cars. Those are immaculate. Anyway, they did a fine job. I had a rental car while they worked on it, and even that went smoothly. I guess I just got lucky.
    Jorn Ake
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    Default Re: How much auto insurance is enough?

    I am lucky to have USAA but would still have the max of everything I could get with the highest deductible possible to keep rates lower. It was also required to max out the renters (or home) and auto policies before we could get umbrella insurance.

    There are too many ambulance chasing lawyers so I want the maximum coverage. The other side of that equation is that the ambulance chasing lawyers usually only take cases when there is a payout to be had from an insurance company so...damned if you do and damned if you don't have enough coverage. No-Fault states really suck.

    With that said, I think we dropped collision on our 15 year old Subaru due to USAA's advice because it was not worth it especially with our high deductible.

    Hope this helps and good luck.

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    Default Re: How much auto insurance is enough?

    Funny thing-I tried for 2 weeks to get the police report from the Fort Lee PD with no luck.
    In the same time I started to receive solicitations from personal accident attorneys.
    They all had the police report attached.
    Selling the data but unwilling to give it to the victims - figures.

    Real funny.

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