When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

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neilpilot
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Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

Post by neilpilot » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:32 am

Rupert wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:30 am

No, UMPD applies when the other driver does not have insurance. I'm talking about the situation where the at-fault driver has insurance but you don't want to file directly on their insurance. If you have collision coverage, you can file on your own collision policy instead and let your insurance company go after the other party via subrogation. This often results in your car being fixed faster and less hassle for you in general. You do not have this option if you drop collision coverage on your vehicle.
Actually you do have the option for a faster fix without collision coverage. Since your self-insured, you have the option to pay out of pocket to have the repairs done and then pursue collection from the at-fault driver's insurance. I bit more work but that's what you get for self-insuring.

Rupert
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Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

Post by Rupert » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:40 am

neilpilot wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:32 am
Rupert wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:30 am

No, UMPD applies when the other driver does not have insurance. I'm talking about the situation where the at-fault driver has insurance but you don't want to file directly on their insurance. If you have collision coverage, you can file on your own collision policy instead and let your insurance company go after the other party via subrogation. This often results in your car being fixed faster and less hassle for you in general. You do not have this option if you drop collision coverage on your vehicle.
Actually you do have the option for a faster fix without collision coverage. Since your self-insured, you have the option to pay out of pocket to have the repairs done and then pursue collection from the at-fault driver's insurance. I bit more work but that's what you get for self-insuring.
Well, yes, true, but you still have to haggle with the other driver's insurance company, which some people may prefer not to do. I had a bad experience where I was hit by a driver in a rental car whose only insurance was the insurance he bought at the rental-car counter. Rental car companies tend to self-insure, but they hire outside firms to handle the claims for them. Dealing with those folks was a complete nightmare, and I was very happy that I had maintained collision coverage so that I could cut off communication with them and turn it over to my own insurance company. That experience has forever colored my view re maintaining collision coverage, even on an older car. YMMV, of course.

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gunn_show
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Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

Post by gunn_show » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:17 am

Rupert wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:30 am
blaugranamd wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:38 pm
Rupert wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:05 pm
Just a couple of things to think about before dropping coverage . . . Collision coverage has some value beyond repairing your car in the event of an at-fault accident. It also entitles you to representation by your insurance company in the event of a not-at-fault accident, i.e., you can file a claim on your own insurance in a not-at-fault accident and have your insurance company collect from the other driver/other driver's insurance company via subrogation. This can be very helpful at times. Maintaining at least one collision policy, if you have multiple vehicles, is also a good idea if you frequently rent cars.
Wouldn't UMPD do something similar?
" the situation where the at-fault driver has insurance but you don't want to file directly on their insurance. "

If you have collision coverage, you can file on your own collision policy instead and let your insurance company go after the other party via subrogation. This often results in your car being fixed faster and less hassle for you in general. You do not have this option if you drop collision coverage on your vehicle.
Can you explain exactly why you, the person hit by an at-fault driver, would not file directly with the at-fault driver's insurance?

I would file against theirs every time. It is their insurance policy's problem, not mine. And your insurance has little value to fight much harder in subrogation because they are not on the hook for anything either. The definition of your collision coverage is YOU being at fault, not someone else.

This is not a worthwhile reason to continue paying hundreds and hundreds of dollars per year, year after year, for collision coverage if you don't need it. Sorry. Maybe to a token few who either hit a lot of people or get hit by a lot of people, but for the average person those %'s are tiny.
"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up." Bas Rutten

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gunn_show
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Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

Post by gunn_show » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:19 am

Rupert wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:40 am
I had a bad experience where I was hit by a driver in a rental car whose only insurance was the insurance he bought at the rental-car counter.
Fair enough. I saw this after my response.

But this is classic definition of "corner case" ... YMMV is right = you will choose to spend thousands of dollars over the next 5-10 years and more, in event that another corner case happens, which is minuscule chances. But like you said, YMMV....
"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up." Bas Rutten

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:30 am

gunn_show wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:17 am


Can you explain exactly why you, the person hit by an at-fault driver, would not file directly with the at-fault driver's insurance?

I would file against theirs every time. It is their insurance policy's problem, not mine. And your insurance has little value to fight much harder in subrogation because they are not on the hook for anything either. The definition of your collision coverage is YOU being at fault, not someone else.

This is not a worthwhile reason to continue paying hundreds and hundreds of dollars per year, year after year, for collision coverage if you don't need it. Sorry. Maybe to a token few who either hit a lot of people or get hit by a lot of people, but for the average person those %'s are tiny.
In our case, the at-fault driver (according to the police report, the 2 drivers of the cars she hit, and the 3 named eyewitnesses) denies she was at fault, so her insurance has not yet offered to pay us a dime. We expect that they eventually will, but in the meantime our insurance will cut us a check any day now. Because our insurance is involved, we do not expect to have to sue, so do not expect to have to pay for a lawyer.

Now is getting 90% of what we are owed almost immediately with no hassle and no lawyers (paid by us) with the rest to come later after our insurance company completes the subrogation process worth the extra money? As mentioned earlier, the 2 people in my household don't necessarily agree on that. But the one that thinks it is was driving the car that got totaled, so there's that. It's a valid preference.

neilpilot
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Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

Post by neilpilot » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:39 am

gunn_show wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:19 am
Rupert wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:40 am
I had a bad experience where I was hit by a driver in a rental car whose only insurance was the insurance he bought at the rental-car counter.
Fair enough. I saw this after my response.

But this is classic definition of "corner case" ... YMMV is right = you will choose to spend thousands of dollars over the next 5-10 years and more, in event that another corner case happens, which is minuscule chances. But like you said, YMMV....
Collision coverage costing "hundreds and hundreds of dollars per year" and "thousands of dollars over the next 5-10 years and more"?? Maybe if you drive a Bentley or some other $100k+ car. We have 2 cars with $500 deductible collision coverage, and each car's collision rider runs around $65/year.

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Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

Post by Rupert » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:55 am

neilpilot wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:39 am
gunn_show wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:19 am
Rupert wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:40 am
I had a bad experience where I was hit by a driver in a rental car whose only insurance was the insurance he bought at the rental-car counter.
Fair enough. I saw this after my response.

But this is classic definition of "corner case" ... YMMV is right = you will choose to spend thousands of dollars over the next 5-10 years and more, in event that another corner case happens, which is minuscule chances. But like you said, YMMV....
Collision coverage costing "hundreds and hundreds of dollars per year" and "thousands of dollars over the next 5-10 years and more"?? Maybe if you drive a Bentley or some other $100k+ car. We have 2 cars with $500 deductible collision coverage, and each car's collision rider runs around $65/year.
Yeah, collision insurance, especially on an older car, isn't that expensive. And as another pp noted, the at-fault driver's insurance won't pay you a dime until fault is conclusively established. So you could be out-of-pocket for a quite a while. It took six months for the rental car company to pay anything in my example cited above, and, in that case, the police officer had assigned fault to their driver in the police report because it was rather obvious given where he hit me and there was a third-party witness to the accident.

As I said, it's a personal decision. I don't think collision coverage is terribly expensive, so I find it worth keeping even for the rare instances in which I might want to use it in an accident involving an older car.

TheDDC
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Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

Post by TheDDC » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:33 pm

When I hit a deer (or he hit me... can't figure that out to this day... :? ) in my 2006 Saturn Vue back in 2012 or so I did get the costs of repair fully reimbursed without any penalty to my premiums because of my collision coverage. In Pennsylvania that could certainly be a valid reason. However, this was a few years ago and I haven't done a current valuation of that car today. I believe the repairs were about $900.

-TheDDC

scrabbler1
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Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

Post by scrabbler1 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:38 pm

TheDDC wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:33 pm
When I hit a deer (or he hit me... can't figure that out to this day... :? ) in my 2006 Saturn Vue back in 2012 or so I did get the costs of repair fully reimbursed without any penalty to my premiums because of my collision coverage. In Pennsylvania that could certainly be a valid reason. However, this was a few years ago and I haven't done a current valuation of that car today. I believe the repairs were about $900.

-TheDDC
Coverage for collision with animals actually falls under your Comprehensive coverage, not your collision coverage.

TheDDC
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Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

Post by TheDDC » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:42 pm

scrabbler1 wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:38 pm
TheDDC wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:33 pm
When I hit a deer (or he hit me... can't figure that out to this day... :? ) in my 2006 Saturn Vue back in 2012 or so I did get the costs of repair fully reimbursed without any penalty to my premiums because of my collision coverage. In Pennsylvania that could certainly be a valid reason. However, this was a few years ago and I haven't done a current valuation of that car today. I believe the repairs were about $900.

-TheDDC
Coverage for collision with animals actually falls under your Comprehensive coverage, not your collision coverage.
Ah... Interesting. Makes sense now that I am reading about the differences. Thanks!

-TheDDC

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Ketawa
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Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

Post by Ketawa » Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:08 pm

I dropped collision and comprehensive on my 10 year old truck with about 95K miles. The truck is probably worth around $8K. I also dropped rental and towing coverage at the same time. My reasoning - I only insure things I can't easily afford. Dropping collision saved me $300/year and dropping comprehensive saved me $100/year.
scrabbler1 wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:10 pm
As for when you should drop Collision, it is a personal decision balancing risk versus premiums saved. I dropped Collision on my previous car when its book value dropped to about $2,000. I have seen suggestions to drop Collision when the ratio of the book value to the annual premium drops below some certain amount. But even if you drop Collision, I suggest you keep Comp because Comp tends to be much cheaper, and it protects you from the high-frequency but low-severity glass loss. And make sure your Comp coverage includes the full-coverage-glass option no matter which deductible you choose in general.
For people dropping collision, doesn't the same rationale apply doubly so for comprehensive? The coverage must be cheap because claims are either infrequent, or not very costly. A typical windshield repair is <$100 and replacement is <$400, according to Google. That is hardly a compelling reason to keep the insurance.

Personally, my car is parked either on a military base or in an underground controlled-access garage almost 100% of the time, so all the more reason not to carry comprehensive to protect from theft or vandalism.

neilpilot
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Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

Post by neilpilot » Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:16 pm

Ketawa wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:08 pm
I dropped collision and comprehensive on my 10 year old truck with about 95K miles. The truck is probably worth around $8K. I also dropped rental and towing coverage at the same time. My reasoning - I only insure things I can't easily afford. Dropping collision saved me $300/year and dropping comprehensive saved me $100/year.
I thought auto insurance was somewhat high in my area until I read your post. I drive a 10 year old SUV that is worth about the same as your truck. My collision coverage costs $65/year, and comprehensive $30/yr thru GEICO. A huge difference!

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gunn_show
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Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

Post by gunn_show » Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:49 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:16 pm
Ketawa wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:08 pm
I dropped collision and comprehensive on my 10 year old truck with about 95K miles. The truck is probably worth around $8K. I also dropped rental and towing coverage at the same time. My reasoning - I only insure things I can't easily afford. Dropping collision saved me $300/year and dropping comprehensive saved me $100/year.
I thought auto insurance was somewhat high in my area until I read your post. I drive a 10 year old SUV that is worth about the same as your truck. My collision coverage costs $65/year, and comprehensive $30/yr thru GEICO. A huge difference!
another benefit (I suppose) of living in cheaper middle America ... $65 + $30 / year comp/collision coverage ... this is absolutely not the case in west coast / HCOL areas. My 11+ year old vehicles are still in the hundreds per year for this coverage due to all the rating factors - city / zip code / high population zone / high variance of idiot drivers. Even while sitting in a garage and driven only a couple hundred miles a month around my small neighborhood, tops. Part of the package for living in paradise.

In your case, I would keep the coverage for that cost, probably. But not for much longer.
"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up." Bas Rutten

scrabbler1
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Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

Post by scrabbler1 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:58 pm

Ketawa wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:08 pm
I dropped collision and comprehensive on my 10 year old truck with about 95K miles. The truck is probably worth around $8K. I also dropped rental and towing coverage at the same time. My reasoning - I only insure things I can't easily afford. Dropping collision saved me $300/year and dropping comprehensive saved me $100/year.
scrabbler1 wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:10 pm
As for when you should drop Collision, it is a personal decision balancing risk versus premiums saved. I dropped Collision on my previous car when its book value dropped to about $2,000. I have seen suggestions to drop Collision when the ratio of the book value to the annual premium drops below some certain amount. But even if you drop Collision, I suggest you keep Comp because Comp tends to be much cheaper, and it protects you from the high-frequency but low-severity glass loss. And make sure your Comp coverage includes the full-coverage-glass option no matter which deductible you choose in general.
For people dropping collision, doesn't the same rationale apply doubly so for comprehensive? The coverage must be cheap because claims are either infrequent, or not very costly. A typical windshield repair is <$100 and replacement is <$400, according to Google. That is hardly a compelling reason to keep the insurance.

Personally, my car is parked either on a military base or in an underground controlled-access garage almost 100% of the time, so all the more reason not to carry comprehensive to protect from theft or vandalism.
Not a compelling reason to keep (Comp) insurance for you, but it is for me. Because Comp is cheaper (for me), it is less of a burden to keep it, and IMHO I am more likely to need it because it protects me for everything other than a collision (Comprehensive, in insurance lingo, is often called, "Other than Collision"). I evaluate risk differently from you, and we both evaluate it differently from others here in this forum. :beer

ncbill
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Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

Post by ncbill » Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:48 pm

scrabbler1 wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:58 pm
Ketawa wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:08 pm
I dropped collision and comprehensive on my 10 year old truck with about 95K miles. The truck is probably worth around $8K. I also dropped rental and towing coverage at the same time. My reasoning - I only insure things I can't easily afford. Dropping collision saved me $300/year and dropping comprehensive saved me $100/year.
scrabbler1 wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:10 pm
As for when you should drop Collision, it is a personal decision balancing risk versus premiums saved. I dropped Collision on my previous car when its book value dropped to about $2,000. I have seen suggestions to drop Collision when the ratio of the book value to the annual premium drops below some certain amount. But even if you drop Collision, I suggest you keep Comp because Comp tends to be much cheaper, and it protects you from the high-frequency but low-severity glass loss. And make sure your Comp coverage includes the full-coverage-glass option no matter which deductible you choose in general.
For people dropping collision, doesn't the same rationale apply doubly so for comprehensive? The coverage must be cheap because claims are either infrequent, or not very costly. A typical windshield repair is <$100 and replacement is <$400, according to Google. That is hardly a compelling reason to keep the insurance.

Personally, my car is parked either on a military base or in an underground controlled-access garage almost 100% of the time, so all the more reason not to carry comprehensive to protect from theft or vandalism.
Not a compelling reason to keep (Comp) insurance for you, but it is for me. Because Comp is cheaper (for me), it is less of a burden to keep it, and IMHO I am more likely to need it because it protects me for everything other than a collision (Comprehensive, in insurance lingo, is often called, "Other than Collision"). I evaluate risk differently from you, and we both evaluate it differently from others here in this forum. :beer
Ditto.

Comprehensive coverage is SO much cheaper than collision coverage on my policy that I still keep the former on two vehicles which no longer have collision coverage.

Theft/vandalism/animal suicide...still covered on those two vehicles.

Reubin
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Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

Post by Reubin » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:24 pm

I removed the collision/comprehensive on my 10 year old Toyota Avalon with 330,000 miles on it as soon as I retired, because I wouldn't need to use the car as much for commuting. A month later the car was washed away in Hurricane Sandy. It cost me about 10K!

UALflyer
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Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

Post by UALflyer » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:46 pm

Ketawa wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:08 pm
I dropped collision and comprehensive on my 10 year old truck with about 95K miles. The truck is probably worth around $8K. I also dropped rental and towing coverage at the same time. My reasoning - I only insure things I can't easily afford. Dropping collision saved me $300/year and dropping comprehensive saved me $100/year.
As I mentioned earlier, to me this rationale makes very little sense, as it only looks at the cost side of the equation and fails to account for the likelihood of a payout. If you only insure things that you can't easily afford and ignore everything else, you would, for instance, turn down an opportunity to purchase an insurance policy for $500 even when there is an absolute certainty that it would pay out $1,000 tomorrow.

Given the $300 cost of collision coverage and a potential $8K payout, you'd only need to have one totaled car in the next 25 years or so to justify paying the collision premiums. Even if you assume a small collision with a $3,500 payout, it'd only take one such claim in the next 11 years or so to justify paying the collision premiums. With these types of numbers, even Bill Gates should be maintaining his collision coverage.

As I've also pointed out above, in addition to the rental car benefits and the options that it gives you even when another driver is at fault but his/her insurance company is dragging its feet, or trying to lowball you, there are other benefits to having collision coverage. For instance, when you shop for car insurance, a lot of insurance companies take into account the company that you are with now, as well as your precise coverage levels. There are quite a few insurance companies that will not quote you their super preferred rates if you are currently with a high risk insurance company, and/or have no collision coverage, and/or have minimum liability coverage, etc... So, dropping collision coverage, while saving you some premium dollars now, can easily come back to cost you more down the road.

neilpilot
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Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

Post by neilpilot » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:45 pm

Reubin wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:24 pm
I removed the collision/comprehensive on my 10 year old Toyota Avalon with 330,000 miles on it as soon as I retired, because I wouldn't need to use the car as much for commuting. A month later the car was washed away in Hurricane Sandy. It cost me about 10K!
That must have been a gold plated Avalon. KBB values a 10 year old Avalon in the $3500-$5000 range, and that's for the most expensive trim in excellent condition.

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Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

Post by boglerdude » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:38 pm

Dont you just take the at-fault driver's insurance company to court if they wont cooperate?

Also...Dash cams

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Ketawa
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Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

Post by Ketawa » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:22 pm

UALflyer wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:46 pm
Ketawa wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:08 pm
I dropped collision and comprehensive on my 10 year old truck with about 95K miles. The truck is probably worth around $8K. I also dropped rental and towing coverage at the same time. My reasoning - I only insure things I can't easily afford. Dropping collision saved me $300/year and dropping comprehensive saved me $100/year.
As I mentioned earlier, to me this rationale makes very little sense, as it only looks at the cost side of the equation and fails to account for the likelihood of a payout. If you only insure things that you can't easily afford and ignore everything else, you would, for instance, turn down an opportunity to purchase an insurance policy for $500 even when there is an absolute certainty that it would pay out $1,000 tomorrow.

Given the $300 cost of collision coverage and a potential $8K payout, you'd only need to have one totaled car in the next 25 years or so to justify paying the collision premiums. Even if you assume a small collision with a $3,500 payout, it'd only take one such claim in the next 11 years or so to justify paying the collision premiums. With these types of numbers, even Bill Gates should be maintaining his collision coverage.

As I've also pointed out above, in addition to the rental car benefits and the options that it gives you even when another driver is at fault but his/her insurance company is dragging its feet, or trying to lowball you, there are other benefits to having collision coverage. For instance, when you shop for car insurance, a lot of insurance companies take into account the company that you are with now, as well as your precise coverage levels. There are quite a few insurance companies that will not quote you their super preferred rates if you are currently with a high risk insurance company, and/or have no collision coverage, and/or have minimum liability coverage, etc... So, dropping collision coverage, while saving you some premium dollars now, can easily come back to cost you more down the road.
Come on, this is obvious. My rationale does not ignore the likelihood of a payout. The insurance company has to take it into account. They also have to account for their overhead and profit margin when charging premiums, which are costs I do not have. Their rates work for them, and they're very good at this, so pricing for 1 mid-level claim in 11 years or 1 totaled car in 25 years must not be such a bad deal.

People often make a similar argument when comparing rates for different deductibles. I just priced the difference between a $500 and $1000 collision deductible for my policy, and it is $68/year. Compared against your example of $3500 for a mid-level claim, it only takes a more minor claim once every 7 years to break even. What a steal! (sarcasm)

Rental car benefits are priced separately and come to $32/year. Living in a city, I might not even need them if I can telework a couple days. I'm not enthused that upon reflection, I paid over $300 the last 10 years for a rental car I never needed, that likely would not have cost nearly that much in the event of a claim.

You'd probably be aghast to know I turned down towing at $12/year. I've never needed a tow in my life, but I'd pay out of pocket.

Just for fun, the difference between $500 and $1000 deductible for comprehensive is only $36/year, which tells you the the vast majority of claims are for tiny dollar amounts compared to collision, the exact opposite of what insurance is intended to cover.

UALflyer
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Re: When should you consider removing the collision coverage on a car?

Post by UALflyer » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:02 pm

Ketawa wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:22 pm
My rationale does not ignore the likelihood of a payout. The insurance company has to take it into account. They also have to account for their overhead and profit margin when charging premiums, which are costs I do not have. Their rates work for them, and they're very good at this, so pricing for 1 mid-level claim in 11 years or 1 totaled car in 25 years must not be such a bad deal.
Insurance companies are very good at calculating averages, which, for your purposes, has very little to do with the decision. When it comes to evaluating individual risks, insurance companies both underprice and overprice them all the time. This is the very reason, for instance, that it's quite common for one insurance company's premiums to be several times as high as another company's premiums for the exact same coverage for the same individual. This is also the reason that while insurance companies do take your annual mileage into account, you just aren't going to save 99% of your premiums by driving 1 mile a year (or 1K miles a year) versus 12K miles a year.

As I mentioned above, this isn't that different from other situations. For instance, banks generally make a ton of money on credit cards. Does this mean that even if you pay off your credit card in full every month, you should be foregoing a cashback credit card? Of course not, and it'd be dumb to do that. Insurance works very similarly, so, my recommendation is to worry a lot less about all the different ways that insurance companies make money, and a lot more about your individual numbers.
Rental car benefits are priced separately and come to $32/year.
You didn't follow the point, as you are talking about the rental reimbursement coverage, which is used to pay for a rental vehicle while your insured auto is being repaired as part of a collision or comprehensive claim. The rental car benefits that we are talking about have to do with your collision and comprehensive coverage being used to cover a rental car that you rent for pleasure, such as on vacation. Credit card coverage for these types of situations may cover damage to the rental car itself, but frequently contains various limits, such as restrictions on the types of rental cars that it'll cover, exclude the loss of use charges that all rental car companies always impose, etc...
People often make a similar argument when comparing rates for different deductibles. I just priced the difference between a $500 and $1000 collision deductible for my policy, and it is $68/year. Compared against your example of $3500 for a mid-level claim, it only takes a more minor claim once every 7 years to break even. What a steal! (sarcasm)
Your sarcasm is misplaced here, as these are the exact types of calculations that you should be running. If you are generally a very safe driver and do not otherwise have high risk factors, an at fault claim once every 7 years would be pretty frequent. So, based on these calculations, safe drivers who do not otherwise have high risk factors should be opting for a $1,000 collision deductible.
You'd probably be aghast to know I turned down towing at $12/year. I've never needed a tow in my life, but I'd pay out of pocket.
You should never have towing coverage on your auto insurance policy, as all those claims result in CLUE reporting. Although they generally do not impact your premiums, depending on the company, more than one such claim, especially in combination with other factors, can absolutely result in negative consequences.

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