I Made This Mistake When Buying Auto Insurance -- and It Cost Me $630

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  • When I first purchased auto insurance, I opted out of rental car coverage.
  • I was involved in an accident that totaled my car.
  • I had to pay for a rental car for two weeks until everything got straightened out.

Don't repeat my mistake when it comes to purchasing auto insurance.

Many years ago, I purchased my first car of my own while I was in law school. This meant I had to purchase insurance coverage on my vehicle for the first time, while I'd previously driven my parents' cars and been protected by the auto insurance policies they owned. 

I was on a student budget and didn't want to spend a lot more than necessary on my car insurance cost. Unfortunately, this led me to making a major mistake that ended up costing me $630. Here's what my error was.

This was the biggest mistake I made when buying auto insurance

The huge error that I made when I purchased my auto insurance policy involved dropping a very inexpensive type of coverage to save a few dollars a month.

See, when I bought coverage, I was offered rental car insurance as a part of the policy. It cost a few dollars extra per month, though, and without really thinking about it, I just made the assumption there would be no real reason why I would want my insurance company to pay for a rental car for me. 

The problem arose, though, when I was involved in an accident. My then-boyfriend was driving my car when the crash occurred, and he was considered at fault for the car accident -- but my insurance covered it because he was driving my car at the time and didn't own a car of his own or have his own auto insurance coverage. 

My car was totaled in the accident and I needed a vehicle to be able to get to my summer internship -- and all of a sudden, the choice not to buy rental car coverage turned into a major and expensive error. It took time to get the insurance claim sorted out and to get a check so I could buy a new vehicle. And during that time, I ended up spending $630 on a rental car so I could get to work. 

You can learn from my error

After I got my new car, I made a very different choice when it came to buying auto insurance coverage. Rather than trying to save a few dollars by dropping essential protections, I made sure that I understood exactly what coverage I was buying and considered the long-term potential consequences of accepting or denying a specific type of insurance.

I have made certain ever since that I have comprehensive coverage since I'd rather pay a little more upfront to get the broadest protection possible later on. I'd rather pass the risk of big losses onto my insurer even though that means paying extra premiums. 

The good news is, others can learn from my mistake. While buying additional coverage may seem like it's an unnecessary expense, no one wants to be left with a big bill that their insurance would have covered had they just paid a little more in premiums. So before declining any kind of auto insurance coverage, think about what it would cost you if the worst occurred and that protection wasn't in place. You may just decide that paying a slightly higher premium is worth it after all. 

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