Chalk One Up For Insuracne

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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It was a car accident that forced me to finally understand car insurance. Insurance in my mind had always been a mix of deductibles, liability, casualty, glass breakage, bodily injury, and the ever-present monthly premiums. For almost two years I had written necessary checks to cover my share of our family's auto insurance. I had always tried to earn good grades, so that I would receive the "good-student" discount on my car.

Shopping for a car isn't always easy, teens rarely think to check on auto insurance. Auto insurance always hangs over the head of anyone under the age of 25, who wants to buy a car. Going to the car lots and finding cars that you like is always fun, until you call your insurance agent and request premiums on GT's or ZX's, which were way out of my price line. At long last a person finally finds a car that fits their taste and can be covered by their insurance, in an affordable price range.

The previous steps are what I had to go through in August of 2000, right car, right sale price, and affordable insurance, it all worked out. I enjoyed the maroon 1997 Pontiac Grand Am SE, which was in mint condition for nearly a year.

Having a car, there are a few rules to live by, and one of which I never fully understood. The rule is; "never let anyone drive your car." That was a rule I broke several times the summer of 2001, right up to the night of July 15. That night I foolishly let someone drive my car. My car was in great condition that night, I washed and waxed the car that morning, and it had brand new tires on it. The car was supposed to have a sunroof installed on July 17, but it never made it home, the night of the 15th.

A combination of speed, gravel road, and a driver not familiar with the car, spelled out the end of the 1997 Grand Am, and almost myself. My car skidded and went into a devastating roll, and threw me from its smashed, torn frame. How could this happen? Just a few minutes before it was a shiny car that was my pride and joy, and now it was just a tangled piece of metal.

How would anyone predict that the rule of not letting someone else drive your car could loom, so largely in front of me now? After weeks of paperwork, phone calls, adjusters, legal assistance, and bills, I began to realize why there was that important rule.

My advice to all is, don't drive anyone else's car. Don't let anyone else drive your car either. If you don't follow this rule you may learn the lesson I learned, the hard way; auto insurance nearly doubles!