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There is a case to be made for getting just comprehensive and not collision insurance, even if your car is not valuable. Comprehensive covers you for a lot more perils than does collision--including, most importantly, against theft. Regardless of the value of your car, having it stolen is a major inconvenience. Even if your car is worth only $2,000 at the time of the theft, and your insurer gives you $1,500, that sum would go a long way in buying yourself a new vehicle. As we discuss in more detail below, comprehensive insurance generally costs no more than $200 per year, so a $1,500 reimbursement would make the coverage valuable.
Family Profile: This policy was for a 50-year-old couple with two children, ages 20 and 18, who have had good driving records for the previous three years. They drive a 2012 Toyota Camry and a 2007 Toyota Corolla for a combined 20,000 miles per year. They carry a basic liability coverage of $25,000 / $50,000 for bodily injury, and $50,000 for property damage.
Bad auto insurance comes in many forms. With bad car insurance, premiums are higher than they should be, or the company offers low premiums but minimal coverage. Some car insurance companies have poor customer service and don’t effectively communicate the status of your auto insurance claim. Others require you to use only repair shops that they approve of, and those shops can be inconvenient to access, forcing you to travel across town for repairs or wait weeks for an appointment. Still other auto insurance companies don’t have a comprehensive network of adjusters, so you have to wait longer for your claim to be processed so you can get the repairs you need. In a worst-case scenario, a car insurance company may not have the financial resources to pay claims, leaving its customers high and dry.
Furthermore, each insurer has different claims experience in each city, so the prices within a city can be quite different as well. In Jacksonville, Florida, one year of premiums at the most expensive company would pay for car insurance at the cheapest company for nearly seven years (6.75 years). Below are auto insurance costs and the three cheapest companies for the largest cities in Florida, averaged across our three policyholder scenarios.
We evaluated each company’s track record with its customers by looking at the available complaint data on online regulatory organizations' pages and by searching for company pages on independent consumer review websites such as the Better Business Bureau. Some companies also provide unfiltered reviews on their own websites, helping to give greater insight into customer satisfaction rates.