Car Insurance ~~ Baffling!

Terry’s Auto and Truck Repair

Car Insurance is an enigma! It is so strange how we are required to have car insurance… it is the law.

Having it is a good thing. The thing that puzzles me is that it is a service that we pay for like a warranty on an appliance or computer. We are paying for the ability to repair or replace our vehicle, pay for property damage or medical costs. I feels like we are being held hostage with no release date in sight.

Things that effect the cost of insurance:

  • Age
    Statistically, drivers under the age of 25 are at greater risk of being in an accident than those over age 25. Drivers between the ages of 50 and 65 generally have the safest records.
  • Gender
    Women are statistically safer drivers, but that trend is changing as more female drivers get on the road.
  • Marital Status
    A married person will pay less than a single person with an identical driving record.
  • Geography
    Where you live makes a difference. Folks living in areas with little or no traffic are likely to spend less on insurance than those living in congested cities or suburbs because areas with a lot of traffic tend to see more accidents. Some neighborhoods also have a higher rate of vehicle thefts, which can result in a higher premium.
  • Driving Violations
    Having an accident or moving violations on your record (speeding tickets, DWI, reckless driving, etc.) put you at a higher risk for accidents and will likely mean a higher premium. Some insurance companies will penalize you for your record for as many as five years from when the incident occurred. However, keep in mind, as your record improves, your premium will get lower.
  • Vehicle Type
    A cheap car will cost less to insure than that status symbol SUV sitting on 24″ rims.
  • Accident Claims
    A driving record that is clean and free of accidents will hold far better for you than lots of tickets and/or accidents.
  • Credit Rating
    Many insurance companies view having a poor, or even no credit history as suggestive of higher risk and thus, charge you a higher premium. Monitor yourcredit rating free to see if you can get a better score. A better credit score will save on insurance premiums.
  • Occupation
    Insurers have statistically found a correlation between your occupation and risk. For instance, a newspaper delivery person is most likely a higher risk than the personal banker sitting at their desk all day.
  • Education
    A higher education can save on your premiums.
  • Driving distance to work
  • Miles driven each year
  • Years of driving experience
  • Business use of the vehicle
  • Whether or not you currently have auto insurance and how high are your limits
  • Theft protection devices (often results in discounts)
  • Multiple cars and drivers (another opportunity for discounts)

How can this be? When you purchase a washer, dryer, computer or Television and you add a 2 year warranty, is the cost affected by your credit rating? If you have had to submit a claim does your warranty cost change? Why is it that car insurance is governed by such things. I can fully understand the reasons for some things used to rate the system but some seem to go beyond the fair practice limits.

One of the things I disagree with is this: I live in a small quiet town and yet my insurance rates are figured based on Detroit which is a large, high crime, high accident rate area. I do not live in a suburb of Detroit.

Having your rate determined by your credit rating does not seem appropriate.

Having a non moving traffic involved repair affect your rate. It should definitely not have that affect your rate for five years.Keeping your car in good repair should lower your rates based on other determining factors. For example, they change your rate based on things that have to do with profiling a group of individuals. It is wrong to generalize. There must be determining factors that would help you look at persons individually and determine the amount of risk. A teen-age who is showing a careful, responsible ability should be rewarded at some point and their rate reduced telling them that they are not lumped into a generalized view that says, “teenagers of this age are risky drivers”.

Five years ago, we were parking our car in a parking lot and the underside of the bumper parts hung up on the cement parking abutment and when we backed away it damaged our bumper and it needed repair. We scheduled a repair. The next renewal of our policy the premium increased and remained at that level for the next five years. We purchased a service and yet were punished for using the service for its intended use. I have been mulling this over in my brain and can’t fathom how this could be. So now we have passed the five-year mark and we went back to our provider and ask that the policy be re-accessed and that our premium be recalculated. They were willing to reduce our policy premium by $20. We felt that was not acceptable. We changed providers and reduced the premium by almost $100. That was acceptable.

I am relieved that we have reduced our cost but I am left with the feeling that I have purchased a service that I cannot use. It is a token service. It is there only for appearance only not for use. What good is that! I am amazed that we have come to this place. It’s like putting your money in a hole or being held hostage to the system.

I think this should change! What do you think and is there a way to change this awful monster. Well I got it off my chest but it doesn’t accomplish anything unless there is an action that follows that makes the industry more user-friendly. Don’t you agree?

I am thankful for insurance even though it seems to be a double-edged sword.

Thanks for stopping to visit.  Talk to you again soon.      Jan

Finding Our Way Through the Maze

Medication Box

Medication Box

Hi there,

Today is going to be a serious blog. It’s about finding the right way to make good decisions and what you may need to know to do that. The decision I’m talking about is picking your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage Plan. Hindsight always makes things clearer so I wanted to tell my story. What things did I needed to know to make it turn out much better.The last couple months we have had a few challenges. My husband and I are on Social Security early because of disability. We have Medicare and every fall all seniors on Medicare sign up for the medical prescription program and it has progressed and now it extends to cover Dr. and Hospital bills which is called Medicare Advantage. We were very resourceful and gathered information on the two plans available to us in our area and made a decision. We felt good! We had a nightmare of a year in 2011. The first of December we signed up for our plan. The plan included a mail order medication program. That sounded like a good decision because:

  • Mailed right to your door
  • $0 Co-pays on generic medications
  • Reminders when to refill

We pay less money because of lower copays and less gas money. We input all our medications into the system to make sure they were on their formulary. We were delighted to find they covered all but 1 medication. We sailed through Christmas feeling pretty good and relaxing a bit since our experience in 2011 was almost more than we could take. We had a very rough year.

January 1, 2012 our plan took effect. They told us to make an appointment with our Dr. Have him send all our prescriptions to the mail order program. Step one right? We waited for everything to fall into place. My husband’s medications came back pretty quickly. Mine was a different matter. He has normal aging conditions for the most part. My dosages are irregular and not in the normal range because I am seriously ill. As soon as they received my list, all kinds of warning signals went off. They started calling the Dr. office and telling him they needed clarification. What puzzled me was that they didn’t phone him once with a complete list of questions that needed their clarification but there was repeated calls in a three-week period.Every time that happened it put the order on hold and it was as though it went back to step one  They said once it was clarified , it would be a week to ten days before it would be sent. It was a worrisome time as I was nearing being out of my medications.

The persons who answered the calls had no idea about medical things, couldn’t spell the medications, and had trouble finding anything on the computer. This definitely made the whole process painfully slow. I started on the 5th of January and it took till February 16th for me to get all the medications. I had been out of almost all of my medications two weeks by the time they arrived. Here are a list of question you should have your Doctor answer and choices you should make:

  • Get the physical prescription and send it to them yourself
  • Have your Doctor send a statement that you have not had any drug interactions with the current prescriptions
  • Ask the Doctor if the doses are within the normal prescribing guidelines
  • Don’t give them a payment method but have them invoice you for the purchases.

Mail Order Prescription Plans can be very beneficial.  If you are fairly healthy then you it should be fairly simple. If you are seriously ill the list above should help.

Because of the extreme cost of my medication I have to calculate the cost of my medications to the Insurance Company. I never could get a price quote. Since I am seriously ill and on many medications, I have to know when I’m going into the donut  hole. Just in case you don’t know what that is, here is a quick overview of the Donut Hole or Coverage Gap.

Last year basically I was in the donut hole by the middle of the year and at that time you pay the full price for some and a percentage on others. Needless to say we struggled most of the year.I know, this is a long, drawn out donut hole saga. How things proceed this year had to be very important and so I ask them about the cost to the Insurance Company.

Once I had the invoice, I was able to see and be able to calculate when I would reach the dreaded donut hole.

I don’t know about you but the whole situation made me nervous and a little bit crazy!

I am back on the medications for a week now and slowly getting back to normal. I haven’t been feeling very well but things are looking up. In a couple of months I will figure out the next step in this crazy challenge.

I’m thankful for my insurance and  This year is going to be better. Keep in mind what I said about how they look at your prescriptions and what questions to have answered so that it goes much smoother. Hope this problem never crosses your path but if it does then I hope some of my tips will be of help to you. Thanks for coming to visit. Hope your path is wide and clear of big rocks!  🙂

Journey Along the Garden Path

%d bloggers like this: