Make Sure You Can Afford to Lose Your Insurance Deductible

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Corinne Guest, REALTOR® | Barrington Realty Company License: 471.000044

In February I visited family in England. That left my truck available for family use. We have 4 adults and 4 vehicles. It seems to be an endless list of updates, repairs or service tickets, but we're lucky, my eldest son owns his own auto shop. He mostly does European and performance work on cars and motorcycles. But he can do it all - mechanically. So while I am away he uses my truck so he can do a needed repair on his truck.

While I am away you get about an inch of snow making the roads slippery. And yes, he's in a fender bender! Someone decides to ram the front end of my truck.

I am 6 hours ahead having lunch because this was early morning here, noon in England. First I get the text message, then I call him. He says he feels like crying, he knows I love my Tahoe! But he's OK, his girlfriend is OK and the offender's family is OK. Between them the damage to offenders vehicle seems to be non existent and mine took the impact. Considering I have the bigger vehicle I am surprised.


He takes my Tahoe home and explains to Dad what happened. The drivers both decided it looked like minor damage, under $500, so not to bother with the police, given the weather conditions. The offender admits and takes responsibility. My son reports the incident to the police, fills out the report. Dad reckons damage is more like $2,000. The offender also reports incident to police.

I get home a couple of days later and look at my poor, now unusable truck. My estimate on repairs is $5,000. Insurance claim is filed, car goes into a body shop for repairs. Insurance company approve repairs, but for 8 days I now don't have a vehicle to use. Fortunately the four of us juggle 3 cars for the 8 days. (Pays to have the kids still living at home.) Worst case scenario is having to drive Dad to work and pick him up.

My Tahoe is ready 2 days early, that was a nice surprise, so we head off to collect it on Friday afternoon. I hate driving cars, you know the low things on the ground, where you cannot see passed all the big SUV's. So glad to get my big SUV back!

My Tahoe looks like new and I can get back to work.

In the meantime I see that insurance company are trying to re-coup my $1,000 deductible. The total work cost over $4,500 and I had to pay $1,000 of that. Never under estimate the cost of repair work. Once the truck had been stripped there was more damage underneath. I was right on the money as to repair cost!

Here's the kicker. Turns out the other driver had ZERO insurance at the time. So my insurance company are going to be out of pocket to the tune of $3,500 and me, well my $1,000 deductible is gone.

We chose our deductible based on what we can afford. Make sure you can afford yours when choosing it. Assuming the other guy is insured is a mistake.

Choosing Service Providers Wisely

We choose our service providers wisely. Do they offer what we really want and need? And what is that? To me it's about service. Progressive claims service is top notch. For body repairs we used Dodwell Autobody in Schaumburg. Recommended by my son because he's only the mechanic and performance side. He's seen the work they do and recommends all his clients go there for any body work.

In real estate when choosing a Realtor, whether you are buying or selling, make sure you are hiring based on your needs. Realtors all operate in different ways. Yes we all do the same function, but it's about how we do it that matters. Read our testimonials.

For a buyers or sellers consultation, or a home ready to sell assessment, contact me at 847-363-3686.

Posted by

Corinne Guest

Realtor & Managing Broker
Barrington Realty Company

Call me today 847-363-3686. 

Barrington IL Real Estate


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Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Corinne,  I like your tie-in analogy here ... service providers are not created equal.  Consumers and home buyer and sellers need to know that it is the AGENT they hire, not the broker/age ... and agents provide varying levels of knowledge, experience, and service.  Glad you got your bid SUV back and that no one was hurt.  

Now, I wonder what will happen to the offender that does not have insurance. 

I'd go after the money in a civil suit ... get a judgment and make um pay!

Mar 23, 2016 06:46 AM #1
Corinne Guest
Corinne Guest, REALTOR® | Barrington Realty Company - Barrington, IL
Barrington Lifestyles

Although I am  very much a do it myself kinda person, on this occasion I shall let Progressive decide whether they'll seek damages from  him and how. They can have the headache. Either way he ends up with 2 traffic tickets, one for the collision and the second for no insurance. Hopefully if nothing else, he goes out and buys himself just some minimum coverage. 

Mar 23, 2016 06:59 AM #2
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

In my state we have a zero deductible for no fault.  If we are not at fault and the other guy doesn't have insurance our insurance pays it all.  The deductible is only due if we are at fault. 

Mar 23, 2016 01:16 PM #3
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

I think what you share here proves the point that it's important to call the police when an accident occurs ... no matter how minor the accident seems.  Having no insurance (while I understand insurance costs) is unacceptable, given the law, Corinne Guest, Managing Broker ...  

Thankfully all were unharmed ... and that's the bottomline ...


Mar 29, 2016 03:47 AM #4
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