While today’s sedans, SUVs and light trucks are more efficient, better made and safer than vehicles in the past, accidents still happen. An estimated 6,734,000 Americans were involved in police-reported vehicle crashes in 2018, resulting in 36,560 fatalities and 2,710,000 injuries, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Because today’s vehicles also are much more sophisticated, the cost of repairs can be extraordinary, as can the unintended consequences when damaged vehicles are sold or junked. Even if your clients have auto insurance, their safety as well as their retirement nest eggs and other financial assets may be at risk.
Consider the case of Andy, whose relatively new luxury SUV was in an accident that damaged its wheels and one of its hinge pillars, which is a critical component to supporting a vehicle’s structure. The insurance estimate for repairing Andy’s leased vehicle came in much lower than the actual cost to restore it to its original integrity. Andy’s situation underscores the problem of most standard auto insurance policies not covering the cost of replacing expensive components with parts from the vehicle’s manufacturer or replacing the vehicle entirely, if repairs can’t return the car to its original structural condition.
The above example shows that not all insurance coverage is the same; the difference is in an insurer’s approach. Coverage with a premier insurer would have paid Andy’s remaining financial obligation and saved him from driving a potentially unsafe vehicle, or even paying tens of thousands of dollars to his leasing company when the lease ended. That approach helps protect Andy and eliminates the need for him to dip into his other financial buckets that were likely put in place to achieve longer-term goals.
Furthermore, superior coverage involves looking for ways to do more for the client. In Andy’s situation, a premier insurance provider might have gone the extra mile and looked to eliminate any additional risks associated with the accident that are not so obvious. For example, the insurer might look to remove personal data, which is often stored on today’s computer-laden vehicles.