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Old 12-09-2001, 10:08 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: SW Chicago Suburbs, IL
Posts: 250
Insurance Question

I know this isn't a technical question, but really couldn't figure out which section to post in. If this is incorrect, I apologize up front.

Right now, I am insuring 5 vehicles, 3 of which have full coverage. Living in a small town with many elderly citizens and a low crime rate, the rate is probably cheaper than most areas.

Even with my job being considered a "professional" position (I was told this DOES make a difference), 28 yrs old, having a 5 year good driving record discount, multi-car discount, etc, etc, my 6 month premium is about $1200.

At what point should one consider removing collision/comprehensive coverage? One car is relatively new and has a fair amount of value, so I know I'll keep full coverage on that one. But right now, I am still carrying collision and comp on the 87 300SDL and on my 89 Buick Park Ave Ultra.

According to my carrier, I would save about $240 every 6 mos pulling full coverage from the MB and an additional $165 by having liability-only on the Buick. This seems like a significant dollar amount, but really don't know what I should do...

Any advice would be appreciated.
Lance Allison

Sold: 1987 MB 300SDL, 320k miles, Astral Silver, Blue Leather, all books and records from day one.

Totalled: 1998 VW Jetta TDI, 488k miles, Classic Green/Gray Leather, loaded, E-Codes, "Slightly" modded, "Slightly" faster than stock, arrived 11/07/1997.

MBCA Member, Chicago Region
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Old 12-09-2001, 11:00 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Queens, NYC
Posts: 158

This is your choice, of course, but keep in mind one thing: Insurance companies are in business for one reason: to make money.

They have already calculated their risk by pooling you with a bunch of other drives, and estimating (fairly accurately) what they will pay out in claims for the pool you're classified in. You are paying them your portion of their projected claims payouts, plus a profit. If you claim nothing, you lose. If you make a claim and its your fault, you're covered, but up goes your insurance premium (most likely), so you're paying for some portion of the "coverage" right back in the form of an increased premium. So, you still lose to some degree.

If you make a claim and you're not at fault, they can't raise your rate, but they can use this information when deciding whether or not to renew your policy, which may result in a cancellation, and you then will end up getting a new policy with a new company which will charge you more due to number of "incidents" (regardless of fault). Again: You lose! See the trend here?

The bottom line - you always lose with insurance. My theory is take as little as possible, in the long run (ie: you're entire life) you'll be ahead assuming the absence catastrophic events. However, most people are not financially capable of "self insuring" themselves and dislike unexpected upfront expenses, and thus elect to buy lots of coverage.

If you're wondering, I do have full coverage, but thats due to a few "other" factors other than what I just listed.
2003 S500 Black/Charcoal
1990 560SEL 61k Arctic White/Grey

1988 420SEL Black/Palomino Sold @ 85k
1987 420SEL Midnight Blue/Grey
1986 420SEL Diamond Blue/Grey
1983 380SEL Champagne/Palomino
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Old 12-10-2001, 12:01 AM
HaYN Benz
Posts: n/a
Just my $0.02,

I pay $450/6 months for my 1998 E320 wagon. I have a clean record, etc. So $1200 for all your cars is not too bad.

I once had three vehicles and my insurance agent told me to get the most minimal liability limit that the carrier will allow, and then get an umbrella (excess) liability policy.

His reasoning, which may or may not apply to your situation, was that I could only be driving one car at a time so what's the sense of getting (and paying for) higher liability limits on EACH of my cars? All I needed coverage on was the car I was in if anything happened. Also, the liability umbrella would cover any claim, whether auto related or not. And finally, most homeowner's policies have this liability coverage as an option.

No one but me in my household so this line of reasoning made sense at the time.

BTW, in my market, GEICO is the cheapest agency by far.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-10-2001, 12:31 AM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
We currently insure our

1998 C230
1998 E300
1988 Mazda 626.

Premium? $1213 a YEAR for full coverage on all three!

We carry collision on all, even the 'ol Mazda. The premium for the Mazda is only $45 for the collison portion, so it's cheap and handy in case the other driver is not carrying coverage. It doesn't matter that it's the law, many drive without proper coverage.

One big thing to me. We will NEVER drop the collision coverage as it means that even if the other driver is at fault, and properly covered, it means your cars gets fixed ASAP, as it's covered under your collision coverage, and then your claim is covered when your insurance company recovers from the other driver's company. No waiting for investigation etc. If it does turn out to be your fault, or shared fault, your company has already paid on your collision, and then marks a strike against you. Beats the crap out of losing your car.

We have replacement value on the C230 and E300, which expires this coming summer (not for cars over four years of age, we got an extention on the C230 as it's "birthday" falls in the middle of our policy) This costs more than the standard policy.

We save money by having $1000 deductibles on the MB's, and $250 on the Mazda.

We spend a little more because we have loss-of-use, which means we get a rental regardless of the claim.

We also spend a little more to get a rider that we are entitled to OEM factory replacement parts. No jobber or used parts.

We spend less as I have a "no aftermarket stereo" rider on all three.

We get a nice discount for the SmartKey on both MB's.

All said and done, the collision premiums are worth it to me for peace of mind. Shave a couple bucks elsewhere, all IMHO...
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K

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Old 12-10-2001, 03:59 AM
Johnson Chan
Posts: n/a
WOW! you guys have good rate. I just turned 21, considered a profesisonal (full time work, own my own biz)/also full time student (pre med)

The only discounts i get is good student, airbags, multicar. I got into an accidnet a year ago and it went up.

1) on my daily driver 92 300D i have full coverage and it cost me almost $300.00/month. my other car is laiblity and almost $100.00/month, so just in car insurance i pay $400.00/month.

2) i recomend that your daily driver should be insured. if your other cars just sit in the garage or rarely driven, then uits worth the risk of just liablity.

I lost my 86 190 to an uninsured motorist. I had liablity and they didnt have anything. BTW, this is when i was 17 or so. She did over 10 grand worth of damage to my car and smashed the bumper over half way into the trunk. My car was totaled and since i didnt have full coverage i didnt get paid anything. in the state of MO (or my plan), your insurance covers unisured motorists but only medical and not property. Before that i also got into a few accidents that i had to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket for repairs. My dad convinced me to get liablity only and i got screwed.

The moral of the story is, yes i saved a couple hundred a month but within a year i lost thousands of dollars. full coverage is teh way to go!
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Old 12-10-2001, 11:41 AM
G-Benz's Avatar
Razorback Soccer Dad
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
You will realize about a 25% decrease in rates when you turn 25, and about the same amount when you get married.

If you keep a spotless record (tickets/accidents), they should decrease your rate in small increments each year.

I pay less insurance now with full coverage on the MBs and liability on the Bug AND a homeowner's policy on a small second home than I did when I was 25 with just the Bug on full coverage.

Being in a small town helps rates tremendously...I have always lived in high-risk areas...not from crime, but from traffic volume...and Texas is not friendly in that aspect. Also how no-fault laws are governed in your area can dictate rates...
2009 ML350 (84K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (71K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (124K) - My daily driver
2012 Mustang V6 (60K) - Daughter's car
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Old 12-10-2001, 12:04 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: California
Posts: 324
Shop around and make sure you're getting the best price for your coverage (no matter what coverage you choose). Try Mercury and 21st Century. Both have good rates.

Ask about other group discounts. Many offer a "professional" discount if you have a college degree.

04 ML500
02 E430

Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
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Old 12-10-2001, 12:06 PM
Posts: n/a
I don't carry Collision/Comp

I only have basic liability AND uninsured driver.

If I'm in an accident and it's my fault, I lose. If it's the other drivers fault his insurance pays or if he's uninsured - my insurance pays.

I don't worry about the time it will take for the other drivers insurance to pay as I have more than one car I can drive.

Insurance companies make their money on your fear - and they never lose. Guess what happens in you are in an accident and your insurance company fixes your car. You pay for it with higher premiums.

I don't believe in paying for something (insurance premiums) for something that hasn't happened (an accident).

I protect myself with liability and uninsured motorist coverage and rely on my good judgment and driving skills to not be at fault in an accident.

Just my two cents....(that I have from insurance savings)

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Old 12-10-2001, 12:20 PM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
Insurance is a way of dealing with your tolerance for risk. That is why there is varying coverage.

For myself, I am fairly risk-averse. I purchased an extended warranty for my car. That's a form of insurance. I weighed the cost versus the potential benefits, and it fit my risk profile.

For some, it would not.

This is a personal question, and one that does not have a right or wrong answer. It's all opinion based on your risk profile.

I made very different choices when I was young. My premiums for collision coverage were much greater. I did not always buy the coverage. Today, as I am older, perfect driving record, etc, my collision premiums are very small. Also, my automobile investment is much greater.

The reason that I carry the coverage, and have a high deductible, is that I personally use the coverage as "catastrophic loss" coverage. Were I to be involved in a minor collision, I would not claim, for the the cost of increased premiums is more than most minor repairs. I feel this is criminal on the part of insurance companies, but that's another discussion completely.

I carry the coverage to make sure that the nearly $80,000 (depreciated value) of cars in our garage are not at risk of complete loss due to unforseen circumstances, or even our own error.

That's my personal reason, yours may be very different...
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K

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Old 12-10-2001, 11:46 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC area
Posts: 24
Get a copy of Consumers Reports's rating of insurance companies and associated issues (sort of an insurance primer for consumers) . They do the rating every year or so and from what I remember it does not change that much. Your local librarian should be able to get the lates rating for you without much problem.

I pay 1200+ a year for an 86 with 200k, never in an accident, one parking meter ticket about 3 years ago and I am 25 twice.
But, I live in NJ where red lights suggest caution as we know.

Good luck,

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Old 12-11-2001, 11:00 AM
Posts: n/a
Wow, wish I would have obeyed the law! My 91 560SEL costs about $140/mo. full coverage. I have a few tickets from the past three years. My wife is under my coverage too, but has a perfect record.

Back to the orig. msg: Keep full covereage on the Benz! The extra $ is well worth it. You never know what will happen, esp. in inclement weather.

Last edited by BlackE55; 12-11-2001 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 12-11-2001, 11:15 AM
Posts: n/a
Bottom Line

For the sake of $67.50/month, keep the full coverage. If you need it, you'll be thankful you had it; if you never need it, you'll never get into the MB or Buick hoping that you're trip to the mall will be uneventful. I'm speeking from experience, 2 weeks after buying my MB, I got side swiped at a stop sign. Thankfully, both the driver of the other car as well as myself were fully insured and my car was repaired very quickly with minimal contact between me and my insurance company, the other drivers company and the repair shop. I just brought it in, got it fixed and drove away!
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Old 12-11-2001, 04:39 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 65

Here's my 2 cents in two sentences. Insurance is a gambling contract, over the long run the house always wins. Don't buy insurance on anything that you can afford to replace if it becomes a total loss.

Besides, you've already hit your deer.

If I had followed my own advice at your age, I would be many $ ahead 15 years later. Plus, I didn't own as many cars as you. Now I own four cars, and I only have liability on three of them.
Keep in mind that lenders often require comp and collision on cars in which they have a security interest. Also, if there are accident-prone drivers in the family, or mystery dents often appear on your vehicles, you may have a greater need.

Different subject. How 'bout you go back to a thread you started and respond to some interested observers? Here, I'll make it easy. Click here.

FS: 87 300SDL Astral Silver/Blue 243k Recs


'89 560SEC
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Old 12-11-2001, 06:56 PM
Posts: n/a
Insurance pays for a lot more than the vehicle, i.e. medical.

If you have enough capital to self insure then you should have enough money to blow on insurance. After all what's a few hundred dollars? "Wasting money on insurance should'nt be an issue.

If one is really concerned about spending a few hundred dollars on insurance then how will one really feel when he or she pays thousands for an accident settlement?

I assume you have insurance on items of value? I look at it this way, if something were to ever happen to my 86 SL (106k miles), I expect my insurance company to pay up!!! Without full coverage I would be SOL...

I would agree it makes no sense to insure junk. Hence, the litmus test to use when wondering whether to insure or not to insure: Is it junk or not?
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Old 12-11-2001, 07:42 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Saugus, CA USA
Posts: 1,974
Check the blue book price of the car, thats the most the insurance will pay. Compare that to how much damage that would cover (a broken headlight could total an old car.) Compare that to how much you pay for collision for that car. Digest all the numbers and decide.

Its a risk owning an older car that still has a lot of miles left in it, if someone else hits it, you'll only get a new headlight out of it, then a "totaled" title
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