Thursday, January 28, 2016

Minimizing the ‘sting’: a minor hit-and-run and newfound appreciation for insurance

You already know where this blog post is going. Just after the New Year, I had the misfortune of being involved in a minor hit and run. By “minor” I mean there was only some damage to my car; no one was injured. 

To set the scene: It was a bright and sunny—though chilly—Minnesota winter day, and my brother and I were at one of Minnesota’s largest malls. The mall was busy, the parking ramp was stop-and-go, and at least one driver lacked the requisite alertness (and integrity) of a responsible driver. Said irresponsible driver collided with the back of my car and peeled out of the ramp, escaping into the sea of vehicles. Afterward, among the many thoughts that went through my mind (I will skip the choice words I had for the “hit-and-runner”), I had two main questions:

  1. Did someone really just hit me and drive off? I mean, was I really just in a hit-and-run? The answer was a resounding yes. And the worst part of it was this: Not only was it clear to the hit-and-runner that they hit me, but they could clearly see the damage that they caused—my back hatch and bumper guard had to be replaced.

  2. How does insurance work? I had never been in a car accident, and so while I have always had insurance, I had never had the privilege of actually going through the claims process. 
In the end, the hit-and-runner was never caught. (I strongly urge malls to invest in better security cameras!) I paid my deductible, and my car was fixed. 

Though I have never been one to complain about paying my insurance premiums, being involved in a hit-and-run has converted me into an insurance advocate. Though I would have preferred that the careless driver who ran into me had paid for the damage to my car, I did not lose sleep over paying my deductible. However, had I not had insurance and had to pay full price for damages that were caused by an irresponsible driver who hit me and then fled the scene, the “sting” (both financial and emotional) would have lasted for a long time.  

For a small business without insurance, the financial “sting” arising from an accident could be much worse—it could bankrupt and shut down the company for good. Every entrepreneur’s checklist thus should include procuring insurance. The types of insurance recommended for businesses range far and wide—general and professional liability, property, commercial, automobile, data-breach, etc.—and so a prudent business owner should meet with her insurance agent to discuss what types of policies are recommended for her type of business and how the necessary policies can be bundled to be cost-effective. 

The bottom line: Do yourself (and others!) a favor. Minimize the “sting.” Carry adequate insurance!  

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