Meet Gary

Gary paid off a car; the car didn’t pay out. Optiom would have made an $18,000 difference.

Gary didn’t have a great day… Optiom could have made it better! Here is a story about a man who recently became a client of ours. 

Insurance. 

There. I said it. 

Allow the cold tingle to finish running through your spine because I have a story for you. 

Hi. I’m Gary. Back in 2012, I bought myself a Ford Fusion. I drove it off the lot with 8 km on the odometer and felt like the king of the world. I babied that car and set up an aggressive payment plan to spare myself the burden of long-term debt. 

Six months after paying it off, I was taking a little trip with my wife in Vernon, BC. A texting driver hit the car in front of them at a stoplight. That car then rolled into mine. The total cost of the repairs was slated to be $9,000. Bumper sensors sure are costly. However, based on the depreciated value of my car, they declared my again-I-shall-remind-you-newly-paid-off vehicle a total loss.  

Here are the pictures. Murphy and his Law can step on a Lego brick. 

So I spent five years paying off a $30,000 car and was awarded a shiny, $12,600 cheque from my insurance company. 

How can you not be floored by that? I understood depreciation, to an extent – more on that in a future article – but I wasn’t expecting that much of a loss. Wasn’t the point of insurance coverage to – you know, cover me?  

I wondered how many Canadians this happens to daily. 

Oh, and in case you were wondering… my replacement vehicle was a downgrade. 

It’s even more challenging to own a vehicle in the present day. You think bumper sensors are pricey? Thanks to the ongoing microchip shortage, used car sales and the accompanying inflation have exploded. Off-the-lot vehicles depreciate faster than ever, thanks to newer models and their advanced features. Further, stringent requirements for environmental improvements in vehicles will keep those prices at a premium. 

I digress, I was pretty upset. 

I felt I should have gotten more back. I fought for it, but it was right there in the print. I was underinsured; I had no idea. 

I was also caught unaware that for less than I pay for coffee daily, I could have walked away with a lot more money in my pocket. 

Insurance can feel like a labyrinth. Every province has wildly different requirements, and so most of us find the rate that doesn’t leave a metallic taste in our mouths and move on, seldom seeking a better option. 

Meanwhile, there are several available:  

Let’s say you still owe more than what the car is worth when it’s lost. Gap coverage is an add-on that covers you for the balance of the vehicle’s loan or lease if the vehicle’s a write-off before you’re squared up. 

Then, there’s Optiom replacement insurance: this insurance comes into play in the event of a total loss by offering you a payout based on the MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price) of the newest make and model vehicle. So my 2012 Ford Fusion getting the raw deal in 2017 would have netted me closer to what I paid.  

And it would have cost me, ballpark, a paltry $1500 for that insurance, paid out over five years at a locked-in premium. 

So yeah. I kicked myself for that one. Now, I drive a 2011 vehicle. 

Your comprehensive coverage is your hockey team; replacement coverage by Optiom is the goalie. Optimize your insurance with Optiom, and be truly insured. 

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