A Boring Post About Insurance (Who Said There’s No Truth in Advertising?)

We met with our local Allstate representative on Friday, because the completely useless DMV decided to further complicate our already busy lives. While there, we checked the official DMV records with our agent and the proof of insurance they threatened to fine me for not sending them was in fact in their database already. Silly DMV. Anyway, we thought it would be a good opportunity to ask a few questions about our travel related concerns in regards to insurance.

Anyway, here’s what we learned there:

(1) Renter’s insurance will still cover your personal belongings in storage. Though we plan to be able to find homes for most of our belongings with friends and family, it’s reassuring to know that our standard renter’s insurance policy will still cover our belongings against damage or theft while they are at a storage facility. We’ve accumulated a fair number of things already that we plan on keeping for a while. This makes me hear Tyler Durden in Fight Club hearing “The things you own end up owning you.” Food for thought.

(2) You should never cancel your auto insurance policy (while still keeping a car). This seemed to me to be a great idea to save money while we’re gone, but it turns out I was way wrong. Here’s why. This causes all kinds of headaches in terms of vehicle registration, because most states (including Maryland) will require the insurer to take your tags. Also, when you return and want to purchase insurance again, you must pay a substantially higher rate because you have not had continuous coverage. What you can do is reduce the levels of insurance to a very high deductible with liability coverage only. So it still costs us a couple of hundred dollars, but that’s better than having to re-register and pay a lot more later. The other option is to just sell the car, but we’ll need a car as soon as we get back (wherever we end up) and don’t want to have to buy one right away.

(3) A lot about life insurance. I’m gonna be honest, it’s not something I have thought much about getting, since we’re young and can both support ourselves just fine. But with this trip and the uncertainty we face anyway when we get back, we thought it would be a good time to get some sort of policy. At our age, term life insurance makes more sense as it is a lot cheaper, and we have decided to just get a 10 year term policy. We’d be plenty young to get cheap insurance when we reassessed in 10 years. Anyway, it is definitely something to think about when planning a trip, just in case.

So I hope that wasn’t too boring for anyone, but it definitely has a lot of good tidbits of information for any of you thinking about logistics. Just a few more of the many things to worry about for us to now check off of our list.

9 Replies to “A Boring Post About Insurance (Who Said There’s No Truth in Advertising?)”

  1. I woke up with my face resting on the keyboard, in a big pool of drool.

    The post has generated one question: Do you always take “couple” trips to the insurance office?

  2. No, Matthew, we don’t usually both go to the insurance office. In fact, this if the first time I’d ever met Peter Lee, aka our Allstate Insurance Man. I went along with Jeff because we all know that if he had gone by himself, when he came home I’d ask him all kinds of questions about what was said or not said and come up with something he probably hadn’t thought about and then we’d all just be annoyed. Better we both go. Of course, Jeff probably wouldn’t had done the same thing to me if I were the only one to go, but since I didn’t know our insurance man, I didn’t really want to go alone.

    Anyhow, if you were thinking of taking Amanda with you on your next trip, I’d vote against. It wasn’t all that exciting. I can think of better dates.

  3. Being in the military, I’ve had life insurance for quite a while now. While it’s never been really necessary since I wouldn’t be leaving any dependents behind, I guess it’s sort of nice to know that on the event of my death my family could have the comfort of cold hard cash to ease their pain… right?

  4. That’s always the kind of opinion I had about it Laura, that you don’t really need it until you have kids. But Theresa’s mom brought it up while we were there and made a good argument that with us being unemployed during this trip and not having definite plans for after, that now would be a good time to buy in. I had to agree.

  5. Make sure that your renter’s insurance policy has Replacement cost. For instance if the storage unit burned down and you lost say a 10 year old bike that would cost you $500 to replace, but they’ll take in the depreciation and the insurance co will give you say $10.

  6. Some renter’s/home insurance will also cover loss/damage of personal belongings while your travel (i.e. cover the stuff you take with you). So, if you’re iPod or something gets stolen in Auckland, your insurance will cover the replacement or at least a reasonable portion (depending on the type pf policy you have). Most travel insurance should do the same, but they usually have caps on the reimbursement. Check with your insurance person to see if yours allows this…I found it useful.

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