After 20+ years in the insurance industry I have heard some horrible advice given to my customers by people that are truly not qualified to speak about insurance. Because of the ever-increasing, self-professed insurance professionals doling out these little tid-bits I will continue to add to the list, but for now these are the people to ignore if they decide to give you ANY advice about insurance:
1) Car salesmen
Don’t forget you’re dealing with someone that’s trying to SELL you a CAR! DO NOT take anything they have to say about insurance rates, coverages, discounts, or otherwise seriously. Unless they are a licensed agent they are probably giving you inaccurate (bad) advice.
This is why you have an agent–call him or her!
God love ‘em, they have tough jobs and put their lives on the line every day, but that does NOT make them experts in anything insurance related!
In fact, I see quite often that a police officer will give incomplete and inaccurate information regarding insurance at the scene of an accident because they can’t read an insurance card. You read that right, they CAN’T READ AN INSURANCE CARD!
And I’ve seen accidents where they will refuse to issue a citation to the at-fault party because they feel the amount of damage done is not over some threshold ($500?), only to have the customer later find out the damage is well beyond the cop’s estimate. Then they are stuck having to go after the other party themselves, of course, without any insurance or vehicle information.
And if they tell you to go to traffic school to remove an accident ticket from your record they are WRONG, it DOES NOT WORK! Call your agent, let them explain!
3) Glass installers
These are my favorite! Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of honest glass companies out there that will treat you fairly and aren’t out to cheat anyone. In fact, I have a glass guy I would trust with my wife, so yes, I’d trust him with my own car!
But there are plenty of unscrupulous ones out there that will say anything to get your business. We’ve all run into them at car washes and gas stations, trying to convince us we need a new windshield and telling us how our insurance policy works.
My advice, don’t listen to them and don’t let them touch your glass. Call your agent and ask about any damage you may have, let them explain your coverage and options. If you don’t already have a glass company you trust ask your agent to refer you to one they may use. Usually this will be a company the agent has a personal relationship with and in the event of a problem it can be more easily resolved.