Some important things I have learned this past week:
- If you loan your car to someone to drive out of state, notify your insurance company beforehand. Common sense, Traci. Hello. Insurance companies get a little testy about stuff like that. They will grill both you and the driver individually, recorded deposition style and make you feel like a common criminal to get at the truth. Fortunately, our (true) stories matched. (AND we are sticking to it!)
- If you loan your car to someone to drive out of state, make sure you have copies of all those important papers in the glove box. You may never see them again and insurance people may hound you until you hunt down the receipt from your most recent oil change for verification of the true mileage of the car. (Right! David has always changed his own oil.) Fortunately the Civic was in at the dealer this summer for a recall on the airbags so we have that to fall back on.
- Keep copies of all service records and receipts separate from the vehicle, not just shoved in the glove compartment. If your car is totaled and you have bought a new battery or tires (or other things) in the last year and can prove it with receipts they will add that prorated amount to the total value of your vehicle!
- It is very fortunate that I had thought ahead enough to text the driver our electronic insurance cards prior to leaving on the trip. That little detail probably went a long way toward convincing the officer who worked the accident that the driver had permission to have possession of our vehicle and operate it. Even for day to day use I think it is important to keep an electronic version or picture of both sides of your insurance card available in an app on your phone. Maybe a good place to keep medical insurance cards too.
- First-Aid kits, emergency blankets and other 'In case of' items are important. Make sure your vehicles are stocked. A cold, dark, wet night on the side of an interstate would be a lot more pleasant if you had a way to keep warm and help keep yourselves from going into shock.
In short, be more diligent in your record keeping and accident preparedness than I have been! We are so thankful that the accident wasn't any worse than it was. Thankful for friends to be able to call on to help us pray for safety while they waited for help to come. Thankful both precious driver and passenger were unharmed except for bumps and bruises despite the fact that none of the airbags deployed. (!) Thankful our insurance company didn't deny the claim.