Progressive Insurance Company (you know, the one with "Flo" the
insurance lady) offers an online insurance tool that allows you to name
your own price for insurance. As a sales pitch, it sounds catchy. But
is it saving you money or selling you short?
How The Name Your Own Price Tool Work
To use Progressive’s "Name Your Own Price" online tool,
you complete the questions on the screen and, bingo, you’ll get
a "recommended coverage" quote. If it’s too high, it gives
you the option of naming your own price. However, unlike what the insurance
company’s television ads suggest, you can’t just get "a
little bit" of insurance for "a little bit" of money.
The reason? Insurance companies can’t offer that due to state insurance
regulations’ minimum requirements–in Hawaii, that's 20/40/10.
That means that you must have at least $20,000 of bodily injury coverage
per person, $40,000 per accident and $10,000 of property damage.
Even if you went with the minimums, most people need far more than that.
According to the Injury Prevention and Control Section of the Hawaii State
Department of Health, there are approximately 4,600 car accidents on Hawaii’s
main islands of Oahu, Eastern Oahu, The Big Island, Kauai and Maui every
year - many of which result in traumatic brain injuries and broken bones
in the skull, vertebral column and more. The average cost for a hospital
visit in Hawaii-$46,000. As you can see, having the "minimum"
amount of insurance won’t pay that bill.
New Tool, Old Concept
The concept of naming your own price isn’t new. In fact, it’s
been around since insurance began. In the past, most people had conversations
with their insurance agents about what coverage was right for them and
where they could save money, such as increasing deductibles and - if allowed
- declining collision coverage on older vehicles. While having the ability
to do this online is great, discussing it with an agent is better.
This is especially true for those who may not have a clear understanding
of the laws that apply to Hawaii vehicle owners. According to
Hawaii’s Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs, the laws include:
- PIP (personal injury protection), which includes a $10,000 minimum that
pays for medical and rehabilitative costs for you and your passengers.
- "No Fault" state designation, which means that your insurance
company will pay for your injury bills up to the limit of your personal
injury protection. It applies to injuries, not to vehicles or property,
so the driver at fault is responsible for damages to vehicles and property.
- The inability to sue or be sued unless there are serious injuries.
In addition, there is optional coverage that you may wish to consider,
such as coverage to protect you against uninsured and underinsured drivers,
loss of income, or other coverage. So, is Progressive’s online tool
a deal or does it leave you vulnerable in the event of an accident? It's
important to have sufficient insurance to protect yourself and family.