If you’re ever in an auto accident, it helps to have a basic understanding of the lingo used by insurance and auto body shop professionals. But for most people, learning the basics of auto insurance as it relates to collision repair is about as fascinating as watching grass grow.
So instead of car insurance, let’s pretend we’re learning about dragon insurance. Pretend you live in a mythical village called Draconia, where people don’t drive cars, they fly dragons. Let’s say your dragon’s name is Sparky.
Like a car, Sparky is awesome to ride, but he’s also very fast, heavy and sometimes hard to control. He occasionally bumps into things you don’t want him to. Hail storms can dent his scales. Very occasionally, Sparky catches something on fire. This is why Draconia requires all dragon owners to have insurance, and why there are different kinds of policies.
Ye Olde Booke of Dragon Insurance
Dragon Insurance Premium
A premium (also called a “rate”) is the payment you make to your insurance company every month to insure your dragon. The better your flying record, the cheaper your rate, generally speaking. Other factors that can affect rates include your age, number of consecutive years insured, and how sporty your dragon is.
A deductible is the amount of money your insurance company doesn’t pay for the cost of repairs after a dragon mishap. This amount comes out of your pocket before the insurance payments kick in. If the repair estimate is less than the deductible, you may consider paying for the repair out of pocket rather than filing a claim. This may decrease your risk of a rate increase in the future, saving you money in the long run.
Every insurance policy has a deductible, usually between $0 and $1,000. Your premium usually gets more expensive if you opt for a lower deductible when choosing policies. Choosing the right deductible depends on how much cash you can come up with in a pinch, and how reckless your dragon is.
This kind of insurance pays to repair your dragon if it’s in a collision with another dragon, a castle gate, a neighbor’s catapult, a passing gypsy wagon, a hitching post at the village inn or other objects.
This policy covers damages under non-collision circumstances like these:
- Your dragon sets itself on fire
- A wizard steals your dragon
- A talking tree falls on your dragon. Or a non-talking tree.
- While flying very low, your dragon inadvertently hits a deer
- Your dragon is damaged in a storm
- The castle moat floods, drenching your dragon
- Someone vandalizes your dragon (dragon graffiti is on the rise in Draconia)
Personal Injury Protection
Let’s say you and your spouse hop on Sparky to fly off for a Sunday picnic in the village square, and on the way, you pick up a friend, Sir Rowan Paine. Everything is going fine until, while checking the weather forecast on ye olde cell phone, you sideswipe a tree. Totally your fault.
Sparky spirals out of control, down toward the center of the village. Peasants are scattering, milkmaids are wailing, and thatched roofs are catching fire before Sparky even hits the ground. He comes down fast in a crooked glide, crashes through pig pens and careens off donkey carts, still launching involuntary fireballs as panicked mewls escape his fear-contorted lips. He comes to a grunting halt against the water well.
Always the cool-headed dragon rider, you stand up, dust yourself off and take stock of the situation.
Sparky is damaged but not totaled. Your ankle is sprained from the rough landing, your spouse has a nasty bump on the head, and Sir Rowan has been dropped onto his back side, smack-dab in a thorn bush. Your Personal Injury Protection policy covers medical expenses for you and your spouse because the two of you are specified in the policy. But Sir Rowan’s thorn rash isn’t covered under this policy.
He hastily drops his breeches to examine the wounds, which are looking pretty inflamed as he hops around, screaming at you for not having the right kind of insurance to cover his back side.
You assure him in a calming tone that you do, in fact, have such coverage. You venture a polite request that he pull up his breeches until the doctor arrives, then you explain the nuances of your Medical Payments Coverage …
Medical Payments Coverage
This type of insurance pays medical expenses for any other passengers aboard Sparky. Because you carry this type of coverage, Sir Rowan can get the balms and poultices he needs to take down that nasty swelling in his “southfarthing,” even though he’s not specifically listed on your policy. This coverage also pays regardless of who is at fault. Still, don’t text and fly.
Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability Coverage
Your problems are not over yet. One of the burned-down-hut owners, the village witch, decides to sue you for property damages. Her roof is gone, her favorite broom is a crumbling cinder, and someone will have to pay for all those damaged newt eyes. Furthermore, when escaping the fire, she burned her nose wart by brushing up against a hot timber. She sues you for medical expenses to get that wart looked after, once and for all.
Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability Coverage funds your legal defense against the witch and pays for any judgments against you. It can also pay for the witch’s lost wages, if she can’t work until a new shipment of newt eyes arrives.
Eventually, after some professional body work, Sparky is as good as new. You and your spouse are tip-top, the witch is back in her hut looking prettier than ever, and Sir Rowan Paine can sit comfortably again, although not for extended periods.
Give us a call if you have other questions about the enchanted realm of auto body work and car insurance. If you’re in northeastern Oklahoma, call our Tulsa body shop.