Q.: In your columns, you have often stated that you don't recommend carrying collision insurance on older cars because the cost far outweighs the value of the car. I used to believe as you do, and I stopped paying collision insurance when my cars became 6 to 8 years old.
Then we were in a serious car crash that was not our fault. My family was injured. Our insurance carrier left us with no question that we would be completely on our own when it came to collecting any claims: "You don't have collision; we can't help you."
While I recognize that this was the deal that was struck when I stopped carrying collision, we felt betrayed and like we'd been left hanging by a big-name carrier. We wound up hiring an attorney. We think it would have been easier and cheaper if we had carried collision insurance all along. – Reader in New Mexico
A.: I'm sorry you had these problems. But understand that although it might have been easier, it certainly would not have been cheaper over the years had you carried collision on an old car. It is a poor buy by any counting method you choose to use. Further, if your injuries were severe, you likely would have had to use the attorney anyway.
I still think collision insurance on a car that's worth less than $3,000 is throwing away money.