I would say I am a pretty cautious person and when bad things happen to me I usually try and solve it and take action. I try to be self reliant and deal with the issue. However, I must admit, I am not particularly fond of reading instructions, unless it’s on an easy, less than 5 minute Youtube video. Let me tell you, that was the only way that Mr. GYM and I were able to install the rear facing infant car seat, through a Youtube video. Those instructions provided with the car seat are hard to read!
When bad things happen to you, think about your ‘phone a friend’ in your back pocket… Sure, you can deal with the issue, but sometimes there is help when you need it!
how remembering you have insurance saves you money
Anyway, recently my car got broken into (one of my colleagues left something in my car and my window got smashed). I felt really bad because she actually left her bag in my car thinking that it would be safe and her iPhone and wallet etc. got stolen. This is Vancouver unfortunately, where your windows get smashed for leaving a penny in the car (true story, one of my friends’ car window got smashed for a few pennies in her cup holder, though this was before, when the penny was in distribution). Now that the penny is devalued, her car won’t be broken into anymore, thankfully!
Unfortunately in British Columbia the main insurance option we have here is ICBC (a Crown Corporation) who recently announced that they may increase rates by 30% in the next two years (yeah, I know, ridiculous!!). Anyway, because my car window got smashed, there is a $300 deductible I have to pay. I was pretty bummed about paying a $300 deductible, might I add. Anyway after reporting the incident to ICBC and after my coworker and I drove around the area trying to look for her discarded purse, we drove with the window smashed to the nearest glass shop where they fixed my window and I parted with the $300 solemnly.
talking griping about it with my friend who had just bought a new SUV for the new member of her family and she said she bought this insurance that pays the deductible for her, and would also replace her vehicle (for purchase price) if she were to total the vehicle in the next seven years. She paid over $1000 for this extra insurance because ICBC is notorious for shafting you and not paying you very much to replace your car (it will usually be replaced at market value, and we know that cars depreciate drastically). So that $25,000 car you bought 4 years ago might be replaced at $4000 if it were to be considered ‘totalled’.
With that special insurance (it was called Optiom insurance) you would get $25,000 or something like that.
Anyway, I had suddenly remembered that I bought that insurance too! It was over 3 years ago, and I COMPLETELY forgot about it until she mentioned it.
I promptly went home and looked at my insurance papers and saw that I should be covered for any deductibles that I have to pay. I paid over $1300 to have my new car insured (yes, I said yes to the up sell, they were good and it made some sense since I had bought a new car and I usually don’t buy new!)
I called the insurance company Optiom, thinking that they were going to wriggle their way out and say that I wouldn’t qualify or something like that, but no, they were pleasant and basically paid my deductible and sent me a $300 cheque after I sent them my claim information.
So you can bet my frugal frown turned upside down! $300 saved.
how reading the fine print can save you money
Another example of remember and reading the fine print is when my boyfriend (now ex, but that’s another story) had HIS car broken into. He had left the new iPod Touch I bought for him as a Christmas present in the glove compartment (yes, this was a while ago when people just had an iPod Touch and no $1000 iPhone and it was the newest thing) and someone just broke into his car (no broken glass or anything) to take the iPod.
Again I was pretty bummed out because I had bought that for him and does this mean I should spent another $300 and replace it? That’s when I remembered that there was something called Purchase Protection, I had just gotten a new credit card and was reading about the benefits of the card, there was extended warranty, purchase protection, and the usual rental car insurance. I had bought the iPod within 90 days, and Purchase Protection from MasterCard states that it:
Provides coverage for most items you purchase with your eligible Mastercard if the item is damaged or stolen within 90 days of the date of purchase.
Again my frugal frown turned upside down! $300 saved.
However, this took a much longer process from what I recall and I think they didn’t insure the taxes I paid so although I didn’t get 100% of what I spent back, I got a big chunk of it back. There were a lot of forms I had to send back and it took a while to get my cash back. I can’t remember if I bought another iPod Touch with that money for my ex, I really can’t, it was a while ago. Nonetheless, I was grateful to have some cash back, I think I bought something else for him but not an iPod Touch. I can’t remember though- I did tell him not to put valuables in his glove compartment but he did just ‘that one time’ and of course Murphy’s Law happens and the theft happens that one time you are less than careful.
So the moral of the story is kids, make sure you read those instructions and that fine print, and remember them, because they may come in handy one day to save your butt! And when it does save your butt, your frugal frown will turn upside down too!
Readers, have you had instances where remembering the fine print saved you money and turned your frugal frown upside down?
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.