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Woman can't afford full insurance coverage on car, pays out-of-pocket for damage from car burglars

Insurance expert weighs in: 'Rates are a problem.'
Charlie Christian said she took a big financial hit when her car was broken into.
Posted at 6:03 PM, May 15, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Car insurance rates have soared 20% in the last year and the increase is forcing some customers to cut back on their coverage.

KSHB 41 reporter Caroline Hogan spoke with a woman who paid out-of-pocket for damages caused by car burglars.

Charlie Christian never had a car broken into until last month.

"I came out here to go to work in the morning" Christian said. "I opened up my driver's side door and saw glass on my passenger seat and looked up and saw that my passenger side window was completely shattered."

She had only liability coverage, which meant she paid for the damages.

But Christian said using her own money to pay for repairs is not as expensive as paying for full coverage on her vehicle.

Charlie Christian had to pay out of pocket when her car was broken into a few weeks ago.

"Going full coverage would actually be twice the amount of money," she said. "So it’s not just something that I could easily afford."

Christian's not alone.

The Consumer Price Index shows car insurance rates have risen over 20%.

Mike Smith is the CEO of Twin Lakes Insurance. Smith said prices aren't getting cheaper, and in instances like Christian's, it may be best to pay the bill yourself.

He said you don't want to risk filing too many claims and getting dropped by your agency.

"Now you go out to the market and all of a sudden, your insurance is two or three thousand dollars more," he said.

Mike Smith, CEO of Twin Lakes Insurance

To avoid this, Smith advises calling body shops first when your vehicle is damaged.

"I always tell everybody, we’re the second person you call," he said. "You should take a breath, and in that breath say, 'Let me determine what this is going to cost me.'"

Christian is thinking about the future and stashed away a few hundred dollars.

"I'm thinking about trying to figure it out to where I can get better coverage on my insurance in case this happens again, especially knowing it’s a common thing out here," she said. "Just having to pay expenses like that over and over again, the possibility of that scares me a little bit."