Do You Have All the Auto Coverage You Think You Have?

WARWICK, R.I., July 24, 2000/PRNewswire/ -- Millions of auto owners are involved in accidents every day, which is quite an ordeal. As if that weren't bad enough, new auto owners are often stunned to find out that their auto insurer won't pay in full to replace their brand new auto even if it is involved in an accident while driving off the dealer's lot.

"Too often, the importance of having the right insurance is not realized until a loss occurs, and consumers are left paying more than expected for auto repairs," according to Michelle DeWine, Vice-President of MetLife Auto & Home.

"There are many unexpected out-of-pocket expenses that consumers need to be aware of, because all insurers are certainly not the same. Frequently, it is only after a loss that some hidden costs come into view," DeWine added.

Below are some questions you should ask before purchasing auto insurance:

-- Does your auto insurer replace your totaled new auto with a new one, and not take a deduction for depreciation when the auto is involved in a total-loss claim?

-- Does your auto insurer replace items like tires, batteries, steering and electrical wiring components, without taking a deduction for depreciation, when your older auto is involved in an accident?

-- If you rent an auto and have an accident with it, will your auto insurance pay for the expenses of the rental agency for the daily loss of its rental income because the auto was out of service? Does it pay for the towing, storage and administrative costs the rental company may incur?

Commonly in the industry, a total loss is settled on an actual cash value basis. With the dramatic first-year depreciation of a new auto, customers can receive up to thousands less than the amounts they still owe on their autos.

"Consumers are often surprised to find out that their insurers deduct for depreciation when settling both total and partial loss claims on their brand new owned vehicles. That leaves many customers receiving quite a bit less than what was paid for or what is still owed on their brand new vehicles," says DeWine.

"Many customers are also shocked to get bills from a rental-car company for the company's business losses, and are unhappy that their auto insurance does not cover such losses," says DeWine. "To meet our customers' needs, we've eliminated these coverage gaps in our auto policies in most of the nation at the same low policy cost." (Note: provided the vehicle is owned and is less than one-year old or has 15,000 miles, whichever comes first. See policy for details.)

MetLife Auto & Home, an affiliate of MetLife, Inc (NYSE: MET), is one of the nation's leading personal lines property and casualty companies with more than 2.6 million policies in force. For more information about the wide variety of insurance products MetLife Auto & Home provides in all fifty states and DC, contact your local MetLife Auto & Home provider or authorized Independent Agent, visit MetLife's website at

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