No one wants to imagine their child being involved in an auto accident, but the truth is, it can happen to anyone at any time. Being prepared for such a situation is not only a matter of personal safety but also crucial for preparing how to respond.
Below is a Facebook post my wife shared with me. The post shares one side of the story, and fails to provide context for the husband's state of mind. Thus, I'm not judging him, but rather using this as an example of how quickly a strong relationship can unravel when folks fail to talk about money.
How to Plan and Prepare for an Auto Accident
Establish a Thoughtful Insurance Plan
Safety should be the driving force behind constructing an appropriate auto insurance plan for our children. Here is what we did with our children.
Give your kids a stake in the game
Every family is different. Auto insurance is expensive. I fully recognize that what we do comes from a certain level of privilege. We pay for our kids' auto insurance. They are responsible for paying any increase in their insurance that derives from a citation or an at-fault accident. Our hope is that the significant cost increase will encourage caution.
I also see the value in having your kids pay for all of their auto insurance. Frankly, we debated back and forth on this.
Talk about money regularly
If you're talking about a disaster's financial implications when disaster strikes, you're talking too late. As a matter of fact, you're likely responding with emotion and have failed to adequately plan. And this is how money fights begin.
You and your partner should talk regularly about money. Professionals recommend meeting weekly, or at least monthly. If you're like us, one of you manages most of the money, but you both have equal control over how our money is used.
Moreover, financial conversations such as the example in this post should not occur in front of the kids. This is called financial enmeshment, which occurs when parents involve their children in adult financial matters before the children are cognitively and emotionally ready to cope with the information. It can be very damaging to a child's development.
If this isn't something you already do, consider the following articles and podcasts for ideas:
Article: What is a Money Date?
Modern Husbands Podcast: How to Talk About and Manage Money with Your Spouse - Dr. Megan McCoy
Modern Husbands Newsletter: Subscribe to receive gifts that empower couples to manage money and the home as a team. Expect our winning ideas in your inbox every couple of weeks.
There are several tools you can use to plan your finances. We recently started using Tiller spreadsheets because it automates budgeting and updates automatically daily.
Select the Most Suitable Insurance Policy
We prepared an unbiased guide to select the most suitable insurance policy for your family. Our previous post, How to Choose the Right Car Insurance: A Comprehensive Guide, includes:
Understand Your Coverage Needs
Evaluate your needs and preferences
Factors influencing the cost of your coverage needs
Research Different Insurance Companies
Compare Quotes and Policy Features
Evaluate Customer Service and Claims Process
Consider Your Financial Situation
What to do if You're in an Auto Accident
We really like many of The Secure Dad resources. As it pertains to this topic, we love his downloadable Post Accident Checklist, found in his article What to do After a Car Wreck.
His post, What to do After a Car Wreck, includes a podcast and also reviews the following:
What to Expect After a Car Accident
Assess Danger and Injuries
Calling for Help
Talking with the Other Drivers
Set the Tone
Should You Stay or Go?
Talking with the Police
How to Respond After an Auto Accident
The safety of both individuals involved in the accident should always be the top priority. Discussing safety measures and protocols with your child beforehand can help ensure that you're both on the same page about what actions to take.
Before you rush to draw conclusions about his response, remember that we don't have the full story. Perhaps he is hypersensitive to significant spending changes and they are already facing challenging financial circumstances.
What we know is that life is full of surprises and tragedies. Preparing for the worst emotionally and financially will best position us to respond appropriately when tragedy strikes.
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