Paying for Duplicate Services
This error usually results from not reading the fine print. "We live in a very cold place, and at least twice every winter, we have to call to get our car started or towed," says Minneapolis mom Cheryl Rosenthal. "So we always belonged to AAA for the towing service. But we came to find out, our car insurance policy already included it."
Similarly, a remarkable number of consumers (around 25 percent, according to a 2004 online poll conducted by the Progressive Casualty Insurance Company) buy the collision insurance offered -- for an often-steep extra fee -- by car-rental agencies, even though they are most likely covered already by their own policy or even by a special provision on their major credit card.
Many credit cards also offer travel insurance, making it unnecessary to buy one of the policies that tour companies push. And, inexplicably, a surprising number of consumers pay for more than one Internet provider -- an extravagance that has no apparent merit.