Car Insurance Myths and Misconceptions

As if car insurance isn’t complex and confusing enough, a number of myths and misconceptions further cloud the matter. This article aims to separate fact from fiction, and debunk some of those auto insurance myths and misconceptions.

Myth: The color of my car affects my insurance rates
Fact: Insurance companies do not use color to determine your insurance premium.
There is an urban legend floating around out there that people who drive red cars get more speeding tickets, and are more likely to get into an accidents. Even though there are no official statistics to support this belief, (and the cops remain mum on the matter), a 2005 article in the Chicago Tribune showed that 25 percent of drivers believe a car’s color affects insurance premiums. While a car’s make, model, engine size and body type do factor into determining your rates, the color of your car has no impact what-so-ever on your insurance premium. Red does not cost more “Green”

Myth: My car insurance rates are pretty much the same from one insurance company to the other.
Fact: The difference in car insurance premiums for the exact same coverage can vary by hundreds of dollars from company to company. Different insurance companies have different rating systems. They will use the same information in different ways to determine rates. Shopping around for before you buy or renew a policy could very well save you save you a tidy bundle.

Myth: If I was not-at-fault in an accident, I will not be charged
Fact: This is not always automatic. If the police report does not clearly confirm that the other driver was at fault, your insurance company may still charge you. After an accident, do not assume that the other driver will admit fault or liability. Even if he (or she) admits it to you, he may deny it later to his insurance company, and even claim you were at fault. As such, even if the police report is in your favor, fault and liability can always be disputed. In this case, your insurance company has the last word.

Myth: No-fault Insurance covers me when I am not at fault in an accident
Fact: It is called “No fault” coverage because it pays for your damages, regardless of who is at fault.

Myth: Comprehensive coverage is “comprehensive” it covers me in all situations.
Fact: The term “comprehensive,” as used in the insurance industry, has little in common with the meaning of the word in plain English. Comprehensive coverage only covers damage to your car that is caused by an event other than collision, such as theft, fire, vandalism, hail or if you hit an animal.

Myth: If I swerve to avoid hitting an animal and drive into a tree, I will not be considered at-fault
Fact: “Hit the animal.” your insurance agent will say. As cold and cruel as it sounds, if you obey your conscience (and instincts) and swerve to avoid the animal you will be considered at-fault in any resulting accident.

Myth: My rental reimbursement coverage covers me when I am driving a rental car.
Fact: Your rental reimbursement coverage is provided to cover the cost of a rental car if your car is in the shop for repairs due to an accident, and you need a replacement vehicle.

Myth: Insurance companies can charge whatever premium they want.
Fact: The insurance industry is highly regulated in every state. Before an insurance company can change its rates, it must submit the new rates to a regulatory body for review, along with supporting information and statistics. Once the new rates are approved, the insurance company is locked into those rates.

Myth: If I get a speeding ticket, my insurance premium will increase
Fact: Depending on your car insurance carrier, one speeding ticket may not affect your insurance premium. Now, if you chalk up more tickets, or if you were driving more than 25-30 miles above the speed limit, your insurance rates will definitely go up.

Once you know the facts about your car insurance, you can make informed decisions regarding your car insurance.