There are many myths regarding insurance. Here I’ll cover the 10 most common myths that that can turn into expensive mistakes. Get the facts straight. Right here.
1. “My friend told me that I can use my car at my second job delivering pizzas and that my insurance policy will cover an accident.”
Well, your friend is wrong. Unless you have bought a commercial auto policy your personal auto policy specifically excludes coverage while the covered vehicle is used for commercial or business purposes.
2. “If someone breaks into my car and steals my laptop, my car insurance will pay for it because I bought full coverage insurance.”
There is no such thing as Full Coverage, meaning that everything is covered. Your car insurance policy is very specific about the limits and coverage afforded, there is no insurance policy that will cover everything. So if your lap top is stolen from your car, a claim must be filed through your Renters insurance or Homeowners insurance policy and you will have to pay the deductible.
3. “I got a ticket and my insurance premium will probably triple!”
Wrong. With one ticket on your driving record you will still qualify for the Good Driver discount, depending on what kind of ticket you have. However, insurance companies also have internal point systems to configure the risk created by a ticket.
4. “The color of my car is red and I heard that this will make my payment higher!”
The cost of your car insurance policy is based on your age, sex, zip code, driving history, coverage type, make, model, engine size, the car’s safety record and the likelihood of it being stolen.
5. “My credit history has nothing to do with my car insurance rate.”
Some insurance companies take a drivers’ credit history into account when configuring the car insurance quote. If you have a low credit score, it is more likely that you will stop making payments on your insurance. However, once your credit score is factored in, most people end up with a lower rate.
6. “I only need the minimum coverage.”
Each state has set the required minimum level of insurance coverage, here in California it is $15,000 per person injured, a maximum of $30,000 per accident and $5,000 property damage liability. These limits are very low. Emergency medical services are very expensive and $5,000 worth of damage can be exhausted in a very minor fender bender between two relatively new vehicles. It is a serious mistake to maintain these low coverage levels. You could face a serious financial collapse if you find yourself paying out for medical bills and property damage as a result of being under-insured. Being under-insured could make you vulnerable if another driver decides to sue after an accident.
7. “Insurance companies make up their prices and charge whatever they want.”
Insurance companies are required to describe how the rates are calculated and then the rates must be filed for review and for approval or rejection. Any increases or decreases must be filed through the state of California department of Insurance for a review and then the rate is accepted or rejected.
8. “My insurance covers any car I drive.”
Some insurance polices, called broad coverage policies, transfer coverage to a vehicle that is made available to you on an incidental basis. Every policy is different. Some companies only transfer the minimum state liability requirements while others are a true broad coverage policy that transfers your specific liability limits. However, many insurance policies are restricted policies or named-operator insurance policies that only cover the named drivers, everyone else is automatically excluded and coverage is not afforded.
9. “If my car is stolen, my insurance company will pay off the loan.”
If you bought GAP Insurance when you bought your vehicle, this is true. However, if you have comprehensive insurance and your car is stolen or totaled in an accident, the insurance company will establish the fair market value of your pre-accident vehicle and pay you the actual cash value. This estimation excludes finance charges, interest rates, licensing fees, taxes and other charges you may have accrued throughout the lifetime of your loan.
10. “My insurance company will pay for my car rental.”
Your insurance company will not pay for your car rental unless you have purchased car rental expense. This coverage is typically sold only in conjunction with comprehensive and collision coverage.
It is important to read and understand your insurance policy. It is also important to ask questions and address your concerns to your agent.