Buying a car is a major life event, but insuring one can feel like the real challenge. There are plenty of myths about what details about you or your car can effect the cost of your insurance, and we listen to these in the hopes that they'll help us save a few bucks. Sadly, these are almost always false- here is a collection of some of the more common myths we have heard, and the truth behind them!
Red Cars Cost More to Insure
The origins of this myth are anybody’s guess, but whoever it came from didn’t know what they were talking about. When getting coverage for your car, the color of the vehicle is asked purely for descriptive purposes (imagine REALLY liking 1970 ford mustangs, so you have 4 of the same make in different colors- it helps to be able to say “the blue one”). The make, model, and year of the car definitely affect the price of your coverage, but the color does not.
My Car Has “Full Coverage”
Simply put, “Full Coverage” doesn’t exist. What people think of as full coverage is usually “comprehensive and collision” coverages, which definitely covers a lot of situations, but not all possibilities. These protections cover hitting animals, glass damage, theft or vandalism, natural disasters and plenty of other typical claims, however there are always limits to every policy and certain coverages are not automatically included like “Rental Car Reimbursement”. Always talk with your agent about what these limits are and how you can protect yourself in these cases.
Setting Coverage at State Minimums
We all enjoy saving money but setting your coverage at the minimums that your state requires is a terrible way to do it. Most states only require liability coverage, which will help you in cases where an accident is your fault, however these aren’t the only types of accidents that will inevitably happen. In the event that one does, you will be left under-or-uninsured for the situation, and what money you thought you were saving will be gone in a flash. Accidents can exceed state minimums very quickly, so it is always best to prepare for them doing so.
Men/Women Pay More Than Women/Men
Just like the red car myth, this is also rooted in ignorance. Jokes about one sex driving better than the other have been around as long as cars have, and there’s no value to them. Your insurance knows this, and you will not be charged more or less for your sex. Your age and driving history will absolutely affect your rates, but whether you are male or female will not.
Insurance will Always Pay for a Rental
Remember those minimums (especially if you chose only liability) you wanted to set your coverage at? Yeah…they don’t include rentals automatically. In order to have a rental car covered by your policy, which is known as “rental reimbursement coverage”, which pays up to a certain amount per day for a rental for a certain amount of days. This gives you enough time to either repair or replace your vehicle (and to insure it properly).
Smaller Cars are Cheaper to Insure
While the age, make and model, & cost to repair of your vehicle do affect the cost of your coverage, there are several other factors that determine the overall cost of your insurance. The special features and additions or modifications that have been made to your car all add up and can cost a pretty penny to insure also.
Safety Features Save You Money
This can be true in the sense that having a car with built-in safety features will be cheaper to insure because YOU will be safer in it if an accident occurs. HOWEVER, some of these features can be expensive to repair or replace, especially if they are modifications that are added to the vehicle per your request. Much like how smaller cars can be more expensive to insure based on the cost of their features, cars with more expensive additions and features can actually end up being more expensive to insure than those without them.
Tickets Make Your Rates Go Up
This is not necessarily true. Depending on the type of ticket, it can affect your insurance rates and driving record. However, parking tickets do not directly impact your rates BUT unpaid ones can hinder your ability to renew your vehicle’s license plates.
Property Stolen From Your Car is Covered
Your property is actually determined by your home insurance in most cases (depending on your insurance company), not your car insurance. Your vehicle, passengers, and self are what your car insurance covers. If your window was broken or your door was damaged in order to get to your property, the window and door are typically covered by your car insurance, but the stolen property is not. Check with your agent to see if your auto insurance carrier offers any optional coverage for your personal property that can be added as this is not typically available on an auto policy.
A Small Lapse in Coverage Doesn’t Matter
Of course it does! Firstly, what if an accident occurs during this time? You are solely responsible for all costs incurred at this time. Even if no incidents occur during this time, the lapse itself can greatly affect the cost of your new coverage and cause you to lose any loyalty rewards or discounts you have earned during your coverage. Not to mention that driving without coverage is illegal in most states and you can be ticketed or even arrested for driving during this time.