Car insurance can get complicated. Different states have different requirements and that can make things confusing. So, how do you know if you have the right auto insurance in place?
With 35-years of industry experience, it’s safe to say we’ve seen and heard it all when it comes to car insurance. As a local, independent agency it’s our mission to separate fact from fiction for our clients and ensure the right protections are in place should something happen. That leads me to share a few of the most common car insurance mistakes people make and more importantly what drivers should know.
Which of these five myths leave you wondering about your own insurance?
1. When my car is parked in my garage my homeowner’s policy will cover it.
False! A standard homeowner policy excludes motorized vehicles whether parked inside your garage, your driveway, or on your property.
2. My auto insurance policy includes comprehensive and collision coverage, so I’m fully covered.
False! Full coverage means different things to different people. Comp and collision helps pay to repair or replace your car if it’s stolen or damaged no matter who is at fault, but it doesn’t include towing or rental car coverage. Even more importantly it doesn’t cover personal injury protection or uninsured motorist protection. If you hear your agent use the phrase ‘full coverage’ always ask what your policy specifically does and does not include.
3. If my car is totaled in an accident my insurance company pays off my loan.
True AND False! If your car is totaled insurance companies will help pay off the loan but that payoff is based on the fair market value of your car. Fair market takes the original cost of the car minus depreciation. So, if your car is totaled, you would be responsible to pay the difference between what’s left on your loan and your car’s current fair market value. To protect against this kind of loss talk with your agent and see what other coverage options are available so you’re not paying thousands out of pocket.
4. I can loan my car to anyone and my insurance will cover them.
True! But only if you loan your car to a neighbor, friend, or someone who does not live with you. However, if someone is licensed and lives with you or has regular access to your car they need to be listed as a driver on your current policy.
5. I just bought a car, so I get 30-days of free coverage before I have to tell my agent.
False! While most insurance companies provide 30-days of automatic coverage once you purchase a car it does not mean it’s free. Most policies provide 30-days before you need to notify your agent but once you let your agent know your policy will reflect the day you purchased the car, NOT the day you called to report the purchase.
Each and every company, carrier, and policy is different and those differences matter when we talk about car insurance. If you have questions, concerns, or need clarification about the things discussed above we always recommend talking to your agent. Working with an independent agent can help provide accurate information, explain differences in policies, and ensure the right things are in place so when you get behind the wheel you feel confident with your coverage.