When the country is in crisis, everyone is trying to save money. We’ve let the cat out of the bag to debunk some of the most common car insurance myths that might have you paying more than you need:
Myth: “New sport cars are the most expensive to insure because of theft and tickets.”
Truth: This is wrong on both counts. Statistics show that thieves actually steal older cars more often because the parts are worth more. The 1995 Honda Civic, 1991 Honda Accord and 1989 Toyota Camry were the top three stolen cars in 2007. Older cars are easier to steal and have good parts to sell off. Sports cars are also some of the most well-behaved cars on the road. Hummer and Scion drivers and top the list, receiving up to five times more tickets than sports car drivers.
Myth: “It’s unnecessary to get more than the required amount of car insurance.”
Truth: The minimum required insurance is almost never enough to cover costs incurred in an accident. This problem is only compounded if the accident is your fault. In that case, your personal assets can be pursued if the other party is injured, or decides to sue.
Myth: “I don’t have to make a claim on my insurance if my friend is driving my car and causes an accident.”
Truth: Even if you’re not in the car, you’re still liable if it is in an accident. When a friend borrows your car, they borrow your insurance policy too. In most states, the car insurance policy follows the car, not the driver, which makes the policy holder liable, regardless of who was driving. However, if the car owner’s insurance is not enough to cover all damages, the driver's insurance can be used next in line to pay for the remaining balance.
Myth: “If I’m in an accident, at least my car loan is paid off.”
Truth: To declare a car “totaled”, the total loss would exceed 70% of the cars value. If the car is declared totaled, the insurance company will pay you what your car is worth, not what you owe on it. The only way to remedy this is to purchase gap insurance which covers auto loans.
Myth: “If I get a speeding ticket, I know my rates will automatically skyrocket.”
Truth: While it’s important to obey all speed limits, your insurance will not increase with just one ticket. Two tickets is another story. The driving history, the length of time insured and how fast you were going may affect your rate, but not on the first offense. Repeat offenses are generally much more likely to trigger an increase in insurance.
Myth: “The cost of my car will determine the price of insurance.”
Truth: How much you paid for your car has no bearing on how much your insurance premium is. Car insurance companies look at how many claims they’ve paid on that model and how much it might cost to repair or replace your car.
Myth: “Never buy a red car, they are the most expensive to insure.”
Truth: If you notice, when you call your insurance company to add a new car to the policy, they don’t even ask what color the car is. All that matters is the year, make, model, body type, engine size and age of your car, as well as drivers on your policy. According to Progressive Insurance, nearly 25% of buyers believe car color is a factor in determining insurance rates. The truth is color has never played a roll in insurance rates. The color is generally much more important to the driver than the insurer.