Most people want to spend zero hours figuring out what coverage they need — or even what coverage they already have — on their auto insurance policy. For good reason: It’s confusing. Yet after an accident or other vehicle mishap, there are often all kinds of opinions about what should be covered. Before you get into a situation in which something you thought was covered is not actually covered, let’s debunk seven of the top auto insurance myths out there. Knowing what your policy includes — and what could or should be covered — will help clarify where your auto policy may be lacking.
Debunking seven top auto insurance myths
This article briefly explores some commonly held — but mistaken — beliefs about auto insurance. While your friend, or your dad, neighbor, or co-worker may have told you one thing about any or all of these scenarios, here are the facts, gathered from sources including the Insurance Information Institute and Kelly Blue Book. Call your agent to provide further clarification on any of the following coverage issues.
Myth #1: Colorful cars are more expensive to insure.
Nope. That cherry-red sports car is not more expensive to insure than the gray one. Car insurers do not care what color your car is. Factors that do matter in determining your auto insurance rate include your age (rates are typically higher for drivers under 25 and over 65 years), gender (women generally pay lower rates), driving history, where you live, the make and model of your vehicle, and your vehicle’s age.
Myth #2: Your insurance rate will go up if you get a ticket.
Not necessarily. A rate increase is not a given after a single ticket or involvement in a car crash or collision. What could spark a rate raise is if you collect a number of traffic violations within a short period or if you cause an accident. If you have a clean driving record, getting one speeding ticket is unlikely to result in a premium increase. Likewise, if you are in an accident but are not at fault, your rate may not go up. Insurance companies look at your driving history and patterns.
Myth #3: If you get into a car crash, your bodily injury liability coverage will cover your own medical bills.
Not correct. Bodily injury liability coverage covers the other driver’s injuries (and those of their passengers) — but only if you are at fault. To cover your injuries and your passengers’ injuries, you would need to have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
Myth #4: If your laptop is stolen from your car, it’s covered by your auto insurance policy.
False. Personal property loss is typically covered by your homeowner or renter insurance policy (after the deductible is met). It is not covered by your vehicle insurance.
Myth #5: Comprehensive coverage covers everything.
No. Comprehensive coverage includes damage that is not related to actually driving your car. It covers things such as natural disasters, falling objects, theft and vandalism. In other words, it does not cover damage from car crashes. You will have to add collision coverage for that.
Myth #6: Personal auto insurance covers the use of your car for business purposes.
Wrong. If you are self-employed and use your personal vehicle for business purposes — such as making deliveries, hauling equipment or supplies, or doing other commercial driving, your personal auto insurance policy will not protect you. You will need a commercial vehicle insurance policy. Additionally, if your employees or co-workers drive your vehicle, be sure to check their driving records, because they can affect your insurance rates. If you drive for a rideshare company such as Uber or Lyft, it might make sense to get a rideshare endorsement on your personal auto policy. Contact your Bradish agent for more details.
Myth #7: It’s not possible to lower your auto insurance costs.
Not true. In fact, there are several ways to reduce your auto insurance costs. Many insurance carriers offer discounts for low-mileage drivers, bundling of home and auto insurance policies, good-driver discounts, and discounts for members of the military.
Get the answers you need
The web of coverage options available for an auto insurance policy can be confusing. Your Bradish agent can be a great resource to help you further debunk these and other auto insurance myths and determine the coverages you truly need, based on your circumstances. Now is the time to put the proper protections in place.
by Kris A. Mainellis