November 20th, 2015
Deep understanding of the ins and outs of auto insurance policies does not come naturally to many of us, yet coverage is required when hopping behind the wheel of a car. As more millennials join the workforce, more will drive to work and need car insurance. To help clarify millennials' knowledge, note the following commonly misconstrued myths about auto insurance:
1. My current agent or insurance company is getting me the best possible rate.
Insurance agents do what they are employed to do - get their clients the best insurance package for the best price that the company offers. The key phrase to keep in mind here is "that the company offers."
"Be sure to utilize online search tools - these can provide countless, up-to-date results, fast."
Insurance shoppers shouldn't necessarily trust that their current agent or insurance company is providing them the best possible rate available. The Digital Journal recommended hiring an insurance broker for a far more unbiased opinion. Brokers deal with many different insurance agencies and thus have a plethora of policies to compare when searching for your perfect package.
Also, be sure to utilize online search tools. These can provide searches on countless, up-to-date policies available to you, some which even brokers may not have yet heard of. Online search tools have gained lots of traction in recent years, and are fast becoming a popular tool among millennials when shopping for insurance policies across the board.
2. My credit doesn't affect my insurance rate.
Insurance scores are calculated using a combination of factors, including the age of your vehicle, model, make, safety features included, driving record and your credit history. According to the Insurance Information Institute, your credit history indicates to insurance companies how well you are at managing your finances. As such, many agencies take this information into consideration when renewing your policy, changing your coverage or seeking to open an initial policy with them.
Like any major business transaction, background checks are often conducted. In the same manner, insurance agencies look into how responsible you are not only on the road, but with your personal finances as well.
3. Men typically pay higher premiums than women for car insurance.
This bias isn't always the case. According to the Digital Journal, insurance companies determine automobile insurance rates based upon its individual claim experience in addition to the policyholder's record. Sex of the driver has far less to do with the equation than most insurance-seekers think. Female drivers with a long history of accidents, traffic tickets and other violations could easily have a higher premium than a male with only minor violations.
The important thing to remember is that no two rates - or people - are the same, so don't assume specifics.
4. The color of my car color can drive up my rate.
Sports cars are a classic item for thrill seekers, and red seems to be a commonly favorable color. As such, its common for sports models to be seen on the road in red, perhaps flying past you on the freeway going the opposite direction of you while stuck in traffic on your morning commute. It may be this association that drives the perception of red cars equating to higher insurance premiums, but that's not the case.
According to Carinsurance.com, automobile insurers care far more about the type of car you drive, that is, its make and model year, engine size and body style. Insurers want to know if you have a history of driving recklessly, how well you treat your vehicle and where it's stored (under the protective cover of a garage or out in the open on the street), far more than the color of its paint job.
So go ahead: Treat yourself to that ruby red Honda Fit complete with racing stripes - chances are they won't effect your premium.
"Remember: No two policies, rates, or people are the same."
5. I'm covered for a rental car in case of an accident.
Many auto insurance policyholders automatically assume that their policy includes rental car reimbursement in the event of an accident or tow, but this isn't always the case. Rental reimbursement coverage isn't a standard feature for most basic auto insurance policies, but they can be fairly affordable extras. According to the Insurance Information Institute, rental car reimbursement coverage can go for as little as $1 per month and is an option carried by most insurance companies.
6. I'm completely covered for any circumstance, right?
According to Infinity Auto Insurance, an Alabama-based insurance company, "full coverage" automobile insurance policies may not cover quite as fully as you thought.
Full coverage plans usually cover the policyholder for collision, liability and comprehensive protection but often won't include reimbursement for emergency roadside assistance or uninsured motorist. This means that if someone else drives your car and gets into a fender bender, you could still be held responsible to pay out of pocket for damages. Also, in the event of an accident where roadside assistance is needed, your insurance company may not reimburse you the few hundred dollars it will cost for a tow.
To make sure you're covered for these situations, be sure to ask your insurance agent. Typical roadside coverage is usually very affordable: Most cost only a few dollars per month.
To compare car insurance policies, visit CoverHound.