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5 Myths About Auto Insurance

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If you have a car, then you probably also have car insurance. But do you understand everything about your coverage? There are a surprising number of myths floating around that you might mistakenly believe. Here's some information to help straighten you out.

Myth #1: If my car is stolen or damaged in an accident, my insurance will provide a rental car until I get a new car or my car is repaired.

Fact: Nope, not unless you have a rental-car rider on your policy. And even if you do have coverage, there is a limit to how much per day and for how many days you will be reimbursed. (And note, "reimbursed" means that you might have to pay the money upfront; your insurance company does not necessarily pay the rental company for you.)

Myth #2: Small, less-expensive cars are cheaper to insure.

Fact: Not necessarily. While small, less-expensive cars may be cheaper to repair, they are generally subjected to more damage in a collision than a larger, sturdier vehicle. Insurance companies look at the "loss-history" statistics of a vehicle when they are calculating coverage, not the overall price of the car.

Myth #3: I had a laptop (or iPhone, luggage, or something else expensive) in my car and it was stolen. My comprehensive coverage will reimburse me for the value.

Fact: Personal property in a vehicle is not covered by your auto insurance. You can make a claim under your homeowner's insurance, or possibly your renter's insurance, subject to your deductible.

Myth #4: I don't need comprehensive coverage on my car because it is four years old, and thieves don't bother with older cars.

Fact: Actually, reliable and trustworthy vehicles that are several years old are very popular for their parts. Thieves can strip off and sell the parts for more than the value of the car in many cases. Older Honda Accords, Civics and Toyota Camrys have been on the top ten most-stolen list for many years.

Myth #5: Young, male drivers of sports cars get the most tickets, so their insurance is higher.

Fact: Actually, while some of the top offenders are sports cars, like the Mercedes SL-Class convertible, some of the vehicles with the most traffic violations are Hummer H2s and H3s, and 70% of the vehicles on the top 10 list are predominantly driven by women.

While your age and sex do factor into your premium calculation, the type of car you drive and your actual driving history are the most important components.

As you can see, there are many people who do not exactly understand their auto insurance - what is protected and what is not. Be sure to consult with your insurance agent, or consider a new policy with Westland Insurance, to make sure you won't be getting any nasty surprises if something happens to your car.