According to a2010 survey by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), more than half of Americans don’t know basic facts about auto insurance, and only 45% feel confident making decisions about it. How does your car insurance knowledge rate? We’ve compiled a list of things consumers typically don’t know about their auto insurance policies to get you started.
Your Car is Covered, but Your Stuff Isn’t
According to the FBI, more than 2,000 auto break-ins occur daily in the U.S. While many drivers presume that their auto insurance has them covered, that may not be the case. Most comprehensive auto policies will cover any damage sustained to the vehicle during theft, but will not cover the value of items taken from inside the car. The stock parts the vehicle came with are typically included, but if you’ve got any add-ons or customizations (including sound systems or modifications for disabled drivers), you may want to consult with your broker about upgrading your policy with a Custom Parts and Equipment (CPE) endorsement. Belongings such as wallets, purses, cell phones, portable GPS systems, and other electronics may be covered under renter’s or homeowner’s insurance. Review your policy details to be certain.
The Color of Your Car Won’t Affect Your Premium…
If you’ve been holding off on buying that candy apple red car of your dreams because you’ve heard the vibrant color will cause a hike in your premium, never fear! The idea that certain colored cars are more expensive to insure than others is a myth. Insurers aren’t interested in the hue of your vehicle’s finish, but they will take the car’s age, body type, engine size, and overall safety record into consideration.
But Your Credit History Might
Insurers often consider your credit-based insurance score when you want to purchase, change, or renew your auto coverage. An insurance score is a measure of how well you manage your finances—not a measure of material wealth. Some of the factors considered include:
Length of credit history
Number of accounts in good standing
Number of accounts in collection
Use of available credit
Number of recent applications for credit
While poor credit may result in a higher insurance premium, it should not prevent you from receiving coverage. Your insurance agent can help you to understand your insurance score, and how you can improve it.
Basic Auto Coverage May Not Be Enough
Comprehensive and Collision are optional coverages. While lenders often require drivers to purchase the additional coverage as part of a loan agreement, many drivers with older cars opt out. This may make financial sense in the long term, but it is important to consider that without comprehensive and collision, your vehicle will not be fully protected.
Protect Your Pet
You're probably aware that your car insurance will cover the medical bills for the driver and any passengers involved in an accident--but what about your pet? Some insurance companies will pay up to $1,000 for veterinarian bills for your injured pet. The availability of pet coverage varies by state and insurance company, so if you routinely travel with your furry friends in tow, make sure to ask whether pet injuries are covered under your auto policy.
Learn more about auto insurance and make sure your policy fits your specific needs. Contact The Reis Group today!