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Insurance can be complicated, so it’s no surprise to me that there are many myths floating around when it comes to typical car insurance and homeowners insurance policies. Here are some myths we’ve come across, and the truth about each one.

 

  1. Red cars cost more to insure. – Actually, color is not a factor in determining auto insurance premiums. Factors that do matter include: year, make, model, engine size, and body type. And, of course, the drivers listed on your policy. (If you’re curious, red cars aren’t more likely to be pulled over for speeding, either!)

  2. You only need to purchase the minimum amount of auto liability insurance that is required by law in your state. – Most states require drivers to carry a certain amount of liability insurance (Florida’s minimum coverages are $10,000 PIP, or personal injury protection, and $10,000 PDL, or property damage liability). You should really consider carrying higher limits, purchase bodily injury liability insurance, be sure you’re protected against uninsured/underinsured motorists, and consider carrying collision and comprehensive coverage if you’d like to repair your car after an accident. If you’re not sure which coverages you should carry or what limits will protect you, don’t just purchase insurance online. Talk to an agent!

  3. My personal auto insurance covers both personal and business use of my vehicle. – Your employer’s workers compensation or commercial auto policies will cover you if you are traveling (or, in some instances, commuting) for work and are involved in an accident, but if you are self-employed, don’t assume that your personal auto policy will cover you – especially if you’re using your vehicle for regular pickup or delivery of goods, taxi service (I’m looking at you, Uber!), if your car is registered or titled to your business, or if your employees regularly drive your vehicle.

  4. My car insurance rate will go down dramatically when I turn 25. – This one can be complicated. It’s true that drivers aged 16-24 are most likely to be involved in car crashes, so you might see a decreased rate when you turn 25, but you might not if you have a record of accidents or have moved frequently (as many twenty-somethings do). If you have a good driving record and you stay in one place, you should at least see a gradual premium decrease over time.

  5. If a limb from my neighbor’s tree damages my property during a storm, his homeowners policy will cover the necessary repairs. – Since wind and rain are acts of nature, no one person can be liable for resulting damage, so in this scenario, your homeowners policy would cover the damage (subject to your deductible, of course).

  6. My homeowners insurance covers the business I run out of my home. – Standard homeowners insurance policies do not include coverage for loss of income or business property. But more significantly, your homeowners policy will not cover you for liability or defense costs related to your business. Talk to an agent about adding a rider to your homeowners (or renters) policy or purchasing a separate business owner’s policy.

  7. If my television is damaged beyond repair in a covered loss, my insurance company will pay to replace it under my homeowners insurance policy. – This might be true, but it's unlikely. It’s important to know the difference between actual cash value and replacement cost. Replacement cost, which is more favorable for the policyholder (you), means that the insurance company will reimburse you the full cost of replacing the television with a new TV of like kind. Actual cash value, which is more commonly used in insurance policies, is replacement cost minus depreciation, meaning the insurance company will reimburse you the cost of your television at current market value.

Do you have a question about auto insurance or homeowners insurance that you’d like us to answer? Send us an email or leave your question in the comments below!

Posted 1:15 PM  View Comments

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