There is a lot of misinformation circulating about car insurance, according to a prominent Tampa Fl auto insurance broker. Some stories are almost funny and some are almost believable. Here are a few urban legends that caught our attention:
- “A speeding ticket will automatically increase your premiums.”
Unlikely. Most car insurers will not raise rates based on one speeding ticket, but will if you make a habit of it. Normally, an insurer looks at how quickly you were speeding. A ticket or two for going five or ten mph over the limit will seldom cause a rate increase. If you get caught doing 80 mph in a 30 mph zone, you may be reclassified as a high-risk driver, which may increase your rate. The occurrence of an accident in conjunction with a speeding incident complicates the situation, and must be evaluated in its full context.
- “Red cars are charged higher rates.”
False. Insurance companies are color-blind. It is very rare that they even ask about the color of the car. We’re not sure how this myth got started. Some say white cars are involved in more accidents. Well, yes, there are more white cars on the road than any other color, so we guess they would be involved in more accidents, but that stands to reason. Sports cars are often red – perhaps that’s where the myth started. It’s not the color that will drive up premiums, it’s the fact that a fast sports or performance car is likely to be driven more aggressively.
- “The automobile insurance industry is unregulated.”
False. This is just untrue – auto insurers must be regulated by each state in order to protect car owners. Each state has its own rules and rates. Moreover, any insurer that wishes to raise its rates must first obtain permission from the state. If the insurer fails to gain permission, the insured is due a refund.
- “I wasn’t driving my car, so it’s not my fault”.
False. The only time you are off the hook is if your car was stolen. If you lend your car to a friend or your brother-in-law, you still are responsible for everything that happens, just as if you were behind the wheel.
- “My rate will drop when I turn 25”.
Coincidence. It’s not your age, it’s your mileage. As you gain more experience and go more years without a claim, you eventually qualify for a rate reduction. However, if your history is littered with violations or accidents, don’t expect your rate to go down.