Car insurance may be a necessity, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to understand. Detangling the fine print is something that very few people do, until it’s too late. (We understand – wading through car insurance jargon is no one’s idea of a good time.) That said, if you’re unfamiliar with the ins and outs of your car insurance policy, you may end up paying for your ignorance. We’ve rounded up the five most common misconceptions about car insurance and separated the facts from fiction (so that you don’t have to).
“Your insurance policy will cover any damage that occurs if someone else is driving your car.”
Fact & Fiction – this depends on your policy
Car insurance policies differ on their stance on the above, so check whether or not your policy will pay out should someone else be behind the wheel of your vehicle. If your policy insures a specified driver (you), you may not be covered and the individual driving will be liable for any damage incurred. If, however, you have an “open driver” policy and you’ve given someone permission to drive your car, your car insurance will usually pay out.
“If your car is stolen using remote jamming, your insurance policy won’t pay out.”
Fact & fiction – this depends on your policy
If you fall prey to the growing prevalence of remote jamming, you could end up paying out of pocket. If valuables are stolen from inside your vehicle, the majority of insurers will insist on video evidence or a reliable third-party witness if there are no signs of forced entry before they pay out. Car insurance providers have differing stances on remote jamming payouts – so it’s best to check with your insurer to ascertain what’s covered, and under what circumstances.
“Women pay more for insurance than men.”
It’s high time that the (blatantly false) cliché about female drivers being inferior to male drivers was debunked. In fact, car insurance is one of the few instances where women come out tops – younger female drivers in particular. Male drivers under 25 are deemed as higher risk drivers than their female peers, and as a result, have to pay more for their car insurance.
“The younger you are, the more you’ll pay for insurance.”
Drivers under the age of 26 have to shell out more for their car insurance due to the fact that they’re less experienced and are statistically more likely to get into or cause an accident. The good news is, once you hit the magical age of 26, your premiums will decrease (depending on your claims history.) A word of warning: we know money is tight when you’re a student or are new to the job force – but resist the temptation to put your car under your parent’s name on your policy. This is fraud plain and simple, and insurers will not refuse to pay out, you may be subject to criminal charges too.
“Valuables stolen from inside your vehicle are covered under your car insurance policy.”
Handbags, smartphones, gym gear and anything else you’ve got in your boot or car are not covered by your car insurance, and should they be stolen in a smash and grab, hijacking or remote-jamming incident, you’ll have to pay out of pocket. There is good news though: you can easily add these items under your home insurance.
One more fact? The right car insurance is crucial.