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Are You An Insurance Skeptic? 5 Misleading Insurance Beliefs

January 13, 2016

A healthy dose of skepticism can be a good thing. In fact, on January 13 we even celebrate National Skeptics Day to recognize those of you with a critical eye on the world! (Here’s proof if you don’t believe us). But sometimes skepticism can be misplaced and end up costing you.

If you're among those skeptical about your insurance, we're ready to straighten out some of the common and misleading beliefs that skeptics hold about homeowners insurance, auto insurance, business coverage and life insurance. Below are common things people believe about insurance, and why your skepticism could be hurting you.

You aren’t to the age where you need life insurance.
This is one of the big ones. There are many reasons people think this — it’s too expensive, I have life insurance through work, I’m way too young to worry about that anyway — but wrong! Young and healthy? That’s great. You can benefit from lower rates and ensure you have the coverage you need for the long haul. If you have life insurance through work, it’s probably for only 1-2 times your salary—and it typically ends when your employment does. As for expense, a 20-year term policy for a healthy 30-year-old costs just $250 a year.* How’s that for facts?

Auto insurance costs are the highest for people with red cars.
This is an urban legend that just won’t go away. For so long, people have believed that red cars were indicative of a more aggressive driving personality. The truth is, your insurance company isn’t so interested in your personality. The type of car is what matters, not the color. Factors like make, model and engine size are what help determine a car’s premium. So if red’s your color, don’t let thoughts of your insurance premiums rising stop you! Focus on the real bogeymen, like distracted driving.

Auto insurance wouldn't cover damage to your car if you caused the accident.
This is a common belief that stems from a lack of understanding about the general types of auto insurance. While these auto policies can be combined in many ways to provide a unique fit for your driving needs, these are the simplified explanations of types of car insurance.

  1. Liability Insurance - required by law in most states, liability car insurance helps you pay for the damage that resulted from a car accident for which you were responsible. The bodily coverage aspect of the liability insurance covers some of the injuries inflicted on the other party involved. The property damage coverage aspect of liability insurance typically covers damage inflicted on the other car involved.

  2. Collision Insurance - covers damage that the driver caused to their car in an accident. Collisions typically do not cover non-driving related incidents like theft, flooding, vandalism, etc.

  3. Comprehensive Insurance - helps cover the other incidents that a car could encounter that collision does not. Comprehensive insurance can be useful if a car is stolen, ruined in a fire or if an animal-related accident damages the car.

Some car insurance plans offer add-ons to cover everything from rental cars, personal injury protection, flood damage and theft; while other auto insurance will only cover damages you inflicted to the other party involved. Remember, this all depends on the type of coverage you have. If you aren’t sure what is in your policy, contact your Farm Bureau agent to walk you through the details.

I have home insurance, so all my stuff’s covered.
Don’t believe everything you hear. You may have home insurance, and that’s great, you should. But don’t assume that your heirloom jewelry is offered the same protection as, say, your couch. Limitations may apply, especially to high-value items. Things you may consider part of your home may not be, such as a detached property, or things like mold or a sewer backing up might not be covered. Knowing what is and isn't covered is part of being a smart consumer.

I work at home; I don’t need business coverage.
Not so fast. Your typical homeowners policy will protect you if your home is damaged, but it won’t cover everything related to your home-based business. What if someone is injured on your property? What if you use your car for purposes related to your business? What if you’re traveling for work? If you have a home-based business, there may be more to consider than you think. Luckily, Farm Bureau can help.

Are you skeptical of your insurance, or unsure about the details of your insurance policy?
A quick scan of search results reveals that people struggle to understand what is covered by their insurance. Hopefully, you don’t find yourself searching to find out if your auto insurance policy covers hail damage after a storm, or asking if a homeowner’s policy covers mold damage after your basement floods. If your skepticism regarding insurance is a result of not understanding your homeowner's policy or auto insurance, you’re not alone. Make a point to sit down with your family and think through the situations you could be at risk for on your property and in your life. Your insurance agent will be happy to work through an insurance quote that accurately reflects your needs.

In honor of National Skeptics Day
Questioning supposed facts can be good. That article about a billionaire looking to give away money on Facebook that your cousin sent you? Probably not true. A prince from a distant country wants to send you money, in return for a small investment of your own? Best delete that email. Being a skeptic isn’t a bad thing—unless you don’t do your homework. Don’t get trapped by these common insurance myths. If you’re skeptical about insurance, a Farm Bureau agent can help you separate fact from fiction.

*Through a Farm Bureau Financial Services agent, based on LIMRA and LIFE Foundation 2014 Insurance Barometer Study.

http://www.iii.org/article/eight-auto-insurance-myths
http://www.bankrate.com/finance/insurance/unbelievable-home-insurance-myths-5.aspx
http://smallbiztrends.com
http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/06/carinsurance.asp
http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0211/5-car-insurance-add-ons-you-dont-always-need.aspx
https://www.progressive.com/glossary/comprehensive-and-collision/