Fact Vs. Fiction: 3 Auto Insurance Myths Thoroughly Busted
Buying auto insurance isn't as tough as some people think. However, there's so much misinformation floating around that it makes actually buying insurance much harder and more expensive than it needs to be. Read on to learn about three common auto insurance buying myths that deserve to be busted.
Myth: Buying Insurance Direct Is Always Cheaper
Buying your auto insurance coverage through a local agent offers a more personalized experience and a closer relationship with your insurance provider. However, the trade-off of using a local agent usually comes in the form of commission fees.
Buying from a direct provider removes those fees from the equation, but it's not always guaranteed to be a cheaper way of getting good coverage. Instead of passing the savings on to the customer, for example, a direct auto insurance provider may simply absorb those savings to offset additional marketing costs.
Whether you're dealing with a local agent or a direct insurance provider, there are plenty of other factors that can make either option attractive in terms of affordability.
Myth: Your Current Policy Must Expire Before Shopping Around
Just because you have a couple of months left on your current policy doesn't mean you'll need to wait until your policy runs its course. You can always cancel your current policy if you find another with better rates or better coverage. However, your auto insurance provider may charge a cancellation fee for the privilege. Most providers charge a small percentage of the unused premium while others charge a modest fixed fee.
There's another good reason why you shouldn't wait for your current policy to expire before switching providers. The resulting gap in your insurance coverage history could lead to increased rates. Going without coverage for any length of time while you're behind the wheel could also land you in hot water with law enforcement. The penalties for driving without insurance will easily wipe out any savings you've gained thus far.
Myth: Turning 25 Means Your Rates Drop
Hitting your 25th birthday doesn't always mean you'll see a drastic, guaranteed drop in your auto insurance rates. Some providers offer decreased rates starting at age 21. In some cases, you could wind up waiting until you turn 30 before seeing age-related discounts. It all depends on how well your insurance provider handles age and its impact on your rates.
If you're not expecting an age-based discount anytime soon, focus instead on keeping your driving record spotless. Maintaining a clean driving record while taking advantage of other available discounts can help lower your rates.