Common Insurance Myths Debunked


By Young Money

Myth: Auto insurance covers personal property left inside your car.

Nope. You’ll need renters insurance to cover the stuff in your car. “Renters insurance will cover any of your items, anywhere in the world,” says Etti Baranoff, associate professor of insurance and finance at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va.

Myth: My landlord’s apartment building insurance covers my belongings.

As a renter, you’re responsible for covering your items; your landlord isn’t. That’s why you need renters insurance. One of the first things to do after you get a policy is to either buy or borrow a digital camera to photograph everything you own. Store the photos on a portable drive that you can keep in a safe place. These photos will make it easier for you to remember what you own and report what you lost. To further help you document your belongings, the USAA Educational Foundation offers an inventory worksheet.

Myth: You’re covered by your auto insurance when you rent a car.

You’re probably covered. Most auto insurance policies—and even the credit card you use to pay for the rental—protect against theft and damages to a rental car. But there’s also a loss-of-use fee that usually isn’t covered.

“This fee covers lost income to the rental car company when the car is out of service for repairs,” says Carolyn Gorman, a vice president at the Insurance Information Institute. “It can add hundreds of dollars in costs if the damaged car is out of service for a long time.” Be sure to check your coverage with your insurance and credit card companies before you rent.

Myth: Red cars are more expensive to insure.

The color doesn’t matter. Things that do affect the price are the cost of the car, your driving record and where you live.

Information courtesy of USAA, the leading provider of financial planning, insurance, investments, and banking products to members of the U.S. military and their families.

Originally published on Young Money.

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