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Buying a car

7  popular car insurance myths debunked

24 June 2019

When it comes to car insurance, there are a lot of myths and half-truths out there. These often muddy the waters and lead to uncertainty, which doesn’t help anyone. To make sure that you have all the facts, it’s time these myths get debunked so the world knows the truth once and for all! 

Seperating fact from fiction 

1. Myth: Red cars cost more to insure than cars of other colours

The myth goes that red cars are more expensive and more prone to theft, and therefore cost more to insure. There’s no one single reason why people believe this. Can we blame flashy red sports cars? Who knows! Whatever the reason, this is a car insurance myth. The truth is that insurers are more interested in the make, model and age of your vehicle than its colour — but some insurers may still want to know your vehicle’s colour. Remember, insurers are factoring in how safe your vehicle is and what it would cost to repair or replace it, not what it looks like.

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2. Myth: Parking your car in a garage means you get a cheaper premium

You might think that a garage is considered a safer place to park your car and so will lower your premiums, but this isn’t always true. In fact, it really depends on your insurer, they may want to know how much time your car will spend parked in the garage and how often you take it out for a spin. These are the kind of factors that can influence the cost of your insurance premium. So even if you’re building that dream carport or you’ve moved from somewhere without a garage to somewhere with one, or vice versa, it’s always a good idea to speak to your insurer when your circumstances change.

3. Myth: Having car insurance means that you aren’t out-of-pocket for anything

The main purpose of car insurance is to cover you financially if you’re involved in a car accident, so you won’t have to pay the upfront cost of repairs if you’re the one at fault. However, this doesn’t mean that you walk away from the accident without having to pay for anything. If you lodge a claim, regardless of who’s at fault, you may have to pay an excess. 

How much excess you pay depends on the circumstances of the accident, and how your policy is set up. For example, if a young or inexperienced driver was behind the wheel they might have to pay an additional excess on top of the standard excess, resulting in a higher total amount payable. The excess can also be higher if, when you applied or renewed, you elected to pay an extra amount to reduce your premium payments. That’s why it can be a good idea to choose an excess that’s affordable, even if that means slightly higher premium payments. 

4. Myth: If a friend is driving, they’re financially responsible for the accident

Let’s get this straight — no friend should skimp out on the damages bill if they’re responsible for an accident. But even if you’re not in the car when the accident happens, as the policyholder — or the person listed on the policy — you’ll be financially responsible. Let’s hope your friend’s happy to pay your out-of-pocket costs! 

5. Myth: Car insurance doesn’t cover modifcations and accessories

This may come as a bit of a surprise, but generally car insurance will cover some extra work done on your car.  Many car insurance policies cover accessories and modifcations, granted the insurer knows the level of extra work that’s done. However, there may be exemptions for specific items such as lost car keys. Also, the accessories and modifications may affect the value of your car so much that your amount covered is not sufficient to repair or replace it. Therefore, you’ll need to speak to your insurer when you plan on making any alterations to your car. 

6. Myth: Personal belongings stolen or damaged aren’t covered by car insurance

Your personal belongings could be covered up to a specified amount. For example, Suncorp offers up to $1,000 of cover for loss or damage to items that were in your car at the time of an insured event. This can cover things like clothing, sunglasses and phones. 

If you’d like your personal items to be covered while you’re out and about anywhere in Australia and New Zealand, not just when they’re in the the car, Suncorp Contents Insurance offers optional cover for personal valuables. Up to $1,000 of cover is available for specified items, like cameras, laptops and tablets. 

When making a claim you’ll need invoices and receipts of the insured items so that your insurer can verify the value of the item. 

7. Myth: Car insurance covers mechanical repairs and breakdowns

There’s a common misconception that breakdowns and mechanical repairs are included in car insurance coverage, but this isn’t always the case. Just like general wear and tear on your vehicle isn’t covered by car insurance, your mechanical repairs and breakdowns aren’t either. 

If you’re ever stranded on the road, Suncorp Roadside Assist can be added to one of our three levels of Comprehensive Car Insurance to get you out of trouble. 

So now that some of these car insurance myths have been dispelled, you’ll be able to better navigate the sometimes-tricky world of car insurance. If you’re still not sure which option is right for you, the Suncorp team can answer any questions you might have — call us on 13 11 55 to get in touch or write to us today! 

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