Survey: Many Americans in the Dark about Car Insurance

John Egan

Buying car insurance is no laughing matter. But as American drivers are being bombarded with humorous ads for car insurance, the laughter may be drowning out some important considerations.

Sixty-eight percent of the Americans surveyed by Erie Insurance said that funny car insurance ads are mostly about saving money. But even though they ranked coverage as the most important factor when shopping for car insurance, 74 percent acknowledged that the blitz of car insurance commercials has caused them to forget about coverage choices that affect how well they're protected.

"People are making very serious decisions about their financial well-being based on punch lines," Cody Cook, vice president and product manager at Erie Insurance, says in a news release. "Insurance is complex. Making a decision based on price alone and without the consultation of an insurance expert can have serious repercussions."

More than half of those surveyed said that even after they bought car insurance, they still weren't sure that they'd made the right decision.

Furthermore, 48 percent wrongly thought the liability and comprehensive portions of car insurance policies covered damaged caused to an owner's vehicle if it hit another car or object. Actually, collision coverage pays for the damage to your vehicle if you're at fault in a car wreck.

Another misunderstanding: 54 percent of people surveyed thought "affirmation" or "premium" was the term for changes or additions to a policy. Actually, the correct term is "endorsement." Premium refers to your car insurance payment. Affirmation isn't an insurance term.

"We think it's time to get serious about car insurance," Cook says.

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