8 Common Car Insurance Myths

There’s a lot of misinformation that circulates about Car Insurance. To help separate fact from fiction and ensure you’re on top of your Auto Insurance, we’re debunking the following 8 common myths.  

Myth #1: The color of my car paint impacts my Auto Insurance premium

The color of your car has no impact on the price of your premium. Some features that do impact your premium include the car’s make, model, body type, year, engine size, etc. With this in mind, feel free to drive the car color of your dreams. 

Myth #2: I only need the minimum Auto Insurance required by law

It’s true that you only need the state’s minimum level of Auto Insurance to drive legally in Oklahoma. However, purchasing the minimum level is usually not the best choice. If you are at fault in an accident and the other party sues you for damage, you may have to use your own money to pay any losses that exceed what the minimum level of coverage protects. Talk to an agent to see how much coverage you may need based on your vehicle. 

Myth #3: Personal Auto Insurance will cover business use of my car

Using your car for commercial reasons comes with its own set of risks. You may need to look into getting Commercial Vehicle Insurance in order to ensure that you, your employees and your inventory are protected.

Myth #4: Comprehensive and collision coverage are the same

Comprehensive coverage and collision coverage protect your vehicle in different circumstances. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your car sustained by incidents not related to a collision. Some examples include hail, flood, falling tree limbs, break-ins, vandalism, and run-ins with deer. Collision coverage pays for damage to your car by a collision with another vehicle, tree, pole, pothole, or guardrail.

Myth #5: My insurance will pay off my loan or lease if I total my car

If an accident totals your car, your Car Insurance will pay what the market says your car was worth before the accident – the Actual Cash Value (ACV). Most commonly because of depreciation, a driver with a loan on their vehicle will owe more on the vehicle than the vehicle’s ACV, leaving the driver with the responsibility of the difference. Talk to an agent about extra coverage options to fill in this gap.

Myth #6: Auto Insurance includes towing or other assistance I may need on the roadside

A typical auto policy does not include this coverage, but you can add a Roadside assistance option to your policy. Roadside assistance will pay for costs associated with towing your disabled vehicle. Additionally, other services needed, like gas for an empty tank, battery jumping and changing a flat on-site may be covered.

Myth #7: Auto Insurance will pay for a rental car after an accident

Many people believe that car insurance will pay for a rental car after an accident. Unless you have a rental car reimbursement on your policy then typically your insurance will not pay for a rental. Luckily, this is an easy addition to make to your policy. 

Myth #8: A ticket will always increase my Auto Insurance premium

Insurance companies consider a number of factors beyond a speeding or driving ticket to set auto premiums. Drivers with speeding tickets may be considered higher risk, and may be charged more for Auto Insurance premiums. On the other hand, if the driver is over the age of 25 and has not had a similar violation in the last three years, the premium may not be raised, as long as the person avoids getting another violation. The best course of action is to drive safely at all times. 

Keep these facts in mind to stay protected and prepared for any auto-related incident. Contact your OKFB agent to be sure that your policy covers everything you could need.

Scheduling Car Maintenance by Mileage

When it comes to taking care of cars, scheduling maintenance by mileage is the simplest way to help ensure vehicles will run for years to come. Rather than wait for the engine light, planning for your car’s important milestones can prevent damage and prolong its lifespan. Pay attention to these mileage markers as queues for when to take action on aging or worn parts.

Maintenance every 5,000 miles

Get an oil change about every 5,000 miles and make sure to change the oil filter as well. Check the owner’s manual for the exact recommendation on type of oil to use and how often to change it, which can range from every 3,000 to 5,000 miles depending on age, make and model of the vehicle. 

Maintenance every 10,000 – 30,000 miles

Every 10,000 miles, rotate the tires on the car. If you continue this habit, you may get more use of your tires by prolonging the life of the tire tread. Around the 30,000 mile mark, change the filters in your vehicle. Replace both the air filter and the fuel filter as they can get clogged and cause harm to your engine. 

Maintenance every 40,000 – 50,000 miles

Most manufacturer’s warranties expire after 36,000 miles, so it’s important to take a look to ensure the systems typically covered under these warranties are working properly. This could include a checkup on heating and air conditioning systems, suspension and brakes around the 40,000 mile mark. 

Around 50,000 miles, it may be time to begin replacing any worn parts. The brakes may require a closer look at the pads, rotors and fluids to avoid faulty performance. Check in on how the battery in the vehicle is performing at 50,000 miles — it typically requires changing around this time as well. Closely monitor the transmission fluid near this mile marker as it will likely also need to be changed at this time. Low transmission fluid can cause problems with shifting gears and could burn up the transmission.

Maintenance every 60,000 miles

Once you reach the 60,000 mile mark, check in on various hoses, valves and belts for wear. It’s critical to replace these parts when worn, as they may cause trouble for the vehicle if left as is. Items such as power steering fluid, timing belts and the hoses that carry coolant through the car all fall into this category of maintenance. Additionally, it’s likely time to replace spark plugs and install new tires. 

Maintenance every 100,000+ miles 

At 100,000 miles, it’s likely time to add high mileage coolants and spark plugs to match this high mileage milestone. Make sure to schedule a thorough inspection of major parts such as the transmission, water pump and other components. Again, replace any worn parts that may show up in this inspection. 

Whether you’re driving a new or used vehicle, scheduling maintenance ahead of these major milestones can help contribute to smooth operations for your vehicle. A good auto policy can also help ensure your car is covered through the years. We offer customizable policies to make sure you have the right coverage for your vehicle’s age and wear. Contact an agent today to find a policy that fits your lifestyle.

Assemble a Roadside Emergency Kit

From unpredictable weather to unexpected emergencies, there are many things that could leave you stuck on the side of the road when traveling from point A to point B. No matter how short the distance you’re traveling, keeping a roadside emergency kit in your vehicle can help give you peace of mind. Follow these steps to assemble one of your own, and make sure to take routine inventory. 

Emergency Supplies

A first aid kit is essential to have in your vehicle in case of an injury while on the road. Consider assembling your own kit or buying a pre-made kit. Use the American Red Cross guidelines to ensure your kit includes all the essentials. Some other emergency supplies you may want to keep in your vehicle include:

  • Bottles of water
  • Nonperishable food items
  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • Matches
  • Phone charger

Vehicle Tools

Your vehicle will need its own toolkit in case of a roadside incident, like a flat tire or dead battery. You may be able to buy a vehicle toolkit or you can compile one of your own with these necessary items: 

  • Jumper cables
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Work gloves and rags 
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Hazard triangles or warning lights 
  • WD-40
  • Tow rope
  • Fire extinguisher 

Severe Weather Supplies 

Extreme weather events can happen suddenly and pose some serious risks if you’re unprepared. Should you find yourself facing freezing temperatures, ice or tornadoes while on the road, you’ll want to have these items stored and ready in your vehicle: 

  • Warm, waterproof boots
  • Hat, scarf and gloves
  • Antifreeze
  • Ice scraper
  • Shovel 
  • Road salt or sand

Keeping these items in your vehicle will help ensure you’re prepared for roadside emergencies, but you’ll also want to make sure you have auto insurance that offers you the protection you need. Contact your OKFB agent to discuss your auto policy and see if you may be eligible for our roadside assistance policy addition. 

New Year Annual Insurance Review

As you kick off the new year, one resolution should be to ensure you have the proper insurance protection for the year ahead. Policyholders often treat insurance as something to simply check off and forget about. However, your policies are more valuable than that.

Your policies are protecting you through miles on the road, unpredictable tornado seasons and all of life’s ups and downs. They require updates regularly to adapt to the changes in your life. What better time for this than at the beginning of the year? An annual insurance review will help ensure your policies are up-to-date and provide the protection you need. It can also uncover discounts that you may be eligible for. 

Check out this list of common changes that could require an adjustment to any one of your insurance policies. Talk to your agent to schedule your annual insurance review today: 

  1. You may need to update your Auto policy if you’re driving significantly more or less than you were in previous years, if your vehicle is aging or if you have passed it down to a child.
  2. Consider updating your Home policy if you added high dollar personal property to your home inventory, if you installed a pool, if you completed home improvements or added on to your home size.  
  3. You may need to update your Life policy if you added or lost members of your family recently, if you experienced changes in your health, if you changed jobs or your family’s cost of living increased or decreased. 
  4. Consider updating your Farm & Ranch policy if you expanded operations or added new equipment, if you’re using certain machinery or vehicles more often than usual or if you’ve increased your livestock inventory.

If something has changed in your life over the past year that isn’t reflected in your current policies, talk to your OKFB agent today to schedule an annual insurance review. Life changes fast, this annual review will help make sure your insurance keeps up.