MYTH: If I have insurance I can drive any car I want.
FACT: Montana requires that any car or driver using public roads must have insurance. This means you and whatever car you’re in, if it is yours or if you are borrowing it. If you and the vehicle you are driving are both covered on an insurance policy, then you are legally driving.
MYTH: I can rent a car to go to my family reunion in California if I have rental car coverage on my policy.
FACT: Insurance companies provide rental car coverage if you have an accident and your car is incapacitated. There is no coverage for voluntary trips or if your car is in the shop for routine or a maintenance breakdown.
MYTH: If I slide off the road in icy conditions, the accident isn’t “my fault”.
FACT: If roads are icy and dangerous, police and insurance companies expect you to take precautions and drive for the conditions. If you still slide off the road, the accident is considered your fault.
MYTH: Comprehensive insurance covers me if my car gets hit while its parked.
FACT: Comprehensive covers things that happen to your car that don’t involve other vehicles such as: hail, trees falling on it or animals. If your car is hit by another car while parked, it will show up on your history as a “Not At Fault Accident” and it won’t count against you as a claim. In this case, ask and sometimes the company will waive your deductible!
MYTH: If I get into an accident and have rental car coverage, I can rent a car for as long as I want until I use up my limits
FACT: Rental car coverage has a maximum limit that you can use it for, but that doesn’t mean that the company will authorize you to use the full amount. If your car can no longer run, you will get a rental from the time of the accident until your car is fixed. If your car still runs you will probably only be authorized to rent a car for the days that your vehicle is in the shop.
MYTH: Uninsured motorist coverage means if someone without insurance hits me, my vehicle will be repaired if I have this coverage.
FACT: Uninsured motorist coverage (UM), is specifically for any bodily injury you and the passengers in your car receive. If you have damage to your vehicle, you will have to go after the other party personally. If you have full coverage on your car, you can get it fixed and it will not count against you as a claim since it wasn’t your fault. Ask and sometimes companies may waive your deductible!
MYTH: If I lose some personal property, my homeowners insurance will cover it, less my deductible.
FACT: Unless you have scheduled your personal property, losing something is not covered by normal homeowners policies. If you have scheduled the item, this means that you have let the company know the description and value of the it. You will be charged based on the value of the item, but if you lose it it will be covered and either paid for or replaced at the amount you told them.
MYTH: My homeowners policy covers me for anything that happens to me, including floods and earthquakes.
FACT: Standard homeowners policies do not cover floods, earthquakes or sinkholes. You can add earthquake insurance to your homeowners policy as an endorsement and it will have its own deductible. You can also purchase a separate flood insurance policy through the National Flood Program with your agency. The price of these coverage’s are based on your home’s value and the area it is located in.
MYTH: I have replacement cost coverage on my home and my personal property. If my home burns down completely in a fire, I am entitled to that replacement cost amount for both.
FACT: If you chose to rebuild your home with a similar structure, you can have the replacement cost subject to the policy limit. If you take the money and chose not to rebuild the home, you will only get the dwelling limit of the policy. For personal property, initially you get the depreciated value of the items you tell the company about. After you purchase the items and give the company your receipts, they will cover the difference of the new products, subject to the policy limits.
MYTH: If my water heater wears out or stops working, my homeowners insurance will replace it.
FACT: Some companies have “Equipment Breakdown” on their policies, which means that it would cover mechanical items in your home that breakdown. Most policies, however, do not have “Equipment Breakdown”. This means that normal wear and tear of your home is usually not covered. Homeowners insurance is there for emergencies such as hail storms, water damage caused by leaking pipes or wind damage. If you have questions on what your policy covers, ask your agent! We are here to help!
MYTH: I don’t have to replace the roof on my house unless something happens to it in a storm and I can get the insurance company to replace it.
FACT: Most asphalt shingles have a lifespan of 20-25 years, and the companies know it. If your roof is too old, they may require that it has an Actual Cash Value assigned to it. This means that you would only get the depreciated value for it, not complete replacement cost. A good roof over your head is the first step in avoiding many other problems and claims! If you replace your roof let your company know, it will give you a discount!
MYTH: All companies will replace windshields when they get cracked under “glass coverage”.
FACT: Not all companies offer “glass coverage”. Some do, some don’t. Most companies will fix your rock chips for free if you have comprehensive coverage on that auto. However, if the windshield cracks and has to be replaced, most often it is subject to the comprehensive deductible you have selected. Talk to your agent and to see what is available to you on your policy.
MYTH: My old 1977 Chevy is in beautiful shape, and it is worth about $15,000. If I put full coverage on it, my insurance company will pay me $15,000 if it is wrecked.
FACT: If you do not use the vehicle very often you can put in on a classic/collector car policy and they would pay you what you told them it was worth at the start of the policy. However if you use it every day, most regular companies would insure it only for Actual Cash Value, which means the average retail in your market. Average retail for a 1977 Chevy is not much, so you wouldn’t get much money for it if any. Many companies will not insure a vehicle older than 15 years with comprehensive and collision coverage. Be sure to tell your agent what you want before you purchase the policy. A good agent will guide you to the best program for you and your older vehicle.