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5 Common Car Insurance Myths Debunked

5 Common Car Insurance Myths Debunked

Auto insurance can be difficult to navigate through, particularly for younger car owners who have little experience navigating its waters. There are a number of common misconceptions about how your car insurance works, ranging from what it covers to how they determine what to charge you for coverage.

A responsible car owner should do their best to familiarize themselves with their insurance policy to understand how it works and what exactly it is they’re paying for. This can help you know your options should you ever get into a car accident without having to worry about learning everything as you use your insurance. Here are five common car insurance myths debunked.

Myth 1: Red cars are more expensive to insure

This persistent myth claims that red cars, being more attractive and thus more prone to theft, are expensive to insure and therefore will garner a higher car insurance payment for you. Up to 53 percent of millennials believe the myth that red cars are more expensive to insure. But of all the factors that go into determining what you will pay for insurance, the color of your car is not one of them.

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Many insurance agencies don’t even ask what color your car is before assigning you a rate. Factors that are taken into account include year, make, model, body type, engine, and age of the car.

Other factors that are more likely to affect your rate than the car color include the age of the driver and the city the car will be used in most often.

Myth 2: Insurance only applies when you are not at fault

Although 44 percent of Americans believe that insurance will not cover you in an at-fault accident, the truth is, insurance companies will help cover repairs, even for accidents you caused.

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Many states require liability coverage, or coverage to pay for repairs and medical costs associated with accidents in which you are at fault, but adding collision coverage and medical payment coverage to your insurance can help you out when you accidentally cause an accident so you aren’t left footing the entire bill alone.

Myth 3: Insurance applies to regular repairs

One thing your insurance will not cover are repairs for wear-and-tear and normal breakdown that happens from the depreciation of your car. You are responsible for maintaining your car, which means learning how to monitor it yourself or developing a relationship with a mechanic you can trust and taking your car in for regular check-ups.

In addition, reporting too many car problems to your insurance company in an attempt to get them to cover it will likely backfire. In fact, repeatedly telling them your car is giving you trouble will only make them want to raise your insurance premiums.

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Myth 4: Insurance will pay post-accident values

When your car is completely totaled after an accident, your insurance will look at a number of factors to determine your car’s actual car value in order to decide how much to provide as payout. However, one thing they will not do is attempt to calculate the ACV of your car post-accident.

After a wreck where your car is totaled and you need an auto accident lawyer, the post-accident value is almost certainly going to be near zero. Your insurance company cannot use this value and will calculate pre-accident values instead. However, don’t be surprised when that number is lower than the Kelly Blue Book claimed value of the car, as insurance companies do look for legal ways to minimize payout.

Myth 5: Auto insurance protects things inside your car

If you have comprehensive insurance, you may have some form of theft coverage. However, this coverage is for the vehicle itself, not the goods inside of the vehicle, which means anything expensive or of value that’s taken from your car is up to you to replace, not your insurance company. A break-in is similarly covered only to the extent that you can replace a broken window or handle, but what is taken in the break-in must be replaced on your dime.

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Of course, some forms of homeowner’s or renter’s insurance provide coverage for things inside your car, so you may want to look into the details of either of those policies if you have them because car insurance alone will not protect you from someone breaking into your car and taking your valuables.

Your car insurance is a valuable tool for peace of mind when you’re on the road, but it’s important that you make sure to know what exactly you’re paying for and what kind of coverage you have. It’s also important to consider what lacking coverage in certain areas can mean, and why you don’t necessarily want the simplest, cheapest plan available.

Featured photo credit: Saundra Castaneda via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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