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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 July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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