Things to know when buying Auto Insurance

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Insurance can be a confusing thing for many people to understand. There is a lot of incorrect information and misconceptions about car insurance that can cause you to lose a lot of money. Here are five common misconceptions that as a licensed insurance professional I always clarify with my customers. Read these before it is too late and you take the hit in your wallet.

Your personal items in your vehicle are covered by your auto insurance.

Wrong. If your purse is stolen out of your vehicle your car insurance will not cover it. Most insurance companies will only cover items that are attached, or can be attached to the car. For example, if your cell phone was in your purse when it was stolen it probably won't be covered by your insurance company. However, if it was on a charger that was connected to your car then it should be covered. Here is another example. If you added a sub woofer to your car and it was not bolted down it would not be covered, but if it was attached to the car it should be covered. This assumes that your insurer covers custom parts and equipment, which leads me to the next misconception.

Insurance will pay for theft or damage to any upgrades you have made to your car.

Wrong. If you have tricked out your car and have added really nice rims, chrome parts or even a $20,000 paint job and are in an accident your insurer will not pay to replace those items. Your insurance company will only pay if you have added custom parts and equipment coverage to your car and then only for whatever dollar amount you specified when you purchased the policy. If you don't have the coverage they will pay the fair market value for your car as it came from the manufacturer. Always keep your receipts for any modifications and it is a good idea to take a picture of the car with the additional parts.

You can use car rental coverage while your car is being repaired due to a mechanical break down.