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Answering Your Personal Insurance Questions From Woodland Hills, CA

Personal Insurance Myths

There are many misunderstandings when it comes to insurance. We have compiled a list of the most popular myths about insurance – and the truth behind it. Please be sure to talk to your insurance professional for more information.


Myth: My auto policy will cover anyone who drives my car.

Most policies provide coverage for other people who use your vehicle with your permission. However, this does not apply to all policies, nor to all people. Normally, a policy will provide coverage for a permissive driver. This is someone who uses your vehicle on a temporary basis with your permission. If the driver uses your vehicle on a regular basis, or lives in your household, coverage may not apply.

Myth: I am covered if I drive any car.

You are not covered to drive any car. Most policies will provide coverage for use of other automobiles that you do not own or that are not in your household. However, there are many restrictions on this type of coverage, and it is also restricted by your particular insurance company. If you will be renting or borrowing a car, you should check with your insurance professional to see if coverage applies.

Myth: I have a grace period on my payment.

Insurance companies are not required to offer a grace period on payments. If you do not make your payment when it is due, your coverage may no longer be in effect. California does have laws that state insurance companies providing auto coverage must give notice before a policy is cancelled. When your payment is not received by the insurance company before its due date, the insurance company will send out a Notice of Cancellation on your policy. This does not apply to renewal payments, as these notices are normally mailed 30 days before the due date.

Myth: When I buy a new car, I have 30 days free coverage.

You have 30 days to notify your insurance company or agent that you have obtained a new car. During the 30 days, you may, or may not, have coverage. Insurance policies recognize that you may purchase a vehicle at times when you may not be able to contact your agent. For example, you may pick up your new car in the evening, or over a weekend. Most policies provide “automatic coverage” for a newly acquired vehicle. Usually, this is a vehicle that you did not previously own, nor was it owed by a member of your household. In addition, the vehicle must be registered only to you or your spouse, and your insurance company must insure all vehicles that you own. This definition may differ from insurance company to insurance company, so be sure to speak to your insurance professional if you have a question.

Myth: My car policy will cover anything in the vehicle.

Your auto policy is designed to provide coverage for your car. Personal items that are in your car are usually not covered by your auto policy. Most likely, coverage for personal property is provided by your home insurance policy. Your auto policy will usually provide coverage for equipment that is attached to the vehicle, but most policies have restrictions.

Myth: My policy will cover anything that happens to my home.

There are many things that could happen to your home that will not be covered by your home policy. Your policy is designed to cover losses that are caused by a sudden and accidental occurrence. This does not mean that everything would be covered by your policy. It is very important to review your policy and talk to your insurance agent about the exclusions.

Myth: My policy will replace my personal property if it is lost, stolen, or damaged.

It depends on what caused your property to be lost, stolen, or damaged. Most policies provide replacement cost for your personal property. However, as mentioned above, the policy contains many exclusions and limitations. For example, the policy has many limitations on different types of personal property, such as jewelry, money, silverware, and guns.

Myth: My policy will rebuild my house, no matter what it costs to rebuild it.

Your policy has limitations on how much is will pay to rebuild your home. If your policy has the replacement cost endorsement, it will pay up to a certain percentage above your dwelling limit. This is the reason you should advise your insurance agent if you make any improvements or additions to your home. Keeping your dwelling coverage up to date is vital to avoiding a problem with your policy in the event of a loss.

Myth: In the event of a natural disaster, my policy will provide coverage.

Natural disasters such as earthquake, flood, etc are horrific events. However, unless you have purchased specific coverage for a specific type of disaster, your policy will not provide coverage. Perils such as earthquake and flood are only covered if you have obtained an earthquake policy or a flood policy. Many people feel that the government will provide funding in the event of a natural disaster such as an earthquake or flood. Once again, this is not always the case. Insurance companies are much better equipped to provide you with rebuilding aid if you have purchased the necessary coverage.