Knowing the truth can save you time, money and unnecessary hassles.

With all the information available at our fingertips, it can be difficult to weed out what is true and what is misleading. This holds true for auto insurance. Does the purchase of a spiffy red sedan hit you harder in the wallet, as far as insurance costs go? Will you pay more for premiums after just one speeding ticket? Are all insurance company rates pretty much the same?

Vehicle owners often ask these and other auto-related insurance questions. To lend clarity, we’re happy to address them here, in the form of the following “myths” and “realities” of insuring your automobile:

Myth or reality: Red cars cost more to insure.
Myth. In fact, insurance companies don’t even ask about color in calculating a premium. Instead, here’s what they look for:

  • Year, make, model, body type, engine size and age of your car
  • The driving records of the drivers on your insurance policy
  • Where the vehicle is garaged

Myth or reality: A single speeding ticket will make insurance rates skyrocket.
Myth, mostly. Some states don’t allow insurance companies to raise premiums based on a single, minor moving violation. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, your insurance company likely will not raise your rates after one ticket if you’re a longtime customer with a previously clean driving record. That said, if you tally up a high number of points with your state’s DMV because of traffic violations, it could send your rates soaring.

Fortunately, you can protect auto insurance rates from increasing by adding what’s called “Accident Forgiveness” to your Nationwide policy. With this, you avoid a rate increase following the first at-fault accident on your policy.*

Myth or reality: Moving doesn’t affect your coverage.
Reality. When you move, especially to a different state, you should contact your auto insurer, so an agent can update your policy and confirm that coverage is offered where you live.

Myth or reality: Auto insurance always covers damage from vandalism, theft and random acts of nature.
Myth. Your coverage greatly depends on your policy choices. Collision insurance typically covers damage to your car from a collision with another vehicle but, unfortunately, not from vandalism, theft or Mother Nature. You need to add comprehensive coverage for protection from covered hail, theft, vandalism, deer and similar mishaps.

Myth or reality: Every auto insurance company’s rates are about the same.
Myth. Premiums vary significantly among companies, and each offers different coverage packages. It’s best to review your auto insurance policy with your agent regularly to ensure you’re getting the best rates possible for the coverage you need.