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Stolen items

If your car is broken into and a thief snatches your phone from the glovebox, you will not get any money back from your insurer to cover your stolen phone.

“Anything that’s stolen out of your vehicle, like your personal belongings, those items are not covered under your auto insurance policy,” @jai.duhh says.

Most basic car insurance policies consist of six types of coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute: bodily injury liability, personal injury protection, property damage liability, collision, comprehensive and uninsured/underinsured motorist.

In the example shared by @jai.duhh, any personal items stolen from your vehicle — like a laptop, purse, gym bag or other sporting equipment — would be covered under your homeowners or renters insurance policy.

If you don’t have insurance at the time of the theft then you won’t be compensated for any personal items stolen from your car.

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The color of your car

There is a common misconception that owning a bright red or yellow car will “make your premium skyrocket,” according to @jai.duhh — but she wants to nip that myth in the bud.

“The color of your vehicle does not affect your premium,” she says. “We don’t care about that.”

TikToker Yarysa92 responded to this fact: “As a body shop worker I can tell that having a red car, or car with a pearl-color — more expensive to paint.”

@jai.duhh acknowledged this but reiterated that “most times the color isn’t a factor in determining premiums from the [insurer] side.”

Instead, insurance companies are focused on factors like the type of car you drive, your driving record, how much you use your car, your location and where you park your car, your age and gender, among other things.

Age of drivers

Contrary to popular opinion, there is no hard and fast rule that dictates an automatic discount on your auto insurance once you hit the age of 25.

“You turning 25 does not always guarantee that your premium will come down,” @jai.duhh says. “You are in a different age bracket at that point in time, which could potentially lower your premium, but it’s not always a guarantee.”

Younger drivers are often charged more for car insurance because they lack experience behind the wheel. Generally, your rates should drop as you grow older — as long as you keep a clean driving record and you don’t have to make any claims on your policy.

Beyond general aging, there are other ways to get a discount on your auto insurance. For example, long-time, loyal customers are often rewarded with special pricing, as are those who insure more than one driver or car and those who combine (or bundle) their home and auto insurance policies with the same insurance company.

Certain groups like students with good grades, and active, retired or reserve members of the military can also get discounts from many insurers – but the qualification rules vary by company.

Buying your insurance policy online, or using a payment method that is preferred by the insurance companies — like paying in one lump sum — can also result in savings.

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Share the road, share the risk

When you buy an insurance policy, the premium you pay is combined with the premium paid by other drivers into one big pot, which the insurance companies then use to pay out claims.

@jai.duhh thinks people often fail to understand that “insurance is a shared risk.”

“You put your money into the pool, same as everyone else, and even though you may not have any incidents, that pool of money that you’re paying into helps pay out for incidents for others,” she explains. “And then… obviously, if you have an incident, we take from that same pool of money to help you.”

Fellow TikToker @maec1123 commented on @jai.duhh’s clip to share how she explains the concept of shared risk: “I explain it as the high risk people are on the same roads as you increasing your chances of an accident.”

Vehicle registration

This is an important fact for anyone who has moved or is planning to move to another state.

“Whatever state your vehicle is registered in, that is the state which your insurance should be for so that you can stay in compliance with that state’s regulations and their coverage limits,” @jai.duhh says.

“Let’s say you live in New York, your vehicle is registered in New York [and] you have a New York [auto insurance] policy, but then you move to Georgia… and you go and get a Georgia policy because you moved. New York is going to fine you because you have Georgia insurance on a New York registered vehicle… You need to get it registered in the new state.”

As @Jai.duhh points out, car insurance requirements vary by state and it is critically important to ensure you are meeting the legal standard. Nearly all states have minimum requirements for liability coverage, but various other coverages may or may not be required in a specific state.

For example, drivers with vehicles and insurance registered in Alaska must hold at least the following minimum coverages: bodily injury liability of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident, as well as property damage liability of $25,000. That’s on the higher end of the minimum coverage scale.

Meanwhile, drivers in Florida — which is on the lower end — must hold: bodily injury liability of $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident, as well as property damage liability of $10,000.

However, that doesn’t tell the whole story for Florida, where motorists also need to hold at least $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.

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Bethan Moorcraft is a reporter for Moneywise with experience in news editing and business reporting across international markets.

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