Applying for auto insurance is a stressful process.
It often results in paying a higher monthly premium than you originally expected. In an attempt to lower this premium, roughly half of applications fudge the truth, according to Investopedia.
These auto insurance application lies range from the seemingly inconsequential fibs to majorly deceptive lies.
Although there are other reasonings behind these untruths, the vast majority boil down to an attempt to save money (there’s no denying auto insurance can be expensive).
But lying on your auto insurance application is never worth it. Here’s why.
Why Lie in the First Place?
There are a lot of factors that not only affect your auto insurance premiums, but also your auto insurance eligibility.
Because both of these things factor into an auto insurance company’s decision-making process and more often than not result in higher premiums, a lot of people are tempted to fudge the truth.
In fact, by far the most common reason to lie on an auto insurance application is to receive lower premiums.
Even small lies, such as where you will park the vehicle, can result in lower costs on your monthly premiums.
Most Common Auto Insurance Application Lies
DMV.org states that you’d be surprised at just how many different types of lies people tell on their auto insurance applications.
However, the organization goes on to say that there are a few main lies that people seem to think they’ll get away with.
These most common auto insurance application lies include:
1. Accidents and Tickets
By far the most common lie is failing to reveal the exact number of accidents you’ve been in and tickets you’ve received. Unfortunately, this is also among the easiest lies for an auto insurance company to detect. These things are easy for providers to look up – and they will double check them.
2. Where You Live
Auto insurance rates can fluctuate depending on where you live, especially if it’s a high crime area. You might be tempted to use a relative’s address to get lower rates. This lie is, like most, easy to disprove if the car is ever stolen, vandalized, or otherwise damaged.
3. Who Drives the Vehicle
Many families have a vehicle that is driven by more than one person. But it’s important to list the main driver’s name on the application. For instance, many parent’s list themselves as the primary driver of a vehicle that in reality is driven almost solely by a child to receive lower premiums.
4. Driving Habits
Auto insurance providers look at your driving habits to give a premium. Chief among these is how many miles you spend on the road. A lot of people underestimate how much time they spend on the road in an attempt to lower their auto insurance rates.
5. Parking Habits
This might seem the most inconsequential of all, but it’s important not to lie about where you park your car. Many people lie by claiming they park their car inside a garage at night when in reality they park it on the street. If the vehicle is ever vandalized while parked outside at night, then your claim will be more difficult to seek.
What Can Happen if You Lie?
The consequences of lying on your auto insurance application vary greatly.
But the most common result is a more difficult claims process or even the policy being declared void.
If your policy is canceled because you fudged the truth on your application, you are now liable for any compensation required by the filed claim.
Even a small lie, like where you park your car at night, can result in your policy being canceled.
It might seem like you can play the odds and get away with a small lie, and this might even be true, but it’s far better to play it safe just in case.
You don’t want to get stuck without valid auto insurance if you’re in a car accident where a claim is filed.
And that’s not all – you’re at a major risk for being fined by the auto insurance company if you lie on your application.
Sometimes the consequences even include the auto insurance provider taking you to court which could result in jail time.
Alternative Ways to Lower Premiums
There are a few ways to lower your auto insurance premiums rather than lying on your application.
The most common is trimming down your coverage. Many auto insurance policies are offered with far more services than the normal driver needs.
Trim off the services that you feel comfortable without to get a better monthly rate on your auto insurance.
Of course, you need to make sure that you don’t do away with any services that you actually need to stay fully protected.
Another option is to start shopping around. See if there’s a competing auto insurance provider that will offer you a better rate for the same type of coverage.
Other Auto Insurance Application Mistakes
Lying, whether it’s not reporting all of a vehicle’s drivers or not mentioning your driving infractions, is the biggest auto insurance application mistake.
But there are plenty of others that people make on a regular basis.
Perhaps the second biggest mistake is failing to update your policy information. It’s necessary to report any major changes to your provider as soon as they’re made.
For example, you must report any new drivers, a job that extends your commute, minor accidents, and more.
Not only do these updates protect you in the event of an accident, but they can sometimes even save you money on your premiums.
There’s no good reason to ever lie or stretch the truth on your auto insurance application.
Although it might seem harmless, and easy to get away with, the consequences are very serious. Most commonly, your policy might get canceled when you need it the most.
So, be completely honest, and look for other ways to lower your premiums that don’t require lying to your auto insurance provider.