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Mileage and address among top lies told to car insurance companies

March 10, 2014 (Foster City, CA) – A third of drivers lie to their car insurance companies, most often about how much they drive or where they live,  a new survey from CarInsurance.com finds.

Thirty-four percent of 2,000 drivers surveyed admitted leaving out information or submitting incorrect information on car insurance application forms.  Most of those said they fudged more than one fact. Among the drivers admitting they lied, the most common lies involved:

  • Annual mileage: 36.3 percent
  • Where car is parked:  32.4 percent
  • Names of drivers with access to vehicle: 25.1 percent
  • History of tickets or accidents: 20.5 percent
  • Gaps in insurance coverage: 19.2 percent
  • School grades, or teen driver’s grades: 18.9 percent
  • Anti-theft devices on the car: 17.4 percent
  • Primary type of use (such as business, school or work):  17.3 percent
  • Education level: 16.9 percent
  • Marital status: 16.9 percent
  • How long they’d been licensed: 15.8 percent
  • Major modifications to their car: 15.7 percent
  • Refresher or defensive driving courses: 14.4 percent

Men admitted lying more often than women did, 42 percent vs. 27 percent.  Drivers under age 30 were three times more likely to submit bad information than drivers over 50.

Some lies omit information that would drive up rates substantially.

“Lying about where you park your car at night can radically change your rate,” said Des Toups, CarInsurance.com managing editor. “A Detroit driver would cut his rates in half by listing a false address outside the city.”

Other lies are aimed at snagging car insurance discounts. A good student discount, Toups said, averages 15 percent or more in many states.

Those who admitted lying gave three very different motives for their omissions or incorrect information.

  • To save money: 63.3 percent
  • Lack of correct answer option on insurance form: 28.0 percent
  • Felt cheated by the company in the past: 8.7 percent

“If you lie and get caught, you may not be covered for an accident or other incident,” Toups said. “A discount won’t matter much if your claim isn’t paid.”

Nearly half of those who submitted incorrect information -- 42.8 percent -- said their insurance companies later caught the errors. The survey asked them about the consequences:

  • My claim was denied: 33.5 percent
  • My premiums went up: 31.5 percent
  • My coverage was canceled: 25.4 percent
  • I was sued for fraud: 7.6 percent
  • Nothing happened: 2.0 percent

The full article and survey results can be found at http://www.carinsurance.com/Articles/top-insurance-lies.aspx.

Methodology:

CarInsurance.com surveyed 2,000 licensed drivers age 18 and older. Respondents were split evenly between men and women and distributed across age groups and regions. The online-panel survey was fielded in October 2013.

About CarInsurance.com

CarInsurance.com has been offering drivers expert advice about car insurance and how to shop for it since 2003. Using a combination of industry expertise and information drawn from thousands of online quotes delivered without obligation each month, CarInsurance.com is a source for unbiased answers and data about what consumers should expect from an insurance policy. The site lets consumers compare multiple car insurance quotes online and purchase a policy online in minutes. CarInsurance.com is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: QNST), one of the largest Internet marketing and media companies in the world. QuinStreet is committed to providing consumers and businesses with the information they need to research, find and select the products, services and brands that best meet their needs. The company is a leader in visitor-friendly marketing practices. For more information, please visit QuinStreet.com.

Twitter: @CarInsurance

Press contact:

Des Toups
dtoups (at) carinsurance.com