Insured and confused? Join the club!

By , Posted on 12 March 2013

Many consumers lack basic knowledge of car insurance despite paying hundreds of dollars for it.In this digital age, it's not surprising that many people research every feature of a product before purchasing it, whether it's a smartphone, high-definition TV, blender or lawnmower. After all, the Internet makes it a fairly simple process. That's why the results of our survey on car insurance basics are newsworthy.

Most drivers are required by state law to have auto insurance, and the cost of car insurance is significant – drivers in Louisiana pay an average annual premium of $2,699 on the high end while Maine drivers pay an average of $934, according to Insure.com. Yet when we asked 500 drivers 10 multiple-choice questions on coverage and discount fundamentals, we found that few folks know very much about what they're purchasing. The average score is 32 percent. Only 2 percent answered correctly when asked what comprehensive coverage pays for, while 8 percent could name all the typical car insurance discounts you can get if you qualify.

We also have scores by gender, region and self-described level of knowledge. What's interesting here is that those who think they have an excellent command of the details scored the lowest, while those who actually say they read their entire policy also performed poorly.

To read the results, see my article, "Quiz results reveal dismal car insurance knowledge." Think you can beat the average score? Take the "Insured and Confused" test yourself to see how you do. And as always, if you need to brush up on your grasp of car insurance basics, peruse our car insurance section for information on coverage, discounts, insuring teen and senior drivers and how to compare car insurance companies.

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About

Des Toups

Des Toups

Managing editor

Des Toups is a writer, editor and expert on insurance, cars and personal finance. He has written extensively about all three for national publications such as MSN and major newspapers such as the Seattle Times. He has been quoted about insurance issues in The New York Times, USA Today and Kiplinger's.

Email: dtoups@quinstreet.com

Follow him on Twitter @destoups

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