Everyone Gets an 'F' in Car Insurance 101


Think you know your car insurance coverage inside and out? You're probably fooling yourself. According to a recent survey by Insurance.com, consumers who said they had an "excellent" understanding of their policy actually scored the lowest when quizzed about their car coverage with an average score of 26 percent.

Not that the less-confident among us are doing that much better.

When divided into subgroups by age, gender, geographical region, or self-described expertise, no group scored higher than 39 percent on the Insurance.com quiz. Across all test takers, the average score of 32 percent earned the equivalent of an "F" for everyone.

Those weren't essay questions they had to answer, either: We're talking about 10 multiple-choice questions here.

Slicing and Dicing the Results

There were 500 drivers who answered the 10 multiple-choice questions.

So who scored the best on the quiz overall? It certainly wasn't those who said they read their entire policy. They actually scored a quite low 28 percent, on average.

The people who nailed the quiz -- relatively speaking, with a still unimpressive average of 35 percent -- were those who said they had never read their policy at all.

Here's how results shook out based on gender, age and geography:

  • The average score for women was 35 percent, compared to an average of 27 percent for men.

  • Drivers ages 40 to 70 scored the highest, at an average of 39 percent, compared to young drivers age 18 to 29, who only got 24 percent of the answers correct.

  • Drivers in the South scored highest with an average of 34 percent. Drivers in the Northeast scored the lowest with an average of 29 percent, while those in the West scored 32 percent and drivers in the Midwest averaged 31 percent.

Test Yourself

Just two percent of test-takers got this one right:

"What does comprehensive coverage pay for?" (Select all that apply)

  • Damage to my car if I crash it

  • Damage to my car if an object falls on it, like a tree

  • Damage to my car if I hit an animal, like a deer

  • Damage to my car from a flood

  • Property damage to others if I cause a crash

  • Injuries to passengers in my own car

  • Theft of my car

About half of those who took the quiz (55 percent) got this one:
"If your car is totaled, what does gap insurance pay for?" (Select One)

  • The difference between the "actual cash value" of the vehicle and the amount owed on a car loan

  • The difference between the "actual cash value" of the vehicle and the amount you paid for the car

  • The difference between the amount owed on a car loan and the amount your paid for the car

More people (71 percent) knew the answer to:
"If a friend borrows your car and crashes it, whose insurance pays?" (Select One)

  • Your friend's insurance

  • Your own insurance

Curious to see how you'd fare? Take the test yourself here to see how your score compares.