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Increase Your Insurance Knowledge

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recently commissioned a survey to find out how much Americans know about insurance. Understanding insurance is very important when you are comparing insurance quotes to find the best deal to fit your specific insurance needs. The NAIC survey found most people didn’t know quite as much about insurance as they thought. Part of the survey was a 10-question “Insurance IQ” quiz and survey takers averaged only four correct answers. These results contrast with the reported confidence in their insurance knowledge by survey takers. Sixty percent reported feeling “very confident” when making insurance decisions and a mere 15 percent reported insecurity in insurance matters.

To give a quick sample of the NAIC Insurance IQ quiz, here are three questions with answers:

1. Does auto insurance automatically cover a rental car?
2. Can you own a house without homeowners insurance?
3. In general, how much life insurance is recommended in relation to your annual salary?

If you answered, no, yes and 5-7 times your annual salary, you bested the majority of 1,000 American adults who got them wrong in a 10-question quiz designed to test the nation’s Insurance IQ. Indeed, on average, Americans flunked the test with only a 40 percent score — a solid “F” by most U.S. educational grading standards.

If you’d like to take the entire Insurance IQ quiz, head to

The NAIC survey found some interesting information on all types of insurance. For auto insurance it uncovered only 62 percent of Americans know accident history, vehicle safety features and geography are the factors that most impact the cost of car insurance. A lowly 19 percent know the requirement for private mortgage insurance (PMI) on new home purchases is based on the lender and the size of down payment. Fewer than half of survey takers know when the unemployed choose COBRA for health insurance they must cover the entire cost of coverage. Almost 40 percent of survey takers admit to having no idea of how much life insurance to carry based on a yearly income multiplier.

The NAIC does offer some advice for anyone looking for insurance. First is to educate yourself in whatever type of insurance you are looking to purchase and then take that knowledge to shop around and compare insurance quotes from a number of insurance providers. Before you sign an insurance policy, confirm with your state insurance department the insurance provider or agent is licensed in your state. And finally take the time to regularly review your insurance policy so you understand your coverage before needing to make a claim.

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