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Car Insurance Is No Laughing Matter Yet Many Drivers Distracted By Funny Ads Focused On Price

ERIE, Pa., March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- "Laugh and the world laughs with you" is a mantra that has been embraced by many in the car insurance industry in recent years, with some companies spending hundreds of millions of dollars on ads that use humor to get attention. While laughter might be an easy way to entertain, a new survey from Erie Insurance reveals that the onslaught of car insurance ads focused on price are causing some consumers to forget about coverage.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20041112/ERIELOGO)

The majority of survey respondents (68 percent) agreed that most funny car insurance ads were about saving money. While respondents ranked coverage as the most important consideration when shopping for car insurance, three-quarters (74 percent) admitted that the blitz of car insurance commercials focused on price have caused them to forget about coverage choices that affect how well they are protected.

"People are making very serious decisions about their financial well-being based on punch lines," said Cody Cook, vice president and product manager at Erie Insurance. "Insurance is complex. Making a decision based on price alone and without the consultation of an insurance expert can have serious repercussions."

Interestingly, more than half of survey respondents admitted that even after they bought car insurance, they still weren't certain they had made the right decision. When asked to define basic insurance terms:

  • Forty-eight percent thought Liability or Comprehensive coverage paid for the damage they caused to their vehicle if it hit another object. Collision coverage pays for the damage to one's vehicle if he/she is at fault in an accident; and
  • Fifty-four percent thought an Affirmation or Premium was the term for changes and/or additions to a policy. The correct term is an Endorsement. Affirmation isn't an insurance term.

The Insurance Information Institute, a group dedicated to helping consumers better understand insurance, recently cautioned against selecting an insurance company based solely on price. Instead, it urged consumers to seek out companies with reputations for excellent customer service that will handle claims quickly and fairly.

"We think it's time to get serious about car insurance," said Cook. "To truly understand what you're buying and ensure your family is protected, you'll benefit most by having expert guidance from a local agent you know and trust."

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