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Survey: 1 in 3 lie for cheaper rates

If you fudged the facts when you applied for car insurance, you are not alone.

Thirty-four percent of drivers have omitted information or supplied false information to their car insurance providers, a new survey from CarInsurance.com finds.

Men were more likely to lie than women, 42 percent vs. 27 percent.  Drivers under age 30, who pay the most for car insurance, were three times more likely to submit incorrect information than drivers over 50.

Among the drivers reporting a lie - and many reported more than one -- the most common were:
  1. Annual mileage: 36.3 percent
  2. Where car is parked:  32.4 percent
  3. Names of drivers with access to vehicle: 25.1 percent
  4. History of tickets or accidents: 20.5 percent
  5. Gaps in insurance coverage: 19.2 percent
  6. School grades, or teen driver's grades: 18.9 percent
  7. Anti-theft devices on the car: 17.4 percent
  8. Primary type of use (such as business, school or work):  17.3 percent
  9. Education level: 16.9 percent
  10. Marital status: 16.9 percent
  11. How long they'd been licensed: 15.8 percent
  12. Major modifications to their car: 15.7 percent
  13. Refresher or defensive driving courses: 14.4 percent

The online-panel survey of 2,000 licensed drivers took place in October 2013, with respondents divided evenly by sex, age groups 18 to 65 and by geographic regions.

Leaks in the risk pool

You might call them little white lies. The official car insurance industry term is “premium leakage.”

Where you live, who else can grab the keys and the grades your kid got might seem like harmless enough fibs. After all, your own driving record is great, and you've never had an accident.

Those little bytes of misinformation add up. In all, insurance companies lose about 10 percent of their potential premiums to bad information, according to analytics-gatherer Quality Planning Corp. in San Francisco. Each factor represents two sides of the same coin: Savings for you, uncovered risk for your car insurance company. 

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