Quiz Results Reveal Dismal Car Insurance Knowledge

Pop quiz:  What will comprehensive car insurance coverage pay for? If you're not sure, you're not alone. A lot of people know very little about auto insurance, based on Insurance.com's car insurance test results.

We asked 500 drivers 10 multiple-choice questions about the basics of car insurance coverage. The average score was 32 percent.

Our findings indicate that many drivers have no idea what they're buying when purchasing auto insurance.

Take the test yourself and compare your score!

Here are the percentages of people who answered each question correctly:

1. What does comprehensive coverage pay for? -- 2 percent

2. What are typical discounts auto insurance companies will offer if you qualify? -- 7 percent

3. What factors can car insurance companies typically use when setting rates for full coverage? -- 8 percent

4. What does uninsured motorist (UM) coverage pay for? -- 14 percent

5. What does collision coverage pay for? -- 23 percent

6. What auto liability coverage pays for? -- 26 percent

7. If a friend told you she has liability limits of 25/50/40, what does that mean? -- 41 percent

8. If your car is totaled, what does gap insurance pay for? -- 55 percent

9. What does Personal Injury Protection or Medical Payments coverage pay for? -- 69 percent

10. If a friend borrows your car and crashes it, whose insurance pays? -- 71 percent

Women scored higher

In our analysis of results by gender, age, region and level of self-described insurance knowledge, no group scored higher than 39 percent.  Here are the notable average scores by demographic:
  • Women scored  35 percent on the test, while men answered an average of 27 percent of the questions correctly.
  • Drivers in the South scored 34 percent, the West scored 32 percent, the Midwest 31 percent and the Northeast  29 percent.
  • Experience helps. Those age 40 to 70 and older got 39 percent of the answers right, while those age 18 to 29 could answer 24 percent of the questions correctly.

Is a lot of car insurance knowledge a dangerous thing?

It's no secret that some people don't read their car insurance policies to check their coverage and discount details. But what's surprising is that drivers who never read their policies scored the highest in basic knowledge.

Here are the key findings among drivers who read their policies compared to those who didn't:

  • People who read their entire policy scored the lowest, getting an average score of 28 percent.
  • People who read part of their policy also got low marks, with an average score of 29 percent.
  • Those who never read their policy performed the best, with an average score of 35 percent.

Also unexpected -- drivers who rated themselves as having "excellent" car insurance acumen scored the lowest.  

Here's the breakdown of confidence levels:
  • Drivers who rated themselves as having "excellent" car insurance knowledge got an average score of 26 percent.
  • Those who said they have a "poor" level of knowledge received an average score of 27 percent.
  • Those who claim  a "terrible" level of knowledge snagged an average score of 28 percent.
  • Drivers who rated themselves as having "good" or "O.K." levels of knowledge had an average score of 34 percent.

See how well you score.


Insurance.com commissioned a survey of 500 drivers age 18 and older and asked 10 multiple-choice questions on the basics of car insurance. The survey was fielded in January 2013.