It seems as if there is some confusion about how auto insurance rates are set. Premiums have been going up, sometimes when a driver hasn’t had an accident or claim.

The reality is that Insurance companies are finding more of us are on the roads thanks to cheaper gas and an improving economy. As we drive more miles, the result has been an increase in crashes and the amount of money insurance companies are paying out. The cost to fix or replace vehicles damaged by fires, hail and flood has also increased the past few years. These costs are forcing insurance companies to charge more for coverage.

You may be wondering what other factors affect your auto insurance costs. To help you understand how insurance companies determine what they charge, we thought we’d dispel some misconceptions. Buckle up and enjoy the ride as we separate fact from fiction.

Insurance Myths

Myth 1: The color of your vehicle determines what you will pay for auto insurance.

Fact: We’ve heard it too, but it is just not true. Think about it, have you ever been asked what color car you drive when you’ve bought insurance? Most insurers want to know if the car you drive is a Ford or Ferrari, what kind of driving record you have, where you live and the miles you drive each year.

Myth 2: Older drivers pay more for auto insurance.

Fact: Many drivers over 55 years of age can qualify for a reduction in auto insurance rates if they successfully complete a safe driving course or meet other requirements. Many insurance companies consider a healthy, retired driver who only uses the car sporadically and has a clean driving record a better risk than someone in their teens or early 20’s.

Myth 3: Your state’s minimum liability auto insurance requirements are enough to protect your assets.

Fact: You may have insurance, but if you only have your state’s minimum liability requirements, you probably aren’t adequately protected. Medical costs are soaring and injury lawsuits following crashes are rampant. With minimum liability, if you are found “at fault” for an accident in which others were hurt, you could be paying out of pocket for lost wages, pain and suffering and medical expenses that could easily add up to much more than your liability limits. Losing a lawsuit could also mean having to sell your home and having your future income garnished to pay those bills.

Myth 4: Your auto insurance policy covers damage to your car from a crash or if it’s stolen.

Fact: Not unless you purchased comprehensive and collision coverage. Both are optional with most auto insurance policies and pay when your vehicle is crunched in a crash that you caused, or is damaged by flood, fire, windstorm, vandalism, animals or if it is stolen. If you don’t have comprehensive and collision coverage, you’ll pay out of pocket to repair or replace your vehicle if something happens.

Myth 5: Your personal auto insurance covers business use of your vehicle.

Fact: Most personal auto insurance policies exclude business use of a vehicle. If you are using it to deliver pizzas, or you’ve signed on as an Uber or Lyft driver, you may need a commercial auto insurance policy. You should talk to an insurance advisor as soon as possible.

How to Reduce Insurance Costs

Here are some things you can do to reduce the amount you pay for auto insurance:

  • Check for good driver/good student discounts
  • Research insurance costs when buying a new vehicle
  • Combine your insurance (auto with your home or renters, or if you and your spouse or partner have individual policies)
  • Reduce your commute (ride a bike, use mass transit or move closer to where you work)
  • Increase your deductibles
  • Clean up your credit score
  • Get a policy review

If you haven’t looked into the NEA Auto and Home Insurance Program from California Casualty, you are missing exclusive benefits for NEA members not available to the general public:

  • Deductibles waived or reduced for vandalism or accidents that occur when your vehicle is parked at work
  • Personal property damaged or lost in a collision, fire or taken from your car is covered up to $500
  • Rates guaranteed for a full year (not six months)
  • Free identity theft protection with each policy
  • Multiple payment options including E-Z Pay and holiday or summer skips

Contact a California Casualty advisor today. You might be surprised at the savings and all the benefits you qualify for as an educator at 1.800.800.9410 or

Arts Grant 2019


Three school programs are getting a boost, thanks to a $250 Music and Arts Grant from California Casualty. The grant will enable:

  • Filer High School (Filer) to purchase Photography Equipment
  • Summit Elementary School (Jerome) for the Recorder Music Program
  • Clark County School District #161 (Dubois) for Music Equipment

Idaho schools are among 139 public schools in 31 states receiving a total of $34,750 to provide materials, supplies and instruments for art, music and performance programs at the schools.

The grant is designed to foster creativity in schools, such as choir, band, dance, film, theater, computer arts and graphics, or any K-12 curriculum that employs art for learning. 

California Casualty has partnered with Idaho Education Association since 1988 and understands the importance of music and arts education for children. Numerous studies have concluded that sharing a love of the arts enhances students’:

  • Brain development
  • Creativity
  • Classroom involvement

Music and art curriculum has also been shown to reduce disciplinary issues and dropout rates.

Unfortunately, many schools have reduced or eliminated music and arts education because of budget cuts. California Casualty hopes to fill the need with the Music and Arts Grant. California Casualty hopes to fill the need with the Music and Arts Grant.

“Students love to showcase their creativity, and helping educators keep music and arts in the forefront of every-day learning is absolutely the right thing for us to do,” said California Casualty AVP Brian Goodman.

Oregon public K-12 schools needing funding for an arts or performance program can apply for the 2020 Music and Arts Grant from California Casualty, at

Founded in 1914, California Casualty has provided the NEA® Auto & Home Insurance Program to members since 2000. Headquartered in San Mateo, California, with Service Centers in Arizona, Colorado and Kansas, California Casualty has been led by four generations of the Brown family. To learn more about California Casualty, or to request an auto insurance quote, please visit or call 1.800.800.9410.



Fall is here and you’ve finally begun to settle into a routine at work and home, but you’re also noticing some kids are starting to act up and maybe you’ve even noticed you’re struggling to maintain momentum. Between lesson-planning, grading and parent teacher conferences, you may be feeling a bit maxed out- but the Holidays will be here before you even notice. Whether you’re looking for ways to start prepping for holiday travel and shopping, or you need tips on retirement planning before Open Enrollment ends, has tips and advice that will help you make it to Winter Break.

  • Protecting yourself and your family is so important we have a new section of our site dedicated to helping you figure out how. Learn how to protect the Moments that Matter, myths about life insurance, and more resources to make sure everyone is taken care of.
  • If you’re planning to save time and money by doing holiday shopping online, make sure to find out more about how to do so safely. During National Cybersecurity Month we’re going to have the information you need to know to make sure you are safe and secure online. Find all this and more at
  • Already thinking about Winter Break? We have the breakdown about what’s new at America’s Theme Parks, as well as incredible deals on cruises for National Plan A Cruise Month. We also have tips and tricks on how to plan hassle-free holiday travel planning. Go to
  • Winter is coming- make sure your car is ready by checking out our Car Care Checklist. We also have information on the NEA Auto Buying Program, just in time for the end of the model year so that you can get the best possible deal out there.
  • Open Enrollment Season is about to end- have you made sure you’re saving everything you need so that you’re able to enjoy your retirement when that time comes? Run the numbers on our Retirement calculators and read more about how to boost your savings by investing outside of your pension.
  • Don’t forget about the Life Insurance Awareness Month Sweepstakes for a chance to win up to $500! Contest ends October 15!

From the IEA President

"IEA Member Benefits program provides education professionals with savings, discounts, products and services to enrich their professional and personal lives. This is an amazing program and an added benefit to being a member of the Idaho Education Association."

Layne McInelly
Idaho Education Association

Contact Info

208.344.8336 / 800.223.6583

IEA Member Benefits Corporation
620 N 6th Street - Boise Idaho 83702

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