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Lying on an insurance application

35.8 million Americans admit to telling fibs when buying.

Honesty is the best policy. But not all Americans believe it gets them the best insurance policy, according to a recent study from

Roughly 35.8 million American adults admit to lying to their car insurer, which equates to about 14.0% of Americans. This number is way up compared to a 2020 Finder survey, which found that roughly 11.8 million Americans have played fast and loose with the facts when applying for insurance — about a 204.8% increase in liars nationwide.

What are Americans lying about when applying for car insurance?

Lying about their accident history comes out on top, with nearly a third of people who said they lied to their insurance admitting it was about their accident history.

The next most common lie told to car insurers was using an inaccurate address with 29.7% of people who lied to car insurers saying this was a type of lie they told. In third is lying about how they planned to use their car at about 26.6%.

Most common lies told when applying for car insurance

Type of lie% of respondents that lied when applying for car insurance
Lied about accident history 30.1%
Used an inaccurate address 29.7%
Lied about how they planned to use the car (i.e. Uber or pizza delivery) 26.6%
Didn’t report all the drivers for the vehicle 26.3%
Lied about ticket history 25.5%
Lied about who the primary driver is 18.1%
Lied about the actual parking location for the vehicle 18.1%
Didn’t include all owners of the vehicle 14.7%

How much do Americans think they saved by lying to their insurers?

Most Americans lie to their insurer for one simple reason: money. According to our 2020 findings, roughly 29% of those who lied to an insurance company say their reason for doing so was because they’re higher risk and would have had to pay more for their premiums if they’d told the truth.

On average, car insurance fibbers thought they saved an average of $362 each month. However, roughly three-quarters of respondents estimated they saved less than that each month, which is probably why the median amount saved according to respondents was a more modest $104. That’s an annual estimated savings of an average of $4,342 or a median of $1,249.

Men are more likely than women to lie to car insurers

Women have long been called the fairer sex, and it looks like they’re also more honest. Roughly 19.8% of men (23.9 million) said they’d lied on a car insurance application compared to 8.9% of women (11.9 million).

Men vs women: How many people are lying on their car insurance applications?

While women are less likely overall than men to lie on an insurance application, it’s possibly because they have less to save by lying. Men who lied on their car insurance applications estimated they saved a median of $104 each month, compared to a median of $97 for women.

Median estimated monthly savings by gender

Gender% of respondents that lied on car insurance applicationMedian estimated monthly savings from lying on car insurance application
Men 19.7% $104
Women 8.9% $97

Does your age affect your willingness to lie to your insurer?

It turns out that generally the younger you are, the more likely you are to lie on your insurance application, with 22.5% of millennials, 18.1% of Gen X, and 17.9% of Gen Z saying they aren’t always truthful with their insurers. In comparison, only 4.0% of baby boomers and 3.4% of the silent generation said the same.

Car application liars by generation

Generation% of respondents that lied on car insurance application
Gen Z 17.9%
Millennial 22.5%
Gen X 18.1%
Baby Boomers 4.0%
Silent Gen 3.4%

Like with the genders, it’s possible that the younger generations are more likely to lie on a car insurance application because they have the most to save by lying. The youngest generations estimated the highest savings from lying from car insurance with Gen Z estimating they saved a median of $113 each month from lying. Similarly, millennials and Gen X estimated a monthly median savings of $100 and $104, respectively. In comparison, baby boomers only estimated that they were saving a median of $50 each month by lying to their car insurers.

Estimated savings due to car application lies by generation

GenerationMedian estimated monthly savings from lying on car insurance application
Gen Z $113
Millennial $100
Gen X $104
Baby Boomers $50
Silent Gen $37

The West is home to the most insurance fibbers

Those in the West are most likely to take liberties with the truth when filling out a car insurance application, with 16.3% saying they’d lied to their car insurer. Those in the Midwest are the most honest at 11.1%.

Region% of respondents that lied on their car insurance applicationMedian estimated monthly savings from lying on car insurance application
Northeast 16.1% $117
Midwest 11.1% $59
South 12.9% $104
West 16.3% $104

Previous surveys on lying on insurance

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    Richard Laycock, Insights editor and senior content marketing manager


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