The Suburban Skeptic - Red cars
[Although they're not as ubiquitous or influential as urban legends, suburban legends offer two distinct debunking advantages: First - they have a way of finding me, and Second - they present a significantly less demanding challenge, the combination of which qualities generally allows my meager level of attention and effort to equal the task.]
Relatives are often a rich source of credulous notions. Probably one reason for which is that they are less likely to be guarded around family. I have a sister who is especially generous in this regard, often prompting cranky "What makes you think that?!" comments from more skeptical sorts (yeah, pretty much just from me, particularly the "cranky" part).
Recently we were discussing automobile insurance, as my wife and I are currently lucky enough to be in the position of needing to buy cars for both my kids. The car we're considering for my son is red. This elicited an observation from Sis that insurers charge more for red cars.
"Oh, they do not, that's nonsense," I responded tactfully. I thought she was probably extrapolating from common anecdotes about cops noticing and ticketing red cars more often, and said so. But she didn't budge. She had heard that red cars were insured at higher rates, no doubt because of their attraction to the police. And she's not the only one. The myth can readily be found online.
Well, of course in a situation like this Google is your friend. And I found what I was looking for,
"What about the car insurance rates question? Does your car insurance company use color to determine your premium? The answer is…no.This comes from a page at Insurance.com, where one can find other nifty discussions of what car color supposedly says about you (okay, so maybe this site isn't such an unimpeachable source) and stories about red cars suffering increased attention from the police.
Some people have suggested that insurers use the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to determine the car color and use that information, in part, to set the rate for each car. But the fact is car color is not one of the details encoded into a VIN number. So technically, unless they ASK you the color of your car when you buy your car insurance policy, they really have no idea what color it is. And thus has no affect on your rate."
However, the point remains that car insurance rates are not calculated based upon the color of the car. A fact confirmed here and here.
Another senseless travesty of truth averted. My work here is done.
Your humble servant - the Suburban Skeptic.