Comparison shopping for Charlotte auto insurance can be hard for consumers not familiar with shopping for insurance online. Drivers have so many choices that it can turn into a lot of work to find cheap car insurance in Charlotte.
Verify you’re getting all your discounts
Properly insuring your vehicles can get expensive, but you can get discounts to help bring down the price. A few discounts will automatically apply when you complete an application, but lesser-known reductions have to be specially asked for before they will apply. If you don’t get every credit possible, you are paying more than you should be.
- Federal Government Employee – Simply working for the federal government can save as much as 8% depending on your company.
- Military Discounts – Having a family member in the military can result in better rates.
- Fewer Miles Equal More Savings – Keeping the miles down can earn lower rates on the low mileage vehicles.
- Passive Restraints – Vehicles equipped with air bags or motorized seat belts may earn rate discounts of more than 20%.
- Sign Online – A handful of insurance companies will discount your bill up to fifty bucks simply for signing over the internet.
It’s important to understand that some credits don’t apply to all coverage premiums. The majority will only reduce individual premiums such as physical damage coverage or medical payments. Even though it may seem like you could get a free auto insurance policy, companies wouldn’t make money that way. But any discount will help reduce the amount you have to pay.
For a list of insurers offering auto insurance discounts in North Carolina, click this link.
Vehicle Insurance Comparison
Finding cheaper auto insurance prices doesn’t have to be difficult. The only thing you need to do is take a couple of minutes comparing price quotes from different insurance companies. This is very easy and can be done in several different ways.
- The best way to find the lowest comparison rates is to use a rate comparison form click here to open form in new window. This type of form saves time by eliminating multiple quote forms for each company. A single, simple form will return price quotes from auto insurance companies with the best prices. Just one form and you’re done.
- A slightly less efficient method to compare prices requires visiting the website of each company and fill out their own quote form. For sake of this example, we’ll pretend you want to compare Liberty Mutual, State Farm and American Family. To find out each rate you need to spend time on each company’s site and enter your information, and that’s why the first method is more popular. For a handy list of car insurance company links in Charlotte, click here.
It’s up to you how you get prices quotes, just double check that you are using exactly the same information with every price quote. If your comparisons have mixed coverages it’s impossible to make a fair comparison in Charlotte.
When should I talk to an agent?
When it comes to choosing adequate coverage for your vehicles, there really is no cookie cutter policy. Everyone’s situation is unique.
These are some specific questions may help highlight whether your personal situation might need an agent’s assistance.
- How can I get high-risk coverage after a DUI?
- Am I covered when using my vehicle for business?
- How much underlying liability do I need for an umbrella policy?
- Should I rate my vehicle as pleasure use or commute?
- Am I covered when delivering products for my home-based business?
- Is business property covered if stolen from my car?
- Is rental equipment covered for theft or damage?
- When should I remove comp and collision on my vehicle?
- Is business equipment covered while in my vehicle?
- What are the best liability limits?
If you can’t answer these questions but you know they apply to you then you might want to talk to an insurance agent. To find an agent in your area, simply complete this short form. It only takes a few minutes and may give you better protection.
Auto insurance coverages
Learning about specific coverages of auto insurance can help you determine the right coverages at the best deductibles and correct limits. Policy terminology can be ambiguous and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording.
Coverage for liability
Liability insurance will cover injuries or damage you cause to people or other property in an accident. This coverage protects you from claims by other people. Liability doesn’t cover your injuries or vehicle damage.
It consists of three limits, bodily injury for each person, bodily injury for the entire accident, and a limit for property damage. Your policy might show limits of 25/50/25 which stand for a limit of $25,000 per injured person, a total of $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and property damage coverage for $25,000. Occasionally you may see one number which is a combined single limit which combines the three limits into one amount rather than limiting it on a per person basis.
Liability can pay for claims such as repair costs for stationary objects, funeral expenses and repair bills for other people’s vehicles. How much liability should you purchase? That is your choice, but you should buy as large an amount as possible. North Carolina state law requires minimum liability limits of 30,000/60,000/25,000 but it’s recommended drivers buy more coverage.
Medical expense coverage
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage kick in for immediate expenses such as nursing services, prosthetic devices, dental work and chiropractic care. They are used to fill the gap from your health insurance policy or if you are not covered by health insurance. It covers not only the driver but also the vehicle occupants and will also cover being hit by a car walking across the street. PIP coverage is not universally available but it provides additional coverages not offered by medical payments coverage
This coverage will pay to fix damage to your vehicle caused by collision with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. You will need to pay your deductible then your collision coverage will kick in.
Collision coverage pays for claims like sustaining damage from a pot hole, crashing into a ditch, hitting a mailbox, crashing into a building and damaging your car on a curb. Paying for collision coverage can be pricey, so consider dropping it from older vehicles. Another option is to bump up the deductible to bring the cost down.
Uninsured or underinsured coverage
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage protects you and your vehicle’s occupants from other drivers when they do not carry enough liability coverage. Covered losses include injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants as well as damage to your vehicle.
Since a lot of drivers only carry the minimum required liability limits (which is 30/60/25), it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages should not be overlooked. Usually the UM/UIM limits are set the same as your liablity limits.
Comprehensive insurance will pay to fix damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. A deductible will apply and the remainder of the damage will be paid by comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive insurance covers claims such as damage from getting keyed, damage from flooding, a broken windshield, hitting a deer and damage from a tornado or hurricane. The most your auto insurance company will pay is the ACV or actual cash value, so if the vehicle is not worth much it’s not worth carrying full coverage.
Online plus local equals savings
You just read a lot of ways to get a better price on auto insurance. The key concept to understand is the more times you quote, the better your comparison will be. Drivers may discover the lowest premiums are with some of the smallest insurance companies.
Discount auto insurance is available from both online companies in addition to many Charlotte insurance agents, so you should compare both in order to have the best price selection to choose from. A few companies do not provide online quoting and usually these regional insurance providers provide coverage only through local independent agents.
When trying to cut insurance costs, don’t be tempted to skimp on coverage in order to save money. Too many times, someone sacrificed full coverage only to discover later that saving that couple of dollars actually costed them tens of thousands. Your aim should be to purchase a proper amount of coverage at an affordable rate while not skimping on critical coverages.
Online resources for education
Additional information is available on the North Carolina Department of Insurance website. Click here for link. Consumers can read state legal mandates and laws, read industry bulletins, and view a list of available companies.