Have you fallen victim to high-priced car insurance? Trust us, many Matthews consumers feel financially strained by their car insurance policy. Drivers have so many insurers to insure vehicles with, and though it is a good thing to be able to choose, it can be more difficult to locate the cheapest rates.
Do you qualify for these six discounts?
Auto insurance companies don’t list all available discounts in an easy-to-find place, so we break down some of the best known and the more hidden discounts you could be receiving. If they aren’t giving you every credit you deserve, you’re just leaving money on the table.
- Student Driver Training – Cut your cost by having your teen driver enroll in driver’s education in school.
- Low Mileage – Fewer annual miles could qualify for a substantially lower rate.
- Early Switch Discount – A few companies offer discounts for signing up before your current expiration date. It’s a savings of about 10%.
- Safe Driver Discount – Insureds without accidents can pay as much as 50% less than less cautious drivers.
- Air Bag Discount – Factory air bags and/or automatic seat belt systems may earn rate discounts of up to 25% or more.
- Military Rewards – Being on active duty in the military could be rewarded with lower premiums.
Keep in mind that most discounts do not apply the the whole policy. Some only reduce specific coverage prices like collision or personal injury protection. Just because it seems like having all the discounts means you get insurance for free, companies wouldn’t make money that way.
For a list of insurers with discount car insurance rates in North Carolina, click this link.
Coverages available on your policy
Having a good grasp of your car insurance policy can be of help when determining the right coverages and proper limits and deductibles. The coverage terms in a policy can be ambiguous and nobody wants to actually read their policy. Below you’ll find typical coverage types available from car insurance companies.
Comprehensive (Other than Collision)
This pays for damage from a wide range of events other than collision. You first must pay your deductible then the remaining damage will be covered by your comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive insurance covers things like damage from flooding, falling objects, damage from getting keyed and theft. The maximum payout your car insurance company will pay is the actual cash value, so if it’s not worth much more than your deductible it’s probably time to drop comprehensive insurance.
Protection from uninsured/underinsured drivers
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage gives you protection when the “other guys” do not carry enough liability coverage. This coverage pays for hospital bills for your injuries as well as damage to your vehicle.
Because many people only purchase the least amount of liability that is required (which is 30/60/25), their limits can quickly be used up. This is the reason having UM/UIM coverage is important protection for you and your family.
Collision insurance covers damage to your vehicle resulting from a collision with an object or car. A deductible applies then your collision coverage will kick in.
Collision coverage protects against claims such as sustaining damage from a pot hole, colliding with another moving vehicle and crashing into a building. Collision coverage makes up a good portion of your premium, so analyze the benefit of dropping coverage from vehicles that are 8 years or older. Drivers also have the option to increase the deductible in order to get cheaper collision rates.
Liability auto insurance
This will cover damage or injury you incur to other people or property in an accident. This coverage protects you from claims by other people. It does not cover damage to your own property or vehicle.
It consists of three limits, bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage. You might see liability limits of 100/300/100 that translate to $100,000 bodily injury coverage, a total of $300,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and a total limit of $100,000 for damage to vehicles and property.
Liability coverage protects against claims like repair costs for stationary objects, legal defense fees, attorney fees, medical expenses and repair bills for other people’s vehicles. How much liability should you purchase? That is a decision to put some thought into, but buy as much as you can afford. North Carolina state minimum liability requirements are 30,000/60,000/25,000 but drivers should carry higher limits.
Medical expense insurance
Med pay and PIP coverage pay for bills for prosthetic devices, X-ray expenses, doctor visits, EMT expenses and chiropractic care. They are used to cover expenses not covered by your health insurance plan or if you do not have health coverage. Coverage applies to all vehicle occupants as well as if you are hit as a while walking down the street. Personal Injury Protection is only offered in select states but it provides additional coverages not offered by medical payments coverage
More detailed North Carolina car insurance information can be read at the North Carolina Department of Insurance website. North Carolina consumers can read consumer alerts, view a list of available companies, find disaster information, and view agent and company licensing information.
One last thing about your coverage
As you shop your coverage around, it’s very important that you do not buy poor coverage just to save money. In too many instances, drivers have reduced collision coverage only to discover later that the few dollars in savings costed them thousands. The proper strategy is to get the best coverage possible at an affordable rate, not the least amount of coverage.
Cheap car insurance is attainable online and also from your neighborhood Matthews agents, and you need to comparison shop both so you have a total pricing picture. Some insurance providers may not provide online quoting and many times these smaller companies only sell through independent insurance agents.