7 Tips to Save on Auto Insurance in Columbus

Are you tired of not being able to afford each month for car insurance? Your situation is no different than many other Mississippi drivers. Drivers have so many insurers to buy insurance from, and though it is a good thing to have a selection, it can be more difficult to compare rates and find the lowest cost auto insurance.

You should take the time to take a look at other company’s rates every six months because insurance rates trend upward over time. Even if you got the best deal six months ago you can probably find a lower rate today. You’ll find quite a bit of inaccurate information about auto insurance online, so I’m going to show you some tested techniques to put money back in your pocket.

The purpose of this post is to help educate you on how to get online quotes and some tricks to saving. If you currently have car insurance, you stand a good chance to be able to save some money using these techniques. Mississippi drivers only need to know the tricks to shop on the web.

Auto Insurance Comparison Rates in Columbus, Mississippi

Getting a cheaper price on insurance is a fairly straight forward process. You just have to take a few minutes comparing rates provided by online insurance companies. This is very easy and can be done in several different ways.

  • The most efficient way to compare a lot of rates at once is an all-inclusive rate comparison click to view form in new window. This method saves time by eliminating repetitive form entry for every auto insurance company. A single form will get you price quotes from multiple companies.
  • A less efficient way to find lower rates is going to each company website to complete their respective quote request forms. For sake of this example, let’s say you want to compare Farmers, State Farm and Allstate. To find out each rate you need to visit each site to input your insurance information, and that’s why the first method is more popular. To view a list of companies in Columbus, click here.
  • The least efficient way to compare rates is to spend your day driving to local Columbus insurance agencies. The internet can eliminate the need for a local agent unless you want the personal advice that only a license agent can provide. Drivers can get the lowest quotes online but buy from a local insurance agent. We’ll cover that shortly.

Whichever method you choose, compare the exact same coverage limits and deductibles with each company. If you enter different limits and deductibles on each one it will be very difficult to make a fair comparison in Columbus.

Take these seven discounts and save

Car insurance can cost a lot, but there could be available discounts that you may not even be aware of. Certain discounts will be applied when you purchase, but some must be asked for prior to getting the savings. If you’re not getting every credit possible, you’re just leaving money on the table.

  • Early Switch Discount – A few companies offer discounts for signing up before your current expiration date. It’s a savings of about 10%.
  • Pay Now and Pay Less – If you pay your bill all at once rather than paying monthly you can actually save on your bill.
  • Life Insurance Discount – Some companies give lower rates if you buy auto and life insurance together.
  • Multiple Cars – Buying coverage for all your vehicles on the same auto insurance policy qualifies for this discount.
  • Save over 55 – Mature drivers may receive better auto insurance rates.
  • Service Members Pay Less – Having a family member in the military can result in better rates.
  • Driver Safety – Successfully completing a course in driver safety could cut 5% off your bill if your company offers it.

Keep in mind that some of the credits will not apply to the entire policy premium. Some only apply to the price of certain insurance coverages like liability, collision or medical payments. So even though they make it sound like all those discounts means the company will pay you, you won’t be that lucky. But all discounts will cut your overall premium however.

To see a list of providers offering auto insurance discounts in Columbus, click this link.

Can’t I compare rates from local Columbus agents?

Certain consumers just want to get advice from a local agent and that is just fine! Insurance agents can answer important questions and help you file claims. The best thing about price shopping on the web is you may find the best rates but still work with a licensed agent. Supporting local insurance agencies is definitely important in Columbus.

Once you complete this short form, the coverage information is emailed to insurance agents in Columbus who will compete for your insurance coverage. There is no reason to even leave your home as quotes are delivered straight to your inbox. It doesn’t get any easier!

Captive agents vs. Independent agents

When looking for an insurance agent, you need to know there are two types of agencies that you can select. Agencies in Columbus can either be captive or independent (non-captive). Both insure your vehicles, but it’s good to learn how they are different since it can impact the selection process.

Independent Agents (or Brokers)

Independent insurance agents are not required to write business for one company but instead can place your coverage with any number of different companies depending on which coverage is best. To transfer your coverage to a different company, the agent simply finds a different carrier and you don’t have to find a new agent. When comparing rates, we recommend you contact multiple independent agents to get the best comparison.

The following is a list of independent insurance agencies in Columbus that may be able to provide price quote information.

Searcy and Rice Agency – 722 College St – Columbus, MS 39701 – (662) 328-2554
Insurance Link – 708 Highway 45 N – Columbus, MS 39701 – (662) 328-4411
Guide One Insurance – 402 Wilkins Wise Rd # 6 – Columbus, MS 39705 – (662) 327-6896
Direct General Ins Agency – 3189 Highway 45 N # F – Columbus, MS 39705 – (662) 328-7887
Ron Thomas Agency – 3600 Bluecutt Rd – Columbus, MS 39705 – (662) 328-4171

Agency Captives

Captive agencies have only one company to place business with such as Liberty Mutual, Allstate, Farmers Insurance or State Farm. Captives cannot compare other company’s rates so they are skilled at selling on more than just price. Captive agencies are very knowledgeable on their company’s products which helps them compete with independent agents.

Below is a short list of captive insurance agencies in Columbus that are able to give rate quotes.Columbus MS auto insurance

State Farm Insurance – 428 24th Ave N – Columbus, MS 39705 – (662) 327-1671
Farm Bureau Insurance – 101 Main St – Columbus, MS 39701 – (662) 328-7541
Shelter Insurance – 610 Alabama St # 1 – Columbus, MS 39702 – (662) 328-4959

To view a complete directory of auto insurance agents in Columbus, please view this page.

Selecting an insurance agent needs to be determined by more than just a low price. These questions are important to ask:

  • Can they provide you with a list of referrals?
  • Do they review policy coverages at every renewal?
  • What are the financial ratings for the companies they represent?
  • If you have an accident, are you able to get your vehicle repaired at the shop of your choice?
  • Will vehicle repairs be made with aftermarket parts or OEM replacement parts?
  • Do they receive special compensation for putting your coverage with one company over another?
  • Does the agency provide any after hours assistance?
  • Are there any hidden costs in their price quote and does it include driving and credit history?

Once you have received positive feedback for all questions you ask and a good coverage price, you’ve probably found an insurance agency that can properly service your auto insurance policy.

When should I talk to an agent?

When it comes to choosing the best auto insurance coverage, there really is no best way to insure your cars. Everyone’s needs are different and a cookie cutter policy won’t apply. Here are some questions about coverages that can aid in determining whether or not you would benefit from an agent’s advice.

  • What is covered by UM/UIM coverage?
  • Does coverage extend to a rental car in a foreign country?
  • What are the financial responsibility laws in Mississippi?
  • Am I covered when pulling a rental trailer?
  • Does my liability insurance cover pulling a trailer or camper?
  • Do I need motorclub coverage?
  • Do I need added coverage for expensive stereo equipment?
  • Why does it cost so much to insure a teen driver in Columbus?

If it’s difficult to answer those questions, you might consider talking to a licensed insurance agent. If you want to speak to an agent in your area, simply complete this short form or you can go here for a list of companies in your area. It is quick, free and may give you better protection.

Specific coverage details

Knowing the specifics of auto insurance aids in choosing which coverages you need at the best deductibles and correct limits. The terms used in a policy can be ambiguous and reading a policy is terribly boring. Below you’ll find typical coverages found on most auto insurance policies.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM)

This provides protection when the “other guys” are uninsured or don’t have enough coverage. It can pay for medical payments for you and your occupants and damage to your vehicle.

Since a lot of drivers carry very low liability coverage limits (25/50/25 in Mississippi), it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. So UM/UIM coverage is a good idea. Frequently these limits are similar to your liability insurance amounts.

Auto liability insurance

Liability coverage protects you from damage that occurs to other people or property in an accident. It protects you against claims from other people. It does not cover damage sustained by your vehicle in an accident.

It consists of three limits, per person bodily injury, per accident bodily injury, and a property damage limit. You commonly see policy limits of 100/300/100 that translate to $100,000 bodily injury coverage, $300,000 for the entire accident, and a limit of $100,000 paid for damaged property. Alternatively, you may have one limit called combined single limit (CSL) which provides one coverage limit with no separate limits for injury or property damage.

Liability insurance covers things like structural damage, loss of income and repair bills for other people’s vehicles. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is up to you, but consider buying as much as you can afford. Mississippi state minimum liability requirements are 25,000/50,000/25,000 but drivers should carry higher limits.

Med pay and Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Coverage for medical payments and/or PIP reimburse you for immediate expenses for things like EMT expenses, hospital visits, prosthetic devices and pain medications. They are used to cover expenses not covered by your health insurance program or if you are not covered by health insurance. Medical payments and PIP cover you and your occupants as well as getting struck while a pedestrian. Personal injury protection coverage is not universally available but it provides additional coverages not offered by medical payments coverage

Mississippi insurance prices

Comprehensive insurance

This coverage will pay to fix damage that is not covered by collision coverage. You first have to pay a deductible then the remaining damage will be covered by your comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive coverage pays for things like hitting a deer, rock chips in glass, hitting a bird, damage from getting keyed and fire damage. The highest amount you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the cash value of the vehicle, so if it’s not worth much more than your deductible it’s probably time to drop comprehensive insurance.

Collision insurance

Collision coverage pays to fix your vehicle from damage from colliding with a stationary object or other vehicle. You will need to pay your deductible then the remaining damage will be paid by your insurance company.

Collision insurance covers things such as crashing into a ditch, crashing into a building, hitting a parking meter and sideswiping another vehicle. This coverage can be expensive, so consider dropping it from vehicles that are 8 years or older. You can also bump up the deductible to bring the cost down.

Smart consumers save more

When shopping online for auto insurance, never sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. In many instances, someone dropped collision coverage to discover at claim time that it was a big mistake. Your strategy should be to buy the best coverage you can find for the lowest price, not the least amount of coverage.

In this article, we covered many tips how you can shop for auto insurance online. It’s most important to understand that the more price quotes you have, the higher the chance of saving money. Drivers may discover the biggest savings come from some of the lesser-known companies. These smaller insurers often have lower prices on specific markets than their larger competitors like Allstate or State Farm.

Additional information can be found on the website for the Mississippi Insurance Department found here. Mississippi consumers can find out industry alerts, file complaints about a company, view a list of available companies, and report car insurance fraud.

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