I can’t think of anyone who looks forward to buying auto insurance, especially knowing the price is too high. Because there are so many companies and agents to choose from, it is very difficult to locate the best company.
More discounts equal less premium
Auto insurance companies don’t always advertise every discount very well, so the following is a list of both the well known and the more hidden auto insurance savings. If you don’t get every credit available, you are throwing money away.
- E-sign – Certain companies may give you up to $50 simply for signing over the internet.
- Clubs and Organizations – Being a member of a qualifying organization could qualify you for a break on auto insurance.
- Homeowners Discount – Being a homeowner can save you money because maintaining a house shows financial diligence.
- More Vehicles More Savings – Buying coverage for multiple cars or trucks on one policy qualifies for this discount.
- College Student – Kids in college who live away from home and don’t have a car may be able to be covered for less.
- Accident Waiver – A few companies permit an accident before raising your premiums so long as you haven’t had any claims for a set time period.
- Save over 55 – Older drivers may qualify for a small decrease in premiums.
- Multi-policy Discount – If you insure your home and vehicles with the same company you may save up to 20% off your total premium.
As a disclaimer on discounts, some of the credits will not apply to all coverage premiums. Most only cut the price of certain insurance coverages like collision or personal injury protection. So when it seems like you can get free auto insurance, you won’t be that lucky.
For a list of providers who offer auto insurance discounts in Columbia, click here to view.
It’s not one size fits all
When choosing the right insurance coverage, there isn’t really a perfect coverage plan. Each situation is unique and your policy should reflect that. Here are some questions about coverages that might point out whether you might need professional guidance.
- How do I file an SR-22 for a DUI in South Carolina?
- When would I need rental car insurance?
- Am I covered if I drive in a foreign country?
- Does my policy cover me when driving someone else’s vehicle?
- Can I afford to pay high deductible claims out of pocket?
- Are my friends covered when driving my vehicle?
- Does my policy pay for OEM or aftermarket parts?
- What is covered by UM/UIM coverage?
If you’re not sure about those questions, then you may want to think about talking to an insurance agent. To find an agent in your area, fill out this quick form or go to this page to view a list of companies. It is quick, free and can help protect your family.
Auto insurance ads bend the truth
Consumers in South Carolina can’t ignore all the ads for the lowest price auto insurance from companies such as State Farm, Allstate and GEICO. They all make the same claim that you can save after switching your policy.
How can each company claim to save you money? This is how they do it.
All the different companies have a preferred profile for the type of driver they prefer to insure. A good example of a driver they prefer could possibly be over the age of 50, has no tickets, and has a short commute. A driver that hits that “sweet spot” gets the lowest rates and therefore will cut their rates substantially.
Potential customers who are not a match for this ideal profile will be quoted a higher premium which leads to the driver buying from a lower-cost company. The ads state “people who switch” not “people who quote” save that much money. This is how companies can truthfully advertise the way they do. This emphasizes why you need to quote coverage with many companies. It’s impossible to know which auto insurance company will fit your personal profile best.<img class="alignright" style="padding-top:15px;" src="https://www.carinsurancediy.com/wp-content/uploads/ci175-109.jpg" alt="South Carolina car insurance prices”/>
Specifics of your auto insurance policy
Understanding the coverages of your policy can help you determine the right coverages for your vehicles. The terms used in a policy can be impossible to understand and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording. Below you’ll find the normal coverages found on the average auto insurance policy.
Collision coverages – This coverage pays for damage to your vehicle resulting from colliding with another car or object. A deductible applies and the rest of the damage will be paid by collision coverage.
Collision coverage protects against things such as backing into a parked car, hitting a mailbox, scraping a guard rail, crashing into a ditch and sustaining damage from a pot hole. This coverage can be expensive, so you might think about dropping it from lower value vehicles. Drivers also have the option to increase the deductible to get cheaper collision coverage.
Medical payments coverage and PIP – Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage provide coverage for bills for surgery, funeral costs, ambulance fees, rehabilitation expenses and nursing services. They can be used to fill the gap from your health insurance policy or if there is no health insurance coverage. Coverage applies to not only the driver but also the vehicle occupants as well as being hit by a car walking across the street. PIP is only offered in select states and may carry a deductible
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage – Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage gives you protection when the “other guys” are uninsured or don’t have enough coverage. It can pay for injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants and damage to your vehicle.
Because many people only purchase the least amount of liability that is required (which is 25/50/25), it only takes a small accident to exceed their coverage. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages is very important.
Coverage for liability – Liability coverage provides protection from injuries or damage you cause to other people or property. Liability coverage has three limits: bodily injury for each person, bodily injury for the entire accident, and a limit for property damage. As an example, you may have policy limits of 100/300/100 which means a $100,000 limit per person for injuries, a limit of $300,000 in injury protection per accident, and a limit of $100,000 paid for damaged property.
Liability coverage protects against claims such as medical expenses, legal defense fees, attorney fees, court costs and funeral expenses. How much liability should you purchase? That is your choice, but it’s cheap coverage so purchase higher limits if possible. South Carolina requires drivers to carry at least 25,000/50,000/25,000 but you should think about purchasing higher limits.
Comprehensive coverage – Comprehensive insurance will pay to fix damage from a wide range of events other than collision. A deductible will apply then the remaining damage will be covered by your comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive coverage protects against claims such as a broken windshield, vandalism, damage from a tornado or hurricane, a tree branch falling on your vehicle and theft. The maximum payout a auto insurance company will pay at claim time is the actual cash value, so if the vehicle is not worth much it’s probably time to drop comprehensive insurance.
Even more information is available at the South Carolina Department of Insurance website. Visitors are able to find disaster information, find a variety of consumer forms, and download brochures.
Online plus local equals savings
We just presented many tips how you can reduce auto insurance prices online. It’s most important to understand that the more providers you compare, the better chance you’ll have of finding lower rates. Consumers could even find that the lowest priced auto insurance comes from some of the lesser-known companies. These smaller insurers can often insure niche markets at a lower cost as compared to the big name companies such as GEICO and State Farm.
Low-cost auto insurance is available from both online companies as well as from independent agents in Columbia, and you need to comparison shop both to get a complete price analysis. Some insurance providers don’t offer online quoting and these small insurance companies work with independent agents.