9 Must-Know Tips When Buying Columbia South Carolina Car Insurance

Have you fallen victim to high-priced car insurance? Believe me when I say there are many Columbia consumers feeling the pinch from expensive car insurance. Numerous insurers battle to insure your vehicles, and it can be difficult to compare rates and get the best coverage at the best rates possible.

How much can you save with discounts?

Insuring your fleet can be pricey, but you can get discounts to reduce the price significantly. Some trigger automatically when you get a quote, but a few must be specifically requested before they will apply. If they aren’t giving you every credit you qualify for, you are paying more than you should be.

  • Military Rewards – Having a family member in the military can result in better rates.
  • Accident Forgiveness – A handful of insurance companies will forgive one accident before your rates go up so long as you haven’t had any claims for a particular time prior to the accident.
  • Employee of Federal Government – Being employed by or retired from a federal job could cut as much as 10% off depending on your company.
  • Good Student Discount – This discount can get you a discount of up to 25%. This discount can apply up to age 25.
  • Safe Driver Discount – Insureds without accidents can get discounts for up to 45% lower rates than drivers with accident claims.
  • Multiple Cars – Buying insurance for all your vehicles on the same car insurance policy can get a discount on all vehicles.
  • Driver Safety – Taking part in a driver safety course could cut 5% off your bill and easily recoup the cost of the course.
  • Drivers Education – Make teen driver coverage more affordable by requiring them to enroll in driver’s education if offered at their school.
  • Seat Belts Save – Drivers who require all occupants to wear their seat belts can save 10% or more off your medical payments premium.
  • Multiple Policy Discount – When you have multiple policies with one company you may earn at least 10% off all policies.

It’s important to note that most discount credits are not given to the entire policy premium. Some only apply to the cost of specific coverages such as medical payments or collision. So despite the fact that it appears all those discounts means the company will pay you, you’re out of luck. Any amount of discount will cut your overall premium however.

For a list of providers offering car insurance discounts in Columbia, click here.

Free Quotes for Car Insurance in Columbia, SC

Shopping for lower car insurance rates can be challenging if you don’t utilize the most efficient way to do it. You could spend the better part of a day talking about coverages with agents in Columbia, or you can utilize online quotes to get prices fast.

Most major companies enroll in a system where prospective buyers enter their policy data once, and each company provides a quote. This saves time by eliminating quote forms to each company.

To fill out one form to compare multiple rates now click here (opens in new window).

The single downside to doing it this way is you can’t choose the insurers you want to price. If you would rather choose individual companies to receive pricing from, we have assembled a list of the cheapest car insurance companies in South Carolina. View list of South Carolina insurance companies.<img class="alignright" style="padding-top:15px" src="https://www.carinsurancediy.com/wp-content/uploads/ci175-44.jpg" alt="Columbia SC insurance quotes” />

Which method you use is up to you, but compare identical coverage information on every quote. If the quotes have differing limits it will be impossible to make a fair comparison in Columbia.

Tips to Get Lower Columbia Rates

Consumers need to have an understanding of some of the elements that play a part in calculating your car insurance rates. Knowing what controls the rates you pay enables informed choices that could result in much lower annual insurance costs.

  • Males pay more for insurance – The statistics show that men are more aggressive behind the wheel. However, don’t assume that men are worse drivers. Men and women tend to get into accidents at about the same rate, but men cause more damage and cost insurance companies more money. Men also receive more costly citations such as reckless driving.
  • Never go without insurance – Letting your insurance expire is a fast way to trigger a rate increase. Not only will you pay more, getting caught without coverage might get you a steep fine or even jail time.You may then be required to file a SR-22 with the South Carolina department of motor vehicles.
  • Tickets mean higher rates – Drivers who don’t get tickets have lower premiums than bad drivers. Only having one ticket can bump up the cost by as much as thirty percent. Drivers who have serious citations such as DUI or reckless driving may need to file a SR-22 with their state motor vehicle department in order to continue driving.
  • Choose a safe vehicle and save – Safer cars tend to have better insurance rates. The safest vehicles have better occupant injury protection and better occupant protection means lower claim amounts passed on to you as lower rates.
  • Your location affects your rates – Residing in small towns and rural areas can save you money when it comes to car insurance. Drivers who live in large cities have to deal with traffic congestion and much longer commute distances. Lower population means a lower chance of having an accident.
  • One company can mean more discounts – Many companies give discounts to policyholders who buy several policies from them, otherwise known as a multi-policy discount. Even though this discount sounds good, you may still want to shop around to confirm you are receiving the best rates possible.
  • Increase deductibles and save – Your deductibles represent how much money you are willing to pay in the event of a claim. Coverage for physical damage, termed comprehensive and collision coverage on your policy, protects your car from damage. Some instances where coverage would apply would be colliding with a building, collision with an animal, or theft. The higher the amount you are required to pay out-of-pocket, the less your company will charge you for insurance.

But I don’t know anything about car insurance

When choosing coverage, there really is no “perfect” insurance plan. Everyone’s situation is unique so your insurance should reflect that For instance, these questions may help you determine whether your personal situation could use an agent’s help.

  • Is my babysitter covered when using my vehicle?
  • Can I get a multi-policy discount for packaging my home and auto coverage?
  • Are there companies who specialize in insuring high-risk drivers?
  • Do I really need UM/UIM coverage?
  • Should I buy additional glass protection?
  • Is my business laptop covered if it gets stolen from my vehicle?
  • Is rental equipment covered for theft or damage?
  • What can I do if my company won’t pay a claim?
  • Can I pay claims out-of-pocket if I buy high deductibles?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions but one or more may apply to you, then you may want to think about talking to a licensed insurance agent. If you want to speak to an agent in your area, take a second and complete this form or you can go here for a list of companies in your area. It only takes a few minutes and can provide invaluable advice.

Buying car insurance from a local agent

A small number of people just want to talk to a local agent and that is just fine! Licensed agents can answer important questions and help file insurance claims. One of the great benefits of comparing rates online is you can get the lowest rates and still have an agent to talk to. And providing support for local insurance agencies is important particularly in Columbia.

After completing this simple form, your coverage information is sent to insurance agents in Columbia who will return price quotes for your coverage. You never need to leave your house since price quotes are sent directly to your email. How’s that for easy!

To select a specific agent in Columbia, view this link.

Selecting an insurance company should depend on more than just a cheap price. Agents should be asked these questions:

Columbia SC insurance quotes

  • Does the agency have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau?
  • What insurance companies do they work with?
  • How much will you save each year by using a higher deductible?
  • Is working in the agency their full-time job?
  • What insurance company do they write the most business with?
  • Did they already check your driving record and credit reports?
  • Do they regularly work with personal auto policies?
  • Can glass repairs be made at your home?

After getting positive feedback to any questions you have and an affordable coverage quote, you’ve probably found an insurer that is a good match to adequately provide car insurance.

Quote often and quote early

Discount car insurance is available online and with local Columbia insurance agents, and you should be comparing both to get a complete price analysis. Some insurance providers do not offer online quoting and these small, regional companies work with independent agents.

Throughout this article, we presented a lot of ways to compare car insurance prices online. The most important thing to understand is the more companies you get rates for, the better your comparison will be. Drivers may discover the best prices are with a small local company. Regional companies often have lower prices on specific markets compared to the large companies like Allstate, Geico and Progressive.

More resources for learning

Much more information about car insurance in South Carolina can be found on the website for the South Carolina Department of Insurance located here. Visitors are able to get help finding coverage, report car insurance fraud, read state legal mandates and laws, and find disaster information.