Overpriced auto insurance can overdraw your bank account and force you to prioritize other expenses. Shopping your coverage around is a smart way to cut your insurance bill. Because there are so many companies to choose from, it’s nearly impossible to locate the cheapest insurance company.
It’s important to price shop coverage at least once a year because prices are usually higher with each renewal. Just because you found the best deal a couple years back the chances are good that you can find a lower rate today. Forget anything you know (or think you know) about auto insurance because you’re about to find out the tricks you need to know to find great coverage at a great price.
Compare North Charleston Auto Insurance Costs
Cutting your North Charleston auto insurance rates can be quick and easy. Drivers just need to spend a few minutes comparing rates provided by online insurance companies. This is very easy and can be done in a couple of different ways.
The fastest way to find the lowest comparison rates would be an industry-wide quote request form click here to open form in new window. This easy form saves time by eliminating separate quotes to each individual auto insurance company. Just one form gets you coverage quotes from multiple companies.
A different way to compare prices is to take the time to go to each individual company website to complete a price quote. For instance, let’s say you want rates from Nationwide, GEICO and State Farm. You would have to visit each site to input your insurance information, which is why the first method is more popular.
For a handy list of car insurance company links in North Charleston, click here.
It doesn’t matter which method you choose, just make sure you use exactly the same coverage limits on every quote you get. If you enter different deductibles it will be impossible to truly determine the lowest rate in North Charleston.
Do you qualify for a discount?
Companies don’t list all their discounts in an easy-to-find place, so the following is a list of both the well known and the more hidden savings tricks you should be using. If they aren’t giving you every credit you deserve, you are throwing money away.
- Homeowners Savings – Owning a home in North Charleston can save you money because maintaining a house shows financial diligence.
- New Car Discount – Insuring a new car can save up to 30% because new vehicles have to meet stringent safety requirements.
- Sign Early and Save – A few companies offer discounts for signing up prior to your current policy expiration. It can save you around 10%.
- No Claims – Drivers with accident-free driving histories can earn big discounts compared to bad drivers.
- Good Student Discount – Performing well in school can be rewarded with saving of up to 25%. Earning this discount can benefit you until age 25.
Consumers should know that most of the big mark downs will not be given to the entire cost. Most only apply to the cost of specific coverages such as comp or med pay. Even though it may seem like you could get a free auto insurance policy, auto insurance companies aren’t that generous.
To choose companies who offer auto insurance discounts in South Carolina, click here to view.
What coverages do I need?
When it comes to choosing the best auto insurance coverage, there is no “perfect” insurance plan. Everyone’s situation is a little different so this has to be addressed. For instance, these questions might help in determining if your situation would benefit from an agent’s advice.
- Is business equipment covered while in my vehicle?
- Can I afford low physical damage deductibles?
- Is borrowed equipment or tools covered if stolen or damaged?
- Do I have coverage if my license is suspended?
- Where can I get insurance after a DUI in South Carolina?
- Am I covered when using my vehicle for business?
- Do I need PIP coverage since I have good health insurance?
- Can I afford to buy a different vehicle if my vehicle is totaled?
- When should I remove comp and collision on my vehicle?
- Am I covered by my employer’s commercial auto policy when driving my personal car for business?
If it’s difficult to answer those questions but you think they might apply to your situation, you might consider talking to a licensed agent. To find an agent in your area, simply complete this short form or you can also visit this page to select a carrier It’s fast, doesn’t cost anything and can help protect your family.
Even more information is available at the South Carolina Department of Insurance website. South Carolina consumers can read state legal mandates and laws, file complaints about a company, read enforcement actions against agents and companies, and learn about insurance regulations.
Auto insurance coverage options
Having a good grasp of your auto insurance policy helps when choosing the right coverages for your vehicles. Auto insurance terms can be confusing and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording. Below you’ll find typical coverage types available from auto insurance companies.
This coverage provides protection from injuries or damage you cause to a person or their property in an accident. It protects you against other people’s claims, and doesn’t cover damage to your own property or vehicle.
It consists of three limits, bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage. Your policy might show values of 100/300/100 that translate to $100,000 in coverage for each person’s injuries, a limit of $300,000 in injury protection per accident, and $100,000 of coverage for damaged propery.
Liability coverage protects against claims such as structural damage, funeral expenses, repair costs for stationary objects and medical services. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is a decision to put some thought into, but you should buy as high a limit as you can afford. South Carolina state minimum liability requirements are 25,000/50,000/25,000 but drivers should carry more liability than the minimum.
This coverage pays for damage that is not covered by collision coverage. A deductible will apply then your comprehensive coverage will pay.
Comprehensive coverage pays for things like rock chips in glass, a broken windshield, fire damage, falling objects and hitting a deer. The maximum payout a auto insurance company will pay at claim time is the market value of your vehicle, so if it’s not worth much more than your deductible consider removing comprehensive coverage.
Collision coverage protection
Collision insurance covers damage to your vehicle resulting from colliding with an object or car. You have to pay a deductible then the remaining damage will be paid by your insurance company.
Collision insurance covers things like driving through your garage door, crashing into a ditch and crashing into a building. Collision is rather expensive coverage, so consider dropping it from vehicles that are 8 years or older. You can also raise the deductible to bring the cost down.
Medical payments coverage and PIP
Medical payments and Personal Injury Protection insurance reimburse you for immediate expenses for doctor visits, nursing services, dental work, prosthetic devices and EMT expenses. They are used to cover expenses not covered by your health insurance plan or if you do not have health coverage. Coverage applies to you and your occupants as well as any family member struck as a pedestrian. Personal injury protection coverage is not universally available but it provides additional coverages not offered by medical payments coverage
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage provides protection when the “other guys” do not carry enough liability coverage. Covered losses include injuries to you and your family as well as damage to your vehicle.
Since many South Carolina drivers carry very low liability coverage limits (which is 25/50/25), it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. That’s why carrying high Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage is very important.
Smart shoppers get results
In this article, we presented many tips how you can compare auto insurance prices online. The most important thing to understand is the more quotes you get, the better your chances of lowering your rates. You may even find the lowest rates come from the smaller companies. Regional companies may cover specific market segments cheaper than the large multi-state companies such as Progressive or GEICO.
As you prepare to switch companies, it’s not a good idea to sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. In many instances, drivers have reduced physical damage coverage and discovered at claim time they didn’t purchase enough coverage. The aim is to buy the best coverage you can find at a price you can afford while not skimping on critical coverages.
Cost effective auto insurance can be purchased on the web as well as from independent agents in North Charleston, and you need to price shop both so you have a total pricing picture. Some insurance providers don’t offer the ability to get a quote online and usually these small, regional companies provide coverage only through local independent agents.