I can’t think of anyone who looks forward to buying car insurance, especially knowing their premiums are too high. Drivers have so many car insurance companies to insure vehicles with, and although it’s a good thing to have a choice, it makes it harder to find the best rates for your vehicles.
Good Decisions Result in Lower Rates
An important part of buying insurance is that you know the factors that come into play when calculating your car insurance rates. Knowing what determines base rates empowers consumers to make smart changes that could result in better car insurance rates.
- Equipment add-ons that lower car insurance rates – Driving a car that has an advanced theft prevention system can help bring down rates. Anti-theft features such as GM’s OnStar, tamper alarm systems and vehicle immobilizers all hinder auto theft.
- Safer cars are cheaper to insure – Vehicles with high crash test scores can get you lower premiums. These vehicles reduce injuries and any reduction in injury severity means lower claim amounts and more competitive rates for policyholders.
- Having a spouse can save you money – Getting married actually saves money on your car insurance policy. Having a spouse usually means you are more mature than a single person and it’s proven that drivers who are married are more cautious.
- Discounts for multiple policies – The majority of insurance companies give discounts to policyholders who buy several policies from them. It’s known as a multi-policy discount. This can amount to 10 percent or more. Even if you’re getting this discount it’s still a good idea to compare rates to ensure the best deal. Consumers may find better rates by insuring with multiple companies.
- Where you live is a factor – Being located in less populated areas has it’s advantages when buying car insurance. Urban drivers tend to have congested traffic and longer commutes to work. Fewer drivers means fewer accidents as well as less vandalism and auto theft.
- High numbers of claims are not good – Car insurance companies in South Carolina give cheaper rates to drivers who do not rely on their insurance for small claims. If you frequently file small claims, you can pretty much guarantee either higher rates or even cancellation. Auto insurance is intended to be relied upon for major claims that would cause financial hardship.
- Women pay lower rates – Statistics demonstrate women tend to be less risk to insure than men. Now that doesn’t mean men are worse drivers. Both sexes are in accidents in similar percentages, but the males tend to have more serious accidents. They also have more aggressive citations such as reckless driving.
- Little extras can really add up – There are a ton of extra coverages that you can buy when buying car insurance. Coverages like personal injury protection, towing coverage and term life insurance are examples of these. They may seem like a good idea initially, but if they’re wasting money get rid of them and save.
Discounts are great for lower rates
Companies that sell car insurance don’t always list every discount very well, so we break down both the well known and also the lesser-known ways to save on car insurance. If you don’t get every credit possible, you are paying more than you should be.
- Early Signing – Some companies give discounts for switching to them prior to your current policy expiring. This can save 10% or more.
- Paperwork-free – Some insurance companies may give you up to $50 for buying your policy over the internet.
- Theft Prevention Discount – Vehicles with anti-theft systems prevent vehicle theft and will save you 10% or more.
- Life Insurance Discount – Select insurance companies reward you with lower rates if you buy a life insurance policy as well.
- Anti-lock Brakes – Cars that have steering control and anti-lock brakes prevent accidents and earn discounts up to 10%.
- Military Discounts – Having a family member in the military may qualify for rate reductions.
- Safe Driver Discount – Drivers who avoid accidents can get discounts for up to 45% lower rates than less cautious drivers.
- Drivers Education – Cut your cost by having your teen driver enroll in driver’s education in high school.
A little note about advertised discounts, some credits don’t apply to the entire cost. Some only apply to the cost of specific coverages such as medical payments or collision. So even though it sounds like it’s possible to get free car insurance, car insurance companies aren’t that generous.
Save $458 a year? Really?
Consumers can’t ignore all the ads for car insurance savings by companies like Allstate, GEICO and Progressive. All the ads say the same thing that you’ll save big if you change to them.<img class="alignright" style="padding-top:15px" src="https://www.carinsurancediy.com/wp-content/uploads/ci175-74.jpg" alt="Mauldin SC car insurance prices” />
How can each company make the same claim? This is how they do it.
All companies are able to cherry pick for the type of driver that makes them money. A good example of a driver they prefer could possibly be between 25 and 40, is a homeowner, and drives newer vehicles. A propective insured who fits that profile receives the best rates and is almost guaranteed to pay quite a bit less when switching companies.
Potential insureds who do not match these standards must pay a higher premium and this can result in business going elsewhere. The ad wording is “customers that switch” but not “drivers who get quotes” save that much money. That’s why insurance companies can confidently advertise the savings. This illustrates why you absolutely need to compare as many rates as you can. You cannot predict which car insurance company will give you the biggest savings.
Additional resources for South Carolina consumers
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, read enforcement actions against agents and companies, and download brochures.
And the best car insurance company is…
Cost effective car insurance can be bought on the web and also from your neighborhood Mauldin agents, and you should compare price quotes from both to have the best chance of lowering rates. Some companies may not provide you the ability to get quotes online and most of the time these small insurance companies sell through independent agents.
When buying insurance coverage, you should never reduce needed coverages to save money. In too many instances, an insured dropped full coverage and discovered at claim time that saving that couple of dollars actually costed them tens of thousands. Your strategy should be to find the BEST coverage for the lowest price, not the least amount of coverage.