Nobody I know looks forward to paying for car insurance, in particular when the price is too high.
Big companies like State Farm, Progressive and GEICO constantly bombard you with TV and radio ads and consumers find it hard to see through the deception and effectively compare rates to find the best deal.
If you currently have car insurance, you stand a good chance to be able to cut costs considerably using these methods. Buying car insurance in Columbus is not that difficult. But Ohio car owners must learn the way insurance companies compete online and apply this information to your search.
How to Lower Your Car Insurance Cost in Columbus, OH
There are multiple methods to compare car insurance prices and some are less labor-intensive and much quicker. You can spend your afternoon driving to local insurance agents in Columbus, or you can stay home and use the web to quickly compare rates.
Many of the larger companies participate in a marketplace where prospective buyers only type in their quote data once, and each participating company then gives them pricing determined by their information. This system prevents you from having to do quote requests for each company.
To find out what other companies charge click here (opens in new window).
The one downside to getting quotes like this is you can’t choose which providers to get pricing from. If you prefer to choose from a list of companies to request quotes from, we have assembled a list of the cheapest car insurance companies in Ohio. Click to view list.
Whichever method you choose, compare the exact same quote information with every price quote. If your comparisons have different deductibles it will be very difficult to determine the lowest rate in Columbus. Just a small difference in coverages can result in a big premium difference. And when comparing car insurance rates, know that quoting more helps locate better pricing.
Don’t miss out on these money-saving discounts
The price of auto insurance can be rather high, but you may find discounts to help bring down the price. Some trigger automatically when you get a quote, but a few need to be asked about before being credited.
- Drive Safe and Save – Safe drivers may save up to 50% more than drivers with accident claims.
- Bundle and Save – When you combine your home and auto insurance with one insurance company you could get a discount of at least 10% off all policies.
- Multiple Vehicles – Having multiple vehicles on one policy may reduce the rate for each vehicle.
- E-sign – Certain companies may give you up to $50 just for signing your application on their website.
- Drive Less and Save – Low mileage vehicles could qualify for lower rates on the low mileage vehicles.
- Defensive Driving Course – Completing a driver safety course could save 5% or more if you qualify.
As a disclaimer on discounts, most credits do not apply to the entire policy premium. Most cut specific coverage prices like liability and collision coverage. Even though it may seem like you would end up receiving a 100% discount, companies wouldn’t make money that way. But all discounts will bring down your overall premium however.
Tips to Get Lower Columbus Rates
It’s important that you understand some of the elements that go into determining your car insurance rates. When you know what positively or negatively controls the rates you pay allows you to make educated decisions that may reward you with big savings.
Listed below are some of the items companies use to determine rates.
- Optional equipment can affect rates – Driving a car with an alarm system can help lower your rates. Theft prevention features like LoJack tracking devices, vehicle tamper alarm systems or GM’s OnStar system all hinder auto theft.
- Your job and insurance rates – Occupations such as real estate brokers, executives and accountants tend to have higher rates than average in part from high stress and lengthy work days. On the flip side, jobs such as pilots, athletes and the unemployed receive lower rates.
- Liability coverage is peace of mind – The liability section of your policy will protect you if a jury decides you are liable for damages caused by your negligence. Liability insurance provides legal defense which can be incredibly expensive. Carrying liability coverage is mandatory and cheap compared to insuring for physical damage coverage, so buy as much as you can afford.
- Your credit rating is important – Your credit rating is a huge factor in calculating your car insurance rates. Consumers who have high credit ratings tend to be less risk to insure than drivers who have poor credit. If your credit score can use some improvement, you could potentially save money when insuring your by improving your rating.
- Performance makes a difference – The performance of the vehicle you are buying insurance for makes a huge difference in determining your rates. Economy passenger vehicles usually have the lowest rates, but the cost you end up paying is determined by many additional factors.
Quote online but work with a neighborhood agent
Some people prefer to buy from a local agent. The best thing about comparing rates online is the fact that you can find lower rates but still work with a licensed agent. Supporting local businesses is important particularly in Columbus.
To help locate an agent, after submitting this short form, your insurance coverage information is immediately sent to participating agents in Columbus who will return price quotes for your coverage. You won’t need to visit any agencies due to the fact that quote results will go immediately to your email address. How’s that for easy! You can find the lowest rates and an insurance agent to talk to.
Not all insurance agencies are the same
When looking for a good Columbus insurance agent, there are two types of agencies from which to choose. Agencies in Columbus can either be independent or captive.
Independent agencies are not locked into one company so they can insure your vehicles with many different companies and potentially find a lower price. If your agent finds better pricing, they simply move the coverage in-house and you won’t have to switch agencies. When shopping rates, you should always contact at least one independent agent to have the most options to choose from.
Listed below is a list of independent agents in Columbus who may be able to give you price quotes.
Acceptance Insurance Agency – 2100 Morse Rd – Columbus, OH 43229 – (614) 885-3100
Rex Ell Agency Inc – 1971 W 5th Ave # 1 – Columbus, OH 43212 – (614) 486-5361
American Agency Inc – 2935 Kenny Rd # 240 – Columbus, OH 43221 – (614) 442-1400
Nationwide Insurance – 2000 W Henderson Rd – Columbus, OH 43220 – (614) 459-5903
Mc Cune Agency – – Columbus, OH 43220 – (614) 451-5558
Captive Insurance Agents
Captive agents can only write with one company and examples are State Farm or Allstate. They are unable to place coverage with different providers so it’s a take it or leave it situation. These agents are very knowledgeable on their company’s products which helps them compete with independent agents.
Shown below are captive insurance agencies in Columbus willing to provide rate quotes.
American Family Insurance – 615 Hilliard Rome Rd – Columbus, OH 43228 – (614) 851-1166
Allstate Insurance Co – 4209 Donlyn Ct – Columbus, OH 43232 – (614) 751-1200
State Farm Insurance – 5077 Olentangy River Rd # 28 – Columbus, OH 43214 – (614) 457-5070
Farmers Insurance Group – 4480 Refugee Rd # 311 – Columbus, OH 43232 – (614) 866-1176
Liberty Mutual Insurance – 2280 Henderson Rd # A – Columbus, OH 43220 – (614) 459-2008
To view a complete directory of car insurance agents in Columbus, please click here.
Deciding on an insurance agent needs to be determined by more than just the premium amount. These questions are important to ask:
- Which insurance companies are they affiliated with?
- Are there any hidden costs in their price quote and does it include driving and credit history?
- Are you getting all the discounts the company offers?
- What insurance companies do they recommend if they are an independent agent?
- Are they properly licensed to sell insurance in Ohio?
- Did they already check your driving record and credit reports?
- Is working in the agency their full-time job?
Upon getting positive feedback for all questions you ask in addition to an acceptable price estimate, chances are good that you have found an insurance agency that will service your policy.
Additional information is available on the website for the Ohio Department of Insurance through this link. Ohio drivers can find a variety of consumer forms, find out industry alerts, file complaints about a company, and discover disciplinary actions.
The car insurance bait and switch
Car insurance providers like State Farm, Allstate and GEICO continually stream ads in print and on television. They all make the same claim about savings after switching your coverage to them. How does each company make almost identical claims? This is how they do it.
All the different companies are able to cherry pick for the driver that earns them a profit. For example, a desirable insured might be over the age of 50, a clean driving record, and has great credit. Any new insured who fits that profile is entitled to the best price and therefore will save quite a bit of money when switching.
Drivers who don’t qualify for this ideal profile will have to pay higher rates which usually ends up with business going elsewhere. The ads say “customers that switch” but not “drivers who get quotes” save money. That’s the way companies can state the savings.
Because of the profiling, you absolutely need to get quotes from several different companies. Because you never know which company will give you the biggest savings.
One last thing about your coverage
Affordable car insurance can be purchased on the web and also from your neighborhood Columbus agents, so compare prices from both to have the best selection. Some insurance companies may not provide you the ability to get quotes online and many times these smaller companies only sell through independent insurance agents.
When trying to cut insurance costs, it’s very important that you do not buy less coverage just to save a little money. There have been many cases where an accident victim reduced liability limits or collision coverage only to regret that it was a big mistake. The ultimate goal is to find the BEST coverage at a price you can afford, not the least amount of coverage.