Finding lower premiums on Wilmington auto insurance can seem to be hard for consumers new to shopping for insurance online. There are so many choices that it can quickly become a challenge to find lower rates in Wilmington.
How to Buy Wilmington Auto Insurance Online
To find the best auto insurance prices, there are several ways to get quotes from auto insurance companies in your area. The simplest method to find the lowest rates consists of obtaining rate quotes online. It is quite easy and can be accomplished in just a few minutes using one of these methods.
The most efficient way to find low rates is a comparison rater form click to view form in new window. This method saves time by eliminating separate quotation requests to each individual auto insurance company. In just a few minutes this one form will return quotes from multiple companies. This is by far the quickest method.
A slightly less efficient method to find lower rates requires you to visit each individual company website and fill out their own quote form. For sake of this example, let’s assume you want to compare rates from GEICO, Liberty Mutual and American Family. To find out each rate you need to go to every website to input your insurance information, and that’s why the first method is more popular. For a list of links to insurance companies in Wilmington, click here.
The least efficient method to compare rates is to waste gas driving to insurance agents’ offices. The internet has reduced the need for local agents unless you want the professional guidance of a local Wilmington agent. You can, however, obtain prices from the web but buy from a local insurance agent and we’ll talk about that later.
It doesn’t matter which method you choose, just compare apples-to-apples coverage information for every company. If you are comparing unequal deductibles or liability limits it will be impossible to decipher which rate is best in Wilmington. Slightly different insurance coverages can result in a big premium difference. And when comparison shopping, more quotes helps you find a better price.
You probably qualify for some discounts
Insurance can cost an arm and a leg, buy you may qualify for discounts that many people don’t even know exist. Most are applied at the time of purchase, but less common discounts must be specifically requested prior to getting the savings.
- Organization Discounts – Participating in a civic or occupational organization could trigger savings when buying auto insurance.
- Government Employees – Simply working for the federal government could cut as much as 10% off with select insurance companies.
- Safety Course Discount – Completing a course teaching defensive driving skills could save 5% or more if your company offers it.
- College Student – Any of your kids living away from home attending college and do not have access to a covered vehicle may qualify for this discount.
- Multi-car Discount – Buying coverage for more than one vehicle with the same company could earn a price break for each car.
- Low Mileage – Fewer annual miles can qualify you for discounted rates on garaged vehicles.
- Discount for Life Insurance – Companies who offer life insurance give a break if you buy a life insurance policy as well.
- Claim Free – Good drivers with no accidents can earn big discounts when compared with bad drivers.
- Anti-theft System – Cars that have factory anti-theft systems help deter theft and will save you 10% or more.
- Discounts for Safe Drivers – Drivers who don’t get into accidents may save up to 50% more than less cautious drivers.
It’s important to understand that most of the big mark downs will not be given to the entire cost. A few only apply to individual premiums such as comp or med pay. So even though it sounds like it’s possible to get free car insurance, it doesn’t quite work that way. Any amount of discount will help reduce the cost of coverage.
Shop online but buy locally
Certain consumers would rather sit down with an agent and there is nothing wrong with that. The biggest benefit of getting online price quotes is the fact that you can find the lowest rates and still choose a local agent. And supporting small agencies is important especially in Wilmington.
To make it easy to find an agent, after completing this quick form, your coverage information is submitted to agents in your area who will battle for your coverage. You never need to leave your house due to the fact that quote results will go immediately to your email address. You’ll get the best rates AND a local agent.
Insurance agent types
When searching for a reputable insurance agent or broker, you must know there are a couple types of insurance agents to choose from. Agencies in Wilmington are classified as either independent (non-captive) or captive.
Independent Agencies or Brokers
Independent agencies do not work for one specific company but rather can write business with multiple insurance companies and possibly get better coverage at lower prices. To transfer your coverage to a different company, the business is moved internally and that require little work on your part.
When comparison shopping, it’s recommended you get quotes from several independent insurance agents to ensure the widest selection of prices.Most can insure with smaller regional carriers which can be an advantage.
Below are Wilmington independent insurance agents that are able to give price quotes.
- Roberts and Assoc Insurance – 925 S Kerr Ave – Wilmington, NC 28403 – (910) 792-1201
- Coastline Insurance Benefits – – Wilmington, NC 28403 – (910) 790-9361
- Schnitzer-Slate Agency Inc – 5725 Oleander Dr – Wilmington, NC 28403 – (910) 392-7020
- Direct General Ins Agency – 4210 Oleander Dr – Wilmington, NC 28403 – (910) 395-5577
- Walker Taylor Agency Inc – 1430 Commonwealth Dr # 302 – Wilmington, NC 28403 – (910) 509-9000
Captive Insurance Agents
Captive agencies have only one company to place business with like State Farm, Allstate and AAA. These agents are unable to provide prices from multiple companies so they have to upsell other benefits. Captive agencies are usually quite knowledgeable on their products and sales techniques which can be an advantage. Consumers sometimes choose to use a captive agent mainly due to loyalty to the company and the convenience of having a single billing for all their coverages.
The following are captive agencies in Wilmington that are able to give price quotes.<img class="alignright" style="padding-top:15px;" src="https://www.carinsurancediy.com/wp-content/uploads/ci175-37.jpg" alt="North Carolina car insurance prices”/>
- Allstate Insurance Co – 3902 Shipyard Blvd # 2 – Wilmington, NC 28403 – (910) 392-3392
- Farm Bureau Insurance – 3137 Wrightsville Ave – Wilmington, NC 28403 – (910) 343-9900
- State Farm Insurance – 3600 S College Rd # D – Wilmington, NC 28412 – (910) 791-6026
To view a complete directory of captive agencies in Wilmington, visit this site.
Deciding on a car insurance agent should depend on more than just the bottom line cost. Any agent should have no problem answering these questions:
- If you are a high risk driver, do they have special markets for your coverage?
- Do they carry Errors and Omissions coverage?
- Are claims handled at the agent’s location?
- Who are their largest clients?
- Do they feel the quoted coverages are adequate?
- Is working in the agency their full-time job?
Once you have received satisfactory answers to all your questions and a good coverage price, it’s possible that you found an auto insurance agent that meets your needs to insure your vehicles. But remember, consumers can terminate coverage at any point so don’t assume that you are obligated to any specific agency with no way out.
There’s no such thing as the perfect policy
When choosing the best auto insurance coverage, there is no cookie cutter policy. Everyone’s situation is a little different.
Here are some questions about coverages that can help discover if your insurance needs may require specific advice.
- How much liability coverage do I need in North Carolina?
- Should I buy more coverage than the required North Carolina minimum liability coverage?
- How can I get high-risk coverage after a DUI?
- Does my personal auto insurance policy cover using my vehicle for business use?
- Which companies will insure high-risk drivers?
- Do I need medical payments coverage since I have good health insurance?
- Is my nanny covered when driving my vehicle?
If you can’t answer these questions but you know they apply to you, you might consider talking to an insurance agent. If you don’t have a local agent, simply complete this short form.
Coverages available on your policy
Having a good grasp of auto insurance can be of help when determining the best coverages and the correct deductibles and limits. The terms used in a policy can be impossible to understand and nobody wants to actually read their policy.
Liability auto insurance
This coverage provides protection from damages or injuries you inflict on a person or their property that is your fault. Coverage consists of three different limits, bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage. As an example, you may have values of 100/300/100 which stand for $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. Another option is a combined single limit or CSL which limits claims to one amount and claims can be made without the split limit restrictions.
Liability can pay for things such as funeral expenses, court costs and medical services. How much coverage you buy is a decision to put some thought into, but it’s cheap coverage so purchase as high a limit as you can afford. North Carolina state law requires minimum liability limits of 30,000/60,000/25,000 but it’s recommended drivers buy more liability than the minimum.
Uninsured and underinsured coverage
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage gives you protection from other drivers when they do not carry enough liability coverage. It can pay for injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants as well as damage to your vehicle.
Since many North Carolina drivers only purchase the least amount of liability that is required (which is 30/60/25), it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages is a good idea. Usually these coverages are set the same as your liablity limits.
This coverage pays for damage to your vehicle resulting from colliding with another car or object. You have to pay a deductible then your collision coverage will kick in.
Collision can pay for things such as hitting a parking meter, sustaining damage from a pot hole, scraping a guard rail and driving through your garage door. This coverage can be expensive, so analyze the benefit of dropping coverage from lower value vehicles. It’s also possible to raise the deductible in order to get cheaper collision rates.
This coverage pays for damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. A deductible will apply then your comprehensive coverage will pay.
Comprehensive coverage pays for things such as falling objects, damage from getting keyed, hitting a bird and damage from a tornado or hurricane. The maximum amount a auto insurance company will pay at claim time is the market value of your vehicle, so if your deductible is as high as the vehicle’s value consider removing comprehensive coverage.
Coverage for medical payments
Coverage for medical payments and/or PIP provide coverage for short-term medical expenses for EMT expenses, nursing services, hospital visits, rehabilitation expenses and funeral costs. The coverages can be used to fill the gap from your health insurance policy or if you do not have health coverage. Coverage applies to all vehicle occupants as well as getting struck while a pedestrian. PIP is not available in all states but can be used in place of medical payments coverage
More effort can pay off
We’ve covered many tips how you can shop for auto insurance online. The key thing to remember is the more quotes you get, the higher the chance of saving money. You may be surprised to find that the lowest priced auto insurance comes from a company that doesn’t do a lot of advertising.
The cheapest auto insurance can be sourced online and with local Wilmington insurance agents, so you should be comparing quotes from both so you have a total pricing picture. There are still a few companies who do not offer you the ability to get quotes online and usually these small, regional companies provide coverage only through local independent agents.
As you go through the steps to switch your coverage, you should never reduce coverage to reduce premium. There are many occasions where an insured cut liability coverage limits and discovered at claim time that the savings was not a smart move. Your aim should be to get the best coverage possible at the best price while not skimping on critical coverages.
Additional North Carolina consumer information
More information can be read on the North Carolina Department of Insurance website found here. Visitors are able to learn about insurance regulations, find a variety of consumer forms, get help finding coverage, and download brochures.