7 Tips Guaranteed to Save on Auto Insurance Costs in Columbus Indiana

Are you sick and tired of scraping the payment together each month for car insurance? You’re in the same situation as many other Indiana consumers.

Multiple insurance companies compete for your hard-earned dollar, and it can be difficult to compare rates and get the definite lowest cost out there.

Smart consumers take time to shop coverage around at least once a year because insurance rates tend to go up over time. Just because you had the lowest rates two years ago you may be paying too much now. Starting now, forget anything you know (or think you know) about auto insurance because you’re going to get a crash course in the right way to reduce your cost while increasing coverage.

These seven discounts can slash auto insurance rates

Auto insurance companies do not advertise every available discount very clearly, so we break down both the well known as well as the least known auto insurance savings.

  • E-sign – A few companies may give you up to $50 just for signing your application online.
  • Memberships – Being a member of certain professional organizations is a good way to get lower rates on your policy.
  • Drivers Education – Require your teen driver to enroll in driver’s education if it’s offered in school.
  • Early Signing – A few companies offer discounts for buying a policy prior to your current policy expiring. This can save 10% or more.
  • Auto/Life Discount – Select insurance companies reward you with better rates if you take out a life insurance policy as well.
  • Defensive Driver – Taking part in a course in driver safety can save you 5% or more if your company offers it.
  • Employee of Federal Government – Active or retired federal employment could cut as much as 10% off with select insurance companies.

A little note about advertised discounts, some credits don’t apply to the entire cost. Most only cut the price of certain insurance coverages like medical payments or collision. So when the math indicates you can get free auto insurance, it doesn’t quite work that way.

Which insurance is the “right” coverage?

When it comes to buying the best auto insurance coverage for your vehicles, there really is no perfect coverage plan. Your needs are not the same as everyone else’s and a cookie cutter policy won’t apply. These are some specific questions can help discover if your insurance needs might need an agent’s assistance.

  • Will I be non-renewed for getting a DUI or other conviction?
  • Do I need added coverage for expensive stereo equipment?
  • Do I have coverage if my license is suspended?
  • Why am I required to buy high-risk coverage?
  • Do I need PIP (personal injury protection) coverage in Indiana?
  • Do I need motorclub coverage?
  • Do no-fault laws apply in Indiana?

If you’re not sure about those questions, you may need to chat with an insurance agent. To find lower rates from a local agent, fill out this quick form or go to this page to view a list of companies.

But I want to work with a local agent

A small number of people would prefer to buy from a licensed agent. One of the best bonuses of comparing insurance prices online is the fact that you can find lower rates and still choose a local agent.

By using this quick form, your insurance coverage information is emailed to insurance agents in Columbus who will battle to get your business. You don’t have to leave your computer as quotes are delivered to the email address you provide. How’s that for easy! You’ll get the best rates and a licensed agent to work with.

Picking an provider shouldn’t rely on just the price. Any agent should have no problem answering these questions:

  • Does the agency provide any after hours assistance?
  • Do the coverages you’re quoting properly cover your vehicle?
  • Which members of your family are coverage by the policy?
  • Does the agency support the community they serve?
  • Does the agency have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau?
  • Are there any hidden costs in their price quote and does it include driving and credit history?

Types of insurance agents in Columbus

When finding an insurance agent, there are a couple of types of agencies that you can select. Insurance agencies in Columbus are categorized either independent or captive.

Agency Captives

Captive agencies have only one company to place business with like Liberty Mutual, Allstate, Farmers Insurance or State Farm. These agents are not able to shop your coverage around so keep that in mind. Captives are trained well in insurance sales which helps them compete with independent agents.

The following are captive agencies in Columbus willing to provide price quote information.car insurance image

State Farm Insurance – 1720 Central Ave – Columbus, IN 47201 – (812) 372-8459
American Family Insurance – 1435 Washington St – Columbus, IN 47201 – (812) 379-1185
Shelter Insurance – 1122 25th St – Columbus, IN 47201 – (812) 376-9900
Farm Bureau Insurance – 221 Chestnut St – Columbus, IN 47201 – (812) 372-4483
Allstate Insurance – 2520 California St # C – Columbus, IN 47201 – (812) 378-0173

Independent Agents (or Brokers)

Independent insurance agents are not required to write business for one company so they can insure your vehicles with any number of different companies and potentially find a lower price. If your agent finds better pricing, your agent can switch companies and that require little work on your part.

When shopping rates, it’s recommended you contact several independent insurance agents to get the best comparison.

Shown below is a short list of independent agencies in Columbus that are able to give rate quotes.

Gibson’s Insurance – 2552 Mckinley Ave – Columbus, IN 47201 – (812) 379-1079
Prudential Insurance Co – 1015 3rd St # J – Columbus, IN 47201 – (812) 372-7420

To view a complete directory of insurance agents in Columbus, click here to link.

Upon receiving acceptable answers to any questions you have in addition to an acceptable price estimate, chances are good that you have found an auto insurance agent that meets your needs to adequately provide auto insurance.

Auto insurance coverage options

Learning about specific coverages of a auto insurance policy can be of help when determining which coverages you need for your vehicles. The coverage terms in a policy can be impossible to understand and coverage can change by endorsement. Listed below are the usual coverages found on the average auto insurance policy.

Comprehensive coverages

Comprehensive insurance coverage pays for damage OTHER than collision with another vehicle or object. You first have to pay a deductible and the remainder of the damage will be paid by comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive coverage protects against things like hail damage, a broken windshield and damage from a tornado or hurricane. The maximum payout you’ll receive from a claim is the ACV or actual cash value, so if it’s not worth much more than your deductible it’s not worth carrying full coverage.

Coverage for medical payments

Med pay and PIP coverage pay for expenses like funeral costs, pain medications, hospital visits and chiropractic care. They are often used to fill the gap from your health insurance program or if you do not have health coverage. They cover all vehicle occupants and will also cover if you are hit as a while walking down the street. Personal Injury Protection is not an option in every state and gives slightly broader coverage than med pay

Collision coverage

Collision insurance will pay to fix damage to your vehicle caused by collision with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. You will need to pay your deductible and the rest of the damage will be paid by collision coverage.

Collision coverage protects against things like backing into a parked car, colliding with another moving vehicle, driving through your garage door, rolling your car and colliding with a tree. Collision is rather expensive coverage, so consider dropping it from lower value vehicles. Drivers also have the option to bump up the deductible to bring the cost down.

save money concept

Uninsured and underinsured coverage

This protects you and your vehicle from other drivers when they either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. It can pay for hospital bills for your injuries as well as your vehicle’s damage.

Since many Indiana drivers have only the minimum liability required by law (25/50/10 in Indiana), it only takes a small accident to exceed their coverage. This is the reason having UM/UIM coverage is a good idea.

Coverage for liability

This protects you from damage that occurs to other people or property by causing an accident. This insurance protects YOU against claims from other people, and does not provide coverage for damage sustained by your vehicle in an accident.

Split limit liability has three limits of coverage: per person bodily injury, per accident bodily injury, and a property damage limit. You might see liability limits of 50/100/50 that translate to a $50,000 limit per person for injuries, $100,000 for the entire accident, and a total limit of $50,000 for damage to vehicles and property.

Liability can pay for things like pain and suffering, loss of income, funeral expenses, repair costs for stationary objects and medical expenses. How much coverage you buy is up to you, but buy higher limits if possible. Indiana state minimum liability requirements are 25,000/50,000/10,000 but drivers should carry higher limits.

Additional detailed information is located at the Indiana Department of Insurance website. Visitors are able to read industry bulletins, read enforcement actions against agents and companies, and file complaints about an insurance agent or broker.

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Compare but don’t skimp

While you’re price shopping online, don’t be tempted to buy less coverage just to save a little money. There have been many situations where someone sacrificed comprehensive coverage or liability limits and discovered at claim time that the few dollars in savings costed them thousands. Your goal should be to buy a smart amount of coverage at the best price.

We’ve covered a lot of information how to reduce auto insurance prices online. The key concept to understand is the more quotes you get, the better your comparison will be. You may even find the biggest savings come from an unexpected company. Some small companies can often insure niche markets at a lower cost as compared to the big name companies such as Progressive or GEICO.