Car Insurance in Columbia – 5 Discounts to Better Rates

Searching for the most affordable Columbia car insurance over the internet can be rather challenging for people who are new to buying insurance online. When there are so many insurers to choose from, how can Columbia drivers possibly compare every company to locate the best available rates?

Compare the Market for Car Insurance in Columbia

Cutting your Columbia car insurance rates can be surprisingly simple. You just have to invest a few minutes to compare rate quotes online with multiple companies. It is quite easy and can be accomplished in a couple of different ways.

  1. One of the best ways to find the lowest comparison rates is to use a rate comparison form click here to open form in new window. This form saves time by eliminating separate quote forms to each individual car insurance company. Filling out one form will get you price quotes instantly. It’s the fastest way to compare.
  2. Another way to find lower rates requires a trip to the website for every company you want to comare to request a price quote. For instance, let’s assume you want rates from Progressive, Farmers and State Farm. You would have to go to every website to input your insurance information, which is why the first method is more popular. For a handy list of car insurance company links in Columbia, click here.
  3. The most time-consuming method of getting rate comparisons is driving to local Columbia insurance agencies. Shopping for car insurance online eliminates the need for an insurance agent unless you want the professional guidance only provided by licensed Columbia agents. It is possible to get prices online and still use a local agent and we’ll talk about that later.

Whichever way you use, make darn sure you compare exactly the same coverage limits and deductibles on every quote. If you use higher or lower deductibles it’s not possible to find the best deal in Columbia.

Don’t be fooled by advertising claims

South Carolina drivers constantly see and hear ads that promise big savings by companies like 21st Century, Allstate and State Farm. All the companies make the same claim about savings if you move to them.

How can each company say the same thing?

All the different companies have a certain “appetite” for the driver they prefer to insure. For example, a profitable customer might be profiled as between the ages of 30 and 50, insures multiple vehicles, and chooses high deductibles. A customer getting a price quote who matches those parameters will get the preferred rates and as a result will probably save quite a bit of money when switching.

Potential customers who don’t measure up to the requirements will be charged higher premiums which usually ends up with the customer not buying. The ad wording is “customers who switch” not “everyone that quotes” save money. This is how insurance companies can advertise the savings.

That is why drivers must compare as many rates as you can. It is impossible to predict which company will have the lowest rates.

Discounts can save BIG

Insurance can cost an arm and a leg, buy you may qualify for discounts to reduce the price significantly. Certain discounts will be triggered automatically when you purchase, but some may not be applied and must be inquired about prior to getting the savings. If you’re not getting every credit you qualify for, you’re paying more than you need to.

  • Resident Student – Youth drivers who attend school more than 100 miles from home without a vehicle on campus can receive lower rates.
  • Passive Restraint Discount – Factory air bags or motorized seat belts can receive discounts of up to 25% or more.
  • Braking Control Discount – Vehicles with anti-lock braking systems prevent accidents and will save you 10% or more.
  • Club Memberships – Being a member of certain professional organizations could qualify you for a break when buying car insurance.
  • Employee of Federal Government – Employees or retirees of the government can earn a discount up to 10% with select insurance companies.

Keep in mind that most of the big mark downs will not be given to the entire cost. Most only cut the cost of specific coverages such as comprehensive or collision. So even though they make it sound like all the discounts add up to a free policy, companies wouldn’t make money that way. Any qualifying discounts will help reduce your premiums.

For a list of insurance companies with the best car insurance discounts in South Carolina, click this link.

Your insurance agent down the street

Certain consumers would prefer to get advice from a local agent. Licensed agents can answer important questions and help submit paperwork. The biggest benefit of getting online price quotes is you can get the lowest rates but still work with a licensed agent. Supporting local insurance agencies is important particularly in Columbia.

Upon completion of this short form, your information is immediately sent to local insurance agents in Columbia who will compete to get your business. You never need to drive around as quotes are delivered straight to your inbox.

Listed below is a list of car insurance companies in Columbia that are able to give rate quotes.

  • Allstate Insurance – 9810 Two Notch Rd, Columbia, SC 29223 – (803) 865-0047
  • Grady Ray Agency – 1636 Horseshoe Dr # 1, Columbia, SC 29223 – (803) 788-8185
  • Harper Insurance – 2917 Millwood Ave, Columbia, SC 29205 – (803) 256-7114
  • Farm Bureau Insurance – 960 George Rogers Blvd, Columbia, SC 29201 – (803) 799-0655
  • Brown & Brown Insurance – 320 Old Woodlands Rd, Columbia, SC 29209 – (803) 783-0152
  • State Farm Insurance – 2768 Decker Blvd # J, Columbia, SC 29206 – (803) 865-7800

To view a complete directory of car insurance agents in Columbia, go to this page.Car insurance in South Carolina

Selecting an provider shouldn’t rely on just the premium amount. Agents should be asked these questions:

  • How many years of experience in personal lines insurance coverages do they have?
  • How long has their agency been open in Columbia?
  • Are glass claims handled on-site or do you have to take your vehicle to a repair shop?
  • Do the companies they represent have a solid financial rating?
  • If you have an accident, are you able to get your vehicle repaired at the shop of your choice?
  • If your car is totalled, how to they determine the replacement cost?
  • Is the agency involved in supporting local community causes?
  • Will you be dealing directly with the agent or with a Custom Service Representative (CSR)?

After receiving positive responses to any questions you have and an affordable coverage quote, it’s possible that you found a company that will insure your vehicles. But keep in mind once you purchase a policy you can cancel a policy for any reason so don’t think you are locked into the car insurance policy with no way to switch.

The coverage is in the details

Learning about specific coverages of your car insurance policy can be of help when determining the right coverages at the best deductibles and correct limits. The terms used in a policy can be difficult to understand and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording.

Collision protection

This will pay to fix damage to your vehicle resulting from a collision with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. You first must pay a deductible then your collision coverage will kick in.

Collision can pay for things such as sustaining damage from a pot hole, crashing into a building, hitting a parking meter and colliding with another moving vehicle. This coverage can be expensive, so consider removing coverage from vehicles that are 8 years or older. It’s also possible to choose a higher deductible to save money on collision insurance.

Coverage for medical payments

Med pay and PIP coverage pay for short-term medical expenses for EMT expenses, dental work, ambulance fees, rehabilitation expenses and hospital visits. They can be used to cover expenses not covered by your health insurance program or if you lack health insurance entirely. Coverage applies to not only the driver but also the vehicle occupants in addition to if you are hit as a while walking down the street. Personal Injury Protection is not available in all states and may carry a deductible


Liability insurance protects you from damages or injuries you inflict on a person or their property by causing an accident. Split limit liability has three limits of coverage: bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage. As an example, you may have limits of 50/100/50 which means $50,000 bodily injury coverage, $100,000 for the entire accident, and property damage coverage for $50,000. Alternatively, you may have one limit called combined single limit (CSL) which limits claims to one amount rather than limiting it on a per person basis.

Liability coverage protects against things such as structural damage, pain and suffering and bail bonds. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is a decision to put some thought into, but it’s cheap coverage so purchase as much as you can afford. South Carolina requires drivers to carry at least 25,000/50,000/25,000 but you should think about purchasing more liability than the minimum.

Comprehensive coverages

Comprehensive insurance pays to fix your vehicle from damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. You first have to pay a deductible and then insurance will cover the rest of the damage.

Comprehensive insurance covers things such as damage from flooding, a broken windshield and hail damage. The maximum amount a car insurance company will pay at claim time is the ACV or actual cash value, so if your deductible is as high as the vehicle’s value consider dropping full coverage.

Uninsured and underinsured coverage

South Carolina auto insurance

Your UM/UIM coverage protects you and your vehicle’s occupants from other motorists when they either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. Covered claims include injuries to you and your family as well as your vehicle’s damage.

Since a lot of drivers only carry the minimum required liability limits (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. Most of the time the UM/UIM limits are identical to your policy’s liability coverage.

Much more information about car insurance in South Carolina can be read on the South Carolina Department of Insurance website located here. Visitors are able to discover disciplinary actions, find a variety of consumer forms, and download brochures.

Also read more on this page for car insurance in South Carolina and this link where you can make Columbia car insurance comparisons.

In conclusion

In this article, we covered many ideas to compare car insurance prices online. The key thing to remember is the more quotes you get, the better your comparison will be. You may be surprised to find that the lowest priced car insurance comes from a lesser-known regional company.

Insureds switch companies for any number of reasons including unfair underwriting practices, policy cancellation, denial of a claim and delays in responding to claim requests. Whatever your reason, finding the right car insurance provider is less work than it seems.

When shopping online for car insurance, make sure you don’t skimp on critical coverages to save a buck or two. There are too many instances where drivers have reduced collision coverage only to regret that a couple dollars of savings turned into a financial nightmare. Your focus should be to purchase plenty of coverage at a price you can afford, not the least amount of coverage.