Columbia South Carolina Car Insurance Buying Tips You Aren’t Supposed to Know

Feel like you’re a prisoner to high-priced car insurance? Trust us when we tell you many Columbia consumers feel financially strained by their car insurance policy.

Big companies like GEICO and Progressive continually hit you with fancy advertisements and it can be hard to ignore the flashy ads and effectively compare rates to find the best deal.

Smart consumers take time to shop coverage around before your policy renews since rates go up and down regularly. If you had the best deal six months ago there is a good chance you can find better rates now. Ignore everything you know about car insurance because you’re about to learn one of the best ways to reduce your cost while improving coverage.

If you are paying for car insurance now, you should be able to save some money using these techniques. Buying car insurance in Columbia is not that difficult. But South Carolina drivers must know how insurance companies price online insurance and take advantage of how the system works.

Discounts are available to cut your rates

Companies offering auto insurance do not list all available discounts in a way that’s easy to find, so we break down both well-publicized and also the lesser-known ways to save on car insurance.

  • Life Insurance Discount – Some companies give better rates if you take out life insurance.
  • Clubs and Organizations – Being a member of certain professional organizations is a good way to get lower rates when shopping for car insurance.
  • Early Switch Discount – Select companies give a discount for switching policies before your current expiration date. It’s a savings of about 10%.
  • Military Discounts – Being deployed with a military unit may qualify for rate reductions.
  • Pay Now and Pay Less – If you pay your bill all at once instead of monthly or quarterly installments you could save 5% or more.
  • Auto/Home Discount – When you combine your home and auto insurance with the same insurance company you could get a discount of at least 10% off all policies.
  • New Vehicle Savings – Buying coverage on a new vehicle can be considerably cheaper since new cars are generally safer.

Keep in mind that most credits do not apply the the whole policy. Most cut specific coverage prices like medical payments or collision. Just because it seems like you can get free auto insurance, you’re out of luck.<img class="alignright" style="padding-top:15px" src="" alt="Auto insurance in Columbia South Carolina” />

For a list of providers with the best car insurance discounts in South Carolina, click here.

Which Car Insurance is Cheapest in Columbia?

Most major insurance companies provide price estimates directly from their websites. This process doesn’t take much effort as you just enter your coverage information into the quote form. When complete, their rating system obtains information on your driving record and credit history and returns a price quote. This makes it a lot easier to compare rates but having to visit different websites and type in the same information can be a bit tiresome and repetitive. But it’s absolutely necessary to do this in order to get better prices.

Compare rates the easy way

A less time-consuming method to get multiple rate quotes makes use of a single form to return rates from multiple companies. It saves time, eliminates repetitive work, and makes online quotes much easier to do. After your information is entered, it is rated and you can choose any of the quote results. If one or more price quotes are lower than your current rates, it’s easy to complete the application and purchase coverage. This process takes 15 minutes at the most and you will find out if you’re overpaying now.

To quickly get comparison pricing now, click here to open in new window and enter your information. If you have a policy now, it’s recommended that you enter exactly as they are listed on your policy. This ensures you will get rate quotes based on the exact same insurance coverage.

Why your price might be higher

Smart consumers have a good feel for the different types of things that play a part in calculating your car insurance rates. Having a good understanding of what determines base rates enables informed choices that could result in lower car insurance prices.

  • Better crash test results mean better rates – Cars with high safety ratings can get you lower premiums. These vehicles protect occupants better and better occupant protection translates into fewer and smaller insurance claims and thus lower rates.
  • Men pay higher rates – Statistics have proven women are more cautious behind the wheel. However, this does not mean men are worse drivers. They both are in accidents at a similar rate, but the males have costlier accidents. They also receive more costly citations such as reckless driving. Youthful male drivers are several times more likely to be in an accident and therefore are the most expensive to insure.
  • Liability coverage protects you – Your policy’s liability coverage will protect you when a court rules you are at fault for personal injury or accident damage. It provides for a legal defense up to the limits shown on your policy. Liability insurance is quite affordable as compared to coverage for physical damage, so do not cut corners here.
  • Extra add-on coverages are wasting money – There are a lot of additional coverages that you can buy on your car insurance policy. Insurance for vanishing deductibles, towing coverage and membership fees are some examples. They may seem like a good idea initially, but your needs may have changed so eliminate the coverages to reduce your premium.
  • Bad driving skills means higher rates – Your driving citation history has a big impact on rates. Just one speeding ticket may increase your cost by twenty percent. Drivers with clean records receive lower rates than people who have multiple driving citations. Drivers who have severe citations such as hit and run, DWI or reckless driving convictions may need to file a SR-22 with the DMV in their state in order to drive a vehicle legally.
  • Small claims can cost you – Car insurance companies in South Carolina provide cheaper rates to policyholders who are claim-free. If you file claims often, you can look forward to either a policy non-renewal or much higher rates. Auto insurance is designed for larger claims.
  • Proper usage rating affects rates – The more you drive in a year the higher your rate. Almost all companies price each vehicle’s coverage based upon how you use the vehicle. Cars and trucks not used for work or commuting receive lower rates than vehicles that are driven to work every day. Ask your agent if your car insurance policy is rated on the correct driver usage, because improper ratings can cost you money.
  • High performance equals high price – The performance of the car you drive makes a big difference in how high your rates are. Economy passenger vehicles generally receive the lowest base rates, but other factors influence the final cost greatly.

In conclusion

When you buy insurance online, do not buy poor coverage just to save money. There are too many instances where an insured cut liability limits or collision coverage and learned later that it was a big error on their part. The aim is to buy the best coverage you can find at a price you can afford.

Auto insurance in Columbia South Carolina

We covered a lot of techniques to shop for car insurance online. The key thing to remember is the more times you quote, the better chance you’ll have of finding lower rates. You may be surprised to find that the lowest rates come from a lesser-known regional company. Regional companies may often insure only within specific states and give getter rates compared to the large companies like Allstate, GEICO and Progressive.

Cheap car insurance can be purchased from both online companies and also from your neighborhood Columbia agents, and you should be comparing both in order to have the best price selection to choose from. Some companies may not provide online quoting and most of the time these small, regional companies sell through independent agents.

More consumer information in South Carolina

More tips and info about car insurance is located at the South Carolina Department of Insurance website. South Carolina drivers can discover disciplinary actions, download brochures, and read industry bulletins.