Popular Techniques for Buying Sumter, SC Auto Insurance at a Discount

Are you sick and tired of being strong-armed to insure your vehicles every month? Your situation is no different than millions of other consumers.

Because you have many online and local companies to choose from, it can be impossible to locate the most affordable provider.

It’s important to do rate comparisons every six months because insurance rates fluctuate regularly. If you had the best rates six months ago other companies may now be cheaper. So just forget anything you know (or think you know) about auto insurance because I’m going to teach you the things you must know in order to remove unneeded coverages and save money.

How to Compare Auto Insurance Quotes in Sumter, SC

Effectively comparing auto insurance prices can be a daunting task if you don’t understand the most efficient way. You could spend your day talking about coverages with insurance agencies in Sumter, or you could save time and use the internet to get the quickest rates.

Many popular insurance companies take part in a program where prospective buyers complete one form, and each company returns a competitive quote based on that data. This eliminates the need for quote requests to each individual auto insurance company. To use this form to compare rates click here (opens in new window).

The only downside to using this type of form is you cannot specify the companies to get quotes from. So if you want to select individual companies to compare rates, we have a listing of auto insurance companies in South Carolina. Click here to view list.

It doesn’t matter which method you choose, just make sure you use the exact same quote information with every price quote. If you use different deductibles you will not be able to determine the lowest rate in Sumter. Just a small difference in limits can mean a large discrepancy in price. It’s important to know that comparing a large number of companies will increase your chances of finding a better price.

Companies offer discounts so take them!

Car insurance is not cheap, buy you may qualify for discounts to help bring down the price. Some trigger automatically when you get a quote, but a few must be requested specifically prior to receiving the credit.

  • Pay Now and Pay Less – If you pay your bill all at once instead of making monthly payments you may reduce your total bill.
  • Sign Online – Certain companies give back up to $50 for buying your policy digitally online.
  • Discount for Life Insurance – Larger companies have better rates if you take out auto and life insurance together.
  • Drivers Education – Cut your cost by having your teen driver take driver’s ed class in school.
  • Low Mileage Discounts – Low mileage vehicles can earn better rates on cars that stay parked.
  • Senior Citizens – If you qualify as a senior citizen, you may qualify for a small decrease in premiums.
  • Good Students Pay Less – Getting good grades can get you a discount of up to 25%. The good student discount can last up to age 25.
  • Multi-policy Discount – When you have multiple policies with the same company you could get a discount of 10% to 20% off each policy.
  • Sign Early and Save – Select companies give a discount for buying a policy prior to your current policy expiration. It can save you around 10%.

Drivers should understand that most of the big mark downs will not be given to the entire cost. Most only reduce specific coverage prices like collision or personal injury protection. Just because you may think having all the discounts means you get insurance for free, it doesn’t quite work that way. Any qualifying discounts will reduce your premiums.save money concept

For a list of insurance companies who offer auto insurance discounts in Sumter, click here to view.

Many Things Influence your Rates

Consumers need to have an understanding of the rating factors that help determine auto insurance rates. Understanding what influences your rates enables informed choices that may reward you with lower auto insurance prices.

  • Traffic citations inflate rates – A bad driving record has a huge affect on how much you pay. Even one moving violation may increase your cost twenty percent or more. Drivers with clean records tend to pay less for car insurance compared to drivers with tickets. If you have flagrant violations like hit and run, DWI or reckless driving convictions may find they need to submit a SR-22 or proof of financial responsibility with the DMV in their state in order to keep their license.
  • Liability insurance protects assets – Liability insurance provides coverage in the event that a jury decides you are liable for causing damage or personal injury in an accident. Liability provides you with a defense in court up to the limits shown on your policy. Liability is cheap compared to physical damage coverage, so drivers should carry high limits.
  • Low deductibles can be expensive – Coverage for physical damage, otherwise known as comp (or other than collision) and collision, protects your car from damage. Some examples of claims that would be covered would be a windshield shattered by a rock, collision with an animal, and windstorm damage. Physical damage deductibles are the amount of money you are willing to pay if you file a covered claim. The more expense the insured has to pay upfront, the less your auto insurance will be.
  • Pleasure use saves money – The more you drive in a year the more you’ll pay to insure your vehicle. The majority of insurers rate vehicles determined by how the vehicle is used. Cars that are left in the garage receive lower rates than vehicles that are driven to work every day. Verify your auto insurance policy properly reflects the correct driver usage, because improper ratings can cost you money.
  • Do you need the policy add-ons? – There are many add-on coverages that can waste your money if you aren’t careful. Insurance for vanishing deductibles, accident forgiveness and membership fees may be wasting your money. These coverages may sound good when you first buy your policy, but your needs may have changed so eliminate the coverages to reduce your premium.

Buying auto insurance from a local agent

Certain consumers just want to buy from a licensed agent. The biggest benefit of comparing insurance prices online is you can get lower rates but still work with a licensed agent. Supporting local insurance agencies is important especially in Sumter.

To help locate an agent, after submitting this form (opens in new window), the quote information is immediately sent to local insurance agents in Sumter who will compete for your insurance coverage. There is no need to visit any agencies due to the fact that quote results will go to your email. How cool is that?! You can find better rates and work with a local agent.

If you wish to contact a specific insurance agent in Sumter, visit this site.

Picking an insurer shouldn’t rely on just the premium amount. Any agent should be forthright in answering these questions:

  • Are claim adjusters local or do you have to take your car somewhere else?
  • Will vehicle repairs be made with aftermarket parts or OEM replacement parts?
  • Is assistance available after office hours?
  • Does the company allow you to choose your own collision repair facility?
  • Do the coverages you’re quoting properly cover your vehicle?
  • Is working in the agency their full-time job?

After receiving acceptable answers for all questions you ask and an affordable coverage quote, it’s possible that you found an provider that will service your policy.

Additional auto insurance information is available on the website for the South Carolina Department of Insurance. Click here for link. Visitors are able to find a variety of consumer forms, view agent and company licensing information, find disaster information, and find out industry alerts.

Don’t be fooled by advertising claims

Companies like State Farm and Allstate continually stream television and radio advertisements. All the ads say the same thing about savings after switching your coverage to them. But how can every company claim to save you money? This is how they do it.

Sumter SC car insurance

Insurance companies can use profiling for the type of driver that earns them a profit. An example of a profitable customer could possibly be between 25 and 40, a clean driving record, and has a high credit rating. Any new insured that hits that “sweet spot” will qualify for the lowest rates and most likely will save when switching.

Potential customers who don’t meet the “perfect” profile will have to pay a higher premium which leads to business not being written. Company advertisements say “people who switch” but not “drivers who get quotes” save that much. This is how insurance companies can make those claims.

Because of the profiling, it is so important to compare many company’s rates. It’s impossible to know which insurance companies will fit your personal profile best.

One last thing

While you’re price shopping online, don’t be tempted to buy lower coverage limits just to save a few bucks. There are a lot of situations where someone dropped collision coverage only to regret that a couple dollars of savings turned into a financial nightmare. The ultimate goal is to find the BEST coverage at a price you can afford while not skimping on critical coverages.

Budget-conscious auto insurance is possible both online and also from your neighborhood Sumter agents, and you should be comparing both so you have a total pricing picture. Some insurance providers may not provide the ability to get a quote online and many times these smaller companies only sell through independent insurance agents.