How many years has it been since you compared the cheapest insurance rates in Columbia, SC? I doubt anyone loves paying for insurance, in particular when they could lower their rates if they shopped around.
Regrettably, most drivers have remained with the same insurance company for at least four years, and approximately 40% of consumers have never compared insurance rates at all. Columbia drivers could pocket up to $750 a year by just comparing quotes, but they don't want to take the time to save money by comparing rate quotes. Multiple auto insurance companies compete for your hard-earned dollar, so it's not easy to compare every insurance company and get the definite best price available on insurance.
The providers in the list below provide quotes in Columbia, SC. If multiple companies are shown, we suggest you compare several of them to get the best price comparison.
Prices based on single male driver age 30, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $500 deductibles, and South Carolina minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include homeowner, claim-free, multi-policy, multi-vehicle, and safe-driver. Price information does not factor in specific zip code location which can change prices substantially.
Men versus women drivers and insurance cost
The chart below visualizes the comparison of insurance prices for male and female drivers in Columbia. The premiums are based on no tickets, no at-fault accidents, comprehensive and collision coverage, $500 deductibles, single marital status, and no discounts are taken into consideration on a Nissan Altima 2.5 S.
Nissan Altima rates are for example purposes only. To get rate quotes for your specific vehicle, click here.
Careless driving habits raise auto insurance rates
The information below illustrates how traffic citations and accidents can raise Kia Optima yearly insurance costs for each age group. The costs are based on a single female driver, full coverage, $500 deductibles, and no discounts are applied.
Kia Optima rates are for example purposes only. To get rates for your specific vehicle, click here.
Discounts can help lower premiums on auto insurance
Companies do not list every discount they offer very well, so we researched both well-publicized as well as the least known discounts that you can inquire about if you buy Columbia car insurance online. If you are not receiving all the discounts available, you could be paying more than you need to.
- Military Discounts - Being deployed with a military unit could qualify you for better rates.
- Waiver for an Accident - Not really a discount, but some companies like GEICO, State Farm, and Progressive may permit one accident without raising rates if your claims history is clear before the accident.
- No Claims - Claim-free drivers can earn big discounts in comparison with frequent claim filers.
- Anti-theft System - Vehicles with anti-theft systems can help prevent theft and qualify for as much as a 10% discount.
- ABS and Traction Control Discounts - Anti-lock brake equipped vehicles can avoid accidents and earn discounts up to 10%.
Don't be shocked that some of the credits will not apply to the entire policy premium. Most only cut individual premiums such as comprehensive or collision. Despite the fact that it seems like having all the discounts means you get insurance for free, companies don't profit that way.
To choose companies with the best auto insurance discounts in Columbia in Columbia, click here.
Can't I compare rate quotes from local Columbia insurance agencies?
Some consumers just prefer to buy from a local agent and that is not a bad decision Professional agents can answer important questions and will help you if you have claims. A nice benefit of getting online price quotes is the fact that you can find cheaper rates and also buy local.
Once you complete this simple form, the quote information is immediately sent to local insurance agents in Columbia who can give free rate quotes for your auto insurance coverage. There is no reason to leave your house because prices are sent to you. If you have a need to get a comparison quote from a specific company, just navigate to their website and fill out their quote form.
Finding the right insurance company requires you to look at more than just a cheap quote. Agents should be asked these questions:
- Can they provide you with a list of referrals?
- How will an accident affect your rates?
- Which companies do they recommend if they are an independent agency?
- Can you choose the body shop in case repairs are needed?
- Will the agent help in case of a claim?
Choose the right auto insurance agent
If you want to buy auto insurance from a reliable insurance agent, there are a couple of types of agencies to choose from. Agencies in Columbia are considered either exclusive or independent. Either one can insure your vehicles properly, but it's important to know the difference in the companies they write for because it may have an impact on your agent selection.
Exclusive insurance agents can usually just insure with one company like Farmers Insurance, American Family, State Farm and Allstate. They generally cannot provide other company's prices so always compare other rates. Exclusive agents are well trained on what they offer which can be an advantage.
The following is a list of exclusive insurance agencies in Columbia willing to provide rate quotes.
These agents do not write with just one company and that allows them to write policies with many different companies and get you the best rates possible. If they find a lower price, your agent can just switch to a different company without you having to go to a different agency. When comparing auto insurance rates, it's recommended you check rates from a couple of independent agencies to ensure the widest selection of prices.
Shown below is a short list of independent insurance agencies in Columbia willing to provide rate quotes.
Smoak Insurance Agency, Inc.
1534 Leesburg Rd - Columbia, SC 29209 - (803) 254-4323 - View Map
When should I discuss my situation with an agent?
Always remember that when buying the right insurance coverage, there is no perfect coverage plan. Your needs are unique to you.
These are some specific questions can aid in determining if your situation could use an agent's help.
- Which is better, split liability limits or combined limits?
- If I drive on a suspended license am I covered?
- Does coverage extend to a rental car in a foreign country?
- Does my insurance cover my expensive audio equipment?
- Will damage be repaired with OEM parts?
- Where can I get insurance after a DUI in South Carolina?
If you don't know the answers to these questions but one or more may apply to you, you might consider talking to an insurance agent. If you don't have a local agent, take a second and complete this form. It only takes a few minutes and may give you better protection.
Four things that impact your prices
When buying auto insurance it's important to understand some of the things that go into determining auto insurance rates. If you understand what controls the rates you pay, this enables you to make decisions that can help you get lower auto insurance prices. Many factors are part of the equation when you get your auto insurance bill. Some factors are common sense such as traffic violations, although some other factors are less apparent such as your marital status and annual miles driven.
The list below includes a few of the "ingredients" that factor into your prices.
- Continuous auto insurance coverage lowers premiums - Not having insurance is illegal and as a result your rates will increase for letting your insurance lapse for non-payment. Not only will you pay more, being ticketed for driving with no insurance could result in a steep fine or even jail time. You may then have to submit proof of financial responsibility or a SR-22 with the South Carolina motor vehicle department to get your license reinstated.
- Discounts for auto and home policies - Most companies give a discount to insureds who have multiple policies with them, otherwise known as a multi-policy discount. The discount can be as much as ten percent or more Even though this discount sounds good, you may still want to comparison shop to help guarantee you have the best rates.
- Don't get traffic citations - Being a careful driver has a huge affect on how much you pay. Good drivers get better rates compared to bad drivers. Only having one ticket may increase your cost by as much as thirty percent. People who have severe violations like DWI, reckless driving or hit and run convictions may face state-mandated requirements to prove financial responsibility with their state in order to legally drive.
- Your address can push rates up or down - Living in small towns and rural areas has definite advantages when it comes to auto insurance. Fewer drivers corresponds to lower accident rates and also fewer theft and vandalism claims. Drivers in populated South Carolina areas regularly have more auto accidents and more time behind the wheel. Longer commute distances means more chances of being involved in an auto accident.
Insurance is an important decision
Despite the potentially high cost of insurance, insurance is mandatory in South Carolina but it also protects more than you think.
- Most states have minimum mandated liability insurance limits which means you are required to buy specific limits of liability protection if you don't want to risk a ticket. In South Carolina these limits are 25/50/25 which means you must have $25,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and $25,000 of property damage coverage.
- If you have a loan on your vehicle, more than likely the lender will make it mandatory that you have physical damage coverage to ensure loan repayment if the vehicle is totalled. If you do not pay your insurance premiums, the lender will be forced to insure your vehicle at a significantly higher premium and force you to pay for the much more expensive policy.
- Insurance protects both your vehicle and your personal assets. Insurance will also pay for medical bills that are the result of an accident. Liability coverage also pays for attorney fees and expenses if you are named as a defendant in an auto accident. If your vehicle suffers damage from an accident or hail, comprehensive (other-than-collision) and collision coverage will pay to restore your vehicle to like-new condition.
The benefits of insuring your car greatly outweigh the cost, particularly when you have a large claim. According to a 2015 survey, the average American driver is overpaying over $865 each year so it's important to compare rates once a year at a minimum to be sure current rates are still competitive.
Persistence will pay off
Some insurance providers don't offer price quotes online and usually these regional insurance providers work with independent insurance agents. Affordable car insurance in Columbia can be found from both online companies and also from your neighborhood Columbia agents, so you need to compare both to have the best rate selection.
People who switch companies do it for many reasons like denial of a claim, lack of trust in their agent, an unsatisfactory settlement offer and even high rates after DUI convictions. Whatever your reason, finding a great new company is easier than you think.
We covered many ways to lower your car insurance prices in Columbia. The most important thing to understand is the more rate quotes you have, the better chance you'll have of finding cheaper Columbia car insurance quotes. Consumers could even find that the best prices are with the least-expected company.
To learn more, link through to these articles:
- Things to Know Before you Cancel Insurance (Allstate)
- Who Has Cheap Car Insurance Rates for a GMC Sierra in South Carolina? (FAQ)
- What is the Best Cheap Auto Insurance in Greenville, South Carolina? (FAQ)
- Understanding Rental Car Insurance (Insurance Information Institute)
- Side Impact Crash Tests (iihs.org)
- Information for Teen Drivers (GEICO)
- Choosing an Insurance Company (Insurance Information Institute)