Are you searching for low-cost Toyota Prius insurance in Columbia? If you are new to online auto insurance, you can be overwhelmed due to the large number of companies selling insurance in Columbia.

Insurance for Toyota PriusA study showed that 70% of consumers have purchased from the same company for at least four years, and just under half have never even compared rates from other companies. With the average auto insurance premium being $1,430, South Carolina drivers can cut their rates by almost $750 a year, but most tend to underestimate the actual amount they would save if they switched.

It's a great practice to compare prices before your next renewal since prices change quite often. Just because you found the best quotes on Toyota Prius insurance in Columbia on your last policy you will most likely find a better rate today. Forget anything you know (or think you know) about auto insurance because you're going to learn the things you must know in order to reduce your cost while increasing coverage.

Finding and buying affordable insurance policy in Columbia is easy if you know what you're doing. In a nutshell, every driver who has to purchase insurance should be able to lower their premiums. But South Carolina vehicle owners must comprehend the way companies charge you for coverage and use it to your advantage.

Insurance Rate Influencing Factors

An important part of buying insurance is that you know a few of the rating criteria that help calculate your policy premiums. If you understand what determines base rates, this allows you to make educated decisions that may result in cheaper rates.

The list below includes some of the factors utilized by car insurance companies to help set rates.

Employer and insurance rates - Did you know your job can affect your rates? Jobs like doctors, business owners and accountants have higher premiums than the average policyholder in part from high stress and extremely grueling work hours. On the flip side, jobs such as professors, historians and the unemployed receive lower rates.

Poor credit score equals high rates - Your credit history is a large factor in your rate calculation. If your credit is lower than you'd like, you could be paying less to insure your Toyota Prius by taking the time to improve your credit score. Insureds that have very high credit ratings tend to be less risk to insure as compared to drivers with bad credit.

Drive less and pay lower prices - The more you drive your Toyota in a year the higher the price you pay to insure it. Most companies charge to insure your cars determined by how the vehicle is used. Cars and trucks not used for work or commuting qualify for better rates than vehicles that are driven to work every day. Verify your auto insurance declarations sheet states the correct usage. A policy that improperly rates your Prius is just wasting money.

Reduce auto insurance rates by driving cars with good safety ratings - Safer cars are cheaper to insure. The safest vehicles help reduce the chance of injuries in an accident and lower injury rates means lower claim amounts and more competitive rates for policyholders. If the Toyota Prius earned at least four stars on Safercar.gov or an "acceptable" rating on iihs.org it is probably cheaper to insure.

Loss statistics for a Toyota Prius - Insurance companies include the past claim history for a vehicle as a way to help calculate a profitable premium rate. Models that tend to have higher prevalence or dollar amount of losses will have increased rates.

The table below outlines the collected loss data for Toyota Prius vehicles. For each insurance policy coverage type, the loss probability for all vehicles, without regard to make or model, equals 100. Percentage numbers below 100 indicate a favorable loss history, while numbers above 100 indicate frequent claims or larger claims.

Auto Insurance Loss Data for Toyota Prius Models

Vehicle Model Collision Property Damage Comp Personal Injury Medical Payment Bodily Injury
Toyota Prius C Hybrid 113 100 87 120 121 113
Toyota Prius Hybrid 101 97 98 103 118 103
Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid 98 89 87 106 114 93
Toyota Prius V Hybrid 94 86 88 88 94 97
BETTER
AVERAGE
WORSE

Data Source: iihs.org (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) for 2013-2015 Model Years

When looking for cheaper Columbia car insurance quotes, there are a couple ways to compare rate quotes from companies that offer auto insurance in South Carolina. The best method to find the lowest Toyota Prius rates consists of obtaining rate quotes online. Just remember that getting more free quotes increases the chance that you will find more affordable insurance.

The companies in the list below offer price quotes in Columbia, SC. If more than one company is shown, we recommend you visit two to three different companies to get the best price comparison.

Toyota Prius Insurance Costs in Columbia, SC
Model Comp Collision Liability Medical UM/UIM Annual Premium Monthly Premium
Prius $176 $316 $378 $22 $112 $1,004 $84
Get Your Own Custom Quote Go

Premium data assumes single female driver age 40, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and South Carolina minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include safe-driver, claim-free, homeowner, multi-policy, and multi-vehicle. Estimates do not factor in zip code location which can raise or lower premium rates considerably.

Rate difference between full and liability-only coverage

The chart below illustrates the comparison of Toyota Prius car insurance rates with full physical damage coverage and with liability coverage only. The rates are based on a clean driving record, no claims, $1,000 deductibles, married female driver, and no discounts are applied.

When to switch to liability coverage only

There isn't a written rule for phasing out comp and collision coverage, but there is a general convention. If the yearly cost for physical damage coverage is about 10% or more of replacement cost minus your deductible, then you might consider buying liability only.

For example, let's pretend your Toyota Prius settlement value is $3,000 and you have $1,000 policy deductibles. If your vehicle is severely damaged, the most your company will settle for is $2,000 after you pay the deductible. If it's costing you more than $200 a year for physical damage coverage, then you may need to consider dropping full coverage.

There are some conditions where dropping full coverage is not financially feasible. If you still have a loan on your vehicle, you have to maintain full coverage as part of the loan conditions. Also, if your emergency fund is not enough to purchase a different vehicle in case of an accident, you should not opt for liability only.

Rate comparison for different deductibles

One frequently asked question is the level to set your comp and collision deductibles. The following tables show the rate fluctuation when you select higher and lower insurance deductibles. The first price estimate table uses a $250 comprehensive and collision deductible and the second rate table uses a $500 deductible.

Toyota Prius insurance with $250 deductibles
Model Comp Collision Liability Medical UM/UIM Annual Premium Monthly Premium
Prius $298 $444 $290 $18 $86 $1,161 $97
Get Your Own Custom Quote Go
Toyota Prius insurance with $500 deductibles
Model Comp Collision Liability Medical UM/UIM Annual Premium Monthly Premium
Prius $242 $358 $290 $18 $86 $994 $83
Get Your Own Custom Quote Go

Prices based on married male driver age 30, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, and South Carolina minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include multi-policy, multi-vehicle, safe-driver, claim-free, and homeowner. Price information does not factor in specific Columbia garaging location which can change auto insurance rates noticeably.

Based on these figures, using a $250 deductible costs an average of $14 more each month or $168 each year than quoting the higher $500 deductible. Due to the fact that you would have to pay $250 more to settle a claim with a $500 deductible as compared to a $250 deductible, if you tend to go at least 18 months between claim filings, you would save more money by going with a higher deductible.

Auto insurance rates are higher with tickets and accidents

The illustration below demonstrates how traffic citations and at-fault collisions increase Toyota Prius auto insurance rates for different age groups. The data assumes a married male driver, comprehensive and collision coverage, $500 deductibles, and no discounts are applied.

Beware of misleading car insurance ads

Popular car insurance providers such as Progressive, GEICO, Allstate and State Farm consistently run television and radio advertisements. All the ads convey the message about saving some big amount if you move your policy. How does every car insurance company cost less than your current company? This is the trick they use.

Insurance companies have underwriting criteria for the driver that earns them a profit. An example of a preferred risk may need to be a married male, insures multiple vehicles, and the vehicle is rated for pleasure use. Any driver that fits those parameters will qualify for the lowest rates in Columbia and as a result will probably save when they switch companies.

Consumers who do not match those criteria will probably have to pay a more expensive rate which results in business not being written. If you pay attention, the ads say "people who switch" but not "everyone who gets a quote" save that much money. That's why insurance companies can confidently make those claims.

Because each company has a different risk profile, you really need to compare rate quotes every year. You cannot predict which car insurance company will have the best Toyota Prius insurance in Columbia.

Auto insurance is not optional

Despite the high cost of buying insurance for a Toyota Prius in Columbia, buying auto insurance is required in South Carolina but it also protects you in many ways.

The benefits of buying auto insurance are without a doubt worth the cost, particularly when you have a large claim. Today the average American driver is currently overpaying as much as $830 a year so you should quote and compare rates at least once a year to ensure rates are inline.

Don't overlook these Toyota Prius insurance discounts

Insurance can be pricey, but you may find discounts that may help make it more affordable. Some trigger automatically at quote time, but lesser-known reductions have to be requested specifically before you get the savings.Insurance discounts

A little note about advertised discounts, most discounts do not apply to the entire policy premium. Most only apply to specific coverage prices like comp or med pay. So when it seems like you could get a free insurance policy, you're out of luck.

If you would like to see a list of companies with discount insurance rates in Columbia, click here.

Insurance agencies near you

Many drivers just want to talk to a local agent and that is not a bad decision A nice benefit of price shopping on the web is that you can find cheap rate quotes and also buy local. Buying from neighborhood insurance agencies is especially important in Columbia.

Columbia insurance agentsTo help locate an agent, after submitting this quick form, the coverage information gets sent to local insurance agents that can provide free Columbia car insurance quotes for your coverage. You won't even need to contact an agency as quotes are delivered straight to your inbox. You can find lower rates and an insurance agent to talk to. If for some reason you want to get a comparison quote from a particular provider, don't hesitate to go to their quote page and submit a quote form there.

If you're trying to find an insurance agent, it helps to know the two types of agencies that you can select. Agents in Columbia can be classified as either independent agents or exclusive agents depending on their employer.

Independent Insurance Agents (or Brokers)

Independent agents do not work for one specific company and that is an advantage because they can write policies with any number of different companies and possibly get better coverage at lower prices. If your agent finds better pricing, an independent agent can move your coverage which requires no work on your part. If you need lower rates, we highly recommend that you include rate quotes from several independent agencies so that you have a good selection of quotes to compare. Many independent agencies also insure through smaller regional carriers who may have lower rates.

Shown below is a short list of independent insurance agents in Columbia that can give you free insurance quotes.

More Columbia agents

Exclusive Insurance Agents

These type of agents can only provide one company's prices and examples are AAA, Allstate, and State Farm. These agents are not able to place coverage with different providers so always compare other rates. Exclusive insurance agents are well trained on sales techniques which can be an advantage. Some consumers prefer to buy from the same agent for years primarily because of the brand rather than low rates.

Below are exclusive agencies in Columbia who can help you get rate quotes.

More Columbia agents

Finding the right insurance agent should depend on more than just the premium amount. These are some questions your agent should answer.

Upon receiving answers to your satisfaction to any questions you have and low cost Toyota Prius insurance quotes, most likely you have located an auto insurance agent that will provide insurance coverage. Just understand that you are able to cancel a policy at any point so don't feel that you're stuck with a policy for a certain time period.

When to get professional advice

When quoting and comparing the best insurance coverage for your vehicles, there is no one size fits all plan. Each situation is unique and your insurance should be unique as well.Drive safe and save These are some specific questions could help you determine whether you may require specific advice.

If you can't answer these questions but you think they might apply to your situation, then you may want to think about talking to an insurance agent. To find lower rates from a local agent, simply complete this short form or go to this page to view a list of companies.

Quote more and you will save more

Cost effective Toyota Prius insurance is definitely available online and with local Columbia insurance agents, so you should be comparing quotes from both in order to have the best chance of saving money. Some insurance providers may not have online quoting and most of the time these regional insurance providers only sell coverage through local independent agents.

When buying insurance coverage, do not buy poor coverage just to save money. Too many times, an accident victim reduced uninsured motorist or liability limits and learned later that a couple dollars of savings turned into a financial nightmare. Your goal is to buy the best coverage you can find at an affordable rate while not skimping on critical coverages.

More articles