Consumers who are new to comparing insurance rates online can find buying the cheapest North Charleston auto insurance quite difficult.
You need to compare rates periodically since insurance rates tend to go up over time. Just because you had the best rates six months ago you can probably find a better price now. Forget anything you know (or think you know) about auto insurance because I’m going to let you in on the secrets to the quickest way to find great coverage at a great price.
Companies that sell car insurance do not list every discount in an easy-to-find place, so the following is a list of some of the best known and the more hidden discounts you could be receiving. If they aren’t giving you every credit available, you’re just leaving money on the table.
As a disclaimer on discounts, some of the credits will not apply to the overall cost of the policy. Most only apply to the cost of specific coverages such as comp or med pay. So even though they make it sound like you can get free auto insurance, it doesn’t quite work that way.
For a list of companies who offer auto insurance discounts in North Charleston, click this link.
Finding lower auto insurance rates is actually quite simple. Just invest a little time to compare rate quotes online with multiple companies. This can be accomplished in just a few minutes using one of these methods.
One of the best ways to find the lowest comparison rates is to use a rate comparison form like this one (opens in new window). This type of form eliminates the need for boring form submissions for every auto insurance company. One quote request gets you coverage quotes from auto insurance companies with the best prices. Recommended for those who want to invest the least amount of time.
A different way to obtain and compare quotes online requires a trip to the website for every company you want to comare and complete a new quote form. For sake of this example, let’s say you want rates from Auto-Owners, Safeco and GMAC. To get rate quotes you would need to spend time on each company’s site to input your insurance information, and that’s why the first method is more popular.
For a handy list of car insurance company links in North Charleston, click here.
The most time-consuming method of getting rate comparisons is to spend your day driving to different North Charleston agent offices. Shopping for auto insurance online can eliminate the need for a local agent unless you require the professional advice that only a license agent can provide. However, consumers can price shop online and still use a local agent and we’ll cover that in a bit.
It doesn’t matter which method you choose, just double check that you are using the exact same coverages and limits for every company. If you use higher or lower deductibles it’s impossible to decipher which rate is best in North Charleston.
Having a good grasp of auto insurance aids in choosing appropriate coverage and the correct deductibles and limits. The terms used in a policy can be ambiguous and coverage can change by endorsement.
Collision coverage covers damage to your vehicle from colliding with an object or car. You first must pay a deductible and then insurance will cover the remainder.
Collision insurance covers things like hitting a parking meter, backing into a parked car and driving through your garage door. Collision is rather expensive coverage, so analyze the benefit of dropping coverage from lower value vehicles. You can also choose a higher deductible in order to get cheaper collision rates.
Comprehensive coverage (or Other than Collision)
Comprehensive insurance covers damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. A deductible will apply and the remainder of the damage will be paid by comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive can pay for things such as theft, a broken windshield and hitting a bird. The highest amount you’ll receive from a claim is the market value of your vehicle, so if your deductible is as high as the vehicle’s value it’s not worth carrying full coverage.
Insurance for medical payments
Medical payments and Personal Injury Protection insurance kick in for expenses like X-ray expenses, nursing services, dental work, ambulance fees and surgery. They can be used to cover expenses not covered by your health insurance plan or if you are not covered by health insurance. They cover not only the driver but also the vehicle occupants and will also cover any family member struck as a pedestrian. PIP coverage is not an option in every state and may carry a deductible
Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist insurance
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage protects you and your vehicle’s occupants from other drivers when they either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. Covered losses include injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants as well as your vehicle’s damage.
Because many people only carry the minimum required liability limits (which is 25/50/25), their liability coverage can quickly be exhausted. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages should not be overlooked.
Coverage for liability
This coverage protects you from injuries or damage you cause to people or other property in an accident. It protects YOU against other people’s claims, and doesn’t cover damage to your own property or vehicle.
It consists of three limits, bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage. You commonly see values of 100/300/100 that translate to $100,000 in coverage for each person’s injuries, $300,000 for the entire accident, and $100,000 of coverage for damaged propery.
Liability can pay for claims such as repair bills for other people’s vehicles, pain and suffering and bail bonds. How much liability coverage do you need? That is a decision to put some thought into, but consider buying as high a limit as you can afford. South Carolina state minimum liability requirements are 25,000/50,000/25,000 but drivers should carry more coverage.
As you restructure your insurance plan, make sure you don’t buy poor coverage just to save money. There are many occasions where an accident victim reduced full coverage only to find out that it was a big mistake. The proper strategy is to find the BEST coverage at a price you can afford while not skimping on critical coverages.
We just covered a lot of ways to lower your auto insurance rates. The most important thing to understand is the more companies you get rates for, the better your chances of lowering your rates. You may even find the best price on auto insurance is with a smaller regional carrier.
Consumers change insurance companies for a variety of reasons including an unsatisfactory settlement offer, policy cancellation, high rates after DUI convictions or even extreme rates for teen drivers. It doesn’t matter why you want to switch finding a new company is actually quite simple.