10 Tips to Save on Car Insurance in Columbus

Finding lower rates for Columbus car insurance can seem to be difficult for beginners to comparing rates online. People have so many options available that it can turn into a real hassle to find the best price in Columbus.

It’s important to compare prices at least once a year because insurance rates go up and down regularly. Just because you found the best deal on your last policy you can probably find a lower rate today. Block out anything you think you know about car insurance because you’re about to learn the easiest way to properly buy coverages while reducing your premium.

Discounts are available to cut your rates

Insuring your fleet can be pricey, but discounts can save money and there are some available to help bring down the price. Some discounts apply automatically when you complete an application, but lesser-known reductions have to be requested specifically before they will apply. If they aren’t giving you every credit you deserve, you are paying more than you should be.

  • Student in College – Youth drivers who attend school more than 100 miles from home without a vehicle on campus may be able to be covered for less.
  • Discount for Life Insurance – Some companies give a break if you buy life insurance from them.
  • Drive Less and Save – Driving fewer miles could be rewarded with discounted rates on garaged vehicles.
  • Auto/Home Discount – If you insure your home and vehicles with the same insurance company you may save at least 10% off all policies.
  • Defensive Driver – Taking part in a driver safety course could cut 5% off your bill depending on where you live.
  • 55 and Retired – Mature drivers may receive reduced rates.
  • No Claims – Drivers with accident-free driving histories pay less when compared with accident-prone drivers.
  • Federal Government Employee – Employees or retirees of the government could cut as much as 10% off with a few car insurance companies.
  • More Vehicles More Savings – Buying coverage for multiple cars or trucks on one policy could earn a price break for each car.
  • Anti-lock Brake System – Anti-lock brake equipped vehicles can avoid accidents and earn discounts up to 10%.

Consumers should know that some credits don’t apply to the entire policy premium. Most only reduce the price of certain insurance coverages like liability, collision or medical payments. Even though it may seem like adding up those discounts means a free policy, you’re out of luck. But any discount will help reduce your overall premium however.

To see a list of companies with the best car insurance discounts in Nebraska, click this link.

What if I want to buy from a local Columbus agent?

Certain consumers would prefer to get advice from a local agent. Licensed agents can help determine the best coverages and give you peace of mind. The best thing about getting online price quotes is that you can obtain the lowest rates but also keep your business local. Supporting small agencies is definitely important in Columbus.

To find an agent, once you fill out this short form, your information is transmitted to companies in Columbus who will return price quotes for your insurance coverage. You never need to even leave your home since price quotes are sent straight to your inbox.

Different types of car insurance agents in Columbus

When finding local Columbus agents, you must know there are a couple types of insurance agents that differ in how they can insure your vehicles. Insurance agencies in Columbus are classified as either captive or independent (non-captive). Both types can insure your vehicles, but it’s good to learn how they are different because it can influence the type of agent you choose

Independent Agents (or Brokers)

Independent insurance agents are not required to write business for one company so they have the ability to put coverage with any number of different companies and potentially find a lower price. If your agent finds better pricing, your agent can switch companies and you won’t have to switch agencies.

When comparison shopping, you should always include multiple independent agents for maximum quote selection. They also have the ability to place coverage with different regional companies which can save you money.

Shown below is a short list of independent insurance agents in Columbus that can give you price quote information.

  • American Heartland Insurance – 2118 23rd St – Columbus, NE 68601 – (402) 563-3441
  • Farm Bureau Insurance – 2921 23rd St – Columbus, NE 68601 – (402) 562-7777
  • Pinnacle Agency – 2457 33rd Ave – Columbus, NE 68601 – (402) 564-6144
Captive Insurance Agents

Captive agents work for only one company and examples are State Farm, Allstate and AAA. These agents are not able to provide prices from multiple companies so they are skilled at selling on more than just price. Captive agents are usually quite knowledgeable on their company’s products which can be an advantage. Some consumers prefer to buy from captive agents mainly due to loyalty to the company and the convenience of having a single billing for all their coverages.

Below is a short list of captive insurance agencies in Columbus willing to provide price quotes.

  • American Family Insurance – 4504 23rd St – Columbus, NE 68601 – (402) 564-9576
  • Allstate Insurance Co – 1354 27th Ave # 100 – Columbus, NE 68601 – (402) 564-3311
  • State Farm Insurance – 2320 23rd St # A – Columbus, NE 68601 – (402) 564-4300
  • Farm Bureau Insurance – 1613 23rd St – Columbus, NE 68601 – (402) 562-5999
  • Farmers Insurance Group – 2277 22nd Ave – Columbus, NE 68601 – (402) 564-3421
  • Shelter Insurance – 1921 23rd St – Columbus, NE 68601 – (402) 563-4131

For a full directory of Columbus captive insurance agents, visit this site.

Picking an auto insurance agent requires more thought than just the price. Agents should be asked these questions:

  • How long has their agency been open in Columbus?
  • Who is covered by the car insurance policy?
  • Is vehicle damage repaired with OEM or aftermarket parts?
  • Will your rates increase after a single accident?
  • If your car is totalled, how to they determine the replacement cost?
  • How are claims handled?

Once you have received answers to your satisfaction to your questions in addition to an acceptable price estimate, you’ve probably found an insurance agency that will provide car insurance coverage. But remember, once you purchase a policy you can cancel your coverage for any reason so never feel you are locked into a policy for the full term.Nebraska insurance ad

How can 21st Century, Allstate and State Farm save drivers who switch?

Nebraska drivers constantly see and hear ads for the lowest price auto insurance from the likes of 21st Century, Allstate and State Farm. All the companies have a common claim of big savings if you change your coverage to them.

How can each company say the same thing? It’s all in the numbers.

Different companies have a certain “appetite” for the type of driver that makes them money. An example of a profitable customer could possibly be over the age of 40, is a homeowner, and has a high credit rating. Any new insured that hits that “sweet spot” will qualify for the lowest rates and as a result will probably cut their rates substantially.

Potential customers who are not a match for these standards will be charged a more expensive rate and this can result in the driver buying from a lower-cost company. The ads state “customers that switch” not “everybody who quotes” save that kind of money. This is how companies can truthfully advertise the way they do.

That is why you should quote coverage with many companies. It’s impossible to know the company that will give you the biggest savings.

Additional car insurance information is available on the Nebraska Department of Insurance website through this link. Nebraska consumers can learn about specific coverages, file complaints about a company, learn about insurance regulations, and read enforcement actions against agents and companies.

Car insurance specifics

Understanding the coverages of car insurance aids in choosing appropriate coverage for your vehicles. Policy terminology can be confusing and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording.

Auto liability insurance

Liability insurance provides protection from damage or injury you incur to other’s property or people in an accident. It consists of three limits, bodily injury for each person injured, bodily injury for the entire accident and a property damage limit. You might see limits of 50/100/50 that means you have a limit of $50,000 per injured person, a limit of $100,000 in injury protection per accident, and property damage coverage for $50,000. Alternatively, you may have a combined single limit or CSL that pays claims from the same limit and claims can be made without the split limit restrictions.

Liability insurance covers claims like bail bonds, medical services, pain and suffering, repair costs for stationary objects and court costs. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is a personal decision, but buy as large an amount as possible. Nebraska requires minimum liability limits of 25,000/50,000/25,000 but you should consider buying better liability coverage.

Uninsured and underinsured coverage

This gives you protection from other drivers when they either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. This coverage pays for medical payments for you and your occupants as well as your vehicle’s damage.

Since many Nebraska drivers only purchase the least amount of liability that is required (25/50/25 in Nebraska), their limits can quickly be used up. So UM/UIM coverage is important protection for you and your family. Frequently these coverages are identical to your policy’s liability coverage.

Collision insurance

Collision coverage will pay to fix damage to your vehicle from colliding with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. You first must pay a deductible and the rest of the damage will be paid by collision coverage.

Collision insurance covers things such as damaging your car on a curb, sideswiping another vehicle, sustaining damage from a pot hole, crashing into a building and driving through your garage door. This coverage can be expensive, so consider dropping it from vehicles that are older. You can also choose a higher deductible to bring the cost down.

Comprehensive coverages

This pays to fix your vehicle from damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. You need to pay your deductible first then your comprehensive coverage will pay.

Comprehensive insurance covers claims like damage from getting keyed, damage from flooding, a tree branch falling on your vehicle, vandalism and hail damage. The maximum amount a car insurance company will pay at claim time is the cash value of the vehicle, so if the vehicle’s value is low consider removing comprehensive coverage.

Coverage for medical payments

Coverage for medical payments and/or PIP pay for short-term medical expenses for nursing services, ambulance fees and rehabilitation expenses. They are often used to cover expenses not covered by your health insurance policy or if you lack health insurance entirely. Coverage applies to you and your occupants and also covers getting struck while a pedestrian. Personal Injury Protection is not available in all states and gives slightly broader coverage than med pay

Affordable insurance is out there

When you buy insurance online, make sure you don’t buy poor coverage just to save money. There are a lot of situations where someone sacrificed liability coverage limits only to find out that it was a big error on their part. The aim is to get the best coverage possible at the best price.

Lower-priced car insurance can be sourced on the web in addition to many Columbus insurance agents, and you should be comparing both to have the best selection. There are still a few companies who do not provide the ability to get a quote online and usually these regional insurance providers provide coverage only through local independent agents.

Consumers who switch companies do it for many reasons like high rates after DUI convictions, not issuing a premium refund, an unsatisfactory settlement offer or policy non-renewal. Regardless of your reason for switching companies, finding a new company is pretty easy and you might even save some money in the process.