9 Methods to Save on Car Insurance in Columbus

Overpriced car insurance can take a big chunk out of your savings account and force you to prioritize other expenses. Comparing price quotes is free and is an excellent way to reduce premiums and put more money in your pocket. Drivers have so many insurance companies to buy insurance from, and although it’s a good thing to have a selection, having more car insurance companies makes it harder to find a good deal.

Finding the best rates in Columbus is quite easy. If you have a policy now or are shopping for new coverage, you can learn to shop for the lowest rates while maximizing coverage. Ohio drivers just need to learn the proper way to compare price quotes online.

How to Compare Car Insurance in Columbus, OH

Most companies such as State Farm, Allstate and GEICO quote coverage prices online. Getting online rates doesn’t take a lot of time as you simply type in your coverage information into a form. Behind the scenes, their system pulls your credit score and driving record and generates a price based on these and other factors. This simplifies rate comparisons, but the time it takes to visit different websites and fill out multiple forms can get tiresome after awhile. Unfortunately, it is important to do this if you want to find the lowest car insurance rates.

Rate comparisons made easy

An easier way to compare car insurance pricing makes use of a single form to get prices from more than one company. This type of form saves time, reduces the work, and makes comparison shopping a lot less work. After sending your information, your coverage is rated and you can select any one of the quote results. If one or more price quotes are lower than your current rates, it’s easy to complete the application and purchase coverage. The whole process takes less than 15 minutes and may save quite a bit of money.

To quickly find out how much you’re overpaying now, click here to open in new window and enter your information. If you have your current policy handy, we recommend you duplicate the insurance coverages exactly as they are listed on your policy. This helps ensure you will receive comparison quotes for similar coverage.

Discounts are basically free money

Car insurance companies do not list all their discounts in an easy-to-find place, so we break down both well-publicized and the harder-to-find discounts you could be receiving. If they aren’t giving you every credit you qualify for, you are throwing money away.

  • Accident Free – Drivers who don’t have accidents can save substantially compared to bad drivers.
  • Pay Upfront and Save – By paying your policy upfront instead of monthly or quarterly installments you may reduce your total bill.
  • Organization Discounts – Participating in a professional or civic organization could trigger savings when shopping for car insurance.
  • Theft Prevention System – Vehicles equipped with anti-theft or alarm systems can help prevent theft and qualify for as much as a 10% discount.
  • Homeowners Savings – Owning a house in Columbus may earn you a small savings because maintaining a house demonstrates responsibility.
  • Good Students Pay Less – Getting good grades can earn a discount of 20% or more. Earning this discount can benefit you up until you turn 25.
  • Discount for Swiching Early – Some insurance companies reward drivers for switching policies before your current policy expires. The savings is around 10%.
  • Passive Restraints – Vehicles equipped with air bags or automatic seat belts may earn rate discounts of up to 25% or more.
  • Save over 55 – If you’re over the age of 55, you may qualify for a discount up to 10%.

As a disclaimer on discounts, most discount credits are not given to your bottom line cost. The majority will only reduce individual premiums such as physical damage coverage or medical payments. Just because it seems like you can get free auto insurance, it doesn’t quite work that way.

To choose insurance companies offering car insurance discounts in Ohio, follow this link.

Car insurance coverages 101

Understanding the coverages of your policy can help you determine the right coverages and proper limits and deductibles. The terms used in a policy can be confusing and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording. Shown next are the normal coverages found on the average car insurance policy.free Columbus OH insurance quote

Collision – This coverage pays to fix your vehicle from damage caused by collision with a stationary object or other vehicle. You first must pay a deductible and the rest of the damage will be paid by collision coverage.

Collision coverage pays for claims like colliding with a tree, hitting a parking meter, hitting a mailbox, rolling your car and crashing into a building. Paying for collision coverage can be pricey, so consider dropping it from older vehicles. Another option is to choose a higher deductible to bring the cost down.

Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist insurance – This 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.

Due to the fact that many Ohio drivers only carry the minimum required liability limits (Ohio limits are 12,500/25/7,500), their liability coverage can quickly be exhausted. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages is a good idea.

Comprehensive coverage (or Other than Collision) – Comprehensive insurance covers damage that is not covered by collision coverage. You first have to pay a deductible and the remainder of the damage will be paid by comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive insurance covers things such as rock chips in glass, hitting a deer and hitting a bird. The most your car insurance company will pay is the cash value of the vehicle, so if your deductible is as high as the vehicle’s value it’s not worth carrying full coverage.

Insurance for medical payments – Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage provide coverage for immediate expenses like doctor visits, chiropractic care and pain medications. They can be used to fill the gap from your health insurance plan or if you are not covered by health insurance. They cover not only the driver but also the vehicle occupants in addition to being hit by a car walking across the street. PIP is not universally available and may carry a deductible

Auto liability insurance – Liability insurance can cover injuries or damage you cause to other’s property or people that is your fault. Coverage consists of three different limits, bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage. Your policy might show limits of 100/300/100 that translate to a $100,000 limit per person for injuries, a per accident bodily injury limit of $300,000, and property damage coverage for $100,000.

Liability insurance covers claims such as funeral expenses, pain and suffering, attorney fees, repair costs for stationary objects and emergency aid. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is a decision to put some thought into, but you should buy higher limits if possible. Ohio state minimum liability requirements are 12,500/25,000/7,500 but drivers should carry better liability coverage.

Best coverage at the best price

While you’re price shopping online, do not reduce needed coverages to save money. There are too many instances where consumers will sacrifice physical damage coverage and found out when filing a claim that it was a big error on their part. Your strategy should be to purchase a proper amount of coverage at the best price while still protecting your assets.

You just learned a lot of techniques to lower your car insurance rates. It’s most important to understand that the more you quote, the more likely it is that you will get a better rate. You may be surprised to find that the lowest premiums are with a smaller regional carrier. Some small companies often have lower prices on specific markets than the large multi-state companies such as State Farm or Progressive.

Low-cost car insurance is available from both online companies and with local Columbus insurance agents, so you should compare both to have the best selection. There are still a few companies who do not offer online quoting and usually these small, regional companies provide coverage only through local independent agents.

More tips and info about car insurance is available at the Ohio Department of Insurance website. Consumers can read consumer alerts, view agent and company licensing information, file complaints about a company, and discover disciplinary actions.

Other useful links include this link for Ohio car insurance quotes and this resource to find Columbus, OH insurance agents.