Top 10 Ways to Pay Less on Car Insurance in Columbia

People not familiar with comparing insurance rates online will discover purchasing the cheapest Columbia car insurance nearly impossible.

Don’t miss out on these ten money-saving discounts

Companies that sell car insurance don’t always publicize every available discount very well, so the following is a list of both well-publicized and the more hidden discounts you could be receiving. If you don’t get every credit available, you’re paying more than you need to.

  • Discount for Life Insurance – Companies who offer life insurance give a discount if you purchase life insurance from them.
  • Government Employees – Simply working for the federal government can save as much as 8% with select insurance companies.
  • Sign Online – A handful of insurance companies will give a small break for buying your policy on their website.
  • Anti-theft Discount – Cars that have factory anti-theft systems can help prevent theft and earn discounts up to 10%.
  • Accident Free – Good drivers with no accidents can earn big discounts when compared to drivers who are more careless.
  • Braking Control Discount – Cars that have steering control and anti-lock brakes can reduce accidents and qualify for as much as a 10% discount.
  • 55 and Retired – Older drivers may qualify for better car insurance rates.
  • Homeowners Discount – Being a homeowner may trigger a car insurance policy discount because owning a home is proof that your finances are in order.
  • Multiple Policy Discount – If you have multiple policies with one insurance company you may save up to 20% off your total premium.
  • Good Student Discount – Performing well in school can get you a discount of up to 25%. The good student discount can last well after school through age 25.

Drivers should understand that some of the credits will not apply the the whole policy. A few only apply to the cost of specific coverages such as physical damage coverage or medical payments. Just because it seems like all the discounts add up to a free policy, it doesn’t quite work that way.

For a list of providers offering car insurance discounts in Tennessee, click here.

How can Progressive, GEICO, Allstate and State Farm save drivers who switch?

Tennessee consumers get pounded daily by advertisements for cheaper car insurance by companies like Progressive, GEICO, Allstate and State Farm. All the ads have a common claim of big savings if you change to them.

How can each company make almost identical claims? This is how they do it.

All companies have a certain “appetite” for the right customer that is profitable for them. A good example of a profitable customer could be between 25 and 40, has no driving citations, and has great credit. Any new insured who fits that profile gets the lowest rates and therefore will cut their rates substantially.

Consumers who fall outside the “perfect” profile will be quoted higher rates and ends up with business not being written. The ad wording is “customers who switch” not “people who quote” save that kind of money. That is how insurance companies can claim big savings. This emphasizes why you should compare many company’s rates. It’s impossible to know the company that will have the lowest rates.

Additional detailed information can be read at the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance website. Consumers can view agent and company licensing information, read enforcement actions against agents and companies, and read industry bulletins.

These articles may also be worth reading.

Car insurance specifics

Learning about specific coverages of your car insurance policy can help you determine which coverages you need and proper limits and deductibles. Policy terminology can be impossible to understand and reading a policy is terribly boring.

Liability auto insurance – This provides protection from damage or injury you incur to other people or property by causing an accident. Split limit liability has three limits of coverage: per person bodily injury, per accident bodily injury, and a property damage limit. You might see liability limits of 50/100/50 which stand for a $50,000 limit per person for injuries, a limit of $100,000 in injury protection per accident, and a total limit of $50,000 for damage to vehicles and property.

Liability coverage pays for claims like court costs, funeral expenses, loss of income and medical services. How much liability coverage do you need? That is up to you, but buy higher limits if possible. Tennessee state law requires minimum liability limits of 25,000/50,000/15,000 but it’s recommended drivers buy higher limits.

UM/UIM (Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist) coverage – This coverage 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 a lot of drivers only purchase the least amount of liability that is required (Tennessee limits are 25/50/15), their limits can quickly be used up. So UM/UIM coverage is important protection for you and your family.

Medical payments and PIP coverage – Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage pay for bills such as dental work, funeral costs and rehabilitation expenses. The coverages can be used to cover expenses not covered by your health insurance program or if you are not covered by health insurance. It covers not only the driver but also the vehicle occupants in addition to being hit by a car walking across the street. Personal Injury Protection is only offered in select states but can be used in place of medical payments coverage

Comprehensive auto coverage – This coverage will pay to fix damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. You need to pay your deductible first then the remaining damage will be covered by your comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive insurance covers claims like a broken windshield, falling objects, hitting a deer and a tree branch falling on your vehicle. The most a car insurance company will pay at claim time is the ACV or actual cash value, so if the vehicle’s value is low it’s probably time to drop comprehensive insurance.

Columbia TN car insurance

Collision – Collision coverage pays to fix your vehicle from damage resulting from a collision with a stationary object or other vehicle. You first must pay a deductible then the remaining damage will be paid by your insurance company.

Collision insurance covers things such as colliding with another moving vehicle, crashing into a building, hitting a parking meter, crashing into a ditch and backing into a parked car. This coverage can be expensive, so analyze the benefit of dropping coverage from vehicles that are older. You can also choose a higher deductible in order to get cheaper collision rates.

One last thing

Discount car insurance is definitely available online in addition to many Columbia insurance agents, and you should compare price quotes from both to get a complete price analysis. Some insurance providers do not provide online quoting and many times these smaller companies only sell through independent insurance agents.

In this article, we presented a lot of ways to compare car insurance prices online. The key concept to understand is the more price quotes you have, the better your comparison will be. You may even find the lowest premiums are with some of the lesser-known companies.

As you restructure your insurance plan, never buy poor coverage just to save money. There are a lot of situations where someone sacrificed liability coverage limits and learned later they didn’t have enough coverage. Your focus should be to buy enough coverage at an affordable rate.