Are you researching cheaper car insurance rates in Charleston, SC? If you are a novice to online car insurance shopping, you can be overwhelmed by the confusing number of online car insurance companies and websites vying for business in Charleston.
It's amazing but over 70% of consumers have been with the same company for four years or more, and approximately 38% of consumers have never quoted car insurance rates at all. With the average premium in the United States being $1,847, drivers could cut their rates by up to 46.5% a year by just comparing rate quotes, but most undervalue how much savings they would realize if they replace their high priced policy.
You should take the time to compare rates on a regular basis due to the fact that insurance prices are constantly changing. Even if you got the best price on car insurance two years ago you will most likely find a better rate today. There are a lot of ways to save on car insurance online, but in just a couple of minutes you can learn a lot of great tips on how to stop overpaying for insurance in Charleston.
Best companies for South Carolina car insurance
The providers in the list below offer free quotes in South Carolina. If multiple companies are listed, we suggest you visit two to three different companies to find the lowest car insurance rates.
|Make, Model, and Trim Level||Annual Policy Premium||6-month Policy Premium||Monthly Premium|
|Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Extended Cab 2WD||$1,316||$658||$110|
|Dodge Ram Crew Cab SLT 4WD||$1,056||$528||$88|
|Ford Escape Limited 4WD||$828||$414||$69|
|Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer AWD||$1,334||$667||$111|
|Ford F-150 Lariat Crew Cab Harley 4WD||$1,156||$578||$96|
|Ford Focus SES 4-Dr Sedan||$1,262||$631||$105|
|Ford Fusion SEL AWD 4-Dr Sedan||$1,012||$506||$84|
|Honda Accord LX-P 4-Dr Sedan||$1,144||$572||$95|
|Honda CR-V EX-L 4WD||$898||$449||$75|
|Honda Civic EX-L 4-Dr Sedan||$1,148||$574||$96|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4WD||$1,236||$618||$103|
|Nissan Altima 2.5 S 4-Dr Sedan||$1,094||$547||$91|
|Nissan Rogue SL 2WD||$946||$473||$79|
|Toyota Camry XLE||$1,100||$550||$92|
|Toyota Corolla LE||$1,420||$710||$118|
|Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4WD||$906||$453||$76|
|Volkswagen Jetta SE 4-Dr Sedan||$870||$435||$73|
|Get Your Own Custom Quote Go|
Data variables include single male driver age 30, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $250 deductibles, and South Carolina minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include homeowner, safe-driver, claim-free, multi-policy, and multi-vehicle. Table data does not factor in specific garaging location which can influence insurance rates noticeably.
Liability only or full coverage
The diagram below illustrates the comparison of GMC Acadia insurance prices with full physical damage coverage compared to only buying the minimum liability limits required in South Carolina. The data assumes no claims or violations, $1,000 deductibles, married female driver, and no discounts are applied.
GMC Acadia rates are for example purposes only. To get rates for your specific vehicle, click here.
Should you be buying full coverage?
There isn't a steadfast formula to eliminate physical damage insurance, but there is a guideline you can use. If the annual cost of comprehensive and collision coverage is more than 10% of replacement cost minus your deductible, the it may be a good time to stop paying for full coverage.
For example, let's pretend your GMC Acadia book value is $8,000 and you have $1,000 policy deductibles. If your vehicle is damaged in an accident, the most your company will settle for is $7,000 after paying your policy deductible. If premium cost is more than $700 annually for comprehensive and collision coverage, then it might be time to consider dropping full coverage.
There are some scenarios where buying only liability insurance is not recommended. If you still have a lienholder on your title, you have to maintain full coverage as part of the loan requirements. Also, if your finances do not allow you to purchase a different vehicle if your current one is in an accident, you should not drop full coverage.
How high should deductibles be?
The chart below illustrates how choosing a deductible and can affect Chevrolet Malibu insurance costs for different insured age categories. The information is based on a single male driver, comp and collision included, and no discounts are applied.
Chevrolet Malibu rates are for example purposes only. To get rates for your specific vehicle, click here.
Smart consumers know how to buy car insurance cheaper
An important part of buying insurance is that you know the rating factors that go into determining the rates you pay for car insurance. When you know what positively or negatively positively or negatively impacts your premiums, this enables you to make decisions that will entitle you to big savings.
Listed below are a few of the "ingredients" that factor into your rate level.
Marriage reduces risk - Walking down the aisle may cut your premiums on your policy. Having a significant other translates into being more mature and responsible and insurance companies reward insureds because married couples file fewer claims.
Only buy what you need - There are a ton of additional coverages that sound like a good idea at the time on your policy. Coverage for things like coverage for rental cars, better glass coverage, and additional equipment coverage may be costing you every month. They may seem like a good idea initially, but if you've never needed them in the past remove them and pocket the money.
Teen vs. experienced drivers - Older, more experienced drivers have been proven to be more responsible, tend to file fewer claims, and usually have better credit.Inexperience drivers tend to be inattentive and easily distracted when driving with friends therefore car insurance rates are much higher.
Don't skimp on liability - Your policy's liability coverage is the coverage that protects you if ever a jury decides you are liable for physical damage or personal injury to other. Your liability coverage provides you with a defense in court which can cost a lot. It is affordable coverage as compared to coverage for physical damage, so drivers should make sure they buy enough to cover all assets.
Pay less with a high safety rating - Cars with five star safety ratings tend to be cheaper to insure. Highly rated vehicles reduce occupant injuries and better occupant protection means lower claim amounts and lower rates for you.
See if your company offers a multi-policy discount - The majority of insurers apply a discount to clients who carry more than one policy. It's known as a multi-policy discount. Discounts can add up to 10 percent or more. Even if you already get this discount, you may still want to compare other company rates to help ensure you have the lowest rates. Drivers may still find a better deal even if you have your coverage with different companies
Get cheaper insurance with discounts
Insurance can be prohibitively expensive, but there are discounts available to cut the cost considerably. Certain discounts will be triggered automatically when you get a quote, but a few must be requested specifically before you will receive the discount. If you are not receiving all the discounts you qualify for, you are just wasting money.
- Government Employees - Being employed by or retired from a federal job can earn a discount up to 10% with select insurance companies.
- Air Bag Discount - Vehicles equipped with air bags and/or automatic seat belt systems can get savings of 20 to 30 percent.
- Defensive Driver Discounts - Passing a driver safety course could earn you a small percentage discount and also improve your driving technique.
- Auto/Life Discount - Insurance carriers who offer life insurance give lower premium rates if you buy some life insurance too.
- Distant Student Discount - Kids living away from Charleston attending college and do not have access to a covered vehicle may qualify for this discount.
- Seat Belt Usage - Drivers who require all occupants to wear their seat belts can save 10% or more off the PIP or medical payment premium.
- Online Discount - Certain companies will give a small break simply for signing online.
- More Vehicles More Savings - Buying insurance for all your vehicles on one policy qualifies for this discount.
- Senior Citizen Rates - If you're over the age of 55, you may receive a small discount on rates.
- Good Student - Maintaining excellent grades can save 20 to 25%. This discount can apply up until you turn 25.
Keep in mind that most discounts do not apply to the entire cost. Some only apply to individual premiums such as collision or personal injury protection. So even though it sounds like all the discounts add up to a free policy, it's just not the way it works. But any discount will lower your overall bill.
Popular insurance companies and a selection of discounts are outlined below.
- Farm Bureau discounts include driver training, youthful driver, renewal discount, 55 and retired, multi-vehicle, safe driver, and multi-policy.
- State Farm has savings for good student, passive restraint, student away at school, defensive driving training, multiple policy, Steer Clear safe driver discount, and driver's education.
- Progressive offers discounts for multi-vehicle, online signing, online quote discount, good student, continuous coverage, and homeowner.
- Allstate has discounts for defensive driver, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft, safe driver, early signing, and good payer.
- Nationwide may offer discounts for defensive driving, easy pay, accident-free, business or organization, anti-theft, and Farm Bureau membership.
- MetLife may include discounts for defensive driver, multi-policy, good student, good driver, and claim-free.
If you need inexpensive Charleston car insurance quotes, ask each company the best way to save money. Savings may not be offered in Charleston. If you would like to choose from a list of insurers who offer cheap insurance quotes in South Carolina, click here.
You may need advice from an insurance agent
Many people would rather get professional advice from a licensed agent and that is a personal choice. One of the benefits of comparing insurance online is you may find lower rates but also keep your business local.
To make it easy to find an agent, after completing this simple form, the coverage information is immediately sent to local insurance agents who will give competitive quotes to get your business. You don't have to search for an agent since rate quotes are delivered directly to you. You can most likely find cheaper rates and a licensed agent to talk to. If for some reason you want to compare prices from a specific insurance provider, don't hesitate to find their quoting web page and fill out the quote form the provide.
Finding the right insurance company requires you to look at more than just the premium amount. These are some questions you should get answers to.
- Is the agent and/or agency licensed to do business in South Carolina?
- How many years of experience in personal auto insurance do they have?
- Do they have a Better Business Bureau rating in Charleston?
- Does the quote include credit and driving reports?
- Do they get extra compensation for selling add-on coverages?
- Does the agent have professional designations like CIC, CPCU or AIC?
If you are wanting to find a local agent, there are two different agency structures that you can choose from. Insurance agents are either exclusive or independent.
Exclusive Insurance Agencies
Exclusive agencies generally can only insure with one company and examples are Farmers Insurance and State Farm. Exclusive agents cannot provide prices from multiple companies so always compare other rates. They are trained well on their products and sales techniques which helps offset the inability to provide other markets. Some people will only purchase coverage from exclusives mainly due to high brand loyalty rather than low rates.
Shown below are exclusive agencies in Charleston who can help you get price quote information.
- Gail Williamson - State Farm Insurance Agent
1715 Sam Rittenberg Blvd - Charleston, SC 29407 - (843) 769-5000 - View Map
- Larry Davis - State Farm Insurance Agent
7741 Dorchester Rd - North Charleston, SC 29418 - (843) 552-2992 - View Map
- Allstate Insurance: Kevin Shealy
781 St Andrews Blvd - Charleston, SC 29407 - (843) 573-4777 - View Map
Independent agents do not sell for just one brand and that enables them to quote your coverage with many different companies and find the cheapest rate. To transfer your coverage to a different company, an independent agent can move your coverage and you don't have to find a new agent. If you are comparing rate quotes, you absolutely need to include rate quotes from at a minimum one independent agency so that you have a good selection of quotes to compare. They often place coverage with companies that do not advertise much that may have much lower rates than larger companies.
Shown below are independent agents in Charleston who can help you get price quotes.
- Nationwide Insurance: McKenna Agency Inc
1032 Savannah Hwy b - Charleston, SC 29407 - (843) 795-0189 - View Map
- Taylor Agency Insurance
147 Wappoo Creek Dr #502 - Charleston, SC 29412 - (843) 762-1805 - View Map
- The Brinson Insurance Agency
759 Folly Rd #C - Charleston, SC 29412 - (843) 762-2086 - View Map
Ads can be misleading
Big name companies like Allstate and Progressive regularly use ads in print and on television. All the ads make the point that you can save if you move to their company. How is it plausible that every one can make almost identical claims? This is the way they can do it.
Insurance providers have strict underwriting profiles for the type of driver that will be a good risk. An example of a desirable insured could possibly be over the age of 45, has a clear driving record, and has great credit. A customer that hits that "sweet spot" may get the lowest auto insurance rates in Charleston and is almost guaranteed to save a lot on Charleston car insurance if they switch.
Potential customers who cannot meet the ideal profile will get higher rates and this can result in the customer buying from someone else. The ads state "people who switch" not "everyone that quotes" save that kind of money. This is how companies can make the claims of big savings. Because each company has a different risk profile, you should compare quotes as often as possible. You cannot predict which car insurance company will have the lowest rate quotes.
Will just any policy work for me?
When it comes to coverage online or from an agent for your vehicles, there is no "best" method to buy coverage. Everyone's situation is unique and your car insurance should unique, too. For instance, these questions can aid in determining whether or not you might need professional guidance.
- Should I have combined single limit or split liability limits?
- Which companies are cheaper for teen drivers?
- Am I covered if I break a side mirror?
- Am I covered when renting a car or should I buy coverage from the car rental agency?
- What does PIP insurance cover?
- How much liability do I need to cover my assets?
- When should I buy a commercial auto policy?
- Is there a penalty for late payment?
- Are all vehicle passengers covered by medical payments coverage?
If it's difficult to answer those 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.
Do the work, save more money
We've covered quite a bit of information on how to reduce insurance car insurance rates online in Charleston. The key concept to understand is the more rate comparisons you have, the better chance you'll have of finding the cheapest Charleston car insurance quotes. You may even discover the biggest savings come from an unexpected company. Some small companies may often insure only within specific states and give getter rates as compared to the big name companies such as Allstate or State Farm.
Low-cost insurance in Charleston is available on the web and with local Charleston insurance agents, so you need to shop Charleston car insurance with both so you have a total pricing picture. Some insurance companies do not provide price quotes online and usually these regional insurance providers only sell coverage through independent agents.
More tips and info about insurance can be found in these articles:
- Bodily Injury Coverage (Liberty Mutual)
- Who Has Cheap Car Insurance Rates for a GMC Sierra in South Carolina? (FAQ)
- Who Has the Cheapest Auto Insurance Quotes in South Carolina? (FAQ)
- How Much are South Carolina Auto Insurance Quotes for a Subaru Outback? (FAQ)
- Who Has Cheap Car Insurance for a Honda Civic in South Carolina? (FAQ)
- What Car Insurance is Cheapest for First-time Drivers in South Carolina? (FAQ)
- What Auto Insurance is Cheapest in North Charleston, South Carolina? (FAQ)
- How Much are Auto Insurance Rates for a School Permit in South Carolina? (FAQ)
- Who Has Cheap South Carolina Auto Insurance Quotes for a Toyota Tacoma? (FAQ)
- What is the Cheapest Car Insurance in Goose Creek, South Carolina? (FAQ)
- What Auto Insurance is Cheapest in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina? (FAQ)
- Air Bags: Potential Dangers to Your Children (Insurance Information Institute)
- Auto Insurance 101 (About.com)
- Comprehensive Coverage (Liberty Mutual)