Cheap Car Insurance in Columbia, SC
Free Auto Insurance Comparison
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UPDATED: Nov 17, 2020
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The fact that Columbia is both centrally located and the state capital is by design, not coincidence. The city boasts a robust and diversified economy, serving the state as an industrial, agricultural, historical, and cultural powerhouse. Columbia has also been ranked #2 on the Partners for Livable Communities list of “Most Livable Mid-Sized Cities.”
- Fun fact: …are we there yet? Because Columbia is #100 on the list of “Top 100 cities with shortest commuting times (pop. 50,000+)”. Interested in finding out more about Columbia? Click here!
Auto Insurance Coverage Requirements in South Carolina
Driving legally in Columbia requires:
|Bodily Injury Liability||25,000/50,000||100,000/300,000|
|Property Damage Liability||25,000||50,000|
|Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury||25,000/50,000||25,000/50,000|
|Medical Payments||Not required||2,000|
|Collision||Not required||250 deductible|
|Comprehensive||Not required||250 deductible|
South Carolina is unique in that it doesn't require you to buy extra forms of coverage, such as Roadside Assistance or Medical Payments. This is good in that it makes your monthly rates cheaper. However, it also makes it that much more likely that you will incur serious financial expenses in the event of getting injured, or getting stranded out in the middle of nowhere.
The state average in South Carolina can range around $110 per month, but rates in Columbia can be as low as $35/mo* for many drivers. Depending on your personal circumstances, you can get great coverage for a low monthly rate, too.
The most affordable rates in Columbia come from providers such as Nationwide and State Auto. But does a lower rate automatically make them the best company? There are other factors to consider, such as customer service and the claims filing process, before you decide which company gets your business.
Companies which provide you with auto insurance policies evaluate numerous factors while calculating insurance rates, including gender, driving violations, type of vehicle owned, education, and theft protection devices. Also remember that rates may vary from carrier to carrier. To ensure that you are still being offered the lowest-cost premium, review cheap Columbia auto insurance quotes right now online.
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Major Car Insurance Factors in Columbia
Any time your automobile insurance company prepares to come up with your policy, they take lots of aspects under consideration. Some of these, such as the make/model of your vehicle or your exact address, can be unfeasible to improve. Here are a few additional examples:
Your Zip Code
For most people, the most affordable auto insurance is generally associated with cities with a smaller population density. Because there are less cars on the roads and highways, there are a lesser number of possibilities to get involved in a significant car accident with a different driver. The population of Columbia is actually 133,358 and also the common family earnings are $41,095.
If your zip code has high accident rates, then odds are you will have to face higher insurance premiums than drivers in nearby cities. As you can see in the chart below, Columbia has its fair share of deadly accidents. However, considering the total population, these numbers are relatively low. Talk to your insurance company about safe driver discounts if you think these numbers may be influencing your rate.
Auto Thefts in Columbia
Acquiring inexpensive auto insurance will often be difficult should you be at a high risk for auto theft. Specific common automobile models are more desirable to thieves, and vehicles that are left often in huge urban centers are particularly vulnerable. The total quantity of vehicles stolen in 2013 amounted to 791 for the city of Columbia. Not only is per capita theft high, but it’s on the rise from previous years. So having Comprehensive coverage on your policy is a very important thing for Columbia drivers.
Your Credit Score
Your credit score is one of those elements which you probably don't think about often, but has a significant influence nonetheless. For those with good or even excellent credit, you can look forward to really low monthly rates. Those with poor credit, however, might face monthly charges which are significantly higher.
Young drivers face a particularly harrowing burden when paying for their first auto insurance policy. Because of their inexperience, they are significantly more likely to get into a serious accident. That's why some companies charge them 2x-3x higher premiums than someone twice their age.
Your Driving Record
As one would expect, the cleaner your driving record is, the less you can expect to pay for your automotive insurance each month. However, your rates will likely go up if you start collecting speeding tickets or other moving violations. Some companies offer "Accident forgiveness" discounts, which might be helpful if your record is less than perfect.
If you have a common, inexpensive car, it will be much easier to fix or replace should the worst happen than an expensive, luxury vehicle. And an inexpensive car doesn't require an extensive, comprehensive insurance policy.
Minor Car Insurance Factors in Columbia
Of course, the following factors are also important for South Carolina drivers:
Your Marital Status
It's not that being married makes you more or less likely to get into an accident, statistically speaking. However, insurance companies love it when you bundle policies together. Spouses are in a great position to save by giving their insurance company what they want and bundling their policies. You can even bundle homeowners, renters, or other forms of insurance (as long as all policies are offered by your insurer).
For most insurance providers, there is little more than a 1-3% difference in rates between men and women - if they charge a different rate at all. In the grand scheme of things, all other factors being equal, your gender doesn't make it significantly more or less likely to get into an accident.
Your Driving Distance to Work
Getting around in Columbia might take a little longer than it does in some other areas. Average commute times tend to run between 11 to 21 minutes for most residents, who overwhelmingly prefer to travel alone in their own car or truck (64%). A surprising 12% prefer walking in order to get around, and 8-10% will likely be carpooling.
It doesn't matter why you drive, or how many miles you drive each year - even though insurance companies do tend to ask such questions. In reality, your answers will only change your premiums by a few percentage points. Business vehicles, however, tend to cost around 10-13% more to insure on average.
Your Coverage and Deductibles
Most auto insurance providers offer some flexibility when it comes to your policy. For example, you can reduce your monthly payments and increase your coverage by asking to raise your deductible. Yes, it may make repairs or replacements more expensive, but you can save up the extra money with lower payments.
Education in Columbia, SC
More than 21% of Columbia residents have a bachelor’s degree, while another fifth of the population (20%) have successfully made it through all of high school. But did you know that owning an advanced degree can give you hundreds of dollars’ worth of savings on car insurance? It’s true!
There are several well established universities which call Columbia their home. The University of South Carolina offers nearly 100 different bachelor’s degrees (and almost 350 degree programs in total). The school is a public university, whereas Columbia College is a private institution which began as an all-girls school back in 1854. And if you want a more focused degree in less time, you might want to look into the Midlands Technical College.
Car insurance is without doubt one of the most essential financial investments you may make as an automobile owner. You'll want to ensure you discover a genuine, responsible company which will follow through on their claims. Some auto insurance agencies are usually much better at this than others, and performing a thorough web based investigation may help you distinguish the good from the undesirable.
How We Conducted Our Car Insurance Analysis
*We calculated our average rate based on the following metrics: a married, 34 year old male with good credit, a 12-month history of maintaining auto insurance, a clean driving record, who owns his own home. Miles driven annually were based on the national average. The average rate was also calculated based on a financed 2015 Honda Accord with a pre-installed anti-theft device.
All set to compare rates? Find out how much you could save!