Do you need a better way to compare more affordable car insurance rates in Wilmington, NC? Are you a victim of high-priced car insurance? Trust us, there are many people just like you.
A recent car insurance study revealed that the vast majority of car insurance customers have bought car insurance from the same company for over three years, and 38% of customers have never compared quotes from other companies. The average driver in Wilmington could cut their rates by about $94 a year by just comparing quotes, but most undervalue how much they could save if they just switched companies.
With people having so many options, it's nearly impossible to locate the most affordable car insurance company.
You should make it a habit to shop coverage around every six months because prices fluctuate regularly. Just because you found the best quotes on car insurance on your last policy the chances are good that you can find a lower rate today. Block out anything you think you know about car insurance because you're going to learn the quickest way to lower your annual insurance bill.
Locating the most cost-effective insurance policy in Wilmington is much easier if you know where to start. If you're already insured, you will most likely be able to get lower rates using the ideas presented in this article. But North Carolina vehicle owners do need to learn how the larger insurance companies set your policy premium because it can help you find the best coverage.
Auto insurance rates and discounts
Some insurance providers don't always list every available discount very well, so the list below gives a summary of some of the best known and the more hidden ways to save on auto insurance. If they aren't giving you every credit possible, you are paying more than you should be.
- Driver's Ed - Have your child enroll in driver's education in school.
- No Charge for an Accident - Not really a discount, but companies like Allstate, State Farm and GEICO will forgive one accident before your rates go up if you have no claims for a specific time period.
- Save over 55 - If you're over the age of 55, you can get a small discount on rates.
- Pay Upfront and Save - By paying your policy upfront rather than paying monthly you can actually save on your bill.
- Anti-lock Brake System - Cars, trucks, and SUVs that have steering control and anti-lock brakes can reduce accidents and therefore earn up to a 10% discount.
- Active Military Service - Being on active duty in the military may lower your rates slightly.
- Discount for Life Insurance - Not all auto insurance companies offer life insurance, but some may give you a small discount if you purchase life insurance from them.
- Drive Safe and Save - Accident-free drivers can save as much as half off their rates as compared to drivers with claims.
One thing to note about discounts is that most discounts do not apply to the entire cost. Most only cut the price of certain insurance coverages like comp or med pay. Despite the appearance that having all the discounts means you get insurance for free, that's just not realistic.
Larger auto insurance companies and some of their more popular discounts are:
- State Farm may include discounts for Steer Clear safe driver discount, good student, driver's education, student away at school, accident-free, and multiple autos.
- Farmers Insurance has savings for switch companies, homeowner, youthful driver, early shopping, good student, bundle discounts, and pay in full.
- GEICO may have discounts that include driver training, military active duty, seat belt use, air bags, emergency military deployment, defensive driver, and five-year accident-free.
- American Family discounts include Steer into Savings, bundled insurance, good driver, TimeAway discount, and accident-free.
- Nationwide includes discounts for multi-policy, accident-free, business or organization, family plan, and good student.
- Progressive has discounts for online quote discount, continuous coverage, good student, online signing, homeowner, and multi-vehicle.
When quoting, ask all companies you are considering to give you their best rates. Savings might not be available to policyholders in your area. To locate insurers that provide some of the discounts listed above in Wilmington, follow this link.
Just keep in mind that comparing a large number of companies increases your odds of finding a better price. Some insurance companies are not set up to provide quotes online, so you need to compare price quotes from those companies as well.
The providers in the list below are ready to provide quotes in Wilmington, NC. If multiple companies are shown, we recommend you click on several of them to get the best price comparison.
|Make, Model, and Trim Level||Annual Policy Premium||6-month Policy Premium||Monthly Premium|
|Chevrolet Silverado LT Regular Cab 2WD||$886||$443||$74|
|Dodge Ram Crew Cab TRX 2WD||$634||$317||$53|
|Ford Edge SEL 2WD||$568||$284||$47|
|Ford Escape XLS 2WD||$694||$347||$58|
|Ford F-150 XL Super Cab 2WD||$902||$451||$75|
|Ford Focus S 4-Dr Sedan||$866||$433||$72|
|Ford Fusion SEL 4-Dr Sedan||$836||$418||$70|
|Honda Accord LX 4-Dr Sedan||$654||$327||$55|
|Honda CR-V EX-L 4WD||$670||$335||$56|
|Honda Civic EX 2-Dr Coupe||$720||$360||$60|
|Hyundai Elantra Blue 4-Dr Sedan||$818||$409||$68|
|Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4WD 2-Dr||$622||$311||$52|
|Nissan Altima 2.5 4-Dr Sedan||$1,068||$534||$89|
|Toyota Camry LE||$656||$328||$55|
|Toyota Corolla XRS||$1,062||$531||$89|
|Volkswagen Jetta SE 4-Dr Sedan||$958||$479||$80|
|Get Your Own Custom Quote Go|
Data rating is based on married female driver age 50, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1000 deductibles, and North Carolina minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include claim-free, homeowner, multi-vehicle, multi-policy, and safe-driver. Information does not factor in the specific area where the vehicle is garaged which can lower or raise prices noticeably.
The hardest decision when buying coverage is how low should you set your deductibles. The comparisons below approximate the cost difference when you choose different deductibles. The first data table uses a $100 comprehensive and collision deductible and the second pricing table uses a $500 deductible.
Ford Fusion rates are for example purposes only. To get rates for your specific vehicle, click here.
|Model||Comp||Collision||Liability||Medical||UM/UIM||Annual Premium||Monthly Premium|
|Fusion S 4-Dr Sedan||$214||$386||$250||$14||$74||$963||$80|
|Fusion SE 4-Dr Sedan||$242||$456||$250||$14||$74||$1,061||$88|
|Fusion Hybrid 4-Dr Sedan||$242||$524||$312||$18||$94||$1,215||$101|
|Fusion SEL 4-Dr Sedan||$242||$456||$250||$14||$74||$1,061||$88|
|Fusion Sport 4-Dr Sedan||$242||$456||$250||$14||$74||$1,061||$88|
|Fusion SEL AWD 4-Dr Sedan||$270||$524||$250||$14||$74||$1,157||$96|
|Fusion Sport AWD 4-Dr Sedan||$270||$524||$250||$14||$74||$1,157||$96|
|Get a Quote for Your Vehicle Go|
|Model||Comp||Collision||Liability||Medical||UM/UIM||Annual Premium||Monthly Premium|
|Fusion S 4-Dr Sedan||$156||$262||$250||$14||$74||$756||$63|
|Fusion SE 4-Dr Sedan||$176||$308||$250||$14||$74||$822||$69|
|Fusion Hybrid 4-Dr Sedan||$176||$354||$312||$18||$94||$954||$80|
|Fusion SEL 4-Dr Sedan||$176||$308||$250||$14||$74||$822||$69|
|Fusion Sport 4-Dr Sedan||$176||$308||$250||$14||$74||$822||$69|
|Fusion SEL AWD 4-Dr Sedan||$196||$354||$250||$14||$74||$888||$74|
|Fusion Sport AWD 4-Dr Sedan||$196||$354||$250||$14||$74||$888||$74|
|Get a Quote for Your Vehicle Go|
Above prices assume married male driver age 30, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, and North Carolina minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include claim-free, homeowner, multi-policy, safe-driver, and multi-vehicle. Prices do not factor in garaging location in Wilmington which can alter auto insurance rates considerably.
Using the data above, we can ascertain that using a $100 deductible costs roughly $20 more each month or $240 every year than opting for the higher $500 deductible. Because you would be required to pay $400 more if you turn in a claim with a $500 deductible as compared to a $100 deductible, if you tend to have at least 20 months between claim filings, you would more than likely save some money by selecting a higher deductible.
The information below shows how different deductible levels and can increase or decrease Honda Accord annual premium costs for different age groups of insureds. The information is based on a married female driver, full physical damage coverage, and no additional discounts are factored in.
Honda Accord rates are for example purposes only. To get rates for your specific vehicle, click here.
Comparison of full coverage and liability-only policies
The illustration below illustrates the difference between Honda Civic insurance costs with and without physical damage coverage. The prices are based on a clean driving record, no at-fault accidents, $500 deductibles, single male driver, and no discounts are applied to the premium.
Honda Civic rates are for example purposes only. To get rates for your specific vehicle, click here.
Deciding between full coverage and liability only
There is no set rule to eliminate physical damage coverage, but there is a general convention. If the yearly cost of comp and collision coverage is more than around 10% of the replacement cost minus the deductible, the it may be a good time to stop paying for full coverage.
For example, let's say your Honda Civic settlement value is $8,000 and you have $1,000 deductibles. If your vehicle is severely damaged, the most your company would pay you is $7,000 after paying your deductible. If you are paying more than $700 a year for physical damage coverage, then you might consider buying liability only.
There are some cases where only buying liability is not advised. If you have an outstanding loan on your vehicle, you have to carry full coverage in order to satisfy the requirements of the loan. Also, if you cannot afford to purchase a different vehicle in the even your car is totaled, you should not opt for liability only.
Should you pay for full coverage or liability only?
There is no set guideline to drop comprehensive and collision coverage on your policy, but there is a general school of thought. If the yearly cost of full coverage is 10% or more of the vehicle's replacement cost less your deductible, then you might want to consider buying only liability coverage.
For example, let's assume your Chevrolet Cruze settlement value is $6,000 and you have $1,000 full coverage deductibles. If your vehicle is totaled in an accident, the most you would get paid by your company is $5,000 after paying your deductible. If premiums are more than $500 a year for comprehensive and collision coverage, then you might consider buying liability only.
There are some scenarios where dropping physical damage coverage is not recommended. If you haven't satisfied your loan, you have to maintain full coverage in order to prevent your loan from defaulting. Also, if your emergency fund is not enough to purchase a different vehicle in the even your car is totaled, you should not remove full coverage.
Why smart consumers get better rates in Wilmington
Many different elements are taken into consideration when quoting car insurance. Some are pretty understandable like your driving record, but other factors are less apparent like where you live or how financially stable you are.
- The higher your credit rating the lower your rates - A driver's credit rating can be an important factor in determining premium rates. People that have high credit ratings tend to be less risk to insure than those with lower credit ratings. Therefore, if your credit score can be improved, you could potentially save money when insuring your vehicle if you clean up your credit.
- Having a spouse can lower premiums - Having a wife or husband can actually save you money on auto insurance. It translates into being more mature and responsible and insurance companies like that being married results in fewer claims.
- Auto insurance rates and your occupation - Did you know your career choice can influence rates? Careers like military generals, police officers, and dentists generally have higher premiums than the average policyholder attributed to intense work situations and incredibly demanding work hours. Conversely, occupations like farmers, historians and homemakers get better rates.
- Vehicle theft costs us all - Choosing a vehicle with a theft deterrent system can save you some money. Theft deterrent systems such as OnStar found on GM vehicles, advanced tracking like LoJack, and vehicle immobilization systems all help stop auto theft and help lower rates.
- Companies want multiple policies - Most major companies give discounts to buyers that have more than one policy in the form of a multi-policy discount. Discounts can add up to ten or even fifteen percent. Even with this discount applied, drivers will still want to comparison shop to make sure you are getting the best deal. Drivers may still find better rates even if you have your coverage with different companies
- Liability protection - Your auto insurance policy's liability coverage provides coverage if a court rules you are at fault for an accident. Your policy's liability insurance provides legal defense coverage to attempt to prove you were not liable. Liability insurance is pretty cheap when compared to the cost of physical damage coverage, so do not cut corners here.
- Mature drivers save more - Drivers with little experience have been known to be inattentive and easily distracted when driving therefore auto insurance rates are much higher. Adding a beginning driver onto your auto insurance will cause a huge premium hike. Mature drivers are more responsible, tend to file fewer claims, and are safer drivers.
It's not one size fits all
Keep in mind that when it comes to choosing the right insurance coverage, there really isn't a "perfect" insurance plan. Your needs are unique to you and your policy should reflect that. Here are some questions about coverages that can aid in determining if you might need professional guidance.
- Should I sign the liability waiver when renting a car?
- Should I pay a claim out-of-pocket?
- Who is covered by my policy?
- Am I better off with higher deductibles on my vehicle?
- Am I covered when pulling a rental trailer?
- Should I buy only the required North Carolina minimum liability coverage?
- Does medical payments coverage apply to all occupants?
- Why do I have to buy liability insurance?
- What can I do if my company denied a claim?
If it's difficult to answer those questions but one or more may apply to you, you might consider talking to a licensed agent. To find lower rates from a local agent, complete this form or you can also visit this page to select a carrier
Comparing rates from local Wilmington insurance agencies
Many drivers just prefer to talk to an insurance agent and that is OK! An additional benefit of getting free rate quotes online is the fact that you can find lower rates but still work with a licensed agent.
To find an agent, once you fill out this quick form, your coverage information gets sent to participating agents in Wilmington who want to provide quotes to get your business. There is no reason to contact an agency because prices are sent directly to you. You can find lower rates and a licensed agent to talk to. If you have a need to get a comparison quote from a specific company, just find their quoting web page and fill out their quote form.
Choosing an insurance company is decision based upon more than just the price. Get answers to these questions too.
- Is auto insurance their primary focus in Wilmington?
- How are claims handled?
- Are they giving you every discount you deserve?
- Which insurance company do they prefer to write with?
- Does the agent have a valid license to sell insurance in North Carolina?
- Will you get a loaner vehicle if you car is being repaired?
- Will they take your side in the event of a claim?
- Does the company use OEM repair parts?
If you want a local Wilmington insurance agent, you should know the different types of agents and how they differ in how they can insure your vehicles. Wilmington agents can be described as either independent or exclusive depending on the company they work for.
Agents of this type can only quote rates from one company and examples are Allstate and State Farm. They are unable to shop your coverage around so keep that in mind. Exclusive agents are very knowledgeable on the products they sell and that allows them to sell at a higher price point.
Independent Insurance Agents
Agents that choose to be independent are appointed with more than one company and that gives them the ability to insure with a variety of different insurance companies and get the cheapest rates. To move your coverage to a new company, your agent can just switch to a different company which makes it simple for you. If you are trying to find cheaper rates, it's recommended you contact several independent insurance agents to maximize your price options.
If you feel you receive acceptable answers to these questions and locked in a price quote, you may have just found a car insurance agent that is professional and can properly service your insurance policy.
Insurance is not optional but you don't have to overpay
Despite the potentially high cost of insurance, maintaining insurance is a good idea for several reasons.
- Most states have minimum liability requirements which means it is punishable by state law to not carry specific limits of liability coverage in order to license the vehicle. In North Carolina these limits are 30/60/25 which means you must have $30,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, $60,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and $25,000 of property damage coverage.
- If you have a lien on your vehicle, almost all lenders will stipulate that you have full coverage to ensure loan repayment if the vehicle is totalled. If you default on your policy, the bank or lender will purchase a policy for your vehicle for a much higher rate and force you to pay the higher premium.
- Insurance safeguards not only your vehicle but also your financial assets. It will also provide coverage for hospital and medical expenses that are the result of an accident. One of the most valuable coverages, liability insurance, will also pay for a defense attorney if you are sued as the result of an accident. If your vehicle suffers damage from an accident or hail, comprehensive (other-than-collision) and collision coverage will pay to have it repaired.
The benefits of having insurance are definitely more than the cost, especially if you ever need it. As of last year, the average driver in North Carolina is overpaying more than $700 annually so compare rates at every policy renewal to ensure rates are inline.
One last note
We've covered quite a bit of information on how to lower your car insurance prices in Wilmington. The key concept to understand is the more companies you get rates for, the higher the chance of saving money. Consumers may even find the lowest prices are with some of the smallest insurance companies. These companies may only write in your state and offer lower rates than the large multi-state companies such as Progressive and GEICO.
Affordable car insurance in Wilmington can be bought on the web and also from your neighborhood Wilmington 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 quotes online and these regional insurance providers provide coverage only through independent insurance agents.
For more information, take a look at the resources below: