Auto Insurance Guide

At the Statewide Insurance Agency you won’t have to settle for second rate service in order to get a great price. We take pride in being knowledgeable, fast, and accurate.

Multiple Policy Discounts
Most companies give discounts for insuring your home and cars with the same company. If you have both policies with the same company now, you should usually have any new company that you are considering quote both policies at the same time. Otherwise, you may find out later that the company has a good auto insurance rate and a high home insurance rate.

Defensive Driving Courses
If you attend a state approved Defensive Driving Course, you can get an additional 10% discount. The discount is often 10%. This is very helpful, especially with young drivers.

Many sources tell you to raise your deductibles to save money. Oftentimes this is a good idea; however, don’t make that assumption. You may find that your savings is minimal compared to the greater amount that you are responsible for.

Medical Payments Coverage
If you have good health insurance coverage, consider dropping Medical Payments coverage. On the other hand, if you do not have health insurance, consider increasing your coverage.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage is probably the most misunderstood coverage in our state. If you are involved in an accident and the other party is at-fault and this other party in either uninsured or underinsured, UM coverage will allow you and your passengers to collect for your bodily injuries under your UM coverage subject to the limits you have purchased. Bodily injury includes things like medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages. Basically, anything that is legally recoverable from the responsible party can be recovered under your UM coverage with ONE BIG EXCEPTION and that is your property damage… your damaged vehicle. In Oklahoma you would need Collision coverage on your vehicle in order for your insurance company to fix your vehicle subject to your deductible. I am an advocate for UM coverage. However, I do believe that retired individuals usually have a lesser need for UM coverage due to the fact that their income is not going to change if they are laid-up due to an accident. With that said, I still recommend UM coverage to my retired customers if it is within their income restrictions.

Liability Coverage
Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability (BIPDL) coverage is, in my opinion, the most important coverage on your auto insurance policy. The limits that you purchase represent the amount of money that the insurance company will pay to someone else due to an accident in which you caused bodily injury or property damage. If you do not have sufficient limits to settle a claim, the other party can sue you to recover additional money above your insurance coverage. BIPDL coverage protects your personal assets! Therefore, the more assets you have, the higher coverage you should carry. Personal Umbrella Policies (PUP) will provide you with $1,000,000.00 of coverage over and above your base policy limits. These policies are almost always very inexpensive relative to your potential savings. Your BIPDL coverage should usually be the last place you look to try to save money.

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage
Customers ask me all the time if they should drop the Comprehensive and Collision coverage on their older vehicles. To help them analyze this, I usually ask them what the total value of that vehicle is. I then ask them how big of a bind it would put them in to replace that vehicle. If the customer can replace the vehicle without financial hardship, they should probably drop these two coverages. If it is going to create an undue hardship, I suggest they keep it. Insurance is here to take on the financial risk that you are not able or willing to assume.

Rental Reimbursement Coverage
If you have a Collision or Comprehensive claim under your policy and you want your insurance company to assist you with a rental vehicle, you need to purchase Rental Reimbursement coverage. Many customers choose not to buy this coverage; however, it seems like everyone wants it when their car is in the body shop. The cost of this coverage is usually around $20.00 every 6 months for each vehicle that has the coverage.

Towing Coverage
Towing coverage will reimburse you if your vehicle has to be towed due to a mechanical problem. This coverage is usually cheap and good to have, especially on older vehicles.

Seek An Experienced Agent
Don’t hesitate to ask an agent about his or her insurance experience. Experienced agents are more likely to place your interest above their own, they give better claim advice, their offices are usually better staffed, they know and understand their polices better, they are less likely to miss a discount, and they are less likely to leave the company. It is important to understand that the State of Oklahoma regulates and monitors insurance business within our state. As a result, each policy that is sold requires that detailed Rules associated with that policy be filed with the state. These Rules explain the details of our discounts, rates, and other important issues. It is common for these rules to be 20 to 40 pages long on each policy that the company offers. It is almost impossible for an agent to know all the rules on all the policies. However, a good, experienced agent will be able to find answers within the Rules to make sure the customer is not missing any benefits that are available to him or her.

Young Drivers
With regard to young drivers, your cost will usually double if your child is rated on a vehicle that requires comprehensive and collision coverage. You’ll save money if you keep your young driver in a vehicle that does not need these two coverages. Most companies offer a Good Student Discount that ranges from 5% to 20%. Don’t forget to ask about it and keep it current on your policy. As previously mentioned, the Defensive Driving Courses that are separate from Drivers Ed, are a good way to lower young driver insurance costs.