Free Guide to Searching for a Charleston Insurance Agency

Comparing auto insurance rates in Charleston can be a lot of work since there are a lot of options and picking a good South Carolina car insurance agent is not as easy as just driving to the closest agent’s office. You require a good professional insurance agent, but also the lowest rates for auto insurance in Charleston.

Companies like State Farm, Allstate, Geico and Progressive all claim big savings, bombarding you with ad campaigns and consumers find it hard to sift through the bull and do the work needed to find the best deal.

Compare Charleston agent rates online

Insurance agents can point out coverage gaps and give you peace of mind. One of the great benefits of getting online price quotes is you may find lower rates but also keep your business local.

After filling out this simple form, your insurance coverage information is instantly submitted to local insurance agents who will battle for your coverage. There is no reason to visit any agencies due to the fact that quote results will go directly to your email. How cool is that?! You can find better rates and work with a local agent.

Selecting a car insurance agent should depend on more than just the premium amount. Agents should be asked these questions:

  • Who is covered by the car insurance policy?
  • How long has their agency been open in Charleston?
  • Do the coverages you’re quoting properly cover your vehicle?
  • If you have an accident, will your rates go up?
  • Do they have adequate Errors and Ommissions coverage? This protects you if they make a mistake.
  • Are there any hidden costs in their price quote and does it include driving and credit history?
  • Are they properly licensed to sell insurance in South Carolina?
  • What are the financial ratings for the companies they represent?

How to choose the best car insurance agent in Charleston

When researching a reputable insurance agent or broker, you must know there are a couple different types of agents from which to choose. Charleston agents are categorized either independent (non-captive) or captive.

Agency Captives

These agents are contracted to one company and some examples include AAA, State Farm, Farmers Insurance and Allstate. These agents are unable to shop your coverage around so they have no alternatives for high prices. These agents are well schooled on their company’s products which can be an advantage. Consumers often buy from captive agents primarily because of the prominence of the brand and strong financial ratings.

Below are captive insurance agencies in Charleston that can give you rate quotes.

  • Farm Bureau Insurance – 60 Markfield Dr # 6a – Charleston, SC 29407 – (843) 766-3794
  • State Farm Insurance – 291 E Bay St – Charleston, SC 29401 – (843) 723-5555
  • Allstate Insurance – 1835 Savage Rd # B – Charleston, SC 29407 – (843) 763-2007
Independent Agents

Independent insurance agents are not required to write business for one company but rather can write business with multiple insurance companies depending on which coverage is best. If your agent finds better pricing, the agent simply finds a different carrier and you won’t have to switch agencies.

When searching for an agent, it’s recommended you include price quotes from several independent insurance agents to have the most options to choose from. Most have the option of insuring with smaller regional carriers which may provide better rates.

Listed below are Charleston independent agencies willing to provide price quote information.

  • First Southeast Insurance Svc – 1909 Ashley River Rd # B – Charleston, SC 29407 – (843) 556-1676
  • Steadman Agency Inc – 2 Vanderhorst St – Charleston, SC 29403 – (843) 723-4001
  • Hoffmann Insurance Svc – 661 Saint Andrews Blvd – Charleston, SC 29407 – (843) 571-4460
  • Direct General Ins Agency – 1300 Savannah Hwy # 7 – Charleston, SC 29407 – (843) 571-5486
  • Direct General Ins Agency – 2080 Northbrook Blvd – Charleston, SC 29406 – (843) 553-9963

To view a complete directory of insurance agents in Charleston, go to this page.

After receiving positive responses to all your questions in addition to an acceptable price estimate, you have narrowed it down to an insurance agency that will properly insure your vehicles.

Buying auto insurance direct is an option

Car insurance agents are important, but you can also buy South Carolina car insurance direct from companies that only sell online. Some car insurance companies, such as Farmers Insurance and State Farm, who have local Charleston agents also give you the ability to get a quote and buy online, and that can save time if you prefer to buy online.

If you’re concerned about not getting advice from an agent when buying direct, this is expected but don’t let that bother you. Car insurance companies that require consumers to choose their own coverages provide phone numbers and online resources you can use to get advice on coverages. Many online companies also provide a frequently asked questions page to help with the buying process.

If the best price is important to you, the most effective way to determine if the cheapest policy comes from an agent or online is comparing rate quotes from both. You may actually get a different price when comparing agent prices to online quotes from the same company.

Are car insurance rates lower online? A lot of shoppers won’t buy anywhere else, but it’s impossible to say because of the fact that insurance companies use many factors which can raise or lower premium rates. It’s often assumed that buying online reduces premiums because there is no agent. But truthfully, it’s expensive to advertise so rates may not be all that different from traditional agents.

Keep this in mind

Insureds leave their current company for any number of reasons including policy non-renewal, delays in responding to claim requests, not issuing a premium refund or even unfair underwriting practices. Whatever your reason, finding a new auto insurance company is less work than it seems.

When trying to cut insurance costs, do not sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. In many instances, consumers will sacrifice liability coverage limits only to regret at claim time that a couple dollars of savings turned into a financial nightmare. Your aim should be to buy a smart amount of coverage at an affordable rate, not the least amount of coverage.

Additional detailed information can be read at the South Carolina Department of Insurance website. Visitors are able to read consumer alerts, read enforcement actions against agents and companies, and discover disciplinary actions.

Charleston SC insurance agency

Other related articles: