Oklahoma Car Insurance: Everything You Need to Know
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If you’re shopping for insurance coverage in Oklahoma, it’s easy to get discouraged. What are the laws governing your policy? How should you choose between car insurance companies? What’s the best way to find the cheapest car insurance available? But don’t worry - all of these questions have simple, factual answers. Let’s dig into the details.
What are the legal policy minimums in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma, like most other US states, requires you to purchase insurance coverage before operating your vehicle. To abide by Oklahoma car insurance laws, your coverage has to be of a certain minimum size. That includes:
- $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person.
- $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per incident.
- $25,000 in property damage liability coverage per incident.
Let’s break down these requirements a little further.
Bodily injury liability coverage pays for medical bills that other people incur in an accident that you’re involved in. If you collide with another person on the highway, their healthcare costs are your “liability.” Oklahoma requires you to have a policy that covers at least $25,000 per person in this area. Of course, the other driver or passenger who is hurt in an accident with you may have bodily injury bills that are far, far greater than just $25,000. (A trip to the ER and long-lasting follow-up treatment can easily run to hundreds of thousands of dollars!) That’s why it’s always wise to get bodily injury liability coverage well above the legally required minimum.
Bodily injury liability coverage per incident is the second number specified above. Obviously, this is closely related to the first number. Oklahoma car insurance laws require you to have a policy which covers at least $25,000 per person, and twice that per accident. If multiple people are hurt in a car accident with you, you’re legally required to have coverage which supports at least $50,000 for the whole incident - whether those bills are all accrued by one person or spread among many.
Property damage liability coverage is the third number given above, and it’s just what it sounds like: insurance coverage that pays for damage sustained by other people’s property in a car accident you’re involved with. So, for instance, if you’re driving in Oklahoma and accidentally mow down someone’s fence and mailbox, your liability coverage has to pay for it. Oklahoma laws require you to have at least $25,000 in this sort of coverage. Again, costs after a car accident may be much, much higher, so you may want to purchase a property damage liability policy well above the legal minimum.
What about Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage?
You may have heard some confusing or conflicting things about uninsured motorist coverage in Oklahoma. That’s because the law is a little unusual. We’ll explain in a moment, but first some background:
Uninsured motorist insurance protects you if you get in an accident with another driver who is (you guessed it) uninsured. It can also protect you from an underinsured motorist - meaning they had liability coverage, but not enough to cover your costs. Note that uninsured motorist coverage doesn’t pay for damages to your vehicle or property. It only covers your medical payments.
Still with us? Good. Here’s where it gets interesting. In Oklahoma, you’re not required to have uninsured motorist insurance. But car insurance companies are required by state laws to offer you this kind of coverage when you apply for insurance. You’re then free to reject their offer. Of course, you may not want to do so! Protecting yourself against an uninsured or underinsured motorist can prove crucial to your financial well-being if you’re dealing with medical bills after a serious accident.
Is Oklahoma car insurance expensive?
It’s not your imagination. Car insurance rates in the Sooner state are among the highest in the country. According to Insurance Business America, the average cost for car insurance in Oklahoma is $1560, which works out to $130 per month. That places Oklahoma as the 13th most expensive state in the US for drivers to get on the road.
Although it’s a far cry from the most expensive state for coverage (that would be Michigan, at a whopping $2693 annually), Oklahoma car insurance is still nearly twice what you’d pay in the least expensive state. (That would be Maine, where coverage will only cost you $896 per year - about $74 per month!)
The relatively high cost of an insurance policy is just one reason why it’s so important to find the very cheapest coverage available. So what’s the best way to do that?
How to find the cheapest Oklahoma car insurance
Finding cheap car insurance used to be a stressful gamble. You had to speak with an insurance agent, fill out reams of paperwork, and compare confusing, opaque policies. For many people, the last step in this process was choosing an insurance carrier at random and hoping for the best. Misunderstandings were common and honest quotes were hard to come by.
Fortunately, the car insurance industry was (like most everything) turned upside-down by the rise of web and mobile technology. Now, getting low-premium car insurance in Oklahoma is as easy as punching in a few numbers, providing a little background info about yourself, and applying online in minutes.
The key step here - one which used to be impossible - is comparison shopping. With OnlineAutoInsurance, you can see quotes from multiple car insurance companies with a few clicks. But before you sign up, make sure you’re doing an apples-to-apples comparison. To learn how, read on.
How to evaluate a car insurance policy
When you’re hunting for the cheapest car insurance, you might be tempted to simply compare their monthly insurance premiums and choose the lowest one. This is a potential disaster! It’s crucial that you pay attention to several different numbers if you want a fair, apples-to-apples policy comparison. Here are a few things to consider.
Insurance premiums are the monthly cost to keep your policy active. If your insurance premium is $80, that means you need to pay your insurance agency $80 every month, no matter what. Otherwise, your policy may end up being compromised or even cancelled. But again, premiums are just one of the important numbers you should think about.
Your insurance deductible is the amount you have to pay before your policy “kicks in” and begins covering the costs of an accident. If your policy has a $500 deductible, you need to pay $500 out of pocket after a collision. Only then will the insurance agency take over and begin covering property damage, medical bills, etc.
Premiums and deductibles are generally in a see-saw relationship. Policies with low insurance premiums have high deductibles, and vice versa. That means a certain policy may look attractive because its comes with rock-bottom premiums. But when it actually comes time to use the policy, can you afford to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket? If not, it’s probably not the right coverage for you. A policy with higher monthly premiums may feel a bit more painful to keep in good standing every month - but you’ll be glad you have it when it’s time to pay the deductible.
Which companies offer the best car insurance rates in Oklahoma?
As you’re searching for cheap car insurance in Oklahoma, it’s important to take a holistic perspective on the insurance carriers available. Are they a well-established car insurance agency? Are they financially stable? Do they have great ratings from other drivers? Are their customer service agents friendly and knowledgeable? And what about their claims process? Do they make it simple to file an insurance claim via phone, email, or even smartphone app? These are all questions to ask yourself as you peruse the available options.
Your journey to a car insurance policy you love is unique, and will involve numerous personal factors that affect your insurance rates. This may include your driving history (e.g. whether you’ve been involved in any at-fault accidents in the past), your address (is your neighborhood prone to theft?), your age (young drivers are more at-risk for accidents), and your personal credit rating.
Fortunately, it’s also possible to get discounts on your monthly premiums if you fall into a number of different categories. For instance, if you’re a student, keeping a high GPA can knock a few dollars off your monthly premiums. Similarly, being a member of a professional organization, an AARP member, or a military veteran can help you get a discount. Even taking a simple step like installing an anti-theft device or completing a defensive driving course can work in your favor financially.
In other words, there are many variables at play when you’re seeking the car insurance agency with the lowest rate! Even so, a few insurance companies rise to the top for Oklahoma residents looking for excellent car insurance. These include Esurance, Progressive, Best Auto Insurance, Auto Insurance Green, and Blue Sky Auto Insurance.