Car Insurance Tulsa

The Definitive Buyer’s Guide

Liability vs Collision Auto InsuranceThis guide has everything you need to know about buying Tulsa car insurance.

The purpose of this guide is to walk you through each different type of car insurance Tulsa auto owners should consider.

This car insurance guide can save you a ton of headaches down the road.

And help you be prepared, whether shopping for auto insurance online or buying car insurance from a Tulsa auto insurance agent.

With over 30 years auto insurance experience we’ve seen a thing or two…

Over the years we’ve realized… most people are uninformed about the nitty-gritty details of car insurance. They never hear the full story.

…or get the benefit of being 100% prepared when shopping for auto insurance.

So today, we’re going to pull back the curtain.

And share some “agent insider” information about buying Tulsa car insurance that you may not have known (or were too afraid to ask).

In this Tulsa car insurance guide…

We’ve included information specific to the state of Oklahoma and to the city of Tulsa, because we know this market inside and out and know how it affects you. But this guide is equally helpful for car insurance shoppers outside of Tulsa.

Auto Insurance Protects LifeSo Let’s Get To It

Car insurance is one of those things you pay for month after month in the hopes that you will never actually need to use it. It is designed to reduce your financial liability if your vehicle is involved in a collision that causes damage to other cars, property or people.

A good auto insurance policy not only protects your car, but it protects you and you family.

The better your auto insurance coverage, the less disruption you will experience (in life) after an accident.

Inadequate insurance coverage can leave you underinsured and with deep financial burdens that extend beyond the pain of an accident.

If you’re tempted to go with the cheapest car insurance company in Tulsa or get by with the lowest possible cost…

You may be leaving out optional (but essential) coverages that you need.

First we’ll cover the biggies… LiabilityCollisionComprehensive

These three coverages provide a 3-leg foundation for your auto insurance coverage. Then we’ll review other optional auto coverages you may want to consider.

Liability Insurance

What is liability car insurance? Auto liability coverage pays for damages to other people or property when you are at fault in an accident.

Liability insurance is considered essential coverage to protect your assets…

Because without it (if you are at fault in an accident), you would need to pay for injuries and property damage out of your own pocket.

Liability insurance is generally broken down into two different types of liability coverage.

Bodily Injury – literally means physical damage to a person’s body. Bodily injury coverage helps pay expenses for the other person, including things like: doctor visits, surgeries, medical equipment, lost income. If you are sued, it may also cover legal fees for your defense.

Property Damage – includes damage to the other car or cars involved in the accident, damage to property like fences, mailboxes, homes, building, etc.

What is the Oklahoma minimum car insurance requirement?

Most states require vehicle owners to carry a minimum level of liability car insurance. These laws are enforced to protect others on the road if you are involved in an accident.

If you live in or around Tulsa, car insurance requirements by the state of Oklahoma include minimum auto liability insurance coverage in the amount of 25/50/25.

What exactly does 25/50/25 mean?

These three numbers define different minimum amounts of liability insurance coverage your auto policy provides in the event you are at-fault and therefore found liable in an accident.

  • First Number (25) – bodily injury per person – means your insurance company will pay up to $25,000 in medical bills or damages for each person injured in the accident
  • Second Number (50) – bodily injury per accident – means your insurance company will pay up to a total of $50,000 in medical bills or damages for multiple people injured in the accident
  • Third Number (25) – property damage per accident – means your insurance company will pay up to $25,000 for property damage in the accident. Property includes the other person’s vehicle or other property like homes, buildings, fences, etc.

These numbers are also called your “liability limits”.

If your liability coverage limits read 250/500/100, you would have $250,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, $500,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident, and $100,000 in property damage coverage per accident.

You may be wondering…

How much liability insurance do you need?

The answer depends on several factors. You’ll want to ask yourself the following questions to determine how much liability auto insurance coverage you need:

  1. What assets do you have to protect?
  2. How much money do you have saved up for emergencies to cover personal injuries or damage to property that extends beyond your liability limits?
  3. What is your risk tolerance (or willingness to take a chance) that your accident liability would fall below your coverage limits?
  4. What would it mean to you or your family if you are found liable for a judgement in excess of $30,000… or $300,000?

NY Times Bestselling Author and financial expert Dave Ramsey suggests, “one place you don’t want to skimp on car insurance is your liability coverage.”

He calls liability coverage one of the best deals in the insurance world and recommends that your auto policy includes at least $500,000 in liability coverage.

There are several reasons not to just go with the minimum auto liability limits required by the state of Oklahoma.

Consider this scenario…

You’re driving down I-44 in Tulsa, and (while glancing at your cell phone) you rear-end an SUV carrying a family of four. The SUV leaves the roadway, is totaled, and each person in the vehicle is injured.

Two sustain relatively minor injuries in the accident. But the other two people need surgery – one has a spinal injury and the other a torn shoulder.

The family hires an attorney to make sure that all medical bills and damages they sustained in the accident are covered.

Damages can quickly move past $500,000 in a case like this.

Because it was a rear-end collision, and you were found at fault and liable by the courts, your insurance company would pay up to the amount of liability limits your policy states for bodily injury and property damage.

…And you would then be liable to pay the remaining damages out of your own pocket.

Keep in mind if you are sued and found at fault…

In addition to the injured person’s medical bills, you may also be held liable for damages like pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost wages, and other damages.

It’s important to select auto liability limits that protect you, your family and your assets.

What about a deductible? Most insurance companies do not require a deductible for liability insurance claims.

Collision Insurance

What is collision insurance? Collision coverage pays for damage to your own vehicle if you are at fault in an accident with another vehicle or an inanimate object, like running into a fence or mailbox or tree.

If you have taken out an auto loan to purchase the vehicle, collision coverage will be required by your bank.

This protects the value of your vehicle (held as collateral for the loan) at all times for the bank.

Neither you nor your bank would want to be in a situation where your car was totaled and collision insurance was not in place to pay off the loan.

Do I really need collision insurance?

Although collision coverage is not required by state law, it is good to carry even when you don’t have an auto loan.

We all make mistakes. And if the mistake in the case of an accident was your fault, collision insurance helps you and your car get back on the road with minimal out-of-pocket expense.

Collision coverage comes with a deductible. The deductible is the amount “deducted” from payment of a claim for an insured loss.

Auto insurance deductibles typically range from $0 to $1,000.

So if your vehicle sustained $12,000 in damage, and your deductible was $500. The insurance company would write you a check for $11,500 toward covering the cost of the loss.

Comprehensive Insurance

What is comprehensive car insurance? Comprehensive coverage helps pay for damages to your vehicle that are not caused by a collision.

When it comes to car insurance options:

If you stop with just liability and collision coverage, you may be surprised to discover that…

You are not covered when: You hit a deer › Your car gets stolen › Someone vandalizes your car › Hail damages your car › A tree falls on your car › A natural disaster destroys your car

That’s why you need comprehensive auto insurance.

Comprehensive Car Insurance

Comprehensive coverage pays for damage or replacement of your vehicle in situations like these.

It’s an important coverage that should not be overlooked.

Comprehensive coverage comes with its own deductible, so you will have some out-of-pocket cost in the event of a loss.

But it sure beats paying for a new vehicle or for significant damage completely on your own if you don’t have this type of insurance.

An important note… Many people assume personal belongings left in a car are covered by comprehensive auto insurance if the car is broken into or stolen. That is not the case. Although comprehensive car insurance does not cover personal items left in your car, these items may be covered by your homeowner’s or renter’s policy. Check those policies to be sure.

New Car Expanded Insurance

What is new car expanded coverage? New car expanded coverage is a package plan that includes separate components of insurance coverage to add extra protections for new car buyers.

When you buy a new car and drive it off the lot, the value of that car immediately starts to go down. In fact, Edmunds estimates that immediate depreciation on a new car is about 9%. That’s a huge amount.

Within one year, your new car will typically lose 19% of its value.

With depreciation like that.

Your $27,000 car could be worth only $21,870 after 12 months.

What if?

You get in a wreck.

With standard car insurance, your comprehensive and collision policies would pay based on the depreciated value of your vehicle.

In other words, they would pay based on the current market value of your vehicle.

This means that a standard auto policy would not replace a new car at its full replacement cost.

Also.

What if you financed the car for 72 or 84 months?

You may find yourself owing more on your car than your auto policy will cover.

New car expanded coverage provides protections that allow you to replace (or repair) your new car if you get in an accident.

And it helps cover the gap that may exist between the actual cash value of your car and the amount you owe on your loan.

Vital Coverages for a New Car

New car expanded coverage comes with 3 main components:

New car replacement coverage – may help pay to replace a new car that’s been totaled.

Repair provision coverage – may cover repairs if to a new car if there is not a total loss.

Loan or lease GAP coverage – may help pay the difference between the amount owed and your car’s actual cash value.

Keep reading for more explanations of these coverages…

Replacement/Repair Cost Coverage

What is replacement/repair cost coverage? Replacement coverage can help replace a new car that is totaled with another new car, even though the value of your totaled car is less than the value of a new car of the same make, model and trim package.

This coverage may specify a similar model or a certain amount of funds available toward replacement cost.

It also may have a repair provision that covers the cost of repairs if there is only a partial loss in the accident.

The repair provision could help you get repairs made based on the “replacement cost basis” of the car instead of the actual cash value.

Some insurance companies offer this coverage for up to 3 years on a new car.

Lease or Loan GAP Coverage

What is loan GAP coverage? Guaranteed Asset Protection, or GAP coverage may help pay the difference between the amount you owe on your vehicle lease or loan and the actual cash value of your totaled car.

If you financed your vehicle, and you get in a wreck, you are still responsible to pay off the loan.

You don’t want to be in a situation where the reimbursement check from your insurance company falls short by few thousand dollars from covering the loan.

GAP coverage can help make up the difference.

And.

It’s a fairly inexpensive coverage to add on when writing a new car policy.

The Insurance Information Institute recommends considering GAP coverage whenever you:

  • Made less than a 20 percent down payment
  • Financed for 60 months or longer
  • Leased the vehicle
  • Purchased a vehicle that depreciates faster than the average
  • Rolled over negative equity from an old car loan into the new loan

It may be wise…

To know which cars depreciate the fastest.

And which ones hold their resale value the best.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

What is uninsured motorist insurance? Let’s say you get hit by a driver without insurance or minimal liability coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage can help pay for repairs, bodily injury and other damages.

You might be asking:

“Why would I need this coverage if the law requires every driver carry liability insurance?”

It’s because Oklahoma is the worst…

…when it comes to uninsured motorists. 🙁

As it stands… Oklahoma ranks #1 for uninsured motorists. (as confirmed here)

And that’s bad for those of us who respect the laws and want to be responsible.

It’s so bad that over 1 in 4 Oklahoma motorists (25.9%) were uninsured as of 2012 (according to the latest data).

1 in 4 Oklahomans are uninsured

That means that if you are in an accident, there is a very good chance the other driver is uninsured.

Or underinsured if they just bought the cheapest car insurance required by minimum liabilty limits.

So if your car gets damaged and you get injured in an accident…

Your collision coverage (if you have it) would kick in and pay for repairs to your vehicle.

But.

Without uninsured motorist coverage…

You’d be stuck paying the rest of the bill.

Simply put.

Medical bills and other expenses that would normally be paid by the at-fault driver’s liability insurance would not be covered.

With uninsured motorist coverage, you will be financially protected in a case like this.

Automobile Medical Payments Coverage

What is medical payments coverage? Automobile medical payments coverage can help cover your medical costs if you’re injured in a covered accident. It would generally cover you, your passengers or any family members driving the insured vehicle.

…even if the accident was your fault.

Medical payments coverage (sometimes called medical expense coverage) is a good idea.

Even if you have a great health insurance plan that covers injuries.

Medical payments coverage can help offset the costs associated with health insurance deductibles or limits.

Medical Payments Insurance covers things like:

  • Doctor visits
  • Hospital visits and/or stays
  • Surgery
  • X-rays
  • EMT & ambulance fees
  • Professional nursing service and care
  • Prostheses

Towing & Labor Costs

What is towing & labor cost coverage? Pays for towing and basic roadside-assistance expenses if you’re stranded on the road.

Different insurance companies offer different forms of this. It may be called emergency road service, roadside assistance or something else.

This car insurance add-on is relatively inexpensive, and there are a lot of benefits that go with it.

Allstate’s roadside assistance plan is more like a “motor club” with benefits that extend beyond just towing and fuel delivery.

A good plan will include things like:

  • Towing for a disabled vehicle
  • Fuel delivery when you run out of gas
  • Jump start
  • Locksmith services
  • Tire changes
  • Roadside repair

Ask your insurance agent for details on what’s included in their plan.

Rental Reimbursement

What is rental reimbursement? Repays you for the cost of renting a car while yours is in the shop being repaired due to a covered accident — up to 30 days.

It’s a common misconception that the insurance company will automatically rent you a car when your car is in the shop.

This benefit does not come with most standard policies.

It needs to be added on.

Many car insurance companies require you to carry both collision and comprehensive to add this benefit to your policy.

Usually the rental reimbursement covers up to a selected limit per day for the cost of renting an auto.

It’s important to note…

That mileage is not covered by this provision.

Sound System Coverage

Sound System Insurance

Photo courtesy of robadob

What is car sound system insurance? Can protect your investment from theft or damage if you’ve installed a high-end sound system in your car.

Custom audio sound systems are generally not covered by typical auto insurance policies.

If you’ve invested in a premium or custom audio sound system for your car, consider adding this coverage for a small cost.

It covers your sound system equipment – including head unit, amp, speakers, other components – in cases of theft or damage.

You will need comprehensive auto coverage as well to add this on.

Full Coverage Auto Insurance

What is full coverage auto insurance? Although many people assume the triple auto insurance combo of Liability – Collision – Comprehensive provides full coverage, “full coverage” car insurance doesn’t actually exist.

The best you can do is combine the coverages you need for your particular circumstances to develop a good insurance plan that helps minimize risk and maximize protection for situations relevant to you.

A good insurance agent can discuss various coverage options with you so you can get as close to full coverage as possible, while staying within your budget.

Car Insurance FAQs

How are car insurance rates determined?

There are several factors that influence the rates you pay for car insurance in Tulsa. Some are directly related to your choices during the purchase of insurance, such as liability limits, coverage options, size of deductible, etc.

But.

There are a host of other factors that may affect your premiums:

  • Your driving record
  • How many miles you drive
  • Where you live
  • Where you car is parked
  • Your age and gender
  • The type of car you drive
  • Your credit history
  • Your homeowner status
  • Other drivers in your home
  • Your accident history
  • Your occupation

Some factors are completely outside your control like:

  • Living in neighborhoods prone to theft or vandalism
  • Living near an intersection where lots of accidents occur
  • Living in a densely populated area vs. a rural area
  • Vehicle color or trim package
  • The types of cars others in your city drive
  • Unemployment levels in the area in which you live
  • Availability of public services that enforce laws or respond quickly
  • Litigation activity in your city
  • Number of other claims in your area

How do auto insurance rates in Tulsa compare?

Tusla has several factors that make auto insurance more expensive compared to other cities around the nation.

Factors that may affect auto insurance rates in Tulsa include severe weather, tornadoes, hail damage, and the number of uninsured motorists.

According to one study:

As a state, Oklahoma ranked fifth among most expensive states for car insurance, according to a 2016 study by Insure.com.

You may not know… that a lot of vehicles are stolen in Tulsa.

The Tulsa Metropolitan Statistical Area (which includes Tulsa and surrounding communities) ranks 29th in the nation for stolen vehicles, with 409 vehicles stolen per 100,000 residents.

Check out the Top 10 List of Most Stolen Vehicles in Oklahoma.

You might discover that you drive one of those.

There is a bright note in the story of auto insurance rates for all of us that live in Tulsa.

We can all be glad we don’t have to insure a car in Detroit. Detroit car insurance rates are THE most expensive in the nation.

In 2014, Nerdwallet found that the cost to insure a relatively modest Toyota Camry would carry premiums of $10,723 per year in Detroit.

Ouch!

Am I covered if my windshield gets cracked?

Comprehensive coverage may help pay for windshield repairs if your windshield is hit by a rock or some other object. Full glass coverage is available in some states offering full replacement cost for a new windshield.

Are my belongings covered if my car gets broken into?

Most of the time, the personal belongings inside your vehicle – things like sunglasses, tools or any other personal item left in the car – are not covered by comprehensive auto insurance.

These items may be covered by your home insurance policy or renters insurance policy. Check your policy details.

Do I need to buy separate insurance when I rent a car?

When you are traveling and rent a car, you will often be offered a “collision damage waiver” from the rental car company.

It’s sometimes called a loss damage waiver.

Your auto insurance policy typically follows you no matter what car you are driving.

So, if you wreck a rental car, your insurance would likely kick in to help pay for liability and collision repairs associated with the damaged rental car.

But.

That does not mean that you should forego the insurance plan offered by the rental car company.

Many rental car companies charge a “loss of use” fee and administrative fees. They want to recoup from you the amount of money they should have earned from the vehicle while it would have been on the road.

For that reason, you may consider the collision damage waiver.

Am I covered for a flood?

Yes, unlike homeowners insurance, your vehicle is generally covered for floods.

Check your policy or ask your agent to be sure.

I drive for Uber or Lyft. Am I covered?

Allstate offers ride-hailing coverage for drivers who use their automobile to earn extra cash through ride-for-hire services.

If you are thinking about using your personal vehicle to drive for a transportation network company (TNC), you may want to consider ride-hailing coverage to fill the gaps between your auto policy and the policy provided by your TNC.

Auto Insurance Discounts

Save money with auto insurance discounts. Be sure you ask your auto agent about any auto discounts for which you may qualify. Auto insurance discounts can save you hundreds of dollars per year.

Featured Discount

With Drivewise on your auto policy, you could earn a discount and up to 20% cash back based on your everyday safe driving.

Vehicle Discounts

A shiny new set of wheels can help you lower your car insurance rates. Your car’s safety features could also help you spend less on auto insurance. Explore all the vehicle discounts from Allstate:

  • Passive restraint discount
    If your car came from the factory with airbags and motorized seatbelts, you could save up to 30%.
  • Anti-lock brake discount
    When your car is equipped with anti-lock brakes, you’ll score a 10% discount.
  • Anti-theft device discount
    Secure more savings with an anti-theft device in your car—up to 10%.
  • New car discount
    Save up to 30% if you’re the first owner of the vehicle and your car is only two years old.
  • Economy car discount
    You could save some green for driving green. Insuring an economy car could help you earn up to a 10% off your premium.
  • Utility discount
    Save up to 15% when you own a utility vehicle with a model year of 2002 and prior.
  • Farm vehicle discount
    Save up to 10% when you vehicle is used primarily for farm or ranch work.

Policy Discounts

From the way you pay your bill to purchasing additional insurance from Allstate, your policy management style can help you save money. Discover the available policy discounts:

  • EZ pay plan discount
    Save up to 5% on auto insurance when you set up automatic withdrawal.
  • eSmart® discount
    Sign up for ePolicy—a convenient way to view all your insurance documents online—and save up to 10%.
  • FullPay® discount
    Save up to 10% when you pay your policy in full.
  • Auto/Life Discount
    Enjoy a discount on your auto insurance when you purchase a life insurance policy.
  • Multiple policy discount
    Save up to 10% on your auto insurance when you purchase a home or renters policy.
  • Early Signing Discount®
    Save up to 10% when you sign your policy seven days before it becomes effective.
  • Good payer discount
    Save up to 5% if you did not receive a cancellation notice for non-payment during the past 12 months.

Lifestyle Discounts

You could already be eligible for discounts that can help make your auto insurance more affordable. See the ways your lifestyle can help you save:

  • Senior adult discount
    Drivers who are at least 55 years old and not actively seeking full-time employment can save up to 10%.
  • 55 and retired discount
    Drivers who are at least 55 years old and not actively seeking full-time employment can save up to 10%.
  • Resident student discount
    Enjoy up to 35% off your premium if you have a child attending school at least 100 miles away from where your car is garaged.
  • Good student discount
    All those A’s can add up. Single, full-time students under the age of 25 can save up to 20% for getting good grades.

Driving Discounts

If you have a history of safe driving habits or proactively develop your safe driving skills, you could be rewarded with auto insurance discounts. Check out the discount rewards Allstate offers:

  • Premier discount
    Save up to 22% for driving 3 years without any violations or accidents.
  • Premier plus discount
    Save up to 35% for driving 60 months without any violations or accidents.
  • Safe drivers discount
    Your safe driving habits could save you up to 45% on car insurance.
  • teenSMART discount
    Save up to 10% when your teen successfully completes the teenSMART driver education program.
  • Defensive driver discount
    Drivers who are 55 years old, have completed six or more hours of defensive driving courses and have no violations and no at-fault claims can save up to 10%.
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Kay Roseborough - Your Allstate AgentKAY ROSEBOROUGH
Tulsa Allstate Agent
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