Although it may not get much recognition for it from beyond its borders, Oklahoma’s economy is driven largely by work in cutting-edge areas like agriculture, telecommunications, aviation, and biotechnology. Much of the state’s activity takes place in Tulsa and Oklahoma City; in fact, almost two-thirds of the state’s entire population lives in these two metropolitan areas.
All those people in close proximity contributes to traffic accidents, of which Oklahoma has a relatively high rate for its number of inhabitants. That’s one main reason the state has some of the highest auto insurance rates in the nation.
But living here doesn’t sentence you to paying an exorbitant premium. By the time you read through this page, you’ll have lots of ideas for how to reduce your rate. Most importantly, make use of our carrier-neutral information that lets you compare quotes from leading carriers, all for free and really efficiently.
Shopping for car insurance doesn’t need to be a stressful, daunting task. To make the process easier for you, and to help ensure you get the best rate possible, here are the top three insurance companies in Oklahoma and the greater Central region of the country (see the full list).
When looking for a new auto insurance carrier, it’s important to compare apples to apples. Make sure the quotes you receive are for the same coverage levels, and that they include the same discounts and options. A few important things to consider when looking at different carriers are the number of rejected claims, overall satisfaction score, and rates.
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Car insurance is an essential expense. It covers you financially in the event of an accident and it can save you time and inconvenience by paying for car repairs or a rental vehicle so you can continue with your daily life. In states with poor safety ratings, the peace of mind that accompanies a comprehensive auto insurance policy is priceless.
And speaking of states with poor road safety records…
Oklahoma Driving Safety
Oklahoma’s insurance premiums are ranked 5th highest in the country for a number of reasons, but a high rate of motor vehicles collisions relative to the population is one of the most significant. Wide-open spaces, poor weather conditions, unsafe speeds, and a high number of vehicle miles traveled all contribute to the elevated number of traffic crashes and fatalities in the state.
See Oklahoma’s 2015 Crash Facts for additional statistics and information.
Oklahoma motorists may qualify for State and Federal incentives by choosing to drive green. Also, some Oklahoma auto insurers offer discounts for driving a fuel-efficient car or having green driving habits. So, by doing your part to save the environment, you can also save some cash.
Purchasing or converting to an alternative fuel vehicle (AFV), such as one that runs on hydrogen, compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, or liquefied natural gas, enables you to take advantage of a one-time income tax credit. Taxpayers can carry over the credit for up to 5 years.
In addition to the income tax break, eco-conscious drivers in Oklahoma may qualify for a variety of other state and federal tax incentives, including an ethanol sales tax exemption and an exemption on biofuel motor fuels. Tax breaks from the Federal government may be available to those purchasing electric, alternative fuel, diesel, hybrid, or plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Residents who invest in home-fueling systems or buy compressive natural gas vehicles may be eligible for a rebate through the CNG Rebate Program of Oklahoma Natural Gas. This rebate applies to vehicles purchased on or after June 18, 2012. The amount of the rebate varies and the money is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Bi-fuel and dedicated CNG vehicles may qualify for $2,000, and residential home-fueling systems may qualify for $3,000.
Oklahoma residents must carry two types of liability coverage: bodily injury and property damage. Bodily injury protects your assets if you’re found at-fault for a covered accident that causes bodily harm. Property damage liability safeguards your assets if you’re found responsible for an accident that damages property belonging to another party.
The minimum amount of Oklahoma auto insurance required to legally drive a vehicle is $25,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, $50,000 of bodily injury per accident to cover two or more people, and $25,000 of property damage liability to cover damage to another person’s property.
Being an at-fault state, otherwise known as a tort state, Oklahoma finds a part at fault in accidents. Parties not responsible may pursue coverage of resulting expenses through their own carrier, through the at-fault party’s carrier, or through personal injury litigation.
Maximum payment for serious or permanent injury or death to a single person
Coverage for multiple people injured in a single accident
Maximum payment for all damaged property in an accident caused by you
Although you are not legally required to carry full coverage auto insurance in Oklahoma, most lenders demand this level of coverage to protect their investment. Even if your lender does not require optional coverages, though, it is always a good idea to protect your vehicle (and your wallet) with as much insurance coverage as you can afford. This includes higher-than-minimum coverage limits, as well as optional coverages.
Some exclusions will apply.
Click over to our post 10 Things to Consider when Shopping for a New Auto Insurance Policy for some helpful car insurance buying tips.
* This list is based on consumer ratings in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Auto Insurance Study for the Central U.S. region. Ratings are derived from five customer service areas: billing, claims experience, interaction, coverage options, and price. Because USAA is only open to U.S. military personnel and their families, it was not included in the rankings.
Using the right car seat and using it correctly may save your child’s life. According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, properly installed car and booster seats reduce the risk of death in a traffic crash by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers.
Oklahoma children should ride in a rear-facing car seat until their second birthday or until they have outgrown the weight and height limits of the seat. Between 2 and 4 years, they must ride in a forward-facing car seat with an internal harness.
A booster seat is appropriate for children aged 4 to 8 years, unless they are taller than 4′ 9″ or they can properly fit into a regular seat belt. Even after moving to a seat belt, children are not allowed to ride in the front seat due to a risk of injury from the car’s airbags.
Oklahoma is one of a minority of states that expressly forbids leaving young children alone in a motor vehicle. The Oklahoma law, called the Forget-Me-Not Vehicle Safety Act, criminalizes leaving children, as well as vulnerable adults, unattended in an automobile.
In Oklahoma, vulnerable adults and children under 6 years of age cannot be left unattended in a motor vehicle if extreme weather, inadequate ventilation, hazardous or malfunctioning equipment, or other conditions present a risk to their safety or health. It is not considered a violation if the child or vulnerable adult is left supervised by someone 12 years of age or older who is mentally competent.
Anyone convicted of violating Oklahoma’s law is guilty of a misdemeanor and faces potential penalties including fines and community service.
Some Oklahoma insurance companies use an insurance score to determine the level of risk you present. This insurance score is based in part on your credit information. Some experts believe that poor credit indicates a higher likelihood of filing an insurance claim.
Most insurance companies offer reduced rates to motorists with safe driving records. In some cases, this means several years without a moving violation or traffic collision of any kind. There are other ways you can save on your car insurance, too. Some additional optional discounts offered in the state include:
Yes! Oklahoma motorists are allowed to provide proof of insurance on their electronic devices instead of needing to carry a paper ID card. Check with your insurance carrier to determine on what type of devices and in what format your digital insurance card is available. It still might be a good idea to keep a printed card in your vehicle anyway, just in case your phone isn’t charged when you get stopped and have to show proof of coverage.
Drivers in Oklahoma who are caught driving without insurance will temporarily lose their driving privileges and have to pay a reinstatement fee once they can show proof of coverage. Additionally, some insurance companies increase your rates based on previous lapses in coverage.
It is illegal for individuals to operate a motor vehicle in Oklahoma with the following BAC percentages:
.08%+ at 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
.00%+ at under 21 years old
Oklahoma considers BACs of 0.08% or above to be DUIs. If you drive with a BAC below this amount, but you have measurable alcohol in your system, it’s considered a DWI. Additionally, the state’s zero-tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21 means license revocation for any amount of alcohol in the blood.
Oklahoma, like most other states, has an “implied consent” law. By driving on roads in the state, you automatically consent to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test if suspected of driving under the influence. Refusal to submit to a chemical screening results in immediate suspension of your driver’s license, and it may be used as evidence against you in court.
Being convicted of a DUI in Oklahoma carries severe penalties, and the results of a blood or breath test largely determine what those penalties are. Drunk drivers may receive hefty fines, suspension of driving privileges, increased insurance rates, jail time, and more.
Penalties are even harsher for aggravated driving, which in Oklahoma refers to operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.15% or higher. Those convicted face 28 days of inpatient treatment, 480 hours of community service, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.
Taking a driver improvement course in Oklahoma voluntarily qualifies you for a mandatory 3-year discount on your auto insurance. This discount does not apply if you take the course due to a court order related to a motor vehicle violation or drug or alcohol offense.
While there are things outside your control when it comes to your car insurance premium, such as your location, age, and gender, there are numerous things you can do to reduce your rates. Applying for all available discounts, keeping an eye on your credit score, reducing the number of miles you drive each year, avoiding accidents and lapses in coverage, and choosing a higher deductible all help lower your premium. Of course, the best thing you can do to get a good rate on Oklahoma auto insurance is to shop around and compare quotes before taking out a policy.
Uninsured motorist coverage is not mandatory in Oklahoma, but it provides important financial protection for injuries and lost wages if you get into an accident with a driver who isn’t insured or who’s underinsured, or if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run incident. This coverage pays you and your family for personal injuries.
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