Updated on 06.20.16

Car Insurance in Oklahoma

Kailey Fralick

I found nearly $500 in savings in under 15 minutes.

We’re paying a lot for auto insurance in Oklahoma. Our state’s many uninsured drivers push the average premium more than 20 percent above the national average. And while there’s nothing you or I can do about that fact (other than maybe launching a grassroots campaign for people to sign up for insurance), my research indicates there are plenty of opportunities to knock a wad of cash off that cost. All you have to do is shop around.

I got quotes for the minimum coverage required and found GEICO really could save me over $480 every year (and they’re not lying about the quote process being painless and fast either). Sadly, there’s no way to know if they offer the best car insurance for you, too. On the whole, quotes are super personalized, and there’s no way to say one company has the cheapest rates across the board. You’ll just have to do a little leg work yourself.

Why are rates so individualized? Each provider uses its own proprietary formula to determine how much to charge you. They gather data about you, including the car you drive and how many accidents or infractions you’ve had recently and use it to calculate your quote. On top of that, each one places a different weight on all those factors. To find out who offers you the cheapest car insurance try to get at least three or four quotes and compare them.

Online quotes are pretty straightforward and take less than five minutes. I got three and it only took me 15 minutes start to finish. For each quote, you’ll simply answer a few basic questions about yourself and your vehicle and you’ll be presented with a fully customizable policy. If you have to get a quote over the phone, expect it to take about 10 to 15 minutes alone. It might seem annoying, but the savings make it completely worth it.

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Our Top 3 Picks for the Best Car Insurance in Oklahoma

I started my search with these three companies and I’d recommend them to anyone in Oklahoma — they’ve all got some of the state’s best customer satisfaction scores and they’re all  financial stability.

Insurer My quote
GEICO $311
State Farm $366
Liberty Mutual $793

I chose these companies because of their extremely high financial strength and customer satisfaction ratings, which I pulled from from A.M. Best and J.D. Power, respectively. A.M. Best is a well-known financial solvency rating agency that grades companies on their long-term stability and J.D. Power assesses customer satisfaction across many industries, including auto insurance. These factors are just as important as a low price. After all, when you get into an accident, the best car insurance providers should pay out without creating any unnecessary headaches for you. The worst are so financially unstable, they can’t even pay your claim or are even already bankrupt.

Another good way to find the company that might be the cheapest for you is to look through the policy rate table put together by the Oklahoma Insurance Commission; it gives general estimates for different risk profiles. You can use it to easily scan for the best bargain in the risk profile that’s closest to you. A quick glance at the table predicted that GEICO would be the cheapest option for me, and State Farm would come in a pretty close second.

Shop for the company or agent that offers the best service for the best price. If you have a clean driving record, avoid companies and agents that advertise to high-risk drivers. Their premiums often are higher. Get quotes from several companies before you buy. Make sure you understand what coverages are included and that you’re comparing equivalent policies. — Oklahoma Department of Motor Vehicles

Of the top companies I called to get quotes from, GEICO did come out the cheapest for me at $311, with State Farm just $55 behind. Even State Farm’s quote was considerably cheaper than what Liberty Mutual wanted to charge me for the same coverage: $793. Given the huge difference in price, I could purchase much higher coverage limits with GEICO and pay the same or less than I would for basic coverage with Liberty Mutual, so GEICO is definitely the way I’d go.

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Even If You’re Happy, It’s Best to Shop for a New Policy Every Couple of Years

Though it’s not widely known, insurers don’t just look at who you are or how risky your driving is when they consider your rates. They also pay attention to how much you’re willing to pay. This is known as price optimization and it involves the analysis of a ton of personal data — your credit score, your online shopping habits, and even your social media activity — to decide how likely you are to shop for different insurance. And what might be most surprising, is despite the loyalty discounts you’re probably going to get for sticking with the same company, customer loyalty may actually work against you, as you could be “rewarded” with gradual price increases that aren’t offset by those loyalty discounts.

Shopping around every year or two is a good habit to get into because it shows your insurer you’re interested in the best possible deal. Your insurance will then keep your rates more competitive to keep your business. Besides, even if you’re insurer doesn’t use price optimization, your risk to insurers changes over time, so you may find that every year or two your rates drop as well. If you’ve had an accident in the more than three years ago, but haven’t gotten a new quote since, you should most definitely consider getting new quotes; insurers can only use your driving record history for the past three years.

More than 15 states have banned price optimization, but Oklahoma hasn’t yet. This means it’s up to you to make sure your rates reflect you as a driver, not how likely you are to shop for different insurance (or what you’re posting on social media).

Oklahoma’s Minimum Coverage

The Bare Minimum

Oklahoma insurance minimums require drivers to have $25,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and $25,000 of property damage liability coverage. (That’s also known as 25/50/25 coverage.)

The Best Car Insurance Isn’t Just Cheap Car Insurance

The minimum coverage isn’t always enough. Consider these facts:

  • The average driver files a claim for an accident once every 17.9 years.
  • The average cost of a disabling, nonfatal injury is $80,700.

Imagine you get into a car accident and give another driver a serious injury — let’s say $50,000 worth of property damages. If you have super cheap car insurance, you’ll have only $25,000 coverage and your provider will only pay half, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. The injured driver is likely to sue and you’ll end up draining your savings to cover the remaining costs — cheap car insurance is a gamble.

If you purchase higher liability coverage limits from the start, you won’t ever face that problem. For me, I could get $50,000/$100,000/$50,000 from GEICO for $334 a year. That’s only $23 more than what I’d pay for the minimum coverage, but I’d be covered for a lot more. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather pay that than risk being held responsible for thousands of dollars in damage someday.

Over a quarter of Oklahoma drivers don’t have insurance, so you don’t want to be without uninsured motorist coverage, either. Getting rear-ended is bad enough. Getting rear-ended and having to pay for the damages yourself; that’s a nightmare. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance will pay for the repairs, so you don’t have to.

Underinsured motorist coverage goes right along with uninsured coverage. If you get into an accident with a driver who only has the bare-minimum insurance, their policy may not cover the full extent of the damages. Underinsured motorist coverage will pay the extra to ensure you receive full compensation.

If You Skip Coverage, It’ll Cost You

Driving without insurance in Oklahoma will earn you a ticket, possible towing of your vehicle, and suspension of your vehicle registration, at the discretion of the police officer. If your tags are seized, you’re given a temporary tag that gives you liability coverage for 10 days. You must purchase auto insurance that meets Oklahoma’s minimums within that time or else your registration will be revoked indefinitely. In order to reinstate your registration, you must provide proof of insurance and pay the reinstatement fees.

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Enter your zip code to compare rates from some of my top recommendations.

Beat the Average Premium: 9 Ways to Snag Cheap Car Insurance

There are a lot of factors that influence your auto insurance rates, but there are also a lot of steps you can take to lower them. One option is to move to a cheaper area. (In Lawton, car insurance is about $30 cheaper a year than it is in Tulsa.) Most people aren’t going to do anything that drastic, however. It’s not that crazy to consider limiting how often you drive or completing a safe driver course. Both of these things are doable and they can make you eligible for some nice discounts from most insurers. Here are a few more ideas:

Nine Ways to Lower Your Car Insurance


Why are Oklahoma’s rates so high?

What to Expect
Average Monthly Premiums
Oklahoma: $178 United States: $139
Tulsa $186
Broken Arrow $181
Midwest City $179
Oklahoma City $178
Edmond $171
Norman $170
Lawton $158
Source: Quadrant

Oklahoma’s average monthly auto insurance premium is nearly $40 above the national average and that’s partly because we’re famously right in the middle of Tornado Alley. A greater chance of tornadoes and severe weather means a greater risk to insurers and, unfortunately, there’s nothing that can be done about that.

Oklahoma’s bigger problem, though, is the abundance of uninsured drivers. Back in 2013, lawmakers gave police the right to suspend vehicle registrations of uninsured drivers in an attempt to increase compliance with the law, but recent reports show this hasn’t been very effective. Insurers understand there’s a good chance an auto claim in Oklahoma is going to involve an uninsured driver, so they’ve raised their rates accordingly.

What if I’m not a full-time resident?

If you work in Oklahoma, you must register your vehicle there within 30 days of gaining employment. Non-residents visiting Oklahoma may maintain their out-of-state registration for the first 60 days, but longer stays require registration and compliance with state insurance laws. Non-resident full-time university students or active-duty military personnel are exempted from these laws and may maintain their out-of-state registration.

Expert’s Corner

I asked the legal team at Larson Law, a firm that specializes in injury cases for their take on working with insurance companies and how much coverage drivers should really get. This is what Bryan A. Larson had to say:

What’s the average cost of a serious, non-fatal wreck?

I have been practicing law for well over 30 years and have had thousands of cases ranging from the most simple, minor injuries to catastrophic injuries costing millions of dollars. There is not a clear answer to what an “average” amount of damages is, because the cost of medical expenses continues to soar and the potential for damages from a motor vehicle collision continues to increase.

What’s your take on loyalty to an insurance company?

As a general rule, no insurance company has your best interest in mind, in spite of how “friendly” they may appear. Oftentimes, adjusters are trained to seem friendly on the phone to gain your trust while they slowly work the file in such a way to protect their company’s best financial interest. This occurs even if they insurance company you are dealing with is your own insurance company. It does not matter that you’ve paid insurance premiums to them for 20+ years, or whether the agent who sold you the policy happens to be your neighbor or best friend. As a general rule, most insurance companies do not care about you individually. Once an accident occurs, you become a claim file with a claim number and projected dollar figure exposure is attached to that file.

The Bottom Line

The only way to find out which insurance provider offers the best deal is to get quotes and experiment with the coverage limits. There are more potential savings out there than you think. And, just like the commercials, in only 15 minutes, I really was able to find a $500 range in prices for the exact same coverage.

I also recommend going with more than the minimum coverage if you can. You won’t notice a big difference in your monthly premium and you’ll be grateful you planned ahead if you get into an accident. Take a few minutes now and see how much you can save.

Get Quotes Now

Enter your zip code to compare rates from some of my top recommendations.

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