Hawaii offers some of the most breathtaking drives in the country, and despite the high cost of living in the Aloha State, auto insurance is affordable. With average annual premiums being $1,114, you can comfortably enjoy protection over your vehicle without breaking the bank. And with a little attentive shopping, you can save even more.
Make sure you get the minimum state-required coverage, with a few necessary add-ons. In only 20 minutes of research, you might find over $500 in savings, ranging from Geico’s extremely affordable quote of $746 to Allstate’s pricier $1,258 offer. These rates, however, vary from person to person, and there is no promise that Geico will be your cheapest option. Every quote comes down to an individual experience.
When shopping for your policy, it’s key to remember that every factor has an effect on the way your quote is calculated. Your ZIP code, your age and your credit score significantly influence the quote you receive. Every insurer weighs those factors differently. That means it’s paramount to take the time and use their quote tools to get as many quotes as you can, at least four to five. You’ll be happy you took the time to find the extra savings.
When you do your research, you can probably complete all of your quotes using handy online tools. You can expect the big-name companies to have these types of quote calculators, which are a time-saver when you’re comparing multiple quotes. Even most of the smaller insurers are using quote tools on their websites. On average, the online forms take only five minutes to complete. Still, you may have to make some phone calls during your search to find the best car insurance. If so, prepare for 20 to 30 minutes on the phone, and make sure you are ready with your personal information (driver’s license number, accident history, etc.).
You can start your search by finding out which major insurers offer coverage in Hawaii. Some insurers, such as Nationwide, Metlife and Amica Mutual, either don’t offer car insurance services there or they will refer you to a partner company who might.
Our three choices for best car insurance in Hawaii have consistently high ratings for customer service throughout the United States and maintain an excellent score for financial stability.
Our Top 3 Picks for the Best Cheap Car Insurance in Hawaii
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Most of us know the heartbreak of a fender bender or a minor accident, but if you happen to total your car on an open highway, you definitely don’t want to be dealing with a flaky insurance company. Knowing that your insurer has the resources to pay major claims without coming under financial duress offers a certain peace of mind amid calamity. And knowing that your insurance company will give you the best customer service experience is very comforting.
It is wise to remember that cheaper isn’t always better but stick with an affordable company and put your saved money to better use on higher coverage.
Because of Hawaii’s unique geographic situation, the state has an abundance of local insurance companies on each island. It’s always worth exploring your local options when shopping for a policy, especially if you are new to car insurance or are unsure of the details regarding the policy that is best for you.
Hawaii’s Minimum Coverage Requirements for 2020
Hawaii is in a small number of states that employ the no-fault system of automotive insurance. Therefore, two coverages are required to drive legally on the islands: liability and personal injury protection (PIP).
The quotes shared earlier are for the most basic level of coverage required in Hawaii: $20,000 for bodily injury per person, $40,000 for total bodily injury for all involved, $10,000 for property damage, and the included $10,000 of required personal injury protection. This is referred to as 20/40/10.
Like every state, it’s not enough to have coverage — you’ve got to be able to prove it, too. In the state of Hawaii, you are required to carry your insurance identification card with you. If you are caught without your insurance ID, you will be subject to traffic tickets and fines.
Even though Hawaii has ended the driver’s license points system (rack up a certain number of points and lose your license), there are still consequences. Not only will you face fines and penalties, you could find yourself in trouble at work. Your driving record abstract is available to current and prospective employers. If they think your driving record reflects someone with habitual problems, you may find yourself struggling to find and keep a job.
The trials of filing a claim can be daunting, which is why it is so important to pay for adequate coverage. It’s likely that you will have to file a claim in your lifetime, unfortunately. Statistics show that the common driver averages an accident every 17.9 years and the average cost of a nonfatal accident with injuries is $93,800. You would not want to owe tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket, which is why sufficient coverage is crucial.
In most cases, upgrading from cheap car insurance to a more substantial plan like a 50/100/50 isn’t as daunting as you might expect. For example, a quote for a 20/40/10 plan with Geico was $746. To up the coverage to 50/100/50, the cost goes up by only $54 a year. Stack that up for 18 years and that’s an extra $972 over that period of time. It’s a drop in the bucket compared with shelling out most of the damages from your pocket — damages that can average $50,000 to $80,000. It’s worth the peace of mind to have a level of coverage you can trust to protect you should the unexpected happen.
Why are Hawaii’s rates so affordable?
As noted previously, Hawaii is a no-fault state when it comes to automobile insurance, words that are synonymous with high rates and steep fees. But Hawaii is one of the top 10 cheapest states to insure your vehicle, while many other no-fault states fall into the top tier of most expensive places for car insurance.
This might be linked to Hawaii’s smaller driving population, which is around 20 percent lower than most of the nation, especially on the smaller islands. Hawaii also has a relatively high percentage of rural land mass. Rural areas tend to have fewer accidents and a lower crime rate. These factors are extremely influential in calculating average premiums.
Is Hawaii a no-fault insurance state?
Yes, Hawaii is one of the dozen no-fault insurance states. When you have a car accident, your PIP coverage will cover your financial losses and medical bills, no matter who was at fault. Note that the PIP coverage does not cover your vehicle damage. If the accident was not your fault, the at-fault driver will have to pay for the damage to your vehicle.
What are the different types of SR-22 insurance forms?
In Hawaii, there are three separate SR-22 insurance forms. One is an operator’s certificate. This covers the driver if the driver doesn’t own a vehicle. The second is an owner’s certificate, which is for the driver’s vehicle. The final one is the operator-owner’s certificate, which covers the driver’s vehicle and other vehicles. SR-22 is for those that have had issues on their driving record like DUIs or lacking proper insurance.
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Even If You’re Happy, It’s Best to Shop for a New Policy Every Couple of Years
Unbeknownst to most consumers, car insurance companies don’t calculate premiums based solely on your level of risk. They have strayed from the traditional “risk profile” and have begun to use a new practice called “price optimization.” The idea is to test a consumer’s tolerance for price increases. If the insurer thinks they can squeeze a few more dollars out of you, even if you’ve never had an accident or ticket, they will do it.
Price optimization uses the big data market to understand your habits as a consumer. A range of your personal data, such as credit scores, web shopping habits and social media activity, are analyzed and translated into percentages that indicate how likely you are to shop for the best deals. They also track your aversion to rising prices.
A study by data giant Earnix found 45 percent of large insurance companies were using price optimization.
Shopping around for a shiny new policy every so often is an excellent way to keep insurers on their toes. Price optimization is a controversial subject and no company wants to lose customers. Keeping an eye out for a better policy is the best way to keep let your insurer know you expect competitive pricing.
If you are concerned about your premiums being influenced by price optimization, your first go-to should be your agent. He or she should be able to explain what is going on. If you’ve made that call but aren’t satisfied, contact the Hawaii Department of Insurance and request that your state follow the lead of other states, like Maryland and Florida, which have banned price optimization because it was found to be discriminatory. Other states have put the practice under investigation or forced the issue into the public light.
As Hawaiians, it is your duty to look out for your ohana and hoaloha. Don’t let a greedy insurer take advantage of you. Be sure to consistently compare quotes and stay vigilant against unwarranted price increases.
Price optimization isn’t the only reason you should shop around for new policies. If you’re a good driver and you haven’t had an accident or received a ticket, your policy cost will drop. Just one speeding ticket can raise your policy by up to $500. You should also search for a new policy if you have been improving your credit. Now that you have a better credit score, you can lower your car insurance premium, too. See what new numbers you can get if your credit score is between 670 and 739.
Another reason you should be willing to try out a new policy? Your teenager. Hawaii has anti-discrimination laws that result in the lowest car insurance rates in the country for teenage drivers. If you add your teenager to your insurance in other states, your premium goes up by about 80 percent. In Hawaii, you’ll see an increase of only 17 percent.
No matter which island you’re on, data suggests you are beating nearly every mainlander on car insurance rates. However, even though your average is lower, it’s still best to check out as many companies as you can. Who doesn’t want the best car insurance premium possible?