Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years’ experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent Benji Carr

UPDATED: Nov 26, 2017

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Do you get exhausted from not being able to scrape enough together to make your insurance payment? You’re in the same situation as many other drivers. You have so many car insurance companies to insure vehicles with, and although it’s a good thing to be able to choose, it makes it harder to compare rates.

This article will familiarize you with the most effective way to quote insurance and some tricks to saving. If you are paying for car insurance now, you should be able to save some money using these techniques. Drivers just need to know the proper methods to compare prices online.

Don’t overlook these five car insurance discounts

Not too many consumers would say car insurance is affordable, but there are discounts available that may help make it more affordable. Larger premium reductions will be automatically applied when you complete an application, but once in a while a discount must be inquired about before you get the savings.

  • Active Service Discounts – Having an actively deployed family member can result in better prices.
  • Accident Waiver – This one isn’t a discount, but a handful of insurance companies permit an accident without the usual rate increase if you have no claims before the accident.
  • Clubs and Organizations – Affiliation with a civic or occupational organization could qualify you for a break on your bill.
  • Air Bags and Passive Restraints – Vehicles with factory air bags or automatic seat belts could see savings of more than 20%.
  • Sign Online – Some of the larger companies will give you a small discount just for signing your application on their website.

A little disclaimer on discounts, most credits do not apply to all coverage premiums. Most only reduce the price of certain insurance coverages like physical damage coverage or medical payments. Just because you may think you would end up receiving a 100% discount, it’s just not the way it works.

Larger car insurance companies and a selection of discounts are:

  • Farmers Insurance may offer discounts for bundle discounts, pay in full, early shopping, teen driver, homeowner, and electronic funds transfer.
  • Esurance has discounts for multi-car, Pac-12 alumni, good student, anti-lock brakes, and DriveSense.
  • State Farm offers discounts including safe vehicle, good driver, multiple policy, multiple autos, driver’s education, Steer Clear safe driver discount, and passive restraint.
  • GEICO policyholders can earn discounts including multi-policy, emergency military deployment, daytime running lights, air bags, multi-vehicle, and federal employee.
  • Allstate discounts include defensive driver, premier plus, safe driver, passive restraint, and premier discount.

If you need cheap car insurance quotes, ask each company or agent which discounts you qualify for. Some discounts may not apply in your area.

Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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Save $490 a year? Really?

Consumers can’t get away from all the ads for the lowest price insurance from companies such as Allstate, GEICO and Progressive. All the companies say the same thing that people will save if you switch your insurance policy to them.

That’s great but how can every company charge you less for car insurance? You have to listen carefully.

Companies require specific criteria for the type of driver they prefer to insure. A good example of this type of insured may need to be between the ages of 30 and 45, has never had a policy lapse, and has excellent credit. A propective insured who fits those characteristics will qualify for the lowest rates and will most likely save quite a bit of money when switching.

Insureds who do not match the “perfect” profile will be quoted higher premiums and this results in the customer buying from a different company. The ads state “people that switch” not “all people who quote” save that much when switching. That’s the way companies can truthfully make it sound like they have such great car insurance rates.

This really emphasizes why drivers must get a wide range of price quotes. It’s just too difficult to predict the company that will provide you with the cheapest rates.

When to get professional advice

When buying adequate coverage, there isn’t really a perfect coverage plan. Each situation is unique so this has to be addressed. Here are some questions about coverages that might point out whether or not you could use an agent’s help.

  • Why do I only qualify for high-risk insurance?
  • Will my vehicle be repaired with OEM or aftermarket parts?
  • Is my dog or cat covered if injured in an accident?
  • Why is insurance for a teen driver so high?
  • Can I rent a car in Mexico?
  • How high should my medical payments coverage be?
  • Is my babysitter covered when using my vehicle?
  • Do I need PIP (personal injury protection) coverage in my state?
  • What are the financial responsibility laws in my state?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions but one or more may apply to you then you might want to talk to a licensed insurance agent. To find an agent in your area, take a second and complete this form or you can go here for a list of companies in your area. It only takes a few minutes and you can get the answers you need.

Car insurance coverage information

Knowing the specifics of a car insurance policy helps when choosing which coverages you need at the best deductibles and correct limits. Car insurance terms can be ambiguous and coverage can change by endorsement. These are the usual coverages available from car insurance companies.

Comprehensive auto coverage – This will pay to fix damage from a wide range of events other than collision. You first have to pay a deductible then the remaining damage will be covered by your comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive coverage protects against claims like damage from getting keyed, a broken windshield, theft, hail damage and rock chips in glass. The maximum payout a car insurance company will pay at claim time is the market value of your vehicle, so if the vehicle’s value is low consider dropping full coverage.

UM/UIM (Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist) coverage – This provides protection when the “other guys” are uninsured or don’t have enough coverage. It can pay for hospital bills for your injuries as well as your vehicle’s damage.

Since a lot of drivers have only the minimum liability required by law, their liability coverage can quickly be exhausted. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages is very important. Frequently these coverages are identical to your policy’s liability coverage.

Collision – This coverage pays for damage to your S-Series resulting from colliding with an object or car. You have to pay a deductible and the rest of the damage will be paid by collision coverage.

Collision coverage pays for claims like driving through your garage door, colliding with a tree, crashing into a building, damaging your car on a curb and backing into a parked car. Collision coverage makes up a good portion of your premium, so consider dropping it from vehicles that are older. You can also increase the deductible to save money on collision insurance.

Medical payments and PIP coverage – Coverage for medical payments and/or PIP kick in for short-term medical expenses for chiropractic care, rehabilitation expenses, X-ray expenses, doctor visits and funeral costs. The coverages can be used in conjunction with a health insurance policy or if there is no health insurance coverage. It covers not only the driver but also the vehicle occupants in addition to getting struck while a pedestrian. PIP is only offered in select states but it provides additional coverages not offered by medical payments coverage

Auto liability insurance – This coverage will cover damage that occurs to other’s property or people by causing an accident. It protects YOU from legal claims by others, and doesn’t cover your own vehicle damage or injuries.

Split limit liability has three limits of coverage: bodily injury for each person injured, bodily injury for the entire accident and a property damage limit. Your policy might show policy limits of 25/50/25 which means $25,000 bodily injury coverage, $50,000 for the entire accident, and $25,000 of coverage for damaged propery. Another option is a combined single limit or CSL which provides one coverage limit without having the split limit caps.

Liability insurance covers claims such as medical expenses, repair costs for stationary objects, repair bills for other people’s vehicles, medical services and pain and suffering. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is your choice, but consider buying as high a limit as you can afford.

Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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Quote more, save more

When getting car insurance quotes online, you should never sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. There are too many instances where consumers will sacrifice uninsured motorist or liability limits to discover at claim time they didn’t purchase enough coverage. Your goal is to find the BEST coverage at the best cost but still have enough coverage for asset protection.

We just showed you some good ideas how you can shop for 1991 Saturn S-Series insurance online. The key thing to remember is the more rate quotes you have, the better your chances of lowering your premium rates. Consumers could even find that the best car insurance rates are with some of the lesser-known companies. Some small companies may cover specific market segments cheaper than the large multi-state companies such as State Farm, GEICO and Nationwide.

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