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: Mar 16, 2018

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There isn’t anyone who looks forward to buying auto insurance, especially when they know they could find better rates elsewhere. Due to the large number of options, it’s nearly impossible to find the lowest cost insurance company.

Buying car insurance is easy if you know what you’re doing. If you have a current insurance coverage policy or need new coverage, you can use these techniques to get lower rates while maximizing coverage. Drivers only need to know the tricks to compare rates online.

Finding auto insurance

Comparing auto insurance rates can be exhausting if you don’t know the fastest way to get free quotes. You could waste time discussing policy coverages with local insurance agents in your area, or you could use online quoting to get the quickest rates.

The majority of car insurance companies belong to an insurance system where prospective buyers enter their coverage request one time, and each company returns a rated price. This saves time by eliminating quote requests for every auto insurance company.

To find out what other companies charge click here (opens in new window).

The one downside to getting quotes like this is buyers cannot specifically choose which providers you will receive quotes from. So if you want to choose specific insurance companies to receive pricing from, we put together a list of low cost auto insurance companies in your area. Click here for list of insurance companies.

It’s up to you how you get prices quotes, just be certain you are entering the exact same coverage limits for every quote you compare. If you use different values for each quote it will be nearly impossible to determine which rate is truly the best.

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

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Don’t overlook these insurance discounts

Companies don’t necessarily list every disount available in a way that’s easy to find, so the following list contains a few of the more well known in addition to some of the lesser obvious discounts that you may qualify for.

  • Military Rewards – Being on active deployment in the military could be rewarded with lower insurance rates.
  • Air Bags and Passive Restraints – Vehicles equipped with air bags or motorized seat belts can get savings up to 30%.
  • Professional Memberships – Being a member of qualifying clubs or civic groups could earn you a nice discount when shopping for insurance.
  • Anti-lock Brake System – Cars, trucks, and SUVs equipped with ABS or steering control are safer to drive and qualify for as much as a 10% discount.
  • Discounts for Government Workers – Employees or retirees of the government can save as much as 8% for Aerostar coverage depending on your company.
  • Use Seat Belts – Buckling up and requiring all passengers to use their safety belts could cut 10% or more off the PIP or medical payment premium.
  • Drive Safe and Save – Insureds without accidents could pay up to 40% less for Aerostar coverage as compared to drivers with claims.

It’s important to understand that most discounts do not apply to the overall cost of the policy. A few only apply to specific coverage prices like collision or personal injury protection. Despite the appearance that all the discounts add up to a free policy, it’s just not the way it works.

A few of the larger companies and the discounts they provide are:

  • American Family discounts include good driver, good student, accident-free, TimeAway discount, and defensive driver.
  • Nationwide has discounts for business or organization, accident-free, anti-theft, multi-policy, defensive driving, and easy pay.
  • MetLife may offer discounts for multi-policy, good student, claim-free, good driver, accident-free, defensive driver
  • 21st Century offers discounts for student driver, air bags, homeowners, good student, and early bird.
  • Farmers Insurance includes discounts for early shopping, mature driver, distant student, teen driver, multi-car, and pay in full.
  • Allstate may include discounts for premier plus, auto/life discount, safe driver, resident student, good payer, and passive restraint.

If you are trying to find inexpensive auto insurance quotes, ask every insurance company which discounts you qualify for. Savings might not be offered on policies in your state.

When to get professional advice

When choosing coverage, there is no single plan that fits everyone. Every situation is different and your policy should reflect that. For instance, these questions might help in determining whether your personal situation would benefit from professional advice.

  • Is business property covered if stolen from my car?
  • What is UM/UIM insurance?
  • Does insurance cover damages from a DUI accident?
  • I have good health insurance, so how much medical payments coverage do I need?
  • How much liability insurance is required?
  • What is medical payments coverage?
  • When do I need to add a new car to my policy?
  • What if I owe more than I can insure my car for?

If you’re not sure about those questions but you think they might apply to your situation, then you may want to think about talking to an insurance agent. If you don’t have a local agent, complete this form or go to this page to view a list of companies. It’s fast, free and you can get the answers you need.

Car insurance policy coverages for a 1992 Ford Aerostar

Having a good grasp of your car insurance policy aids in choosing which coverages you need at the best deductibles and correct limits. Policy terminology can be impossible to understand and reading a policy is terribly boring. These are the usual coverages found on most car insurance policies.

Auto liability insurance

Liability coverage can cover damage or injury you incur to other’s property or people by causing an accident. It protects YOU from legal claims by others. It does not cover damage to your own property or vehicle.

Liability coverage has three limits: bodily injury for each person, bodily injury for the entire accident, and a limit for property damage. Your policy might show liability limits of 100/300/100 that translate to a limit of $100,000 per injured person, $300,000 for the entire accident, and a total limit of $100,000 for damage to vehicles and property.

Liability can pay for things such as bail bonds, structural damage, emergency aid, legal defense fees and medical services. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is a personal decision, but it’s cheap coverage so purchase as much as you can afford.

Auto collision coverage

Collision insurance pays for damage to your Aerostar from colliding with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. You have to pay a deductible then the remaining damage will be paid by your insurance company.

Collision can pay for things like sideswiping another vehicle, damaging your car on a curb, scraping a guard rail, hitting a mailbox and crashing into a building. Collision is rather expensive coverage, so you might think about dropping it from older vehicles. Another option is to raise the deductible to bring the cost down.

Medical expense insurance

Medical payments and Personal Injury Protection insurance kick in for bills such as surgery, hospital visits, doctor visits and ambulance fees. The coverages can be used to fill the gap from your health insurance plan or if you lack health insurance entirely. Medical payments and PIP cover all vehicle occupants and will also cover if you are hit as a while walking down the street. PIP is only offered in select states but can be used in place of medical payments coverage

Protection from uninsured/underinsured drivers

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage gives you protection when the “other guys” either have no liability insurance or not enough. This coverage pays for medical payments for you and your occupants as well as damage to your Ford Aerostar.

Since a lot of drivers only purchase the least amount of liability that is required, their limits can quickly be used up. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages is important protection for you and your family.

Comprehensive (Other than Collision)

Comprehensive insurance pays for damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. You first must pay your deductible then your comprehensive coverage will pay.

Comprehensive coverage protects against things such as fire damage, a broken windshield, rock chips in glass, falling objects and hail damage. The maximum amount you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the cash value of the vehicle, so if it’s not worth much more than your deductible it’s probably time to drop comprehensive insurance.

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Coverage on a shoestring budget

Cheaper insurance coverage is possible both online and with local insurance agents, so you need to shop auto insurance with both to have the best selection. There are still a few companies who don’t offer online price quotes and these smaller companies work with independent agents.

When trying to cut insurance costs, it’s not a good idea to sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. In many instances, an accident victim reduced uninsured motorist or liability limits only to regret that they should have had better coverage. Your strategy should be to find the BEST coverage at the best possible price, but don’t skip important coverages to save money.

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