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: Oct 5, 2015

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Getting the cheapest insurance can appear to be overwhelming for people new to quoting and online price comparisons. With such a large number of agents and insurance companies available, how are people expected to possibly compare them all to find the best price?

If you are paying for car insurance now, you should be able to reduce your rates substantially using these techniques. This article will help you learn how to get online quotes and some tips to save money. But car owners do need to learn how the larger insurance companies compete online and take advantage of how the system works.

Car insurance discounts are available to cut your rates

Buying car insurance is not cheap, but you may be missing some discounts to cut the cost considerably. Many of these discounts will be applied automatically at the time you complete a quote, but a few must be specifically requested before they will apply.

  • Anti-theft System – Cars, trucks, and SUVs equipped with anti-theft or alarm systems are stolen with less frequency and will save you 10% or more.
  • Discount for Good Grades – Excelling in school can earn a discount of 20% or more. You can use this discount normally up until you turn 25.
  • Auto/Life Discount – Not every insurance company offers life insurance, but if they do you may earn a break if you buy life insurance.
  • Multi-Vehicle Discounts – Insuring multiple cars or trucks on one policy qualifies for this discount.
  • Save over 55 – Seniors can possibly qualify for a small decrease in premiums for Custom Cruiser coverage.
  • Safety Course Discount – Completing a course that instructs on driving safety could cut 5% off your bill and also improve your driving technique.
  • Sign Early and Save – Some car insurance companies reward drivers for switching companies prior to your current policy expiring. It’s a savings of about 10%.

While discounts sound great, it’s important to understand that most of the big mark downs will not be given to all coverage premiums. The majority will only reduce the cost of specific coverages such as medical payments or collision. Despite the appearance that it’s possible to get free car insurance, that’s just not realistic.

If you would like to choose from a list of providers with significant discounts, follow this link.

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

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Where can I get the cheapest insurance?

There are multiple methods to shop for insurance, but some are easier and takes less work. You can waste a few hours (or days) talking about coverages with agents in your area, or you can stay home and use the internet to accomplish the same thing much quicker.

The majority of car insurance companies belong to an insurance system where insurance shoppers enter their policy data once, and each company returns a competitive quote based on that information. This eliminates the need for quote forms to every company. To compare rates now click here to start a free quote.

The one downside to using this type of form is you are unable to specify the insurers to get quotes from. So if you want to select specific insurance companies for rate comparison, we put together a list of companies who write insurance in your area. Click here for list of insurance companies.

Compare rates however you want, just make absolute certain that you use exactly the same quote data on every quote you get. If you enter higher or lower deductibles you will not be able to determine which company has the best rates. Just slight variations in limits could mean much higher rates. And when comparing insurance rates, know that comparing a wide range of rates helps increase your odds of locating lower pricing.

Everyone needs different car insurance coverages

When choosing coverage, there really is not a “perfect” insurance plan. Coverage needs to be tailored to your specific needs.

For instance, these questions might help in determining if your insurance needs could use an agent’s help.

  • What vehicles should carry emergency assistance coverage?
  • Is rental equipment covered for theft or damage?
  • Does my policy cover my teen driver if they drive my company car?
  • When does my teenage driver need to be added to my policy?
  • Should I bundle my homeowners policy with my auto?
  • How can I get my company to pay me more for my totalled car?
  • Are there companies who specialize in insuring high-risk drivers?
  • Is business equipment covered while in my vehicle?
  • Am I covered if hit by an uninsured driver?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, then you may want to think about talking to an agent. To find lower rates from a local agent, fill out this quick form.

Auto insurance coverage information

Having a good grasp of your policy can be of help when determining the best coverages and the correct deductibles and limits. Insurance terms can be ambiguous and reading a policy is terribly boring.

Collision coverage – Collision coverage pays to fix your vehicle from damage resulting from a collision with another car or object. A deductible applies and then insurance will cover the remainder.

Collision can pay for claims like colliding with a tree, scraping a guard rail, hitting a parking meter and crashing into a ditch. Collision is rather expensive coverage, so consider removing coverage from vehicles that are older. Another option is to raise the deductible to get cheaper collision coverage.

Coverage for liability – Liability coverage provides protection from injuries or damage you cause to a person or their property in an accident. It protects you from claims by other people, and does not provide coverage for damage sustained by your vehicle in an accident.

Coverage consists of three different limits, bodily injury for each person injured, bodily injury for the entire accident and a property damage limit. You commonly see liability limits of 100/300/100 which means a limit of $100,000 per injured person, a limit of $300,000 in injury protection per accident, and property damage coverage for $100,000. Some companies may use one limit called combined single limit (CSL) which provides one coverage limit with no separate limits for injury or property damage.

Liability coverage pays for things like loss of income, pain and suffering, legal defense fees and medical services. How much liability should you purchase? That is a personal decision, but buy higher limits if possible.

Uninsured and underinsured coverage – Your UM/UIM coverage protects you and your vehicle’s occupants when the “other guys” either have no liability insurance or not enough. Covered losses include medical payments for you and your occupants and also any damage incurred to your Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser.

Since a lot of drivers only carry the minimum required liability limits, their liability coverage can quickly be exhausted. So UM/UIM coverage is a good idea. Usually these limits do not exceed the liability coverage limits.

Comprehensive coverages – Comprehensive insurance will pay to fix damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. You first have to pay a deductible and then insurance will cover the rest of the damage.

Comprehensive coverage pays for things such as hitting a deer, hail damage, damage from a tornado or hurricane and theft. The most you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the market value of your vehicle, so if the vehicle’s value is low consider dropping full coverage.

Coverage for medical payments – Medical payments and Personal Injury Protection insurance reimburse you for immediate expenses such as prosthetic devices, chiropractic care, X-ray expenses, ambulance fees and EMT expenses. The coverages can be used to fill the gap from your health insurance program or if you do not have health coverage. Coverage applies to you and your occupants as well as any family member struck as a pedestrian. Personal injury protection coverage is only offered in select states and may carry a deductible

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

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Be a penny pincher

When searching for low cost insurance coverage quotes, do not sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. In many cases, an insured dropped liability limits or collision coverage only to discover later that the savings was not a smart move. Your objective should be to purchase a proper amount of coverage for the lowest cost while not skimping on critical coverages.

Consumers who switch companies do it for a number of reasons such as extreme rates for teen drivers, an unsatisfactory settlement offer, delays in responding to claim requests or even questionable increases in premium. Regardless of your reason, switching companies is not as difficult as it may seem.

Cheaper 1992 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser insurance is available online in addition to many insurance agents, so get free insurance coverage quotes from both of them to have the best rate selection. A few companies may not have the ability to get quotes online and most of the time these smaller companies sell through independent agencies.

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