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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I really doubt anyone looks forward to paying premiums for auto insurance, especially knowing they could find better rates elsewhere. With people having so many companies and agents to choose from, it can be hard to find the lowest cost company.

You need to check auto insurance prices quite often due to the fact that insurance prices change quite often. Even if you got the best deal for S-Series coverage six months ago the chances are good that you can find a lower rate today. You can find a lot of information about auto insurance out there, but you can learn some tested techniques to find affordable auto insurance.

Informed consumers can cut their insurance premiums

Many different elements are used when you get your auto insurance bill. Most are fairly basic such as your driving record, but some are more transparent such as whether you are married or how financially stable you are.

  • Pay more if you have a long commute – Being located in a rural area can save you money if you are looking for the lowest rates. Less people living in that area translates into fewer accident claims in addition to lower liability claims Drivers who live in large cities regularly have traffic congestion and more time behind the wheel. More time behind the wheel statistically corresponds to a higher accident and claim rate.
  • Having a spouse is a good thing – Having a spouse may earn you lower rates compared to being single. Marriage means you’re more mature than a single person and statistics show being married results in fewer claims.
  • Insurance policy lapses increase rates – Having an insurance coverage lapse is a guaranteed way to trigger a rate increase. In addition to paying higher rates, not being able to provide proof of insurance might get you fines or a revoked license.
  • Liability insurance limits should be high – Your insurance policy’s liability coverage kicks in when you are determined to be liable for physical damage or personal injury to other. It will provide for a legal defense starting from day one. Liability is cheap compared to other policy coverages, so do not cut corners here.
  • Better rates on safer cars – Vehicles with high crash test scores tend to have lower insurance rates. Safe vehicles result in less severe injuries and reduced instances of injuries means your insurance company pays less and lower rates for you.
  • Gender and auto insurance rates – Over time, data shows women are more cautious behind the wheel. However, this does not mean men are worse drivers. Men and women are in auto accidents in similar percentages, but the males cause more damage and cost insurance companies more money. Men also receive more major tickets like DWI (DUI) or reckless driving.
  • Employer stress can make you pay more – Careers like lawyers, business owners and emergency personnel usually pay higher premium rates because of high stress and lots of time spent at work. On the flip side, occupations such as actors, engineers and retirees generally pay rates lower than average for S-Series coverage.
  • Raise your comp and collision deductibles for better costs – Insurance for physical damage, aka comp and collision, covers damage that occurs to your Saturn. Examples of covered claims are a windshield shattered by a rock, damage caused by hail, and damage caused by flying debris. Comprehensive and collision coverage deductibles define how much you are willing to pay in the event of a claim. The more money you are required to pay out-of-pocket, the better rate you will receive for S-Series coverage.

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How to get car insurance quotes

Most companies allow you to get pricing directly from their websites. Comparing rates online can be done by anyone because you just enter your personal and coverage information on the page. Behind the scenes, the quote system makes automated requests for information on your driving record and credit history and generates pricing information based on the data you entered. Being able to quote online streamlines rate comparisons, but having to visit many different websites and type in the same data is repetitive and time-consuming. But it’s necessary to do this in order to get better car insurance pricing.

Quote rates the easy way

The preferred way to find better car insurance pricing uses one form that gets price quotes from multiple companies. The form is fast, requires less work, and makes online price comparison much easier to do. Immediately after you send the form, it gets priced with multiple companies and you can pick your choice of the quotes that you receive. If you find a better price you can simply submit the application and buy the new coverage. It just takes a couple of minutes and may save quite a bit of money.

To quickly fill out one form to compare multiple rates now, click here and enter your information. If you have your current policy handy, we recommend you copy deductibles and limits just like they are on your policy. Doing this assures you are getting an apples-to-apples comparison based on the exact same insurance coverage.

Is there truth in advertising?

Drivers constantly see and hear ads that claim the lowest prices from the likes of Allstate, GEICO and Progressive. They all say the same thing that you can save just by switching your coverage to them.

How does each company charge you less for auto insurance? This is how they do it.

Different companies have specific guidelines for the type of insured that will generate a profit. For example, a profitable insured may be between the ages of 30 and 50, owns a home, and has excellent credit. Any person that hits that “sweet spot” will qualify for the lowest prices and therefore will save some money.

Drivers who don’t qualify for these criteria may receive higher premium rates which results in the customer not buying. Company advertisements say “people that switch” not “everyone who quotes” save that much. That’s why insurance companies can lure you into getting a quote. That is why you should get auto insurance quotes as often as possible. It’s just not possible to know which company will have the best premium rates at this point in time.

Lower your insurance rates with discounts

Some insurers don’t always advertise every discount they offer in an easy-to-find place, so the next list breaks down a few of the more well known as well as some of the hidden ways to save on insurance.

  • Homeowners Pay Less – Being a homeowner can save a few bucks because owning a home is proof that your finances are in order.
  • Student Discounts – Performing well in school can be rewarded with saving of up to 25%. The good student discount can last up to age 25.
  • Safety Course Discount – Passing a driver safety class could earn you a small percentage discount depending on where you live.
  • Discounts for Multiple Vehicles – Drivers who insure several vehicles on one policy could earn a price break for each car.
  • Safe Drivers – Drivers who don’t get into accidents can save as much as half off their rates for S-Series coverage as compared to drivers with claims.
  • Data Collection Discounts – Drivers who elect to allow companies to spy on when and where they use their vehicle by using a telematics device in their vehicle like Allstate’s Drivewise may get a rate reduction as long as the data is positive.

Remember that most discount credits are not given to the entire cost. Some only apply to the cost of specific coverages such as liability, collision or medical payments. Even though it appears you could get a free insurance policy, companies don’t profit that way.

To find insurance companies who offer online insurance quotes, click here to view.

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You are unique and your insurance should be too

When buying coverage for your vehicles, there isn’t really a single plan that fits everyone. Every insured’s situation is different and your policy should reflect that. These are some specific questions may help highlight if your insurance needs will benefit from professional help.

  • Should I waive the damage coverage when renting a car?
  • Does insurance cover damages from a DUI accident?
  • When would I need additional glass coverage?
  • Do I need medical payments coverage since I have good health insurance?
  • What is an SR-22 filing?
  • Am I getting all the discounts available?
  • Can I make deliveries for my home business?
  • Does medical payments coverage apply to all occupants?
  • When does my teenage driver need to be added to my policy?
  • What can I do if my company won’t pay a claim?

If you can’t answer these questions, then you may want to think about talking to an agent. To find an agent in your area, complete this form or click here for a list of insurance companies in your area. It’s fast, free and may give you better protection.

Insurance policy specifics

Learning about specific coverages of your insurance policy can help you determine appropriate coverage and the correct deductibles and limits. Policy terminology can be confusing and reading a policy is terribly boring. Shown next are typical coverage types found on the average insurance policy.

Coverage for liability – This will cover damage that occurs to other’s property or people in an accident. It protects YOU from legal claims by others, and does not provide coverage for damage to your own property or vehicle.

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. You commonly see liability limits of 50/100/50 that translate to $50,000 bodily injury coverage, a per accident bodily injury limit of $100,000, and a limit of $50,000 paid for damaged property.

Liability coverage pays for claims such as medical services, funeral expenses, attorney fees and bail bonds. How much liability coverage do you need? That is your choice, but it’s cheap coverage so purchase higher limits if possible.

Uninsured and underinsured coverage – Your UM/UIM coverage protects you and your vehicle from other drivers when they either have no liability insurance or not enough. It can pay for injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants and also any damage incurred to your 1993 Saturn S-Series.

Since many drivers only purchase the least amount of liability that is required, it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. This is the reason having UM/UIM coverage is important protection for you and your family.

Comprehensive coverages – Comprehensive insurance coverage covers damage that is not covered by collision coverage. You need to pay your deductible first then the remaining damage will be covered by your comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive can pay for claims such as falling objects, fire damage, a broken windshield and a tree branch falling on your vehicle. The highest amount you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the ACV or actual cash value, so if the vehicle is not worth much consider removing comprehensive coverage.

Collision coverage – Collision insurance will pay to fix damage to your S-Series resulting from colliding with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. You will need to pay your deductible and then insurance will cover the remainder.

Collision coverage pays for things like colliding with another moving vehicle, colliding with a tree and sustaining damage from a pot hole. Paying for collision coverage can be pricey, so analyze the benefit of dropping coverage from vehicles that are 8 years or older. Drivers also have the option to increase the deductible to bring the cost down.

Coverage for medical payments – Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage provide coverage for expenses like nursing services, doctor visits, hospital visits, dental work and prosthetic devices. The coverages can be used to cover expenses not covered by your health insurance policy or if you lack health insurance entirely. Medical payments and PIP cover you and your occupants and will also cover being hit by a car walking across the street. Personal injury protection coverage is only offered in select states and may carry a deductible

And the best car insurance company is…

Budget-friendly car insurance can be found on the web as well as from insurance agents, and you need to comparison shop both to get a complete price analysis. There are still a few companies who may not offer online rate quotes and usually these smaller providers only sell coverage through independent agencies.

Throughout this article, we presented a lot of information how to save on 1993 Saturn S-Series insurance. It’s most important to understand that the more rate comparisons you have, the better likelihood of getting the cheapest auto insurance. You may be surprised to find that the lowest priced car insurance comes from a small local company. These smaller insurers may cover specific market segments cheaper as compared to the big name companies such as Progressive or GEICO.

To learn more, feel free to browse the resources below: