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: Jul 31, 2018

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Finding cheaper car insurance quotes online can be a challenge if you are like the majority of consumers and have never used online quotes. But don’t be overwhelmed because we’re going to show you how.

How to lower your insurance cost

There are multiple methods to shop for insurance, but one way is less labor-intensive and much quicker. You can spend your afternoon talking about coverages with insurance agencies in your area, or you could use online quoting to get the quickest rates.

Most car insurance companies take part in a program that enables customers to send in one quote, and each company then gives them pricing. This system prevents you from having to do quotation requests to each company. To compare rates using this form now click here to open in new window.

The one disadvantage to using this type of system is that you can’t choose which providers to receive prices from. So if you want to select from a list of companies to compare prices, we have a listing of low cost insurance companies in your area. Click here to view list.

The approach you take is up to you, just ensure you’re using identical coverage limits with each company. If each company quotes higher or lower deductibles it’s not possible to determine which rate is truly the best. Quoting even small variations in limits can result in a big premium difference. And when comparing insurance rates, know that having more price comparisons increases your odds of finding a lower rate than you’re paying now. Not every company allows you to get online rate quotes, so you also need to get quotes from the smaller companies as well.

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

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Do you qualify for discount insurance?

The price of auto insurance can be rather high, but there’s a good chance there are discounts that you may not even be aware of. Many discounts should be triggered at the time of quoting, but a few need to be manually applied in order for you to get them.

  • Payment Method – If you pay your entire premium ahead of time as opposed to paying monthly you can actually save on your bill.
  • Senior Citizen Discount – Older drivers are able to get a small discount on rates for 3 Series insurance.
  • Low Mileage – Keeping the miles down on your BMW may allow you to get better premium rates on cars that stay parked.
  • Smart Student Discounts – Performing well in school could provide a savings of up to 20% or more. The discount lasts up to age 25.
  • No Claims – Drivers with accident-free driving histories are rewarded with significantly better rates on car insurance quote as opposed to frequent claim filers.
  • ABS and Traction Control Discounts – Cars, trucks, and SUVs equipped with ABS or steering control have fewer accidents so companies give up to a 10% discount.
  • Distant College Student Discount – College-age children who are enrolled in higher education away from home and don’t have a car could get you a discount.
  • Early Signing – Some insurance companies give discounts for buying a new policy prior to your current policy expiration. The savings is around 10%.

A quick disclaimer, some credits don’t apply to the overall cost of the policy. Some only apply to specific coverage prices like medical payments or collision. So when the math indicates it’s possible to get free car insurance, that’s just not realistic.

Larger insurance companies and some of the discounts can be found below.

  • State Farm offers discounts including driver’s education, safe vehicle, accident-free, good driver, and passive restraint.
  • Farmers Insurance offers discounts for youthful driver, early shopping, electronic funds transfer, business and professional, good student, and alternative fuel.
  • GEICO may offer discounts for daytime running lights, military active duty, emergency military deployment, defensive driver, five-year accident-free, and membership and employees.
  • American Family includes discounts for multi-vehicle, accident-free, defensive driver, bundled insurance, and air bags.
  • Nationwide policyholders can earn discounts including good student, multi-policy, anti-theft, family plan, easy pay, and Farm Bureau membership.
  • Progressive offers premium reductions for good student, online signing, multi-vehicle, multi-policy, and online quote discount.

If you are trying to find inexpensive car insurance quotes, ask each company which discounts can lower your rates. Depending on the company, some discounts may not be offered in your area. To view insurers that offer multiple discounts, follow this link.

Get cheaper car insurance with these tips

The best way to find cheaper car insurance is to take a look at the factors that help calculate your car insurance rates. When you know what positively or negatively positively or negatively impacts your premiums, this empowers consumers to make smart changes that may reward you with lower rates. Multiple criteria are taken into consideration when quoting car insurance. Some of the criteria are obvious such as your driving record, although others are more transparent like your vehicle usage or your commute time.

The list below includes some of the things used by companies to determine your rate level.

  • Get better rates if married – Walking down the aisle may earn you lower rates compared to being single. It usually means you are more mature than a single person and it’s proven that drivers who are married are more cautious.
  • Alarms and GPS tracking lower premiums – Selecting a car model with a theft deterrent system can help bring down rates. Systems that thwart theives like tamper alarm systems, vehicle immobilizer technology and General Motors OnStar all aid in stopping vehicle theft.
  • A lcar insurance lapse is a bad thing – Going without insurance is a sure-fire way to pay more for car insurance. And not only will insurance be more expensive, the inability to provide proof of insurance will get you a fine, jail time, or a revoked license.
  • Where you live factors in – Living in areas with lower population has definite advantages when insuring your vehicles. People in densly populated areas regularly have traffic congestion and much longer commute distances. Fewer drivers and short commutes translates into fewer accident claims and a lower car theft rate.
  • Cars with good safety ratings cost less to insure – Vehicles with high crash test scores tend to have lower insurance rates. Safe vehicles reduce injuries and lower injury rates means your insurance company pays less and lower rates for you.
  • Better drivers pay the best costs – Your driving citation history has a huge affect on how much you pay. Attentive drivers get better prices than people who have multiple driving citations. Having just one speeding ticket can boost insurance rates by as much as twenty percent. Drivers with serious citations like DUI, reckless driving or excessive speeding may be required to maintain a SR-22 with their state DMV in order to legally drive a vehicle.
  • Multiple policies with one company can save – Most larger car insurance companies afford a discount to customers that buy multiple policies in the form of a multi-policy discount. Even with this discount, drivers will still want to compare rates to help guarantee you have the best rates.

What insurance coverages do I need?

When buying proper insurance coverage for your vehicles, there isn’t really a perfect coverage plan. Everyone’s situation is a little different.

These are some specific questions can help discover whether you might need professional guidance.

  • What is an SR-22 filing?
  • When can my company non-renew my policy?
  • Is a new car covered when I drive it off the dealer lot?
  • Does my insurance cover damage caused when ticketed for reckless driving?
  • Can I afford low physical damage deductibles?
  • Is there coverage for injuries to my pets?
  • What are the best liability limits?
  • When should I not file a claim?
  • How much underlying liability do I need for an umbrella policy?
  • What is the difference between comprehensive and collision coverage?

If you’re not sure about those questions but you think they might apply to your situation, you may need to chat with an insurance agent. To find an agent in your area, take a second and complete this form.

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

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Information about specific coverages

Understanding the coverages of insurance aids in choosing the best coverages and proper limits and deductibles. The coverage terms in a policy can be difficult to understand and coverage can change by endorsement.

Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist insurance – This protects you and your vehicle when other motorists do not carry enough liability coverage. It can pay for injuries to you and your family and damage to your BMW 3 Series.

Because many people only carry the minimum required liability limits, it only takes a small accident to exceed their coverage. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages is a good idea.

Collision – Collision coverage pays to fix your vehicle from damage caused by collision 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 such as scraping a guard rail, driving through your garage door, rolling your car, hitting a mailbox and crashing into a ditch. Paying for collision coverage can be pricey, so you might think about dropping it from vehicles that are older. You can also bump up the deductible to save money on collision insurance.

Insurance for medical payments – Coverage for medical payments and/or PIP provide coverage for short-term medical expenses such as EMT expenses, hospital visits, ambulance fees and chiropractic care. They are utilized in addition to your health insurance policy or if you do not have health coverage. They cover you and your occupants and will also cover any family member struck as a pedestrian. Personal injury protection coverage is not available in all states and gives slightly broader coverage than med pay

Liability – Liability insurance protects you from damages or injuries you inflict on other people or property by causing an accident. It protects you from claims by other people, and doesn’t cover your injuries or vehicle damage.

Coverage consists of three different limits, bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage. You commonly see values of 100/300/100 that means you have $100,000 in coverage for each person’s injuries, a total of $300,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and $100,000 of coverage for damaged propery.

Liability can pay for claims such as loss of income, court costs, emergency aid and medical services. How much coverage you buy is a personal decision, but buy as much as you can afford.

Comprehensive coverage (or Other than Collision) – This coverage pays for damage that is not covered by collision coverage. You first have to pay a deductible and then insurance will cover the rest of the damage.

Comprehensive coverage protects against things such as fire damage, hitting a bird, a broken windshield and falling objects. The highest amount you’ll receive from a claim is the market value of your vehicle, so if it’s not worth much more than your deductible it’s probably time to drop comprehensive insurance.

In Summary

As you quote car insurance, you should never buy lower coverage limits just to save a few bucks. There have been many situations where someone dropped uninsured motorist or liability limits and found out when filing a claim that they should have had better coverage. The ultimate goal is to purchase a proper amount of coverage at an affordable rate, but don’t skip important coverages to save money.

Cost effective 1994 BMW 3 Series insurance is possible online in addition to many insurance agents, so you need to shop car insurance with both in order to have the best chance of saving money. A few companies may not have rates over the internet and these regional carriers sell through local independent agents.

We just showed you a lot of techniques to get a better price on 1994 BMW 3 Series insurance. The key concept to understand is the more rate quotes you have, the better likelihood of getting cheaper car insurance. Consumers could even find that the best prices are with some of the lesser-known companies.

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