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: Dec 11, 2017

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Are you regretting the purchase of an expensive insurance coverage policy? It’s quite common and many consumers are in the same pinch. People have so many auto insurance companies to insure vehicles with, and although it’s a good thing to have a selection, it can be more difficult to compare company pricing.

The purpose of this article is to help you learn the best way to quote coverages and some money-saving tips. If you currently have car insurance, you will most likely be able to cut costs considerably using these tips. Drivers only need an understanding of the tricks to shop online.

Six factors that affect insurance costs

When buying car insurance it’s important to understand the different types of things that play a part in calculating the price you pay for car insurance. When you know what positively or negatively impacts premium levels, this enables informed choices that may reward you with better car insurance rates. Many things are taken into consideration when quoting car insurance. Some are pretty understandable like your driving record, but others are more obscure such as whether you are married or how safe your car is.

The itemized list below are some of the things used by insurance companies to determine rates.

  • Save by driving less – The higher the mileage driven in a year’s time the higher your rates will be. Most insurance companies price each vehicle’s coverage based upon how you use the vehicle. Cars left parked in the garage get more affordable rates than those used for commuting. Make sure your policy is showing how each vehicle is driven. Having an incorrect usage rating on your M3 can result in significantly higher rates.
  • Single vs. married – Walking down the aisle actually saves money on your policy. Having a significant other means you’re more mature it has been statistically shown that drivers who are married file infrequent claims.
  • Do you qualify for a multi-policy discount? – Lots of companies will give lower prices to clients who carry more than one policy in the form of a multi-policy discount. Even though this discount sounds good, consumers should still shop around to help guarantee you have the best rates.
  • Raising physical damage deductibles saves money – Insurance for physical damage, also called comprehensive and collision insurance, covers damage that occurs to your BMW. A few examples of covered claims would be a broken side mirror, collision with an animal, and rolling your vehicle. Comprehensive and collision coverage deductibles are how much you are required to spend if the claim is covered. The more of the claim you choose to pay out-of-pocket, the less your company will charge you for insurance for M3 insurance.
  • Youthful drivers cost more – Older insureds tend to be more responsible, cost insurance companies less in claims and tend to be get fewer driving tickets.Teen drivers are known to be less responsible in a vehicle therefore car insurance rates are much higher.
  • Job impacts premiums – Did you know your job can affect your rates? Jobs like military personnel, business owners and emergency personnel are shown to have the highest rates due to intense work situations and lots of time spent at work. Conversely, jobs such as professors, students and the unemployed receive lower rates for M3 insurance.

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More discounts mean lower-cost premiums

Companies that sell car insurance don’t list their entire list of discounts in a way that’s easy to find, so we researched some of the more common in addition to some of the lesser obvious auto insurance savings.

  • Responsible Driver Discount – Drivers without accidents can get discounts for up to 45% lower rates for M3 insurance than less cautious drivers.
  • Discount for Good Grades – A discount for being a good student could provide a savings of up to 20% or more. The discount lasts up until you turn 25.
  • Save with More Vehicles Insured – Drivers who insure more than one vehicle on a single policy qualifies for this discount.
  • Active Service Discounts – Being on active deployment in the military could trigger a small discount.
  • No Accidents – Insureds who avoid accidents and claims get the best auto insurance rates as compared to accident-prone drivers.
  • ABS Braking Discount – Vehicles with ABS and/or traction control have fewer accidents so you can save 10 percent or more.
  • Telematics Discount – Insureds that choose to allow driving data collection to track when and where they use their vehicle by using a telematics device in their vehicle such as State Farm’s In-Drive could possibly reduce rates as long as the data is positive.
  • Distant Student Discount – Any of your kids who are enrolled in a college that is more than 100 miles from home and do not take a car to college could get you a discount.
  • Save with a New Car – Buying a new car model can save up to 30% since newer models are generally safer.

Don’t be shocked that many deductions do not apply to all coverage premiums. Most only reduce individual premiums such as liability and collision coverage. Even though it appears you would end up receiving a 100% discount, companies wouldn’t make money that way.

If you would like to choose from a list of insurers who offer auto insurance discounts, follow this link.

Auto insurance in the media

Consumers can’t get away from ads for the lowest price auto insurance by companies like State Farm, GEICO and Progressive. They all tend to make the same promise about saving some big amount just by switching your auto insurance policy to them.

That’s great but how can every company make almost identical claims?

Many companies have an ideal profile for the right customer that earns them the most money. For example, this type of risk profile may be a married female, has a clean driving record, and insures a new vehicle. Any customer that meets those criteria receive the lowest rate quotes and as a result will probably cut their rates substantially.

Potential customers who do not meet these criteria will get higher premiums and this results in the customer not purchasing. The wording the ads use say “customers that switch” but not “everyone who gets a quote” will save that much if they switch. This is how companies can advertise the savings.

This really emphasizes why you absolutely need to get as many free insurance coverage quotes as possible. It is just not possible to predict which company will have the best prices at this point in time.

It’s not one size fits all

When choosing proper insurance coverage, there really is no one size fits all plan. Each situation is unique and a cookie cutter policy won’t apply. Here are some questions about coverages that may help highlight whether your personal situation could use an agent’s help.

  • Do I need special endorsements for business use of my vehicle?
  • Does having multiple vehicles earn me a discount?
  • Is a fancy paint job covered?
  • Do I need to file an SR-22 for a DUI in my state?
  • Do all my vehicles need collision coverage?
  • How much can I save by bundling my policies?
  • How high should my uninsured/underinsured coverage be in my state?
  • Is my ex-spouse still covered by my policy?
  • Am I covered when renting a car or should I buy coverage from the car rental agency?
  • Is rental equipment covered for theft or damage?

If it’s difficult to answer those questions but a few of them apply, you might consider talking to a licensed agent. To find lower rates from a local agent, complete this form or you can also visit this page to select a carrier It’s fast, free and you can get the answers you need.

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Parts of your car insurance policy

Knowing the specifics of car insurance aids in choosing the best coverages and the correct deductibles and limits. The coverage terms in a policy can be confusing and nobody wants to actually read their policy. Shown next are typical coverages available from car insurance companies.

Collision protection

Collision insurance covers damage to your M3 resulting from colliding with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. A deductible applies then the remaining damage will be paid by your insurance company.

Collision can pay for things like colliding with a tree, hitting a parking meter, damaging your car on a curb and scraping a guard rail. Collision coverage makes up a good portion of your premium, so consider dropping it from vehicles that are older. Another option is to increase the deductible to save money on collision insurance.

Coverage for medical expenses

Medical payments and Personal Injury Protection insurance provide coverage for short-term medical expenses for rehabilitation expenses, doctor visits, X-ray expenses and surgery. They are used in conjunction with a health insurance program or if you do not have health coverage. It covers not only the driver but also the vehicle occupants and also covers getting struck while a pedestrian. Personal injury protection coverage is not an option in every state and gives slightly broader coverage than med pay

Comprehensive car insurance

This coverage pays to fix your vehicle from damage from a wide range of events other than collision. You first have to pay a deductible and the remainder of the damage will be paid by comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive can pay for claims like fire damage, hitting a deer and theft. The maximum payout you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the ACV or actual cash value, so if your deductible is as high as the vehicle’s value it’s probably time to drop comprehensive insurance.

Liability insurance

This coverage provides protection from damages or injuries you inflict on a person or their property. This coverage protects you from legal claims by others. It does not cover your own vehicle damage or injuries.

Liability coverage has three limits: bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage. You commonly see values of 25/50/25 which means $25,000 bodily injury coverage, a total of $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and a limit of $25,000 paid for damaged property. Occasionally you may see a combined limit which limits claims to one amount with no separate limits for injury or property damage.

Liability coverage pays for claims like legal defense fees, court costs, funeral expenses and repair bills for other people’s vehicles. How much liability coverage do you need? That is a decision to put some thought into, but it’s cheap coverage so purchase higher limits if possible.

Coverage for uninsured or underinsured drivers

This provides protection when other motorists are uninsured or don’t have enough coverage. Covered claims include medical payments for you and your occupants as well as your vehicle’s damage.

Due to the fact that many drivers carry very low liability coverage limits, their liability coverage can quickly be exhausted. That’s why carrying high Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage is a good idea. Normally these coverages do not exceed the liability coverage limits.

What is YOUR best insurance company?

As you shop your coverage around, you should never skimp on critical coverages to save a buck or two. In many instances, someone sacrificed uninsured motorist or liability limits to discover at claim time that the few dollars in savings costed them thousands. Your strategy should be to purchase a proper amount of coverage at the lowest possible cost, but do not skimp to save money.

Low-cost 1995 BMW M3 insurance can be bought both online in addition to many insurance agents, so you need to quote insurance coverage with both to get a complete price analysis. Some insurance providers do not offer price quotes online and many times these regional carriers only sell coverage through independent insurance agencies.

For more information, link through to the resources below: