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: Jun 2, 2018

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When shopping for cheaper insurance, do you get overwhelmed by the crazy number of insurance coverage providers in your area? You have so many providers to choose from that it is a chore to find the best rates.

It’s important to compare premium rates periodically because prices fluctuate regularly. If you had the best quotes for S-Series coverage at your last renewal there is a good chance you can find better rates now. Block out anything you think you know about insurance coverage because you’re about to learn one of the best ways to find the best coverage while lowering your premiums.

Buying car insurance is quite easy. If you currently have a car insurance policy, you will most likely be able to cut costs considerably using these techniques. But car owners should learn how companies market insurance on the web and apply this information to your search.

How to shop car insurance online

Most of the larger companies make it easy to get coverage price quotes from their websites. Getting prices online doesn’t take a lot of time as you simply type in the coverage amounts you desire into the quote form. After you submit the form the company’s rating system automatically orders information on your driving record and credit history and returns a price based on the information you submitted.

Being able to quote online makes it easy to compare insurance prices but having to visit each company’s website and repetitively complete many quote forms can get tiresome after awhile. But it is imperative to perform this step if you want to find the lowest possible prices on car insurance.

The preferred way to find better car insurance pricing utilizes a single form to obtain quotes from many companies. This type of form saves time, helps eliminate reptitive entry, and makes online quotes a lot less work. Immediately after you send the form, your coverage is rated with multiple companies and you can pick your choice of the resulting price quotes. If one or more price quotes are lower than your current rates, it’s easy to complete the application and buy the policy. It takes just a few minutes to complete and can result in significant savings.

To quickly get comparison pricing now, simply click here to open in new window and fill out the form. To compare your current rates, we recommend that you enter the limits and deductibles as close as possible to your current policy. This way, you will have a rate comparison based on the exact same insurance coverage.

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

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Tricks in insurance coverage advertising

Companies like State Farm and Allstate consistently run ads on TV and radio. All the companies convey the message about savings just by switching your coverage to them. How is it plausible that every one can claim to save you money? Here is how they do it.

All the different companies have specific characteristics for the driver that will be a good risk. For example, a profitable customer might be described as between 30 and 50, has never had a claim, and insures a new vehicle. Any driver that fits those parameters will probably get the lowest prices and as a result will probably cut their rates substantially.

Potential insureds who don’t meet those criteria must pay a higher premium and the driver buying from a lower-cost company. If you pay close attention to the ads, they say “customers that switch” not “all people who quote” save money. That is how companies can make it sound like they have such great rates. That is why you should get as many free insurance quotes as possible. Because you cannot predict with any certainty which company will have the lowest rates.

Five discounts to earn lower-cost car insurance rates

Car insurance is expensive, but you may find discounts to help offset the cost. Some discounts will apply at the time of quoting, but some discounts are required to be asked about before you get the savings.

  • Multi-Vehicle Discounts – Buying coverage for multiple cars on the same car insurance policy can get a discount on all vehicles.
  • Drivers Ed for Students – Make teen driver coverage more affordable by requiring them to take driver’s ed class if offered at their school.
  • Low Miles Discount – Driving less may allow you to get lower car insurancerates on the low mileage vehicles.
  • Theft Prevention System – Cars equipped with anti-theft or alarm systems can help prevent theft so companies will give you a small discount.
  • Save with a New Car – Insuring a vehicle that is new can get you a discount since new vehicles are generally safer.

Policy discounts save money, but most discount credits are not given to the entire cost. Some only apply to the price of certain insurance coverages like medical payments or collision. So when the math indicates it’s possible to get free car insurance, it’s just not the way it works.

Popular car insurance companies and some of the premium reductions they offer are outlined below.

  • Progressive may offer discounts for homeowner, multi-policy, good student, online quote discount, and multi-vehicle.
  • SAFECO has discounts for multi-car, safe driver, homeowner, anti-lock brakes, accident prevention training, bundle discounts, and anti-theft.
  • American Family offers discounts including good driver, accident-free, multi-vehicle, TimeAway discount, defensive driver, mySafetyValet, and early bird.
  • MetLife offers discounts for good student, defensive driver, claim-free, good driver, and accident-free.
  • GEICO discounts include anti-theft, federal employee, daytime running lights, membership and employees, and military active duty.
  • The Hartford has savings for defensive driver, anti-theft, air bag, bundle, driver training, vehicle fuel type, and good student.

If you need lower rates, check with every prospective company which discounts you qualify for. Savings may not apply to policyholders in your area. If you would like to view insurers that offer many of these discounts, click this link.

Tailor your insurance coverage to you

When choosing coverage, there isn’t really a perfect coverage plan. Each situation is unique.

For instance, these questions may help you determine whether your personal situation would benefit from an agent’s advice.

  • When would I need rental car insurance?
  • Are my friends covered when driving my car?
  • How can I find cheaper teen driver insurance?
  • If my pet gets injured in an accident are they covered?
  • Am I covered when delivering products for my home-based business?
  • Does my policy cover my teen driver if they drive my company car?
  • When should my teen driver be added to my policy?
  • Do I have coverage when using my vehicle for my home business?
  • What is UM/UIM insurance?
  • Do I pay less for low miles?

If you can’t answer these questions then you might want to talk to 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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Auto insurance coverages explained

Having a good grasp of auto insurance can help you determine which coverages you need at the best deductibles and correct limits. The coverage terms in a policy can be difficult to understand and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording.

Comprehensive coverage – This coverage pays for damage from a wide range of events other than collision. You first must pay your deductible then the remaining damage will be covered by your comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive coverage protects against things such as theft, a broken windshield and rock chips in glass. The maximum payout your auto insurance company will pay is the ACV or actual cash value, so if it’s not worth much more than your deductible consider removing comprehensive coverage.

Auto liability insurance – This will cover injuries or damage you cause to other’s property or people by causing an accident. This coverage protects you from legal claims by others. It does not cover your injuries or vehicle damage.

Coverage consists of three different limits, bodily injury for each person, bodily injury for the entire accident, and a limit for property damage. You might see policy limits of 25/50/25 which means $25,000 bodily injury coverage, a per accident bodily injury limit of $50,000, and a total limit of $25,000 for damage to vehicles and property.

Liability coverage protects against claims like court costs, repair costs for stationary objects, attorney fees and pain and suffering. How much coverage you buy is a decision to put some thought into, but it’s cheap coverage so purchase as much as you can afford.

Collision coverage – Collision coverage covers damage to your S-Series from colliding with an object or car. You will need to pay your deductible and then insurance will cover the remainder.

Collision can pay for claims such as driving through your garage door, scraping a guard rail, hitting a mailbox, hitting a parking meter and sustaining damage from a pot hole. Collision is rather expensive coverage, so consider removing coverage from older vehicles. Drivers also have the option to raise the deductible in order to get cheaper collision rates.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage – Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage gives you protection from other motorists when they either have no liability insurance or not enough. Covered claims include injuries to you and your family as well as your vehicle’s damage.

Because many people have only the minimum liability required by law, their limits can quickly be used up. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages is a good idea.

Medical payments coverage and PIP – Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage reimburse you for short-term medical expenses such as prosthetic devices, EMT expenses and ambulance fees. The coverages can be utilized in addition to your health insurance program or if you do not have health coverage. They cover not only the driver but also the vehicle occupants and also covers getting struck while a pedestrian. Personal Injury Protection is not available in all states and gives slightly broader coverage than med pay

Don’t be a big spender

Consumers switch companies for a variety of reasons including unfair underwriting practices, high prices, policy cancellation and questionable increases in premium. No matter why you want to switch, switching companies can be easier than you think.

A few companies do not offer online rate quotes and these smaller companies work with independent agents. Low-cost 1995 Saturn S-Series insurance is attainable on the web in addition to many insurance agents, so you need to compare both to get a complete price analysis.

When you buy insurance online, never sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. In many cases, drivers have reduced collision coverage to discover at claim time that the few dollars in savings costed them thousands. The proper strategy is to purchase plenty of coverage at the best cost, but do not sacrifice coverage to save money.

More information can be read at the links below