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 6, 2015

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Looking for cheaper car insurance rates for your BMW 3 Series? No car owner likes buying car insurance, especially when they know they could find lower prices if they just compared rates.

Many auto insurance companies compete for your hard-earned dollar, so it can be very hard to choose a company and get the definite best rate

If you are paying for car insurance now, you stand a good chance to be able to lower your premiums substantially using this information. Buying car insurance is easy if you know what you’re doing. But drivers can benefit from knowing how the larger insurance companies price online insurance because it can help you find the best coverage.

The quickest method to compare insurance rates in your area is to know the trick auto insurance companies provide online access to quote your coverage. All consumers are required to do is give them rating details including driver details, your general credit rating, if you’re married, and if the car is leased. Your details gets transmitted to insurance companies and they respond with quotes immediately.

Are you falling for claims of savings?

Insurance providers like State Farm, GEICO and Progressive consistently run television and radio advertisements. They all tend to make the same promise about savings if you just switch to their company. How does each company cost less than your current company? You have to listen carefully.

All the different companies have an ideal profile for the type of insured that is profitable for them. One example of a desirable insured should be a female over age 40, has a low-risk occupation, and the vehicle is rated for pleasure use. Anyone who matches that profile will get a cheap rate quote and is almost guaranteed to save quite a bit of money when switching.

Insureds who may not quite match these criteria will get higher premium rates and ends up with business not being written. The trick companies use is to say “people that switch” not “everyone that quotes” can get the lowest rates when switching. That’s the way insurance companies can confidently make those statements. Because of this risk profiling, you really need to compare rate quotes every year. It is impossible to predict the company that will give you the biggest savings.

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Car insurance quotes and discounts

Some providers don’t always advertise every policy discount in an easy-to-find place, so the following list contains a few of the more well known and the harder-to-find credits available to lower your premiums when you buy insurance coverage online.

  • Early Renewal Discounts – A few insurance companies give discounts for switching to them prior to the expiration date on your current policy. Ten percent is about the average savings.
  • Membership in Organizations – Being in certain professional organizations may earn a discount on your next car insurance statement.
  • Seat Belts Save – Drivers who always wear seat belts and also require passengers to buckle their seat belts may be able to save a few bucks off the medical payments premium.
  • Discounts for Responsible Drivers – Insureds who avoid accidents can save up to 40% or more on their insurance coverage quote on 3 Series coverage than drivers with accident claims.
  • Passenger Safety Discount – Vehicles with factory air bags may earn rate discounts of 25 to 30%.
  • Multiple Cars – Buying insurance for multiple vehicles on a single policy can reduce rates for all insured vehicles.

Drivers should understand that some credits don’t apply to all coverage premiums. Some only apply to the price of certain insurance coverages like physical damage coverage or medical payments. So when the math indicates you would end up receiving a 100% discount, that’s just not realistic.

A list of car insurance companies and a selection of discounts can be read below.

  • AAA policyholders can earn discounts including anti-theft, AAA membership discount, good student, multi-car, multi-policy, and good driver.
  • Progressive may offer discounts for continuous coverage, multi-vehicle, online quote discount, homeowner, and good student.
  • State Farm may include discounts for driver’s education, defensive driving training, good driver, accident-free, student away at school, good student, and Steer Clear safe driver discount.
  • Esurance includes discounts for emergency road assistance, defensive driver, online shopper, good driver, and DriveSense.
  • Nationwide may have discounts that include multi-policy, Farm Bureau membership, defensive driving, family plan, easy pay, and good student.

When getting free insurance coverage quotes, it’s a good idea to each company or agent which discounts you may be entitled to. Depending on the company, some discounts might not be offered in your area.

Situations that may require an agent’s advice

When buying proper insurance coverage for your vehicles, there is no single plan that fits everyone. Every insured’s situation is different and your policy should reflect that. These are some specific questions may help you determine whether or not you will benefit from professional help.

  • What is roadside assistance coverage?
  • Am I covered when renting a car or should I buy coverage from the car rental agency?
  • Are rock chip repairs covered?
  • Am I covered if I wreck a rental car?
  • Is upholstery damage covered by car insurance?
  • Is my state a no-fault state?
  • Am I getting all the discounts available?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions then you might want to talk to an insurance agent. If you don’t have a local agent, simply complete this short form or go to this page to view a list of companies.

What insurance coverages do you need?

Learning about specific coverages of your policy can help you determine which coverages you need and the correct deductibles and limits. The terms used in a policy can be impossible to understand and coverage can change by endorsement. Listed below are typical coverage types found on the average insurance policy.

Coverage for collisions

This will pay to fix damage to your 3 Series resulting from colliding with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. You have to pay a deductible then the remaining damage will be paid by your insurance company.

Collision insurance covers claims such as rolling your car, sideswiping another vehicle, driving through your garage door, damaging your car on a curb and hitting a mailbox. This coverage can be expensive, so consider removing coverage from vehicles that are 8 years or older. Drivers also have the option to increase the deductible to bring the cost down.

Comprehensive auto coverage

This coverage covers damage that is not covered by collision coverage. A deductible will apply and then insurance will cover the rest of the damage.

Comprehensive can pay for things like hitting a deer, a broken windshield, a tree branch falling on your vehicle and theft. The maximum amount you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the cash value of the vehicle, so if it’s not worth much more than your deductible it’s not worth carrying full coverage.

Auto liability insurance

Liability insurance provides protection from injuries or damage you cause to a person or their property that is your fault. It protects you against claims from other people, and doesn’t cover damage sustained by your vehicle in an accident.

Liability coverage has three limits: bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage. As an example, you may have liability limits of 25/50/25 that means you have $25,000 in coverage for each person’s injuries, a per accident bodily injury limit of $50,000, and $25,000 of coverage for damaged propery.

Liability insurance covers things like structural damage, medical services, loss of income, medical expenses and bail bonds. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is up to you, but consider buying higher limits if possible.

Medical payments and PIP coverage

Med pay and PIP coverage reimburse you for bills like pain medications, nursing services, surgery, prosthetic devices and doctor visits. They can be utilized in addition to your health insurance plan or if there is no health insurance coverage. They cover not only the driver but also the vehicle occupants and also covers if you are hit as a while walking down the street. PIP is not universally available and may carry a deductible

UM/UIM (Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist) coverage

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage protects you and your vehicle’s occupants from other drivers when they either have no liability insurance or not enough. Covered claims include injuries to you and your family as well as damage to your BMW 3 Series.

Since a lot of drivers have only the minimum liability required by law, their limits can quickly be used up. That’s why carrying high Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage should not be overlooked.

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

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Buy Smart and Save

When getting insurance coverage quotes online, make sure you don’t buy less coverage just to save a little money. There are a lot of situations where drivers have reduced full coverage only to find out that a couple dollars of savings turned into a financial nightmare. The ultimate goal is to get the best coverage possible at the best possible price, but don’t skip important coverages to save money.

We’ve covered many ideas to save on 1996 BMW 3 Series insurance. The key thing to remember is the more rate quotes you have, the better likelihood of getting affordable insurance coverage. Drivers may discover the lowest rates come from a company that doesn’t do a lot of advertising. Regional companies may cover specific market segments cheaper than the large multi-state companies such as State Farm, GEICO and Nationwide.

For more information, take a look at the following helpful articles: