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: Nov 12, 2018

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Are you kicking yourself for buying an underperforming, overpriced insurance coverage policy? You’re preaching to the choir because many consumers are feeling buyer’s remorse and feel like there’s no way out.

Companies like Allstate, Liberty Mutual and State Farm persitently shower you with ad campaigns and consumers find it hard to see past the geckos and flying pigs and do the work needed to find the best deal.

It’s a great practice to get comparison quotes at least once a year because prices fluctuate regularly. Even if you got the best rate on Civic insurance a couple years back you may be paying too much now. There are lots of tips to save on insurance coverage out there, but in a few minutes you can learn a bunch of ideas how to save money.

If you are paying for car insurance now, you will most likely be able to cut costs considerably using this information. Choosing the best insurance company for you is quite easy. But vehicle owners benefit from understanding the way companies price insurance differently because it can help you find the best coverage.

The easiest way to compare insurance rates in your area is to realize car insurance companies allow for online access to give rate comparisons. The one thing you need to do is give the companies some data including which vehicles you own, if you are currently licensed, how old drivers are, and how much school you completed. Your insurance information is automatically sent to multiple companies and you get price estimates quickly.

Can you really save that much by switching?

Well-known auto insurance companies like 21st Century, Allstate and State Farm constantly bombard you with ads on TV and radio. They all tend to make the same promise that drivers will save a bundle if you get a free auto insurance quote and switch your policy. How does every auto insurance company offer you a better deal? It’s all in the wording.

All the different companies can use profiling for the type of customer that makes them money. A good example of a desirable risk might be described as a female over age 40, has never had a claim, and drives less than 5,000 miles a year. Any customer who meets those qualifications will get a cheap rate quote and will probably cut their rates if they switch.

People who are not a match for the requirements may be forced to pay a more expensive rate which translates to the driver buying from a lower-cost company. If you listen closely, the ads state “drivers that switch” not “everyone that quotes” save that much. That is how insurance companies can advertise the way they do. Because each company has a different risk profile, you should compare free auto insurance quotes often. It is just not possible to predict which insurance companies will fit your personal profile best.

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

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Learn how to lower your insurance prices

Multiple criteria are part of the calculation when you quote your car insurance policy. Most are fairly basic like your driving record, but others are not as apparent such as whether you are married and annual miles driven.

The factors shown below are some of the most common factors used by companies to determine prices.

  • Liability insurance limits should be high – The liability coverage on your policy is the coverage that protects you if ever you are ruled to be at fault for damages from an accident. Your policy’s liability insurance provides legal defense up to the limits shown on your policy. Liability insurance is quite affordable when compared with rates for comp and collision, so drivers should buy more than the minimum limits required by law.
  • Save money by raising comp and collision deductibles – Physical damage coverage, also called ‘full coverage’, is used to repair damage to your Honda. Examples of covered claims are running into the backend of another car, damage caused by hail, and rolling your vehicle. The deductibles you choose are the amount of money you are required to spend in the event of a claim. The more damage repair cost you choose to pay out-of-pocket, the less your company will charge you for insurance on Civic insurance.
  • Always keep your insurance policy in place – Having a gap between insurance policy dates can be a quick way to increase your renewal premiums. Not only will rates go up, failure to provide proof of insurance will get you fines and jail time.
  • Single drivers take more risk – Having a significant other helps lower the price when shopping for insurance. Marriage demonstrates that you tend to be less irresponsible and it’s proven that drivers who are married file infrequent claims.

Don’t miss these rate-reducing discounts

Insurance can cost an arm and a leg, but you may find discounts to cut the cost considerably. A few discounts will automatically apply when you get a quote, but once in a while a discount must be specifically requested prior to receiving the credit.

  • Low Miles Discount – Low annual miles could qualify for slightly better premium rates than normal.
  • Distant Student – Children who are enrolled in higher education away from home and leave their car at home can receive lower rates.
  • Own a Home and Save – Just being a homeowner may earn you a small savings due to the fact that maintaining a home is proof of financial responsibility.
  • Seat Belt Discounts – Requiring all passengers to wear their seat belts can save a little off PIP or medical payments premium.
  • Passive Restraint Discount – Cars that have air bags may get savings of more than 20%.
  • Telematics Discount – Insureds who allow driving data collection to study where and when they drive remotely such as Allstate’s Drivewise and State Farm’s In-Drive system could see a rate decrease if their driving habits are good.
  • Early Signing – Some insurance companies give discounts for switching to them prior to the expiration date on your current policy. The savings is around 10%.
  • Military Deployment Discount – Being deployed with a military unit may qualify for rate reductions.
  • Mature Driver Discount – Drivers over the age of 55 may be able to get reduced rates on Civic insurance.
  • Employee of Federal Government – Active or retired federal employment may reduce rates when you quote auto insurance on Civic insurance with select insurance companies.

Discounts lower rates, but most discounts do not apply to your bottom line cost. Most only cut specific coverage prices like liability and collision coverage. So when it seems like it’s possible to get free car insurance, you aren’t that lucky.

Large insurance companies and some of the premium reductions they offer can be read below.

  • Progressive has savings for good student, continuous coverage, online quote discount, online signing, and multi-vehicle.
  • MetLife offers premium reductions for accident-free, good student, claim-free, multi-policy, good driver, defensive driver
  • Mercury Insurance offers discounts including annual mileage, type of vehicle, good student, professional/association, multi-policy, accident-free, and anti-theft.
  • Nationwide discounts include family plan, multi-policy, easy pay, defensive driving, accident-free, business or organization, and good student.
  • GEICO policyholders can earn discounts including seat belt use, driver training, daytime running lights, air bags, anti-lock brakes, military active duty, and federal employee.
  • AAA has discounts for anti-theft, AAA membership discount, education and occupation, multi-policy, multi-car, good driver, and pay-in-full.

Before purchasing a policy, check with every insurance company which discounts can lower your rates. Some discounts may not apply everywhere. To view insurers with the best discounts, follow this link.

Do I need special coverages?

When choosing the best insurance coverage, there isn’t really a single plan that fits everyone. Coverage needs to be tailored to your specific needs so your insurance needs to address that. Here are some questions about coverages that can aid in determining whether you would benefit from professional advice.

  • Is my custom paint covered by insurance?
  • Why am I required to buy liability insurance?
  • Which companies will insure high-risk drivers?
  • If I drive on a suspended license am I covered?
  • Do I need special endorsements for business use of my vehicle?
  • Can I make deliveries for my home business?
  • Does my medical payments coverage pay my health insurance deductible?
  • When should I not file a claim?
  • Am I covered if I drive in a foreign country?

If you can’t answer these questions but a few of them apply, you might consider talking to an insurance agent. To find an agent in your area, simply complete this short form or go to this page to view a list of companies.

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

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The coverage is in the details

Having a good grasp of your auto insurance policy helps when choosing the best coverages for your vehicles. Auto insurance terms can be impossible to understand and nobody wants to actually read their policy. These are the usual coverages found on most auto insurance policies.

Auto liability insurance

Liability insurance will cover injuries or damage you cause to other’s property or people by causing an accident. It protects YOU against other people’s claims, and does not provide coverage for your own vehicle damage or injuries.

Liability coverage has three limits: per person bodily injury, per accident bodily injury, and a property damage limit. Your policy might show values of 50/100/50 which means a limit of $50,000 per injured person, $100,000 for the entire accident, and $50,000 of coverage for damaged propery.

Liability insurance covers things such as pain and suffering, structural damage, medical expenses, repair bills for other people’s vehicles and emergency aid. How much liability coverage do you need? That is a decision to put some thought into, but you should buy higher limits if possible.

Collision coverage

Collision insurance covers damage to your Civic caused by collision with a stationary object or other vehicle. You have to pay a deductible and the rest of the damage will be paid by collision coverage.

Collision coverage pays for claims like scraping a guard rail, hitting a parking meter, damaging your car on a curb, hitting a mailbox and crashing into a ditch. This coverage can be expensive, so consider removing coverage from older vehicles. Another option is to raise the deductible to bring the cost down.

Med pay and Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Med pay and PIP coverage kick in for bills for things like rehabilitation expenses, ambulance fees, nursing services and pain medications. The coverages can be used to cover expenses not covered by your health insurance policy or if you do not have health coverage. Medical payments and PIP cover both the driver and occupants and also covers being hit by a car walking across the street. PIP coverage is not universally available and may carry a deductible

Comprehensive insurance

Comprehensive insurance coverage pays to fix your vehicle from damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. You need to pay your deductible first and then insurance will cover the rest of the damage.

Comprehensive can pay for claims such as theft, damage from a tornado or hurricane and a tree branch falling on your vehicle. The most you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the market value of your vehicle, so if the vehicle is not worth much consider dropping full coverage.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM)

Your UM/UIM coverage protects you and your vehicle from other drivers when they either have no liability insurance or not enough. This coverage pays for hospital bills for your injuries and damage to your Honda Civic.

Since many drivers carry very low liability coverage limits, their limits can quickly be used up. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages is very important.

Final considerations

Some insurance companies may not have online rate quotes and most of the time these smaller providers provide coverage only through local independent agencies. Discount 1997 Honda Civic insurance is possible online and from local agencies, so compare prices from both to have the best chance of lowering rates.

As you shop your coverage around, make sure you don’t reduce coverage to reduce premium. There have been many cases where an insured cut comprehensive coverage or liability limits and found out when filing a claim that the savings was not a smart move. The ultimate goal is to find the BEST coverage for the lowest price.

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