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 5, 2015

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Paying for expensive Saturn S-Series insurance can stress out your accounts and force you to prioritize other expenses. Price shopping at each renewal is free and is an excellent way to slash your bill and have more diposable income.

Insurance companies such as Allstate, Liberty Mutual and State Farm persitently shower you with ads and it is challenging if not impossible to separate fact from fiction and effectively compare rates to find the best deal.

Are you getting every discount?

Companies that sell car insurance don’t always publicize every discount in an easy-to-find place, so the below list has a few of the more well known as well as the least known car insurance savings.

  • Renewal Discounts – Some insurance companies provide a discount for switching policies prior to your current policy expiration. You may see this discount when you get auto insurance quotes online.
  • Savings for New Vehicles – Putting car insurance coverage on a new car can get you a discount because new model year vehicles have to meet stringent safety requirements.
  • Homeowners Discount – Being a homeowner can save a few bucks because owning a home is proof of financial responsibility.
  • Paperless Signup – Some of the larger companies will give a small break simply for signing over the internet.
  • Data Collection Discounts – Drivers that enable companies to spy on driving habits by using a telematics device in their vehicle such as In-Drive from State Farm or Allstate’s Drivewise system might get better premium rates if they are good drivers.
  • Discount for Passive Restraints – Vehicles equipped with air bags or motorized seat belts may get savings of 25 to 30%.
  • Discount for Life Insurance – Larger insurance companies have a lower price if you buy life insurance.

A little disclaimer on discounts, many deductions do not apply the the whole policy. Most only cut individual premiums such as liability, collision or medical payments. Just because it seems like you could get a free car insurance policy, companies wouldn’t make money that way. But all discounts will lower your policy cost.

Companies and some of the discounts are outlined below.

  • Farmers Insurance offers discounts for teen driver, good student, youthful driver, pay in full, business and professional, and multi-car.
  • Esurance may offer discounts for claim free, good student, renters, emergency road assistance, online shopper, and DriveSense.
  • State Farm discounts include anti-theft, student away at school, good student, safe vehicle, good driver, and multiple policy.
  • GEICO includes discounts for multi-policy, five-year accident-free, daytime running lights, seat belt use, and anti-lock brakes.
  • Allstate offers premium reductions for teenSMART discount, multi-policy, FullPay discount, 55 and retired, and safe driver.

When quoting, ask every prospective company what discounts are available to you. Some credits may not be offered everywhere. To choose insurance companies with the best discounts, follow this link.

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

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Informed drivers can cut insurance costs

Many factors are used when you get a price on insurance. Some of the criteria are obvious such as your driving record, but other criteria are less obvious such as your credit history or your financial responsibility.When buying insurance it’s important to understand some of the things that help determine insurance rates. If you have some idea of what determines base rates, this empowers consumers to make smart changes that may reward you with lower rates.

  • Car insurance liability limits – A critical coverage on your policy, liability insurance will protect you if you are found to be at fault for causing damage or personal injury in an accident. It provides legal defense coverage up to the limits shown on your policy. This coverage is relatively inexpensive compared to comp and collision, so do not cut corners here.
  • High coverage deductibles save money – Comp and collision deductibles tell how much you are required to pay before a claim is paid by your company. Physical damage protection, also known as collision and other-than-collision, is used to repair damage to your car. Some examples of claims that would be covered are a windshield broken by a bird, fire damage, or theft of your vehicle. The more money the insured is willing to pay, the lower your rates will be on S-Series coverage.
  • Your address can affect rates – Residing in a rural area is a good thing when buying insurance. Less people means fewer accidents and a lower car theft rate. People in densly populated areas have to deal with much more traffic and longer commutes to work. More time behind the wheel means higher likelihood of an accident.
  • Get better premiums after the wedding – Having a significant other helps lower the price on your insurance policy. It means you’re more mature than a single person and it’s statistically proven that married drivers get in fewer accidents.
  • Your employer may affect rates – Do you have a high-stress occupation? Jobs such as military personnel, business owners and dentists tend to pay higher average rates attributed to intense work-related stress and long work days. On the other hand, jobs like actors, historians and performers get better rates on S-Series coverage.
  • Eliminate unneeded extra policy coverages – There are a lot of extra coverages that you can get tricked into buying when buying insurance. Things like roadside assistance, high-cost glass coverage, and Farm Bureau memberships may be costing you every month. These may sound like a good investment when deciding what coverages you need, but now you might not need them so consider taking them off your policy.
  • Reserve insurance claims for larger damages – Auto insurance companies give most affordable rates to policyholders who do not file claims often. If you are a frequent claim filer, you can expect increased rates or even have your policy non-renewed. Auto insurance is intended to be relied upon for larger claims.

When in doubt talk to an agent

When it comes to buying the right insurance coverage for your personal vehicles, there really is not a one size fits all plan. Everyone’s situation is a little different so your insurance should reflect that For example, these questions might help in determining if your situation could use an agent’s help.

  • How do I insure my teen driver?
  • Is my teenager covered with friends in the car?
  • Do I have coverage when pulling a U-Haul trailer?
  • What is PIP insurance?
  • Can I get a multi-policy discount?
  • Is my teen driver covered when they drive my company car?
  • How much underlying liability do I need for an umbrella policy?
  • Is rental equipment covered for theft or damage?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions but a few of them apply, then you may want to think about talking to a licensed insurance agent. If you want to speak to an agent in your area, complete this form or you can go here for a list of companies in your area.

Insurance advertising gotchas

Big name companies like Progressive, GEICO, Allstate and State Farm consistently run ads on TV and radio. All the ads advertise the message that drivers can save some big amount if you just switch your policy. Is it even possible that every company can offer drivers better rates? This is how they do it.

Companies are able to cherry pick for the type of driver that earns them the highest profit. For example, a desirable insured might be a mature driver, carries high limits, and drives a lower-performance vehicle. A propective insured who matches that profile receives the best rates and is almost guaranteed to save when they switch companies.

Insureds who don’t qualify for this ideal profile may receive a higher rate which leads to the customer not buying. The trick is to say “customers that switch” but not “all drivers who get quotes” save that kind of money. That’s the way insurance companies can confidently make claims like that. Because each company has a different risk profile, you really should compare price quotes frequently. It is impossible to predict which insurance company will have the best car insurance rates at this point in time.

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

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Parts of your insurance policy

Having a good grasp of insurance can help you determine appropriate coverage at the best deductibles and correct limits. The coverage terms in a policy can be impossible to understand and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording. Shown next are the normal coverages offered by insurance companies.

Comprehensive insurance

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

Comprehensive can pay for things like falling objects, a tree branch falling on your vehicle and rock chips in glass. The most your insurance company will pay is the actual cash value, so if the vehicle is not worth much consider dropping full coverage.

Auto liability insurance

This coverage provides protection from damage or injury you incur to people or other property. This insurance protects YOU against claims from other people, and doesn’t cover your injuries or vehicle damage.

Split limit liability has three limits of coverage: per person bodily injury, per accident bodily injury, and a property damage limit. Your policy might show values of 25/50/25 which means $25,000 bodily injury coverage, a total of $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and property damage coverage for $25,000.

Liability insurance covers claims such as medical services, legal defense fees, loss of income, pain and suffering and medical expenses. How much liability coverage do you need? That is up to you, but you should buy as high a limit as you can afford.

Coverage for medical expenses

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage provide coverage for immediate expenses such as chiropractic care, funeral costs, doctor visits, rehabilitation expenses and nursing services. They are often utilized in addition to your health insurance plan or if you do not have health coverage. Coverage applies to both the driver and occupants as well as if you are hit as a while walking down the street. PIP coverage is not universally available but can be used in place of medical payments coverage

Auto collision coverage

This pays to fix your vehicle from damage from colliding with an object or car. You have to pay a deductible then your collision coverage will kick in.

Collision coverage pays for things like colliding with another moving vehicle, sustaining damage from a pot hole, crashing into a ditch and driving through your garage door. Collision coverage makes up a good portion of your premium, so you might think about dropping it from vehicles that are older. You can also choose a higher deductible in order to get cheaper collision rates.

Coverage for uninsured or underinsured drivers

This coverage provides protection when the “other guys” either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. Covered losses include medical payments for you and your occupants and also any damage incurred to your Saturn S-Series.

Since many drivers carry very low liability coverage limits, it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. That’s why carrying high Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage is a good idea.

Shop Smart and Save

We just covered quite a bit of information on how to compare 1997 Saturn S-Series insurance car insurance rates online. The most important thing to understand is the more times you quote, the higher your chance of finding cheaper auto insurance. Consumers may even find the biggest savings come from the least-expected company. These companies may cover specific market segments cheaper than the large multi-state companies such as Progressive or GEICO.

Some insurance companies may not have rates over the internet and most of the time these smaller providers provide coverage only through local independent agencies. Affordable 1997 Saturn S-Series insurance can be bought on the web in addition to many insurance agents, and you need to comparison shop both in order to have the best chance of saving money.

When searching for the cheapest auto insurance quotes, you should never skimp on critical coverages to save a buck or two. There are too many instances where someone sacrificed uninsured motorist or liability limits only to find out that the small savings ended up costing them much more. Your goal is to purchase a proper amount of coverage for the lowest cost but still have enough coverage for asset protection.

Additional insurance coverage information can be found on the following sites: