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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Looking for lower auto insurance rates for your Pontiac Sunfire? Did a good deal turn into an underperforming, overpriced auto insurance policy? You’re in good company because there are many people just like you.

Many insurers compete to insure your vehicles, and it can be difficult to compare rates and uncover the absolute lowest rate

You should take the time to compare prices once or twice a year because auto insurance rates are usually higher with each renewal. Just because you had the best premium rates for Sunfire insurance last year there may be better deals available now. Ignore everything you know about auto insurance because you’re going to get a crash course in the best way to lower your annual insurance bill.

Verify you’re applying every discount

The price of auto insurance can be rather high, but there’s a good chance there are discounts to help bring down the price. Some of these disounts will be visible at quote time, but less common discounts must be specifically requested before you will receive the discount.

  • Bundle and Save – If you have multiple policies with one company you could earn a discount of up to 20% off your total premium.
  • Telematics Devices – People who choose to allow their insurance company to spy on driving habits remotely like Drivewise from Allstate or In-Drive from State Farm might see lower rates as long as the data is positive.
  • No Claim Discounts – Drivers with accident-free driving histories can earn big discounts as opposed to frequent claim filers.
  • Drive Safe and Save – Drivers who don’t get into accidents can pay as much as 50% less for Sunfire insurance as compared to drivers with claims.
  • Life Insurance Discount – Companies who offer life insurance give lower rates if you buy some life insurance too.
  • Membership in Organizations – Being in a qualifying organization could earn you a nice discount on your next renewal.
  • Theft Deterent Discount – Cars, trucks, and SUVs equipped with anti-theft or alarm systems are stolen with less frequency and qualify for as much as a 10% discount.

A little note about advertised discounts, most of the big mark downs will not be given the the whole policy. A few only apply to individual premiums such as physical damage coverage or medical payments. So even though they make it sound like adding up those discounts means a free policy, nobody gets a free ride.

The best insurance coverage companies and some of their more popular discounts can be found below.

  • GEICO offers discounts for multi-policy, five-year accident-free, emergency military deployment, air bags, membership and employees, and good student.
  • Travelers may have discounts that include driver training, continuous insurance, student away at school, good student, new car, and hybrid/electric vehicle.
  • Nationwide has discounts for business or organization, anti-theft, family plan, multi-policy, Farm Bureau membership, and accident-free.
  • Farmers Insurance may include discounts for early shopping, teen driver, business and professional, good student, and bundle discounts.
  • Esurance may offer discounts for multi-policy, Pac-12 alumni, good student, homeowner, and safety device.
  • State Farm has savings for multiple policy, good student, defensive driving training, safe vehicle, and student away at school.
  • Progressive policyholders can earn discounts including online signing, homeowner, multi-vehicle, good student, and online quote discount.
  • Mercury Insurance includes discounts for good driver, multi-car, accident-free, age of vehicle, and location of vehicle.

When comparing rates, check with every prospective company to give you their best rates. Some credits might not be offered everywhere. To choose insurers with significant discounts, follow this link.

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

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Where can I get affordable auto insurance?

Most major insurance companies allow consumers to get pricing from their websites. Obtaining pricing is pretty painless because you just enter your personal and coverage information into a form. After the form is submitted, their system requests your driving and credit reports and provides a quote determined by many factors. Online price quotes makes it easy to compare insurance prices but the process of having to visit several different sites and fill out multiple forms can get tiresome after awhile. But it’s necessary to do this if you want to find a lower rate.

There is a better way!

The smarter way to compare rates is to use a quote form to return rates from multiple companies. It’s a real time-saver, eliminates form submissions, and makes quoting online a lot less work. As soon as the form is sent, it gets priced and you can choose your choice of the quotes returned.

If one or more price quotes are lower than your current rates, you can click and sign and purchase coverage. This process only takes a few minutes and you will find out if you’re overpaying now.

To quickly get comparison pricing now, simply click here to open in new window and submit your coverage information. If you have coverage now, it’s recommended you input the coverages exactly as they are listed on your policy. This ensures you will get rate comparison quotes using the exact same coverages.

When should I discuss my situation with an agent?

When buying the best car insurance coverage for your vehicles, there really is no “best” method to buy coverage. Everyone’s situation is a little different so this has to be addressed. These are some specific questions might help in determining whether or not you will benefit from professional help.

  • Should I sign the liability waiver when renting a car?
  • Are split liability limits better than a combined single limit?
  • How much liability do I need to cover my assets?
  • Should I have a commercial auto policy?
  • Is a fancy paint job covered?
  • Can I get a multi-policy discount?

If it’s difficult to answer those questions then you might want to talk to an agent. To find lower rates from a local agent, take a second and complete this form or click here for a list of car insurance companies in your area.

Educate yourself about insurance coverages

Learning about specific coverages of your insurance policy can be of help when determining appropriate coverage and proper limits and deductibles. The terms used in a policy can be impossible to understand and reading a policy is terribly boring. Listed below are typical coverages offered by insurance companies.

UM/UIM (Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist) coverage

Your UM/UIM coverage protects you and your vehicle’s occupants when the “other guys” either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. Covered claims include injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants as well as damage to your Pontiac Sunfire.

Since a lot of drivers carry very low liability coverage limits, it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages is a good idea. Frequently your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages are similar to your liability insurance amounts.

Coverage for liability

Liability insurance will cover damage or injury you incur to other people or property that is your fault. It protects you against other people’s claims. Liability doesn’t cover your own vehicle damage or injuries.

Coverage consists of three different limits, bodily injury for each person, bodily injury for the entire accident, and a limit for property damage. You commonly see limits of 100/300/100 which stand for a $100,000 limit per person for injuries, a limit of $300,000 in injury protection per accident, and property damage coverage for $100,000. Alternatively, you may have a combined single limit or CSL that pays claims from the same limit with no separate limits for injury or property damage.

Liability insurance covers claims such as medical services, attorney fees and bail bonds. How much liability coverage do you need? That is a personal decision, but consider buying higher limits if possible.

Medical payments and PIP coverage

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage reimburse you for short-term medical expenses for dental work, chiropractic care, funeral costs and EMT expenses. They can be used in conjunction with a health insurance policy or if you lack health insurance entirely. It covers you and your occupants in addition to being hit by a car walking across the street. PIP is only offered in select states but it provides additional coverages not offered by medical payments coverage

Auto collision coverage

This coverage pays for damage to your Sunfire resulting from colliding with another car or object. You have to pay a deductible then the remaining damage will be paid by your insurance company.

Collision can pay for claims like sideswiping another vehicle, hitting a mailbox and driving through your garage door. Collision is rather expensive coverage, so consider removing coverage from lower value vehicles. Another option is to raise the deductible in order to get cheaper collision rates.

Comprehensive auto coverage

Comprehensive insurance coverage pays to fix your vehicle from damage OTHER than collision with another vehicle or object. You first have to pay a deductible and the remainder of the damage will be paid by comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive coverage pays for claims like hail damage, a tree branch falling on your vehicle, theft and damage from flooding. The maximum payout you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the cash value of the vehicle, so if the vehicle’s value is low consider removing comprehensive coverage.

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

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Pennies from heaven

When trying to cut insurance costs, make sure you don’t buy poor coverage just to save money. There are many occasions where an accident victim reduced liability coverage limits and discovered at claim time that they should have had better coverage. Your strategy should be to find the BEST coverage for the lowest price, but do not sacrifice coverage to save money.

Budget-friendly auto insurance can be found both online and from local agencies, and you need to comparison shop both to have the best chance of lowering rates. A few companies may not have online rate quotes and these smaller providers only sell through local independent agencies.

In this article, we presented a lot of tips how to lower your 1998 Pontiac Sunfire insurance rates. The most important thing to understand is the more times you quote, the better chance you’ll have of finding inexpensive car insurance. Drivers may discover the biggest savings come from some of the smallest insurance companies. They may only write in your state and offer lower car insurance rates as compared to the big name companies such as State Farm and Allstate.

More information can be read at these links: