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...

Full Bio →

Written by

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.

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent Benji Carr

UPDATED: Oct 30, 2017

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from top car companies please enter your ZIP code above to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Are you irritated from scraping nickels together to pay insurance each month? You’re in the same situation as most other people. Multiple car insurance companies compete for your insurance dollar, and it can be difficult to compare rates and uncover the absolute cheapest price

If you are insured now or are looking for a new policy, you will benefit by learning to cut your premiums while maximizing coverage. Choosing the best insurance company for you is not that difficult. Consumers just need to learn the proper methods to compare prices over the internet.

The most recommended method to compare insurance rates in your area is to know the fact auto insurance companies have advanced systems to provide you with free rate quotes. To get started, all you need to do is take a few minutes to give details such as whether the vehicles are used for commuting, how much you drive, types of safety features, and the make and model of your vehicles. That rating information is then sent to all major companies and you get price estimates with very little delay.

Verify you’re receiving every discount

Some insurance providers do not advertise every disount available very well, so we researched some of the best known in addition to some of the lesser obvious credits that you can use to lower your rates.

  • New Car Discount – Putting insurance on a new car can be considerably cheaper since newer models have better safety ratings.
  • Multi-line Discount – Select insurance companies reward you with a discounted rate on car insurance if you buy a life policy as well.
  • Bundled Policy Discount – If you have multiple policies with the same company you will save as much as 10 to 15 percent.
  • Drive Safe and Save – Drivers who don’t get into accidents could pay up to 40% less for 3 Series insurance than less cautious drivers.
  • Multiple Cars – Insuring multiple vehicles with one company can reduce rates for all insured vehicles.
  • College Student Discount – College-age children who are enrolled in a college that is more than 100 miles from home and don’t have a car could qualify for this discount.
  • Anti-lock Brakes – Cars that have anti-lock braking systems have fewer accidents and the ABS can save up to 10%.

As is typical with insurance, most discounts do not apply to the overall cost of the policy. Some only apply to individual premiums such as comprehensive or collision. If you do the math and it seems like all the discounts add up to a free policy, company stockholders wouldn’t be very happy.

Larger insurance coverage companies and a summarized list of policyholder discounts include:

  • AAA policyholders can earn discounts including good driver, multi-policy, anti-theft, multi-car, education and occupation, and good student.
  • Progressive may offer discounts for multi-policy, online quote discount, homeowner, multi-vehicle, online signing, and continuous coverage.
  • State Farm offers discounts for accident-free, safe vehicle, anti-theft, Steer Clear safe driver discount, and student away at school.
  • Esurance offers premium reductions for paid-in-full, Pac-12 alumni, online quote, claim free, and emergency road assistance.
  • Nationwide offers discounts including Farm Bureau membership, family plan, good student, defensive driving, business or organization, anti-theft, and easy pay.

If you need affordable insurance quotes, ask every insurance company which discounts can lower your rates. Some of the discounts discussed earlier may not apply in your area. If you would like to choose from a list of insurance companies who offer discounts, click here.

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

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

When should I discuss my situation with an agent?

When it comes to buying adequate coverage, there isn’t really a single plan that fits everyone. Coverage needs to be tailored to your specific needs and your policy should reflect that. For instance, these questions can help discover if you might need an agent’s assistance.

  • When should I buy a commercial auto policy?
  • Do I get a pro-rated refund if I cancel my policy early?
  • Do all my vehicles need collision coverage?
  • How can I force my company to pay a claim?
  • What is UM/UIM insurance?
  • Can my teen driver be rated on a liability-only vehicle?

If you’re not sure about those questions but one or more may apply to you, then you may want to think about talking to an agent. If you want to speak to an agent in your area, fill out this quick form or click here for a list of car insurance companies in your area. It’s fast, free and may give you better protection.

Auto insurance 101

Knowing the specifics of your policy helps when choosing appropriate coverage at the best deductibles and correct limits. Policy terminology can be confusing and nobody wants to actually read their policy. Listed below are the normal coverages available from insurance companies.

Auto liability insurance

This coverage provides protection from injuries or damage you cause to a person or their property in an accident. This coverage protects you against claims from other people. Liability doesn’t 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 values of 50/100/50 which stand for $50,000 bodily injury coverage, a total of $100,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and property damage coverage for $50,000. Another option is a combined single limit or CSL which combines the three limits into one amount and claims can be made without the split limit restrictions.

Liability coverage protects against things like attorney fees, medical expenses, medical services, bail bonds and structural damage. How much liability should you purchase? That is your choice, but buy as much as you can afford.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM)

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage protects you and your vehicle from other drivers when they do not carry enough liability coverage. This coverage pays for medical payments for you and your occupants as well as your vehicle’s damage.

Since many drivers only purchase the least amount of liability that is required, it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages is a good idea. Most of the time the UM/UIM limits do not exceed the liability coverage limits.

Coverage for collisions

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

Collision coverage pays for claims like hitting a parking meter, sustaining damage from a pot hole, hitting a mailbox, rolling your car and driving through your garage door. This coverage can be expensive, so analyze the benefit of dropping coverage from vehicles that are older. It’s also possible to choose a higher deductible to bring the cost down.

Med pay and Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Medical payments and Personal Injury Protection insurance kick in for bills for surgery, dental work, prosthetic devices, nursing services and chiropractic care. They can be used in conjunction with a health insurance program or if you are not covered by health insurance. Coverage applies to not only the driver but also the vehicle occupants in addition to any family member struck as a pedestrian. PIP coverage is not universally available but can be used in place of medical payments coverage

Comprehensive insurance

Comprehensive insurance pays for damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. You first have to pay a deductible then the remaining damage will be covered by your comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive coverage protects against claims like a broken windshield, rock chips in glass and hitting a deer. The maximum amount you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the actual cash value, so if the vehicle is not worth much it’s probably time to drop comprehensive insurance.