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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Searching for lower car insurance rates for your Pontiac Sunfire? Wish you could get out of an underperforming, overpriced car insurance policy? It’s a common feeling and many consumers feel financially strained by their car insurance policy.

Insurance companies such as Progressive, GEICO and Farmers Insurance all promote huge savings with advertising and it is challenging if not impossible to sift through the bull and do the work needed to find the best deal.

You should take the time to do price comparisons before your next renewal because prices tend to go up over time. Despite the fact that you may have had the best price on Sunfire insurance at your last renewal you can probably find a better rate quote now. There is lot of inaccurate information about car insurance out there, but in this article, you’re going to get some great ideas on how to lower your car insurance bill.

If you are paying for car insurance now, you stand a good chance to be able to cut costs considerably using this information. Finding the best rates is quite easy. But drivers need to have an understanding of how companies market on the web because it can help you find the best coverage.

Smart buyers know how to get car insurance cheaper

Consumers need to have an understanding of some of the things that play a part in calculating the level of your policy premiums. If you know what determines premiums, this enables you to make decisions that may result in big savings. Lots of factors are used in the calculation when you quote your car insurance policy. Most are fairly basic such as traffic violations, although some other factors are more transparent such as your marital status or how safe your car is.

  • Drivers with good credit save on car insurance – Your credit score is a large factor in determining what you pay. People that have excellent credit tend to file fewer claims and have better driving records as compared to drivers with worse credit. So if your credit leaves room for improvement, you could potentially save money when insuring your 1999 Pontiac Sunfire by spending a little time repairing your credit.
  • City traffic equals higher premiums – Being located in a small town is a good thing when talking about car insurance. Less people living in that area translates into fewer accident claims and lower theft and vandalism rates. Residents of big cities regularly have much more traffic and higher rates of accident claims. More time on the road statistically corresponds to a higher accident and claim rate.
  • Low coverage deductibles can be expensive – Insurance for physical damage, commonly called comprehensive (or other-than-collision) and collision coverage, covers your vehicle from damage. Examples of covered claims could be running into the backend of another car, collision with an animal, and damage caused by flying debris. Comp and collision deductibles are the amount of money you are required to spend out-of-pocket if a covered claim is submitted. The more damage repair cost you are required to pay out-of-pocket, the less your company will charge you for insurance on Sunfire insurance.
  • Never let your coverage expire – Having a gap between insurance policy dates is a guaranteed way to increase your rates. Not only will you pay more, failure to provide proof of insurance may result in fines and jail time. You may need to submit proof of financial responsibility or a SR-22 with your state motor vehicle department to get your license reinstated.
  • Do you need those add-on coverages? – There are a ton of additional coverages that you can get tricked into buying but may not be useful. Add-on coverages like roadside assistance, accidental death, and membership fees are some examples. They may sound like good ideas when buying your policy, but if you don’t need them remove them from your policy.
  • More miles equals more premium – The more you drive your Pontiac every year the more you’ll pay to insure it. The majority of insurers calculate rates based upon how much you drive. Cars and trucks used primarily for pleasure use receive lower rates than vehicles that have high annual mileage. Improper usage on your Sunfire may be costing you. It’s always a good idea to double check that your car insurance coverage properly reflects the right rating data, because improper ratings can cost you money.
  • Use one insurance company and save – Most major insurers give a discount for people who consolidate policies with them, otherwise known as a multi-policy discount. If you currently are using one company, it’s in your best interest to shop around to help guarantee you have the best rates.

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

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You may qualify for discounts

Some insurance providers don’t always advertise every available discount very well, so we researched some of the best known and also the lesser-known discounts that may be available.

  • Employee of Federal Government – Active or retired federal employment could provide a small rate reduction on Sunfire insurance with select insurance companies.
  • ABS and Traction Control Discounts – Anti-lock brake equipped vehicles are much safer to drive so you can save 10 percent or more.
  • Membership in Organizations – Affiliation with a civic or occupational organization could trigger savings on your bill.
  • Payment Method – If you can afford to pay the entire bill instead of making monthly payments you could save up to 5%.
  • Switch and Save Discount – A few companies give discounts for buying a new policy prior to your current policy expiring. This can save 10% or more.
  • Discount for Life Insurance – Not every insurance company offers life insurance, but if they do you may earn a break if you buy life insurance from them.
  • Paper-free Discount – Many insurance companies give back up to $50 for completing your application on your computer.

As a footnote on discounts, some credits don’t apply to the entire policy premium. Most only cut individual premiums such as medical payments or collision. Even though it may seem like all those discounts means the company will pay you, it doesn’t quite work that way.

For a list of providers that offer the discounts shown above, click here.

There’s no such thing as the perfect car insurance policy

When it comes to choosing coverage, there isn’t really a cookie cutter policy. Your needs are not the same as everyone else’s so this has to be addressed. For instance, these questions could help you determine if your insurance needs may require specific advice.

  • Can I make deliveries for my home business?
  • Am I covered by my employer’s commercial auto policy when driving my personal car for business?
  • Is my teenager covered with friends in the car?
  • Should I rate my 1999 Pontiac Sunfire as pleasure use or commute?
  • Am I better off with higher deductibles on my 1999 Pontiac Sunfire?
  • Who is covered by my policy?
  • Does coverage extend to a rental car in a foreign country?

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

Insurance coverage breakdown

Learning about specific coverages of a insurance policy aids in choosing the best coverages at the best deductibles and correct limits. Insurance terms can be impossible to understand and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording. Listed below are typical coverage types found on most insurance policies.

Coverage for medical payments

Medical payments and Personal Injury Protection insurance provide coverage for immediate expenses for X-ray expenses, dental work, doctor visits and prosthetic devices. They are used to fill the gap from your health insurance policy or if you do not have health coverage. They cover you and your occupants and also covers being hit by a car walking across the street. Personal Injury Protection is not an option in every state and gives slightly broader coverage than med pay

Liability coverages

This will cover damage that occurs to other’s property or people that is your fault. It protects you against claims from other people. It does not cover damage to your own property or vehicle.

Liability coverage has three limits: per person bodily injury, per accident bodily injury, and a property damage limit. As an example, you may have values of 100/300/100 that means you have a $100,000 limit per person for injuries, a limit of $300,000 in injury protection per accident, and $100,000 of coverage for damaged propery.

Liability coverage protects against things like bail bonds, repair costs for stationary objects, medical expenses and funeral expenses. How much liability should you purchase? That is a decision to put some thought into, but you should buy higher limits if possible.

Collision coverage protection

Collision insurance will pay to fix damage to your Sunfire resulting from a 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 can pay for claims such as rolling your car, damaging your car on a curb, driving through your garage door and crashing into a building. Collision coverage makes up a good portion of your premium, so consider dropping it from lower value vehicles. Drivers also have the option to bump up the deductible to get cheaper collision coverage.

Uninsured and underinsured coverage

Your UM/UIM coverage protects you and your vehicle’s occupants from other motorists when they either have no liability insurance or not enough. This coverage pays for injuries to you and your family and also any damage incurred to your 1999 Pontiac Sunfire.

Because many people only purchase the least amount of liability that is required, their limits can quickly be used up. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages is very important.

Comprehensive coverages

Comprehensive insurance 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 coverage pays for things such as rock chips in glass, damage from a tornado or hurricane, hail damage and a broken windshield. The maximum payout a insurance company will pay at claim time is the market value of your 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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Shop around and save

Budget-friendly car insurance can be bought online in addition to local insurance agencies, and you should compare price quotes from both to have the best rate selection. There are still a few companies who may not have rate quotes online and these smaller providers work with independent agents.

When shopping online for car insurance, it’s very important that you do not buy lower coverage limits just to save a few bucks. In many instances, an accident victim reduced physical damage coverage and learned later that the savings was not a smart move. Your goal is to buy a smart amount of coverage at a price you can afford but still have enough coverage for asset protection.

Additional car insurance information is available below: