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: Feb 18, 2018

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Nobody I know rejoices having to buy insurance, especially when they know they are paying too much.

There is such a variety of insurers to insure vehicles with, and although it’s nice to have a choice, it can be more challenging to compare rates and find the lowest cost insurance.

The best way to compare rates is to know almost all companies participate in a system to compare rate quotes. The only thing you need to do is take a few minutes to give details including an estimate of your credit level, how much you drive, the ages of drivers, and if your license is active. That information gets sent immediately to multiple car insurance providers and they return rate quotes immediately.

Brand name doesn’t guarantee savings

Car insurance providers like Allstate and Progressive regularly use ads on television and other media. They all seem to make an identical promise that people will save if you change your policy. But how can every company have lower policy pricing? It’s all in the wording.

Car insurance companies look for specific characteristics for the type of customer that earns them the most money. An example of a profitable risk profile might be described as over the age of 35, has never had a claim, and drives a lower-performance vehicle. Any person who matches that profile will most likely get cheap rates and as a result will probably save some money.

Insureds who don’t measure up to this stringent profile will probably be forced to pay a higher premium and business going elsewhere. The ad wording is “drivers who switch” not “everyone that quotes” can get the lowest rates when switching. This is how companies can make claims that they all have the best prices. Each company has different criteria, so you need to compare quotes as often as possible. It’s just too difficult to predict the company that will have the lowest premium rates for your situation.

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Find discounts to get cheap insurance coverage rates

Insurance can cost an arm and a leg, but there may be some discounts that many people don’t even know exist. A few discounts will automatically apply when you get a quote, but a few need to be manually applied before being credited.

  • Pay Early and Save – If paying your policy premium upfront instead of monthly or quarterly installments you could save 5% or more.
  • Low Mileage Discounts – Fewer annual miles on your BMW could qualify for lower insurance coveragerates due to less chance of an accident.
  • Theft Deterent Discount – Vehicles that have factory alarm systems and tracking devices prevent vehicle theft and can earn a small discount on your policy.
  • Seat Belts Save – Forcing all vehicle occupants to wear their seat belts can save 10% or more off PIP or medical payments premium.
  • Discounts for Cautious Drivers – Accident-free drivers can pay as much as 50% less on 3 Series insurance than less cautious drivers.
  • Buy New and Save – Insuring a new car can save you some money since new model year vehicles have better safety ratings.

Just know that most discount credits are not given to all coverage premiums. Most only apply to individual premiums such as comprehensive or collision. Even though the math looks like it’s possible to get free car insurance, you’re out of luck.

The best insurance coverage companies and a partial list of their discounts are shown below.

  • Farm Bureau has discounts for multi-policy, safe driver, 55 and retired, driver training, renewal discount, good student, and multi-vehicle.
  • State Farm policyholders can earn discounts including safe vehicle, anti-theft, Steer Clear safe driver discount, good student, passive restraint, and student away at school.
  • Progressive offers discounts including continuous coverage, multi-vehicle, online quote discount, homeowner, online signing, and good student.
  • Allstate offers premium reductions for senior citizen, premier plus, new car, anti-theft, defensive driver, and farm vehicle.
  • Nationwide offers discounts for anti-theft, multi-policy, good student, easy pay, accident-free, and family plan.
  • MetLife may include discounts for defensive driver, claim-free, accident-free, good student, and multi-policy.

If you want cheaper car insurance quotes, ask each insurance company which discounts you qualify for. A few discounts might not apply in your area. For a list of companies that have a full spectrum of discounts, click this link.

Tailor your insurance coverage to you

When choosing adequate coverage for your vehicles, there is no “perfect” insurance plan. Every insured’s situation is different so your insurance needs to address that. These are some specific questions could help you determine if you would benefit from an agent’s advice.

  • Exactly who is provided coverage by my policy?
  • Can I still get insurance after a DUI?
  • What can I do if my company denied a claim?
  • When do I need to add a new car to my policy?
  • Are there companies who specialize in insuring high-risk drivers?
  • If my 2001 BMW 3 Series is totaled, can I afford another vehicle?
  • How much underlying liability do I need for an umbrella policy?
  • Why does it cost so much to insure a teen driver?
  • Does coverage extend to Mexico or Canada?
  • Does my 2001 BMW 3 Series need full coverage?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions but one or more may apply to you then you might want to talk to a licensed insurance agent. If you don’t have a local agent, simply complete this short form or you can go here for a list of companies in your area.

Insurance coverage considerations

Having a good grasp of a insurance policy aids in choosing the best coverages and proper limits and deductibles. The coverage terms in a policy can be ambiguous and reading a policy is terribly boring. These are the normal coverages offered by insurance companies.

Auto liability

This coverage can cover damage that occurs to people or other property in an accident. This coverage protects you against other people’s claims, and does not provide coverage for your injuries or vehicle damage.

Liability coverage has three limits: bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage. You might see policy limits of 50/100/50 that translate to $50,000 in coverage for each person’s injuries, a per accident bodily injury limit of $100,000, and $50,000 of coverage for damaged propery.

Liability can pay for claims like pain and suffering, repair bills for other people’s vehicles and emergency aid. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is up to you, but it’s cheap coverage so purchase higher limits if possible.

Coverage for uninsured or underinsured drivers

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage protects you and your vehicle from other motorists when they either have no liability insurance or not enough. Covered claims include injuries to you and your family and also any damage incurred to your BMW 3 Series.

Since a lot of drivers only carry the minimum required liability limits, it only takes a small accident to exceed their coverage. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages is very important.

Coverage for medical expenses

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage pay for short-term medical expenses for ambulance fees, rehabilitation expenses and dental work. The coverages can be used in conjunction with a health insurance policy or if there is no health insurance coverage. Coverage applies to all vehicle occupants and also covers if you are hit as a while walking down the street. PIP is not available in all states but can be used in place of medical payments coverage

Comprehensive insurance

Comprehensive insurance coverage covers damage OTHER than collision with another vehicle or object. A deductible will apply then the remaining damage will be covered by your comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive coverage pays for claims like a broken windshield, vandalism, a tree branch falling on your vehicle and hitting a deer. The most you’ll receive from a claim is the cash value of the vehicle, so if your deductible is as high as the vehicle’s value it’s probably time to drop comprehensive insurance.

Collision coverage protection

Collision coverage pays for damage to your 3 Series from colliding with another car or object. You will need to pay your deductible and the rest of the damage will be paid by collision coverage.

Collision coverage protects against claims like colliding with a tree, colliding with another moving vehicle and driving through your garage door. Paying for collision coverage can be pricey, so you might think about dropping it from vehicles that are 8 years or older. Another option is to choose a higher deductible to bring the cost down.

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

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More comparisons equals lower rates

Low-cost 2001 BMW 3 Series insurance can be bought both online as well as from independent agents, and you need to price shop both to have the best selection. Some insurance companies may not offer internet price quotes and many times these small, regional companies only sell through independent agents.

We just showed you quite a bit of information on how to lower your 2001 BMW 3 Series insurance prices. The key concept to understand is the more providers you compare, the more likely it is that you will get a better rate. Consumers could even find that the most savings is with some of the smallest insurance companies. Some small companies may have significantly lower rates on certain market segments than the large multi-state companies such as Allstate, GEICO and Progressive.

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