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 6, 2015

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Want better insurance rates for your BMW Z3? Purchasing the lowest cost insurance might seem challenging for consumers that are not comfortable with quoting and comparing and buying insurance on the web. With such a big selection of agents and companies, how can anyone efficiently compare every one to find the lowest rates?

The purpose of this post is to familiarize you with how to get online quotes. If you have car insurance now, you will be able to save some money using this strategy. But drivers need to have an understanding of how insurance companies compete online and use this information to your advantage.

How to compare insurance quotes

When looking for the cheapest car insurance quotes, there are a couple ways to obtain and compare prices from many different insurance companies. The best way to find the cheapest 2001 BMW Z3 insurance rates is simply to get online rate quotes. This can be done by using one of the methods below.

  • The most efficient method to get the best comparison quotes is to use a rate comparison form click here to open form in new window. This form keeps you from doing repetitive form entry to each individual insurance company. In just a few minutes this one form will get you rate comparisons direct from many companies. It’s definitely the quickest method.
  • A more time consuming way to find more affordable insurance is going to each company’s website to request a price quote. For example, we’ll assume you want comparison quotes from State Farm, 21st Century and Farmers. You would have to spend time on each company’s site and punch in your information repeatedly, which can be really labor intensive. To view a list of companies in your area, click here.

The approach you take is up to you, just try to use identical coverage data for each quote you get. If you compare different data you will not be able to get a fair rate comparison. Just slight variations in insurance coverages or limits could mean much higher rates. And when price shopping your coverage, comparing all the rates in your area will improve the odds of getting a better price. Not every company provides price estimates online, so it’s recommended that you also compare prices from the smaller companies as well.

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

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Verify you’re receiving every discount

Car insurance can cost a lot, but there’s a good chance there are discounts that could drop your premiums quite a bit. Some trigger automatically at the time of quoting, but some discounts are required to be asked for before they will apply.

  • Senior Citizen Rates – Drivers that qualify as senior citizens are able to get lower premium rates on Z3 insurance.
  • Safe Driver Discount – Accident-free drivers may receive a discount up to 45% on Z3 insurance than less cautious drivers.
  • Seat Belts Save – Drivers who require all occupants to use a seat belt could cut 10% or more on medical payment and PIP coverage.
  • Air Bags and Passive Restraints – Factory air bags may get savings of up to 25% or more.
  • Online Discount – Many car insurance companies may give you up to $50 for buying a policy and signing up on the web.
  • Good Students Pay Less – Getting good grades can earn a discount of 20% or more. Many companies even apply the discount to college students until age 25.

While discounts sound great, it’s important to understand that some of the credits will not apply to the entire cost. Most cut the cost of specific coverages such as collision or personal injury protection. Even though the math looks like you would end up receiving a 100% discount, that’s just not realistic.

A few popular companies and some of the premium reductions they offer are shown below.

  • State Farm may include discounts for anti-theft, student away at school, multiple autos, safe vehicle, and good student.
  • GEICO may have discounts that include five-year accident-free, multi-policy, good student, anti-theft, and seat belt use.
  • Progressive offers discounts including good student, online quote discount, multi-policy, online signing, multi-vehicle, homeowner, and continuous coverage.
  • 21st Century offers discounts for 55 and older, air bags, student driver, homeowners, automatic seat belts, and early bird.
  • American Family discounts include good student, accident-free, air bags, Steer into Savings, TimeAway discount, defensive driver, and good driver.
  • The Hartford policyholders can earn discounts including bundle, good student, driver training, defensive driver, vehicle fuel type, and anti-theft.
  • AAA has savings for good student, anti-theft, multi-policy, education and occupation, AAA membership discount, and pay-in-full.

Before buying, ask each insurance company what discounts are available to you. Some credits might not be offered in your state.

When should I discuss my situation with an agent?

When choosing the right insurance coverage for your vehicles, there really is not a “perfect” insurance plan. Every situation is different.

These are some specific questions might help in determining whether or not you would benefit from professional advice.

  • Can my babysitter drive my car?
  • Why do I need rental car insurance?
  • Why am I be forced to buy a membership to get insurance from some companies?
  • Should I file a claim if it’s only slightly more than my deductible?
  • Is my cargo covered for damage or theft?
  • Is my custom paint covered by insurance?
  • Should I drop comprehensive coverage on older vehicles?

If you’re not sure about those questions, you may need to chat with a licensed agent. If you don’t have a local agent, complete this form.

Informed drivers can save money

Many factors are used in the calculation when pricing auto insurance. Some are pretty understandable like your driving record, but other criteria are not quite as obvious like your vehicle usage or how financially stable you are.Smart consumers have a good feel for some of the elements that play a part in calculating the rates you pay for insurance. If you have some idea of what controls the rates you pay, this enables you to make decisions that could help you find cheaper rates.

The list below includes a partial list of the pieces used by companies to determine your rate level.

  • Insurance rates for married couples – Having a significant other can get you a discount when buying insurance. Having a significant other is viewed as being more mature than a single person and insurance companies reward insureds because married drivers tend to file fewer claims.
  • Job stress can make you pay more – Did you know your career choice can influence rates? Jobs such as military personnel, business owners and dentists are shown to have the highest average rates due to high stress and lengthy work days. On the flip side, occupations like farmers, students and retirees generally pay rates lower than average on Z3 insurance.
  • Pay more by driving carelessly – Good drivers pay lower auto insurance prices than their less careful counterparts. Getting just one citation may increase your cost by as much as thirty percent. Drivers who have received flagrant citations like hit and run, DWI or reckless driving convictions may need to complete a SR-22 with their state’s licensing department in order to keep their license.
  • Is your vehicle theft-ready? – Driving a car with advanced anti-theft systems can help bring down rates. Anti-theft devices like vehicle immobilizer systems, General Motors OnStar and LoJack tracking systems all aid in stopping car theft and help bring rates down.
  • Do you qualify for a multi-policy discount? – The majority of insurance companies provide better rates to clients who buy several policies from them such as combining an auto and homeowners policy. The discount can be anywhere from five to ten percent in most cases. Even though this discount sounds good, consumers should still check prices from other companies to confirm you are receiving the best rates possible.There is a good possibility that you can find lower rates by splitting coverages up.

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

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Smaller companies may have the best rates

Respected companies like Allstate and Progressive consistently run ads in print and on television. They all seem to try to convey promises about savings if you just switch to their company. It sounds good, but how can they all cost less than your current company?

Insurance providers are able to cherry pick for the type of driver that will not have excessive claims. For instance, a desirable risk may need to be married and over the age of 30, has few claims, and does not commute to work. Someone who matches those parameters is entitled to the best price and most likely will pay quite a bit less when switching companies.

Consumers who do not fit those criteria will get a higher premium and ends up with the prospect going elsewhere. If you pay attention, the ads say “drivers who switch” not “all people who quote” will save that much if they switch. This is how companies can truthfully make claims like that.

That is why it is so important to get car insurance quotes from several different companies. Because you never know which company will have the lowest rate quotes.

Car insurance coverage considerations

Having a good grasp of car insurance aids in choosing the right coverages for your vehicles. The coverage terms in a policy can be ambiguous and nobody wants to actually read their policy.

Collision coverage – This coverage pays for damage to your Z3 caused by collision with a stationary object or other vehicle. You have to pay a deductible then your collision coverage will kick in.

Collision coverage protects against claims like crashing into a ditch, scraping a guard rail and sustaining damage from a pot hole. Collision coverage makes up a good portion of your premium, so analyze the benefit of dropping coverage from lower value vehicles. Drivers also have the option to raise the deductible to bring the cost down.

Auto liability – This will cover damage or injury you incur to people or other property in an accident. This coverage protects you against claims from other people, and doesn’t cover damage to your own property or vehicle.

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 that means you have a $100,000 limit per person for injuries, $300,000 for the entire accident, and a limit of $100,000 paid for damaged property. Occasionally you may see a combined limit which provides one coverage limit without having the split limit caps.

Liability can pay for claims like emergency aid, repair costs for stationary objects, repair bills for other people’s vehicles and loss of income. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is a personal decision, but consider buying higher limits if possible.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage – This gives you protection from other drivers when they either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. Covered claims include hospital bills for your injuries as well as damage to your BMW Z3.

Because many people only purchase the least amount of liability that is required, their limits can quickly be used up. So UM/UIM coverage is a good idea. Frequently these limits are identical to your policy’s liability coverage.

Medical payments coverage and PIP – Med pay and PIP coverage kick in for immediate expenses such as ambulance fees, X-ray expenses, rehabilitation expenses and hospital visits. The coverages can be used to fill the gap from your health insurance program or if there is no health insurance coverage. Medical payments and PIP cover you and your occupants in addition to if you are hit as a while walking down the street. Personal Injury Protection is only offered in select states and may carry a deductible

Comprehensive coverage – This coverage pays for 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 insurance covers claims like a broken windshield, rock chips in glass and a tree branch falling on your vehicle. The most your car insurance company will pay is the cash value of the vehicle, so if your deductible is as high as the vehicle’s value consider removing comprehensive coverage.

More comparisons equals lower rates

As you prepare to switch companies, make sure you don’t sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. There are many occasions where an insured cut collision coverage and found out when filing a claim that it was a big mistake. Your goal should be to get the best coverage possible at a price you can afford, but do not sacrifice coverage to save money.

Cheaper insurance coverage can be purchased online as well as from insurance agents, so you need to quote car insurance with both to have the best rate selection. A few companies may not offer internet price quotes and these regional carriers only sell through independent agents.

Consumers leave their current company for a variety of reasons including extreme rates for teen drivers, policy cancellation, high prices and even denial of a claim. It doesn’t matter what your reason, finding a new insurance coverage company can be pretty painless.

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