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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Are you burned out from scraping the payment together each month for car insurance? You’re in the same situation as many other drivers. Numerous insurers battle for your business, and it can be difficult to compare rates to find the lowest rate

Insurance Coverage Discounts

Insurance coverage is not an enjoyable expense, but you might be missing out on some discounts that could help you make your next renewal payment. Most are applied when you complete an application, but some must be inquired about prior to receiving the credit.

  • Low Mileage – Maintaining low annual mileage may allow you to get substantially lower premium rates.
  • Discounts for Responsible Drivers – Drivers who don’t get into accidents may receive a discount up to 45% for Safari coverage than drivers with accidents.
  • College Student Discount – who are attending college and won’t have access to an insured vehicle can be insured at a reduced rate.
  • Savings for New Vehicles – Adding a new car to your policy may earn a small discount due to better safety requirements for new model year vehicles.
  • Defensive Driver – Successfully completing a course that instructs on driving safety could save 5% or more and also improve your driving technique.

As a footnote on discounts, most of the big mark downs will not be given to the overall cost of the policy. Most only apply to the cost of specific coverages such as medical payments or collision. If you do the math and it seems like you could get a free insurance coverage policy, you won’t be that lucky.

Insurance companies that have these discounts may include but are not limited to:

When comparing rates, check with every company the best way to save money. Discounts may not be offered in your area.

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

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Low cost insurance prices

There are a variety of methods to compare insurance quotes, but one way is easier and takes less work. You could spend your day driving to local insurance agents in your area, or you can utilize online quoting for quick rates.

Most car insurance companies belong to a marketplace that enables customers to complete one form, and each company then gives them pricing determined by their information. This eliminates the need for quotation requests to each company.

To compare pricing click here to open in new window.

The only drawback to pricing coverage this way is that consumers can’t choose which carriers to receive prices from. So if you want to select from a list of companies to request quotes from, we have assembled a list of companies who write insurance in your area. Click here to view list.

Compare rates however you want, just make sure you are using nearly identical deductibles and coverage limits on every quote you get. If you are comparing higher or lower deductibles it will be impossible to make a fair rate comparison.

Why you might pay inflated rates

Smart consumers have a good feel for some of the things that are used to determine the rates you pay for auto insurance. If you know what impacts premium levels, this enables informed choices that may result in lower premium levels.

  • Avoid traffic tickets – Drivers who don’t get tickets get better prices as compared to those with violations. Only having one speeding ticket can bump up the cost by twenty percent. People who have dangerous violations such as DUI or reckless driving may find that they have to to prove financial responsibility with their state DMV in order to legally drive.
  • Lower rates by increasing comp and collision deductibles – Physical damage coverage, aka comp and collision, is used to repair damage to your vehicle. Some examples of claims that would be covered could be a broken windshield, collision with an animal, and burglary. Your deductibles tell how much you are willing to pay out-of-pocket in the event of a claim. The more expense the insured is willing to pay, the less money you will pay for auto insurance for Safari coverage.
  • Auto insurance rates and your occupation – Careers such as doctorsairline pilots and miners are shown to have higher rates than average in part from high stress levels and incredibly demanding work hours. On the other hand, careers such as farmers, athletes and the unemployed pay lower than average rates for Safari coverage.
  • Where you reside plays a part – Choosing to live in a rural area has definite advantages when insuring your vehicles. Fewer drivers translates into fewer accidents in addition to lower liability claims People in densly populated areas have to deal with more aggressive driving styles and higher rates of accident claims. Longer commute distances means a statistically higher chance of an accident.
  • Marriage is a factor – Having a spouse may save some money on your policy. Having a significant other generally demonstrates drivers are more financially stable and it’s statistically proven that being married results in fewer claims.
  • Safer cars are cheaper to insure – Vehicles with good safety scores tend to be cheaper to insure. Highly rated vehicles have better occupant injury protection and fewer serious injuries means less money paid by your insurance company and more competitive rates for policyholders.

Tailor your car insurance coverage to you

When buying the best car insurance coverage, there really is no cookie cutter policy. Everyone’s needs are different and your policy should reflect that. For instance, these questions might point out if you will benefit from professional help.

  • What are the best liability limits?
  • When should I not file a claim?
  • When should my teen driver be added to my policy?
  • Should I have combined single limit or split liability limits?
  • What is the ISO rating for a 2002 GMC Safari?
  • What if I owe more than I can insure my car for?
  • Do I need replacement cost coverage?
  • Does my personal policy cover me when driving out-of-state?
  • Is my 2002 GMC Safari covered for flood damage?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions but a few of them apply, you may need to chat with an agent. If you want to speak to 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. It only takes a few minutes and you can get the answers you need.

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

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Big brands don’t always mean big savings

Consumers get pounded daily by advertisements for auto insurance savings from companies such as State Farm and Allstate. All the ads tend to make the same promise that people will save if you just switch your auto insurance policy to them.

How does each company offer drivers better rates? It’s all in the wording.

Many companies give the cheapest rates for the type of customer they prefer to insure. An example of a profitable insured might be between 30 and 50, has no tickets, and drives a vehicle with a low ISO rating. Any person that hits that “sweet spot” receive the lowest rate quotes and will most likely save a lot if they switch.

Insureds who cannot meet these criteria will probably be forced to pay higher premiums which leads to the customer buying from someone else. The ads say “people who switch” not “everybody who quotes” will save that much if they switch. That’s the way insurance companies can confidently make it sound like they have such great premium rates. That is why you should get a wide range of price quotes. Because you cannot predict which company will have the lowest rates.

Coverages available on your policy

Understanding the coverages of your car insurance policy helps when choosing which coverages you need for your vehicles. Policy terminology can be impossible to understand and coverage can change by endorsement. Shown next are typical coverages available from car insurance companies.

Liability coverages – This coverage provides protection from damage or injury you incur to other people or property that is your fault. It protects YOU against claims from other people. Liability doesn’t cover damage sustained by your vehicle in an accident.

It consists of three limits, bodily injury for each person, bodily injury for the entire accident, and a limit for property damage. Your policy might show values of 25/50/25 which means a $25,000 limit per person for injuries, $50,000 for the entire accident, and a total limit of $25,000 for damage to vehicles and property.

Liability can pay for claims such as structural damage, pain and suffering and loss of income. How much liability should you purchase? That is your choice, but buy as much as you can afford.

Collision – Collision insurance covers damage to your Safari resulting from colliding with an object or car. You will need to pay your deductible then the remaining damage will be paid by your insurance company.

Collision coverage pays for claims such as damaging your car on a curb, backing into a parked car and hitting a mailbox. Paying for collision coverage can be pricey, so consider dropping it from vehicles that are older. Another option is to increase the deductible to bring the cost down.

Comprehensive (Other than Collision) – This will pay to fix damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. You need to pay your deductible first then the remaining damage will be covered by your comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive insurance covers things such as vandalism, damage from getting keyed, hail damage, fire damage and theft. The highest 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.

Protection from uninsured/underinsured drivers – This provides protection when the “other guys” either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. Covered claims include hospital bills for your injuries as well as damage to your GMC Safari.

Due to the fact that many drivers have only the minimum liability required by law, their liability coverage can quickly be exhausted. That’s why carrying high Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage should not be overlooked.

Medical expense insurance – Medical payments and Personal Injury Protection insurance kick in for bills like hospital visits, chiropractic care, X-ray expenses, nursing services and funeral costs. They are used to cover expenses not covered by your health insurance plan or if you are not covered by health insurance. Medical payments and PIP cover both the driver and occupants in addition to being hit by a car walking across the street. Personal injury protection coverage is not universally available and gives slightly broader coverage than med pay

A penny earned…

Some companies may not have price quotes online and usually these regional carriers prefer to sell through independent agencies. Lower-priced 2002 GMC Safari insurance can be bought online and from local insurance agents, so compare prices from both in order to have the best price selection to choose from.

When shopping online for car insurance, you should never sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. There have been many cases where someone sacrificed liability limits or collision coverage and found out when filing a claim that saving that couple of dollars actually costed them tens of thousands. Your goal is to purchase a proper amount of coverage at the lowest possible cost.

To learn more, feel free to browse the following helpful articles: