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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Being forced to pay for overpriced insurance premiums can bleed your checking account and force you to tighten up your finances. Doing a price comparison can lower your rates and help to ensure you are getting the best deal.

Multiple car insurance companies compete to insure your vehicles, so it can be very hard to choose a provider and get the definite lowest cost out there.

How insurance providers determine Pontiac Sunfire insurance prices

Multiple criteria are part of the calculation when premium rates are determined. Most are fairly basic like a motor vehicle report, but other criteria are not as apparent such as whether you are married or how financially stable you are.

The items below are a few of the “ingredients” used by your company to calculate your rates.

  • Maintain insurance coverage – Not maintaining insurance is illegal and you will pay a penalty because you let your coverage have a gap. Not only will you pay more, getting caught without coverage will get you a hefty fine and possibly a revoked license. You may have to file a SR-22 with your state motor vehicle department to get your license reinstated.
  • Discounts for married drivers – Getting married can actually save you money on your insurance bill. It is viewed as being more mature than a single person and statistics show being married results in fewer claims.
  • Credit rating impacts rates – A driver’s credit rating is a large factor in calculating your premium rate. Insureds with excellent credit scores tend to be more responsible than drivers with bad credit. Therefore, if your credit history could use some work, you could be paying less to insure your 2002 Pontiac Sunfire by improving your rating.
  • Battle of the sexes – Statistics show that females tend to be a little less risky than males. The data does not necessarily mean that women are better drivers. Both sexes cause fender benders in similar numbers, but men have accidents that have higher claims. In addition to higher claims, males also get cited for more serious violations like reckless driving and DUI.
  • Compare rates if you combine your policies – The majority of companies allow lower prices to people that buy multiple policies in the form of a multi-policy discount. Discounts can amount to as much as ten percent or more If you currently are using one company, it’s still a good idea to check prices from other companies to help ensure you have the lowest rates.
  • More people means more accidents – Being located in small towns and rural areas has definite advantages when talking about insurance. Urban drivers regularly have more auto accidents and higher rates of accident claims. Fewer people means less chance of accidents and lower theft and vandalism rates.
  • Vehicles with better crash test results lower premiums – Cars with high safety ratings are cheaper to insure. Vehicles built for safety have better occupant injury protection and lower injury rates means less money paid by your insurance company and more competitive rates for policyholders.
  • Driving citations are costly – How you drive has a lot to do with how much you pay for insurance. Having a single speeding ticket may increase your cost to the point where it’s not affordable. Attentive drivers receive lower rates compared to bad drivers. Drivers who have received dangerous tickets such as DUI or reckless driving may find they need to complete a SR-22 with their state motor vehicle department in order to drive a vehicle legally.

The fastest way that we advise to compare insurance rates in your area is to know the fact almost all companies participate in online systems to provide you with free rate quotes. To begin a comparison, all you need to do is provide the companies a bit of rating information like whether you have decent credit, how much school you completed, level of coverage desired, and if you’re married. Your details is then sent to many highly-rated insurers and they return rate quotes immediately.

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

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Beware of misleading insurance coverage ads

Respected companies like State Farm, Allstate and GEICO endlessly run television, radio, and online ads. All the companies have a common claim about how much you will save if you switch to them. How is it possible that every company can charge lower premium rates? It’s all in how they say it.

Many companies quote the lowest rates for the driver that earns them the most money. A good example of a profitable insured may need to be between 30 and 50, has never had a claim, and drives a vehicle with a low ISO rating. A customer getting a price quote who matches that profile will probably get the lowest prices and is almost guaranteed to save quite a bit of money when switching.

People who don’t qualify for those criteria will see a higher premium and this can result in the customer buying from a different company. If you pay attention, the ads say “customers that switch” not “everybody who quotes” save that much. That’s the way insurance companies can make the claims of big savings.

Because of the profiling, drivers should do a quote comparison often. It is just not possible to predict the company that will give you lower car insurance rates than your current company.

Cheaper rates by receiving discounts

Auto insurance companies don’t always advertise the complete list of policy discounts very clearly, so the list below gives a summary of both well-publicized and also the more inconspicuous credits available to lower your premiums when you buy insurance coverage online.

  • Student in College – living away from home attending college and do not have a car could qualify for this discount.
  • Telematics Data Discounts – People who choose to allow driving data collection to look at their driving habits by using a telematic data system such as Allstate’s Drivewise and State Farm’s In-Drive system could save a few bucks if they have good driving habits.
  • Pay Early and Save – If you pay your bill all at once as opposed to paying monthly you may reduce your total bill.
  • Discount for Swiching Early – Some insurance companies give discounts for buying a new policy prior to your current policy expiration. You can save around 10% with this discount.
  • Discount for Life Insurance – Some insurance companies give better prices if you take out some life insurance too.
  • Discounts for Seat Belt Usage – Drivers who require all occupants to wear their seat belts may be able to save a few bucks on medical payment and PIP coverage.
  • Waiver for an Accident – Not really a discount, but some insurance companies permit an accident before your rates go up with the catch being you have to be claim-free for a set time period.
  • Drive Safe and Save – Drivers who don’t get into accidents may save up to 50% more on Sunfire coverage compared to accident prone drivers.
  • Active Military Service – Being deployed with a military unit could trigger a small discount.

One thing to note about discounts is that many deductions do not apply to your bottom line cost. Some only reduce the cost of specific coverages such as liability, collision or medical payments. Even though the math looks like adding up those discounts means a free policy, that’s just not realistic.

For a list of insurers with discount rates, click here to view.

Your car insurance coverage should be tailored to you

When it comes to choosing adequate coverage, there really is not a perfect coverage plan. Everyone’s needs are different so this has to be addressed. For instance, these questions may help highlight whether you could use an agent’s help.

  • Does my policy pay for OEM or aftermarket parts?
  • Can I pay claims out-of-pocket if I buy high deductibles?
  • Does insurance cover tools stolen from my truck?
  • Why am I be forced to buy a membership to get insurance from some companies?
  • When does my teenage driver need to be added to my policy?
  • Does my personal policy cover me when driving out-of-state?
  • When should I remove comp and collision on my 2002 Pontiac Sunfire?
  • Should I buy more coverage than the required minimum liability coverage?
  • Where can I find DUI or SR-22 insurance?

If you’re not sure about those questions but a few of them apply, then you may want to think about 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.

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

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Car insurance coverages explained

Understanding the coverages of a car insurance policy aids in choosing the best coverages for your vehicles. Car insurance terms can be confusing and nobody wants to actually read their policy. Listed below are typical coverage types found on the average car insurance policy.

Coverage for medical payments – Medical payments and Personal Injury Protection insurance kick in for bills such as chiropractic care, EMT expenses, funeral costs, pain medications and surgery. They are used in conjunction with a health insurance policy or if you lack health insurance entirely. Medical payments and PIP cover all vehicle occupants as well as if you are hit as a while walking down the street. Personal injury protection coverage is not universally available and may carry a deductible

Uninsured and underinsured coverage – This coverage protects you and your vehicle’s occupants from other drivers when they either have no liability insurance or not enough. Covered claims include injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants and damage to your Pontiac Sunfire.

Since many drivers only carry the minimum required liability limits, it only takes a small accident to exceed their coverage. So UM/UIM coverage should not be overlooked. Most of the time your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages are similar to your liability insurance amounts.

Liability insurance – This provides protection from damage that occurs to a person or their property in an accident. This coverage protects you against other people’s claims. Liability 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. As an example, you may have liability limits of 25/50/25 that means you have a $25,000 limit per person for injuries, a limit of $50,000 in injury protection per accident, and a total limit of $25,000 for damage to vehicles and property. Some companies may use one number which is a combined single limit which limits claims to one amount rather than limiting it on a per person basis.

Liability can pay for claims such as medical services, bail bonds, medical expenses and court costs. How much liability coverage do you need? That is a personal decision, but it’s cheap coverage so purchase as large an amount as possible.

Collision – This coverage covers damage to your Sunfire caused by collision with a stationary object or other vehicle. You first must pay a deductible then the remaining damage will be paid by your insurance company.

Collision coverage protects against claims like hitting a mailbox, driving through your garage door and rolling your car. Collision coverage makes up a good portion of your premium, so analyze the benefit of dropping coverage from older vehicles. Drivers also have the option to raise the deductible to save money on collision insurance.

Comprehensive coverages – Comprehensive insurance pays for damage that is not covered by collision coverage. You first have to pay a deductible then the remaining damage will be covered by your comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive insurance covers claims such as hail damage, damage from a tornado or hurricane, falling objects and hitting a deer. The most your car insurance company will pay is the ACV or actual cash value, so if it’s not worth much more than your deductible it’s not worth carrying full coverage.

A little work can save a LOT of money

Budget-conscious 2002 Pontiac Sunfire insurance is available on the web in addition to many insurance agents, so get free insurance coverage quotes from both of them so you have a total pricing picture. There are still a few companies who may not provide price quotes online and these smaller companies sell through independent agencies.

In this article, we covered some good ideas how to save on 2002 Pontiac Sunfire insurance. It’s most important to understand that the more price quotes you have, the better your chances of lowering your rates. You may be surprised to find that the best price on insurance is with a company that doesn’t do a lot of advertising. These smaller insurers can often insure niche markets at a lower cost than their larger competitors like State Farm, GEICO and Nationwide.

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