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...

Full Bio →

Written by

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.

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent Benji Carr

UPDATED: Oct 6, 2015

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from top car companies please enter your ZIP code above to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Locating better insurance prices for a BMW 3 Series can normally be a painful process, but you can follow a few tricks to make it easier. There is a right way and a wrong way to find car insurance online so you’re going to learn the quickest way to get price quotes for a new or used BMW and obtain the lowest possible price.

It’s a good habit to do price comparisons at least once a year since prices are rarely the same from one policy term to another. If you had the best price for 3 Series coverage a couple years back there may be better deals available now. You’ll find a ton of advice on car insurance on the web, but you can learn some good information on how to lower your car insurance rates.

BMW 3 Series insurance rates can be lower

One of the most helpful ways to save on insurance coverage is to to have a grasp of a few of the rating criteria that help calculate your insurance coverage rates. If you have some idea of what determines base rates, this allows you to make educated decisions that may reward you with cheaper rates. Lots of things are part of the calculation when pricing auto insurance. Some are pretty understandable like an MVR report, but some are less obvious like your continuous coverage or your commute time.

Shown below are a partial list of the pieces companies use to determine rates.

  • Qualify for multi-policy discounts – Many companies provide lower prices to customers who buy several policies from them, otherwise known as a multi-policy discount. Discounts can add up to ten percent or more. Even though this discount sounds good, it’s still a good idea to compare rates to make sure you are getting the best deal. It’s possible to still save more without the discount by splitting coverages up.
  • Advanced alarm systems – Purchasing a vehicle that has a built-in theft deterrent system can save you some money. Anti-theft features such as tamper alarm systems, vehicle immobilizer technology and General Motors OnStar all help stop auto theft.
  • Getting married is a bonus – Having a spouse may save some money on your insurance coverage policy. Having a significant other generally demonstrates drivers are more responsible and insurance companies like that drivers who are married file infrequent claims.
  • Cars with good safety ratings lower premiums – Vehicles that have high safety ratings get lower rates. Vehicles built for safety protect occupants better and any reduction in injury severity means your insurance company pays less passed on to you as lower rates.
  • Avoid unnecessary incidental coverages – There are many additional extra coverages that may not really be needed if you aren’t diligent. Things like roadside assistance, death and dismemberment, and Farm Bureau memberships may be wasting your money. They may seem good when you first buy your policy, but if you’ve never needed them in the past eliminate the coverages to reduce your premium.
  • Raise your coverage deductibles for better premiums – Coverage for physical damage, also called comprehensive and collision insurance, protects your BMW from damage. Some examples of covered claims could be colliding with a building, hitting a deer, and damage from a fallen tree branch. The deductibles you choose represent how much money you are willing to pay if a covered claim is submitted. The more of the claim you choose to pay out-of-pocket, the less your company will charge you for insurance for 3 Series coverage.

The most recommended method to get rate comparisons takes advantage of the fact all the major auto insurance companies actually pay money for the chance to compare rate quotes. To start a quote, the only thing you need to do is give them rating details like whether you are single or married, driver ages, the type of vehicles you drive, and whether or not you need a SR-22. Your rating data is sent automatically to multiple top-rated companies and they respond with quotes within a short period of time.

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

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Why you might not save $403 a year

Consumers can’t ignore all the ads for cheaper car insurance from the likes of State Farm and Allstate. They all try to convey promises that you’ll save big just by switching to them.

How do they all charge you a lower premium? This is the trick they use.

Insurance providers quote their cheapest rates for the type of driver that will most likely be profitable. For example, this type of risk profile might be described as over the age of 50, insures multiple vehicles, and drives newer vehicles. A customer who fits that profile will get a cheap rate quote as well as save quite a bit of money when switching.

Potential insureds who may not quite match the ideal profile may receive a higher premium which results in the prospect going elsewhere. If you listen closely, the ads state “customers that switch” not “everyone who quotes” can save as much as they claim. That’s the way insurance companies can claim big savings. Because of this risk profiling, you absolutely need to do a price quote comparison at every renewal. Because you cannot predict which company will give you the biggest savings.

Verify you’re applying every discount

Companies that sell car insurance don’t necessarily list every discount they offer very well, so below is a list a few of the more well known as well as some of the hidden discounts that you can inquire about if you buy car insurance online. If you do not check that you are getting every discount you qualify for, you could be getting lower rates.

  • Air Bag Discount – Cars that have air bags and/or automatic seat belt systems can get savings of 25 to 30%.
  • Onboard Data Collection – Policyholders that allow companies to monitor driving patterns by using a telematics device such as Progressive’s Snapshot and State Farm’s In-Drive may get a rate reduction as long as they are good drivers.
  • Responsible Driver Discount – Safe drivers can get discounts for up to 45% lower rates for 3 Series coverage compared to accident prone drivers.
  • Pay Early and Save – If you pay your bill all at once rather than paying monthly you could save 5% or more.
  • Service Members Pay Less – Being on active duty in the military may lower your premium rates slightly.
  • Senior Citizen Discount – If you’re over the age of 55, you could receive a slight reduction on a car insurance quote for 3 Series coverage.

Please keep in mind that most discounts do not apply to your bottom line cost. Most only apply to specific coverage prices like liability, collision or medical payments. So even though you would think all the discounts add up to a free policy, it doesn’t quite work that way.

A list of insurance companies and some of the premium reductions they offer are:

  • American Family discounts include multi-vehicle, defensive driver, mySafetyValet, TimeAway discount, early bird, good driver, and good student.
  • State Farm offers discounts including student away at school, safe vehicle, passive restraint, defensive driving training, and good driver.
  • 21st Century may offer discounts for homeowners, defensive driver, early bird, air bags, automatic seat belts, and teen driver.
  • Travelers policyholders can earn discounts including good student, save driver, payment discounts, multi-policy, and hybrid/electric vehicle.
  • GEICO may have discounts that include anti-lock brakes, multi-policy, multi-vehicle, good student, emergency military deployment, seat belt use, and driver training.

When getting a coverage quote, ask all companies you are considering to apply every possible discount. Some discounts may not be available in your area. To find companies with discount insurance rates, click here.

When should I discuss my situation with an agent?

When buying proper insurance coverage, there isn’t really a single plan that fits everyone. Each situation is unique.

For instance, these questions might point out whether you would benefit from an agent’s advice.

  • When would I need additional glass coverage?
  • Does coverage extend to my business vehicle?
  • When should I buy a commercial auto policy?
  • How high should my medical payments coverage be?
  • Do I need added coverage for expensive stereo equipment?
  • How much can I save by bundling my policies?
  • Do I need an umbrella policy?
  • What is no-fault insurance?
  • Why am I required to buy liability insurance?
  • Am I missing any policy discounts?

If you’re not sure about those questions, then you may want to think about talking to a licensed agent. If you want to speak to an agent in your area, fill out this quick form. It’s fast, doesn’t cost anything and can help protect your family.

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

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Specific coverages for a BMW 3 Series

Learning about specific coverages of your insurance policy helps when choosing appropriate coverage for your vehicles. The terms used in a policy can be impossible to understand and reading a policy is terribly boring.

Liability auto insurance

Liability coverage provides protection from injuries or damage you cause to people or other property by causing an accident. This coverage protects you against other people’s claims. It does not cover your own vehicle damage or injuries.

It consists of three limits, bodily injury for each person, bodily injury for the entire accident, and a limit for property damage. You commonly see limits of 50/100/50 which means a limit of $50,000 per injured person, a limit of $100,000 in injury protection per accident, and $50,000 of coverage for damaged propery.

Liability coverage pays for things such as medical services, repair bills for other people’s vehicles and pain and suffering. How much liability should you purchase? That is a personal decision, but buy as high a limit as you can afford.

Auto collision coverage

Collision coverage pays for damage to your 3 Series caused by collision with an object or car. You first must pay a deductible then the remaining damage will be paid by your insurance company.

Collision coverage protects against things like backing into a parked car, sideswiping another vehicle, crashing into a building, colliding with another moving vehicle and crashing into a ditch. Collision is rather expensive coverage, so consider dropping it from lower value vehicles. It’s also possible to choose a higher deductible in order to get cheaper collision rates.

Comprehensive coverages

This coverage covers damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. You first must pay your deductible then your comprehensive coverage will pay.

Comprehensive coverage pays for claims like falling objects, a broken windshield, fire damage, damage from a tornado or hurricane and rock chips in glass. The highest amount a insurance company will pay at claim time is the cash value of the vehicle, so if the vehicle’s value is low it’s not worth carrying full coverage.

Coverage for medical payments

Medical payments and Personal Injury Protection insurance provide coverage for bills such as ambulance fees, dental work and chiropractic care. They can be used to fill the gap from your health insurance policy or if you do not have health coverage. It covers both the driver and occupants in addition to if you are hit as a while walking down the street. PIP is only offered in select states and may carry a deductible

Uninsured and underinsured coverage

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage gives you protection when other motorists either have no liability insurance or not enough. Covered losses include medical payments for you and your occupants and damage to your BMW 3 Series.

Due to the fact that many drivers carry very low liability coverage limits, their liability coverage can quickly be exhausted. That’s why carrying high Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage is important protection for you and your family.

The bottom line

People who switch companies do it for a number of reasons such as delays in responding to claim requests, policy non-renewal, poor customer service and high rates after DUI convictions. It doesn’t matter what your reason, choosing a new insurance company can be pretty painless.

As you restructure your insurance plan, you should never buy lower coverage limits just to save a few bucks. In many instances, an accident victim reduced collision coverage and found out when filing a claim that it was a big mistake. Your objective should be to find the BEST coverage for the lowest price but still have enough coverage for asset protection.

Cheaper 2004 BMW 3 Series insurance can be purchased online and from local agencies, and you need to price shop both to have the best rate selection. Some insurance companies do not provide internet price quotes and these regional insurance providers sell through independent insurance agencies.

More tips and info about insurance is available in these articles: