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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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

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: Nov 19, 2018

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Finding cheap insurance on the web can appear to be rather difficult for drivers that are not comfortable with quoting and comparison shopping on the internet. With more and more online companies available, how are drivers able to have a chance to compare each option to find cheaper insurance prices?

Pricing the cheapest protection is quite easy. Essentially every vehicle owner who is shopping for insurance coverage most likely will be able to save money. Nevertheless, car owners can benefit by having an understanding of the way companies sell online and take advantage of how the system works.

Which car insurance is cheapest?

There are several ways to compare prices from companies that offer car insurance in your state. The quickest method to find competitive 2004 BMW 5 Series insurance rates is to get quotes online. It’s really quite simple and can be done in a couple of different ways.

  1. The fastest way consumers can analyze rates is a comparison rater form click here to open form in new window. This method prevents you from having to do multiple quote forms for each company. One form submission will return price quotes from several companies. It’s the fastest way to compare.
  2. A more time consuming way to analyze rates requires you to visit each company’s website and repeat the quote process. For sake of this example, let’s say you need rates from Auto-Owners, Safeco and Allstate. In order to get each rate, you would have to go to every website and punch in your information repeatedly, which can take a lot of time. To view a list of companies in your area, click here.

Whichever way you use, try to use identical coverages with every price quote. If your comparisons have different deductibles you will not be able to find the best deal for your BMW 5 Series. Slightly different insurance coverages may cause a big price difference. And when quoting car insurance, remember that making a lot of price comparisons helps improve the odds of finding lower pricing. Some companies don’t provide price estimates online, so you also need to get rates from those companies as well.

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Reduce your insurance rates with discounts

Insurance can be prohibitively expensive, but you may qualify for discounts that many people don’t even know exist. Some discounts apply automatically at the time you complete a quote, but some need to be manually applied before you get the savings.

  • Air Bags and Passive Restraints – Cars that have air bags and/or automatic seat belt systems may get savings of 25 to 30%.
  • Home Ownership Discount – Owning a home can save a few bucks because of the fact that having a home requires personal responsibility.
  • Military Rewards – Having a family member in the military could be rewarded with lower prices.
  • Theft Prevention Discount – Vehicles optioned with advanced anti-theft systems are less likely to be stolen and qualify for as much as a 10% discount.
  • Drive Safe and Save – Insureds without accidents can pay as much as 50% less for 5 Series coverage compared to rates paid by drivers with frequent claims.
  • Save with More Vehicles Insured – Purchasing coverage when you have multiple vehicles with the same company could earn a price break for each car.

It’s important to understand that some credits don’t apply the the whole policy. Some only reduce the price of certain insurance coverages like collision or personal injury protection. So when the math indicates adding up those discounts means a free policy, you aren’t that lucky.

A few of the larger companies and some of the discounts are detailed below.

  • Progressive includes discounts for continuous coverage, homeowner, online quote discount, good student, and multi-vehicle.
  • MetLife discounts include defensive driver, good student, claim-free, good driver, multi-policy, accident-free
  • Mercury Insurance has discounts for good student, ease of repair, low natural disaster claims, anti-theft, professional/association, and annual mileage.
  • Nationwide offers discounts including accident-free, business or organization, good student, family plan, anti-theft, multi-policy, and Farm Bureau membership.
  • GEICO policyholders can earn discounts including multi-vehicle, driver training, daytime running lights, anti-theft, and membership and employees.
  • AAA may have discounts that include multi-policy, good student, anti-theft, pay-in-full, AAA membership discount, multi-car, and education and occupation.

It’s a good idea to ask each insurance company which discounts they offer. Savings may not be available in your area. To locate providers with the best insurance discounts, follow this link.

You are unique and your car insurance should be too

When buying coverage, there is no “best” method to buy coverage. Each situation is unique.

For instance, these questions can aid in determining if your insurance needs would benefit from an agent’s advice.

  • Do I need an umbrella policy?
  • Can my babysitter drive my car?
  • What is UM/UIM insurance?
  • Does car insurance cover theft of personal property?
  • If I drive on a suspended license am I covered?
  • Exactly who is provided coverage by my policy?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions but you think they might apply to your situation, you might consider talking to an agent. To find an agent in your area, simply complete this short form.

Auto insurance coverage considerations

Having a good grasp of your auto insurance policy can help you determine the best coverages and the correct deductibles and limits. The terms used in a policy can be ambiguous and reading a policy is terribly boring.

Comprehensive coverage

This pays to fix your vehicle from damage from a wide range of events other than collision. You first have to pay a deductible and the remainder of the damage will be paid by comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive insurance covers claims such as vandalism, fire damage, damage from flooding, a tree branch falling on your vehicle and hitting a deer. The highest amount you’ll receive from a claim is the ACV or actual cash value, so if the vehicle’s value is low consider dropping full coverage.

Coverage for collisions

This pays for damage to your 5 Series from colliding with a stationary object or other vehicle. You have to pay a deductible then your collision coverage will kick in.

Collision insurance covers things like crashing into a building, crashing into a ditch, hitting a parking meter, damaging your car on a curb and sideswiping another vehicle. This coverage can be expensive, so consider dropping it from vehicles that are older. Drivers also have the option to choose a higher deductible to get cheaper collision coverage.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage

Your UM/UIM coverage protects you and your vehicle when other motorists either have no liability insurance or not enough. It can pay for medical payments for you and your occupants as well as damage to your BMW 5 Series.

Due to the fact that many drivers have only the minimum liability required by law, their limits can quickly be used up. This is the reason having UM/UIM coverage is a good idea. Usually these limits do not exceed the liability coverage limits.

Medical payments coverage and PIP

Coverage for medical payments and/or PIP pay for bills such as chiropractic care, funeral costs, pain medications and hospital visits. They can be utilized in addition to your health insurance plan or if there is no health insurance coverage. They cover all vehicle occupants and also covers if you are hit as a while walking down the street. Personal injury protection coverage is not universally available and gives slightly broader coverage than med pay

Liability insurance

This will cover injuries or damage you cause to other people or property that is your fault. It protects you from legal claims by others, and does not provide coverage for damage sustained by your vehicle in an accident.

Split limit liability has three limits of coverage: bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage. Your policy might show values of 25/50/25 which means a $25,000 limit per person for injuries, a total of $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and $25,000 of coverage for damaged propery. Another option is one limit called combined single limit (CSL) which provides one coverage limit with no separate limits for injury or property damage.

Liability coverage protects against claims like emergency aid, medical services, funeral expenses and repair bills for other people’s vehicles. How much liability should you purchase? That is your choice, but consider buying as large an amount as possible.