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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I can’t think of anyone who gets a kick out of paying for insurance coverage, in particular when they are paying too much. There are many insurers to choose from, and though it is a good thing to have a choice, so many choices can make it hard to compare rates and find the lowest cost insurance coverage.

How to shop insurance online

Most of the larger companies make it easy to get coverage prices on their websites. Doing online price comparisons is easy for anyone as you just type in your required coverages as detailed in the form. Once entered, their system will order credit information and your driving record and returns pricing information based on the information you submitted. This makes it simple to compare prices but having to visit a lot of sites and type in the same information is a big time waster. But it’s necessary to get many rate quotes in order to get better prices.

Keep reading for an easier way to compare prices

The easiest way to find lower prices uses one form to return rates from multiple companies. The form is fast, requires less work, and makes comparison shopping much simpler. Immediately after submitting the form, your coverage is rated with multiple companies and you can pick any or none of the quote results. If you find a better price you simply finish the application and buy the policy. This process only takes a few minutes and may save quite a bit of money.

To find out how much you can save on insurance, click here to open in a new tab and complete the simple form. To compare your current rates, we recommend you complete the form with the coverages identical to your current policy. Doing this assures you will be getting an apples-to-apples comparison for exact coverage.

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

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Insurance policy discounts

Not many people think insurance is cheap, but there are discounts available that you may not even know about. Some of these disounts will be visible when you get a quote, but a few must be specially asked for before being credited.

  • Waiver for an Accident – This one isn’t a discount, but a handful of insurance companies will let one accident slide without raising rates so long as you are claim-free for a set time period.
  • Defensive Driving Course – Successfully completing a course in driver safety is a good idea and can lower rates and easily pay for the cost of the class.
  • Employee of Federal Government – Having worked for a branch of the government may qualify for a discount when you quote insurance for X3 coverage with certain companies.
  • Renewal Discounts – A few insurance companies offer discounts for renewing your policy before your current policy expires. It can save you around 10%.
  • Onboard Data Collection – Drivers who agree to allow their insurance company to track driving habits by using a small device installed in their vehicle such as Allstate’s Drivewise and State Farm’s In-Drive system could possibly reduce rates if they are good drivers.

A little note about advertised discounts, most credits do not apply to the entire cost. Most cut the cost of specific coverages such as physical damage coverage or medical payments. Just because you may think adding up those discounts means a free policy, nobody gets a free ride.

Some of the insurance companies that may have these money-saving discounts possibly include:

If you need lower rates, check with all the companies to apply every possible discount. Discounts might not be offered in your state.

How do I know if I need professional advice?

When buying the best insurance coverage, there really is no cookie cutter policy. Each situation is unique so your insurance should reflect that For instance, these questions could help you determine whether your personal situation could use an agent’s help.

  • What is medical payments coverage?
  • What is roadside assistance coverage?
  • Is my business laptop covered if it gets stolen from my vehicle?
  • Is there coverage for injuries to my pets?
  • Why am I required to get a high-risk car insurance policy?
  • Will my vehicle be repaired with OEM or aftermarket parts?
  • Does coverage extend to a rental car in a foreign country?

If you’re not sure about those questions, you might consider talking to a licensed insurance agent. If you want to speak to an agent in your area, complete this form or you can go here for a list of companies in your area. It is quick, free and may give you better protection.

Eight things that influence your insurance prices

Many factors are used in the calculation when pricing auto insurance. Some of the criteria are obvious like a motor vehicle report, but some are more obscure like where you live or how financially stable you are.An important part of buying insurance is that you know some of the things that aid in calculating your premiums. If you understand what determines base rates, this empowers consumers to make smart changes that may reward you with big savings.

  • Lower premiums for safer cars – Safer cars tend to be cheaper to insure. Safer cars reduce the chance of injuries and fewer injuries means your insurance company pays less and thus lower rates. If the BMW X3 is rated at least four stars on you may qualify for a discount.
  • Having a spouse pays dividends – Getting married actually saves money on your policy. Marriage may mean you are more mature and responsible and statistics prove married drivers get in fewer accidents.
  • Bad credit hurts insurance prices – Having a bad credit history factor in your rate calculation. Therefore, if your credit rating is lower than you’d like, you could be paying less to insure your 2004 BMW X3 by improving your rating. People with good credit tend to be better risks to insure than those with lower credit scores.
  • Lower rates come with age – More experienced drivers have been proven to be more responsible, tend to cause fewer accidents and receive fewer citations.Teen drivers are statistically proven to be careless and easily distracted in a vehicle therefore car insurance rates are much higher.
  • Your address can push rates up or down – Being located in a rural area can be a good thing when trying to find low car insurance rates. Drivers in populated areas tend to have traffic congestion and a longer drive to work. Lower population means reduced accidents and also fewer theft and vandalism claims.
  • Do you know your coverage deductibles? – Physical damage insurance, aka comp and collision, helps pay for damage to your vehicle. Some instances where coverage would apply are running into the backend of another car, vandalism, and windstorm damage. Deductibles for physical damage define how much you are willing to pay out-of-pocket if the claim is covered. The more of the claim you pay before a claim is paid (deductible), the less money you will pay for car insurance for X3 coverage.
  • Extra policy coverages could be costing you – Policies have extra add-on coverages you can purchase on your X3 policy. Coverages like roadside assistance, towing coverage, and additional equipment coverage are examples of these. These coverages may sound good when deciding what coverages you need, but if you have no use for them eliminate the coverages to reduce your premium.
  • Women tend to be lower risk – Statistics have proven females are less aggressive when driving. The data does not necessarily mean that females are better at driving than males. Males and females cause at-fault accidents at about the same rate, but the male of the species get into accidents with more damage. Men also tend to have more aggressive citations like driving under the influence (DUI). Youthful male drivers generally have the highest accident percentage and therefore are the most expensive to insure.

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

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Do you really save 40% when you switch?

Consumers can’t escape the ads that claim the lowest rates by companies like State Farm, Allstate and GEICO. They all seem to seem to make the promise about savings if you switch your coverage.

It sounds good, but how can they all give you a better price? Here is how they do it.

Insurance companies quote the lowest rates for the type of customer that will not have excessive claims. A good example of a profitable insured might be described as between the ages of 30 and 50, has no driving citations, and has a high credit rating. Any customer who matches that profile receives the best rates and is almost guaranteed to save a lot if they switch.

Drivers who don’t meet this ideal profile must pay higher rates and this results in the customer not buying. If you pay close attention to the ads, they say “customers that switch” not “everyone who quotes” save that much money. That’s the way insurance companies can make claims like that. Different companies use different criteria so you should get insurance quotes from several different companies. It is impossible to guess which company will have the best rates.

Coverage specifics

Understanding the coverages of a auto insurance policy aids in choosing appropriate coverage at the best deductibles and correct limits. Policy terminology can be confusing and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording. Listed below are the usual coverages found on the average auto insurance policy.

Medical payments coverage and PIP – Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage reimburse you for immediate expenses for things like EMT expenses, doctor visits, rehabilitation expenses, hospital visits and ambulance fees. They are used to cover expenses not covered by your health insurance plan or if you do not have health coverage. Medical payments and PIP cover both the driver and occupants in addition to if you are hit as a while walking down the street. PIP is not an option in every state and may carry a deductible

Collision – Collision coverage will pay to fix damage to your X3 caused by collision with another car or object. You will need to pay your deductible and then insurance will cover the remainder.

Collision coverage protects against things like sustaining damage from a pot hole, hitting a parking meter and crashing into a building. Paying for collision coverage can be pricey, so analyze the benefit of dropping coverage from vehicles that are 8 years or older. Another option is to increase the deductible to save money on collision insurance.

Liability coverage – This coverage will cover damage that occurs to other’s property or people by causing an accident. It protects you from legal claims by others, and doesn’t cover damage sustained by your vehicle in an accident.

Coverage consists of three different limits, per person bodily injury, per accident bodily injury, and a property damage limit. Your policy might show policy limits of 25/50/25 that means you have $25,000 in coverage for each person’s injuries, $50,000 for the entire accident, and a limit of $25,000 paid for damaged property.

Liability coverage protects against claims like legal defense fees, structural damage and court costs. How much liability coverage do you need? That is your choice, but buy as large an amount as possible.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage – Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage gives you protection when other motorists either have no liability insurance or not enough. This coverage pays for injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants as well as damage to your BMW X3.

Due to the fact that many drivers only carry the minimum required liability limits, it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. So UM/UIM coverage is a good idea.

Comprehensive coverage – This pays for damage OTHER than collision with another vehicle or object. You first have to pay a deductible and then insurance will cover the rest of the damage.

Comprehensive can pay for things such as a broken windshield, falling objects, hail damage and hitting a bird. The highest amount you’ll receive from a claim is the market value of your vehicle, so if the vehicle’s value is low consider dropping full coverage.

Take this to the bank

When you buy insurance online, make sure you don’t reduce coverage to reduce premium. There are a lot of situations where an accident victim reduced liability limits or collision coverage and discovered at claim time they didn’t purchase enough coverage. Your goal is to purchase a proper amount of coverage at the best possible price, not the least amount of coverage.

Discount 2004 BMW X3 insurance can be found online as well as from insurance agents, so you need to shop insurance with both to have the best selection. Some companies do not offer rates over the internet and many times these regional carriers provide coverage only through independent agents.

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