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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Want better auto insurance rates for your GMC Safari? Shopping for discount auto insurance may at first seem to be impossible for beginners to comparing prices online. With so many companies competing online, how can anyone effectively compare all the different companies and get the best pricing?

It’s a good idea to compare rates once or twice a year because prices go up and down regularly. If you had the best deal for Safari insurance six months ago other companies may now be cheaper. You can find a lot of wrong information about auto insurance online but you can learn some solid techniques on how to lower your auto insurance premiums.

Choosing the best insurance company for you is quite easy. In a nutshell, everyone who has to buy insurance coverage should be able to save money. But car owners benefit from understanding the methods companies use to sell insurance online and take advantage of how the system works.

How your Safari insurance prices are determined

Lots of things are used in the calculation when quoting car insurance. A few of the factors are predictable like a motor vehicle report, but other criteria are not as apparent like your vehicle usage or your commute time.One of the most helpful ways to save on insurance coverage is to to have a grasp of some of the elements that help calculate your insurance coverage rates. When you understand what positively or negatively impacts your premiums, this enables you to make decisions that may reward you with cheaper rates.

The factors shown below are some of the items utilized by car insurance companies to help set your prices.

  • Avoid unnecessary extra policy coverages – Policies have additional coverages that you can get tricked into buying but may not be useful. Coverages like coverage for rental cars, accident forgiveness, and extra life insurance coverage are some examples. They may sound like good ideas when talking to your agent, but if they’re wasting money eliminate them to save money.
  • Tickets and citations cost more than a fine – Whether or not you get tickets impacts premiums far more than you think. Careful drivers pay less for auto insurance than their less careful counterparts. Just one moving violation can bump up the cost twenty percent or more. People who have license-revoking tickets like hit and run, DWI or reckless driving convictions may need to complete a SR-22 with the DMV in their state in order to prevent their license from being revoked.
  • Insure car and home with the same company – Most companies give better rates to people who buy several policies from them, otherwise known as a multi-policy discount. The discount can be as much as ten percent or more Even with this discount, it’s still a good idea to get quotes from other companies to help guarantee you have the best rates.
  • Bad credit hurts insurance prices – Having a bad credit score is a big factor in determining what you pay. Insureds that have high credit scores tend to file fewer claims than drivers who have bad credit. If your credit is lower than you’d like, you could be paying less to insure your 2004 GMC Safari by spending a little time repairing your credit.

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

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Get cheaper rates by receiving discounts

Car insurance is not cheap, but you may be missing some discounts that can dramatically reduce your bill. Most are applied at the time you complete a quote, but a few must be asked for prior to getting the savings.

  • Life Insurance Discount – Not all insurance companies offer life insurance, but some may give you a discounted rate on car insurance if you buy life insurance from them.
  • Telematics Discount – Insureds who allow companies to monitor vehicle usage by using a telematics device like In-Drive from State Farm and Progressive’s Snapshot may get a rate reduction as long as the data is positive.
  • E-sign Discounts – A few larger online companies will give you a small discount simply for signing on your computer.
  • Passive Restraint Discount – Vehicles equipped with air bags and/or automatic seat belt systems may qualify for discounts as much as 30%.
  • Accident Free – Insureds who avoid accidents and claims get the best insurance coverage rates when compared with policyholders that have many claims.
  • Save with More Vehicles Insured – Buying insurance for multiple cars or trucks with the same company can get a discount for every vehicle.
  • Theft Prevention System – Anti-theft and alarm system equipped vehicles are stolen with less frequency and will qualify for a discount on a auto insurance quote.

Keep in mind that most of the big mark downs will not be given to the entire policy premium. Most cut the price of certain insurance coverages like liability, collision or medical payments. So when the math indicates you would end up receiving a 100% discount, nobody gets a free ride. But all discounts should help reduce your premiums.

To find insurers with discount insurance coverage rates, follow this link.

Drivers who switch save $469 a year? Really?

Insurance companies such as Allstate, GEICO and Progressive regularly use television, radio, and online ads. They all seem to say the same thing that you can save just by switching to their company. How does every company make almost identical claims? You have to listen carefully.

Insurance providers have specific characteristics for the type of customer that makes them money. For instance, a profitable insured might have to be a mature driver, has never had a policy lapse, and the vehicle is rated for pleasure use. Someone that hits that “sweet spot” will get a cheap rate quote as well as cut their rates substantially.

Insureds who don’t measure up to these standards will have to pay higher prices which translates to the customer not purchasing. The trick is to say “people who switch” not “everyone who quotes” save the amount stated. That is how companies can truthfully advertise the savings. Because of the profiling, drivers should get price quotes at each policy renewal. Because you cannot predict which company will give you lower prices than your current company.

Your car insurance coverage should be tailored to you

When it comes to choosing the right insurance coverage for your vehicles, there isn’t really a “perfect” insurance plan. Everyone’s needs are different.

These are some specific questions might help in determining whether your personal situation would benefit from an agent’s advice.

  • How high should my uninsured/underinsured coverage be in my state?
  • Do I have newly-aquired coverage?
  • What happens if I owe more than my 2004 GMC Safari is worth?
  • Who is covered by my policy?
  • Do I need more liability coverage?
  • Is my 2004 GMC Safari covered for flood damage?
  • How much can I save by bundling my policies?
  • Should I drop comprehensive coverage on older vehicles?

If you’re not sure about those questions but a few of them apply, you may need to chat with a licensed insurance agent. If you want to speak to an agent in your area, complete this form.

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The coverage is in the details

Having a good grasp of a car insurance policy can help you determine appropriate coverage and proper limits and deductibles. Car insurance terms can be impossible to understand and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording.

Coverage for medical expenses – Medical payments and Personal Injury Protection insurance reimburse you for immediate expenses for rehabilitation expenses, dental work and EMT expenses. They are often used to fill the gap from your health insurance policy or if there is no health insurance coverage. Medical payments and PIP cover both the driver and occupants in addition to getting struck while a pedestrian. Personal Injury Protection is not universally available but can be used in place of medical payments coverage

Liability insurance – Liability insurance provides protection from damage or injury you incur to a person or their property by causing an accident. This coverage protects you from legal claims by others, and doesn’t cover your injuries or vehicle damage.

Coverage consists of three different limits, per person bodily injury, per accident bodily injury, and a property damage limit. You might see liability limits of 25/50/25 that translate to a limit of $25,000 per injured person, a limit of $50,000 in injury protection per accident, and $25,000 of coverage for damaged propery.

Liability can pay for claims such as medical expenses, loss of income and court costs. How much coverage you buy is a personal decision, but consider buying as high a limit as you can afford.

Coverage for uninsured or underinsured drivers – This coverage protects you and your vehicle from other motorists when they either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. This coverage pays for injuries to you and your family as well as your vehicle’s damage.

Since many drivers carry very low liability coverage limits, their liability coverage can quickly be exhausted. This is the reason having UM/UIM coverage is very important.

Collision coverage – Collision coverage pays for damage to your Safari from colliding with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. You first must pay a deductible then the remaining damage will be paid by your insurance company.

Collision can pay for things such as backing into a parked car, scraping a guard rail, damaging your car on a curb, crashing into a building and hitting a parking meter. Collision coverage makes up a good portion of your premium, so analyze the benefit of dropping coverage from vehicles that are 8 years or older. Another option is to increase the deductible to bring the cost down.

Comprehensive car insurance – Comprehensive insurance pays to fix your vehicle from damage that is not covered by collision coverage. A deductible will apply and then insurance will cover the rest of the damage.

Comprehensive can pay for things such as damage from flooding, damage from a tornado or hurricane, hail damage and falling objects. The maximum payout you’ll receive from a claim is the market value of your vehicle, so if your deductible is as high as the vehicle’s value consider removing comprehensive coverage.

The bottom line

When getting auto insurance quotes online, don’t be tempted to skimp on coverage in order to save money. There are many occasions where someone sacrificed comprehensive coverage or liability limits and discovered at claim time that a couple dollars of savings turned into a financial nightmare. Your focus should be to buy the best coverage you can find for the lowest price, but do not skimp to save money.

Consumers switch companies for a number of reasons such as extreme rates for teen drivers, an unsatisfactory settlement offer, delays in paying claims or high rates after DUI convictions. No matter why you want to switch, finding a new car insurance company is less work than it seems.

Cheaper car insurance can be bought both online as well as from insurance agents, so you should be comparing quotes from both in order to have the best chance of saving money. A few companies may not have online quoting and most of the time these regional carriers sell through local independent agencies.

More detailed car insurance information can be found in the articles below: