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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Trying to find the cheapest auto insurance rates for your BMW X3? Are you sick and tired of not being able to scrape enough together to keep your car insured? You’re in the same situation as many other consumers. Numerous insurance companies battle to insure your vehicles, and because of this it can be hard to compare insurance companies to discover the definitive best rate

If you are insured now or need a new policy, you can use these techniques to get lower rates while maintaining coverages. Choosing the best insurance company for you is quite easy. Drivers only need an understanding of the most effective way to find the lowest price on the web.

The BMW X3 insurance cost equation

Multiple criteria are part of the equation when you get a price on insurance. Some factors are common sense such as traffic violations, but other criteria are not as apparent such as your credit history or your vehicle rating.Consumers need to have an understanding of the different types of things that help determine your policy premiums. If you have some idea of what determines base rates, this helps enable you to make changes that will entitle you to lower premium levels.

  • Are women or men drivers cheaper? – Over the last 30 years, statistics show women are more cautious behind the wheel. It does not mean males are worse at driving than females. Females and males are in fender benders in similar numbers, but males have costlier accidents. Men also tend to receive more major tickets like DUI and reckless driving. Males from age 16 to 21 cause the most accidents and therefore are the most expensive to insure.
  • Safer cars cost less to insure – Vehicles with good safety scores can get you lower premiums. The safest vehicles protect occupants better and fewer injuries translates directly to fewer claims passed on to you as lower rates.
  • More than one policy can earn a discount – Most larger companies will award a discount for people that buy multiple policies in the form of a multi-policy discount. Even though this discount sounds good, consumers should still shop around to help ensure you have the lowest rates.
  • Premiums are lower the older you get – Teenage drivers are known to be inattentive in a vehicle and because of this, their insurance rates are much higher. Having to add a youthful driver onto your insurance can increase premiums substantially. More mature drivers are more responsible, cost insurance companies less in claims and are safer drivers.
  • Commute or pleasure use – Driving more miles every year the more you will pay for insurance. Most insurance companies apply a rate based upon how you use the vehicle. Vehicles left parked in the garage qualify for better rates than vehicles that are driven to work every day. It’s always a good idea to double check that your declarations sheet is rated on annual mileage. A policy that improperly rates your X3 may be costing you.

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Are you earning every discount?

Car insurance companies don’t always advertise the complete list of policy discounts in an easy-to-find place, so we researched some of the more common as well as the least known discounts that you may qualify for.

  • Student Driver Training – Teen drivers should successfully complete driver’s ed class in school or through a local driver safety program.
  • Telematics Devices – Drivers who agree to allow their insurance company to spy on where and when they drive by using a small device installed in their vehicle such as Progressive’s Snapshot may see discounts if they have good driving habits.
  • Multiple Vehicles – Buying a policy with multiple cars or trucks with the same insurance coverage company could earn a price break for each car.
  • Resident Student – Youth drivers who are enrolled in higher education away from home and don’t have a car may be insured at a cheaper rate.
  • Professional Memberships – Affiliation with qualifying employment or professional organizations could earn you a nice discount on your bill.
  • Discounts for New Vehicles – Buying insurance on a new vehicle is cheaper since newer models are generally safer.

A little disclaimer on discounts, most discounts do not apply to the overall cost of the policy. The majority will only reduce the price of certain insurance coverages like liability, collision or medical payments. So even though you would think having all the discounts means you get insurance for free, you won’t be that lucky.

To locate providers with the best discounts, click here to view.

Drivers who switch save $428 a year? Really?

Drivers get pounded daily by advertisements that promise big savings by companies like State Farm, Allstate and GEICO. All the ads state the claim that you’ll save big if you get a free car insurance quote and switch your policy.

How does every company make the same claim? It’s all in how they say it.

Insurance providers quote their cheapest rates for the type of driver that earns them a profit. One example of a preferred risk might have to be over the age of 45, has a clean driving record, and drives less than 10,000 miles a year. Anybody who matches those parameters will get very good auto insurance rates and have a good chance to save a lot if they switch.

Potential customers who fall outside this stringent profile will be charged a higher rate which leads to the prospect going elsewhere. If you listen closely, the ads state “people that switch” not “everyone that quotes” save that kind of money. That’s why companies can truthfully advertise the savings.

Because of the profiling, you really should do a quote comparison often. Because you never know with any certainty which company will provide you with the cheapest premium rates.

When in doubt talk to an agent

When it comes to choosing adequate coverage, there isn’t really a best way to insure your cars. Every situation is different so your insurance should reflect that For instance, these questions may help highlight whether or not you would benefit from an agent’s advice.

  • Are split liability limits better than a combined single limit?
  • Where can I find DUI or SR-22 insurance?
  • Does my policy cover me when driving someone else’s vehicle?
  • Are rock chip repairs covered?
  • How do I buy GAP insurance?
  • Is a fancy paint job covered?

If it’s difficult to answer those questions but you know they apply to you, you might consider talking to an insurance agent. To find lower rates from a local agent, fill out this quick form or go to this page to view a list of companies. It only takes a few minutes and may give you better protection.

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Detailed coverages of your insurance policy

Knowing the specifics of your insurance policy helps when choosing the best coverages at the best deductibles and correct limits. Policy terminology can be difficult to understand and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording. These are typical coverages found on most insurance policies.

Collision coverage protection

Collision insurance pays to fix your vehicle from damage from colliding with an object or car. A deductible applies and the rest of the damage will be paid by collision coverage.

Collision insurance covers claims such as driving through your garage door, sideswiping another vehicle, backing into a parked car, rolling your car and crashing into a building. This coverage can be expensive, so consider dropping it from vehicles that are 8 years or older. Drivers also have the option to choose a higher deductible to get cheaper collision coverage.

Liability auto insurance

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

Split limit liability has three limits of coverage: bodily injury for each person, bodily injury for the entire accident, and a limit for property damage. You commonly see liability limits of 100/300/100 which means $100,000 bodily injury coverage, $300,000 for the entire accident, and a total limit of $100,000 for damage to vehicles and property. Occasionally you may see a combined limit which provides one coverage limit and claims can be made without the split limit restrictions.

Liability coverage protects against claims like medical expenses, structural damage, repair costs for stationary objects, funeral expenses and repair bills for other people’s vehicles. How much liability coverage do you need? That is your choice, but it’s cheap coverage so purchase higher limits if possible.

Comprehensive (Other than Collision)

Comprehensive insurance pays to fix your vehicle from damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. You need to pay your deductible first then the remaining damage will be covered by your comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive insurance covers claims such as theft, rock chips in glass, damage from a tornado or hurricane, hitting a deer and fire damage. The highest amount you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the cash value of the vehicle, so if the vehicle’s value is low it’s not worth carrying full coverage.

Medical expense insurance

Med pay and PIP coverage kick in for expenses like chiropractic care, ambulance fees, hospital visits, doctor visits and funeral costs. The coverages can be used to cover expenses not covered by your health insurance policy or if you lack health insurance entirely. Coverage applies to not only the driver but also the vehicle occupants and also covers getting struck while a pedestrian. PIP is only offered in select states and may carry a deductible

Protection from uninsured/underinsured drivers

This protects you and your vehicle’s occupants when other motorists either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. It can pay for injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants as well as your vehicle’s damage.

Because many people have only the minimum liability required by law, it only takes a small accident to exceed their coverage. This is the reason having UM/UIM coverage is a good idea. Most of the time the UM/UIM limits are similar to your liability insurance amounts.

A tidy conclusion

As you shop your coverage around, don’t be tempted to buy poor coverage just to save money. There have been many situations where an insured cut liability coverage limits and found out when filing a claim that saving that couple of dollars actually costed them tens of thousands. Your goal is to buy the best coverage you can find for the lowest price while still protecting your assets.

A few companies do not offer the ability to get quotes online and most of the time these small insurance companies work with local independent agencies. More affordable car insurance can be found online in addition to local insurance agencies, and you need to price shop both to have the best selection.

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