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.

Are you irritated from robbing Peter to pay Paul to buy auto insurance? Your situation is no different than many other consumers. Lots of auto insurance companies contend for your business, so it’s not easy to compare every company to discover the definitive cheapest price

It’s a good habit to do rate comparisons every six months because auto insurance rates change regularly. Just because you found the lowest premium rates on X5 insurance a few years ago you may be paying too much now. Forget anything you know (or think you know) about auto insurance because you’re going to learn the best methods to properly buy coverages and cut your premium.

Earn discounts to get lower-cost auto insurance rates

Companies that sell car insurance don’t always publicize every disount available in a way that’s easy to find, so we took the time to find both the well known and also the more inconspicuous credits available to bring down your rates.

  • Student Discounts – A discount for being a good student could provide a savings of up to 20% or more. Most companies allow this discount up to age 25.
  • Anti-theft System – Cars with anti-theft systems are stolen less frequently and therefore earn up to a 10% discount.
  • Telematics Data – Drivers who agree to allow their company to look at driving habits by using a small device installed in their vehicle such as Snapshot from Progressive or Drivewise from Allstate could see a rate decrease if their driving habits are good.
  • Federal Government Employee – Active or retired federal employment can save as much as 8% on X5 insurance with a few auto insurance companies.
  • Pay Early and Save – By paying your entire bill at once as opposed to paying monthly you may reduce your total bill.
  • Discount for Low Mileage – Maintaining low annual mileage may allow you to get lower rates on the low mileage vehicles.

Don’t be shocked that most of the big mark downs will not be given the the whole policy. Some only reduce specific coverage prices like physical damage coverage or medical payments. Despite the appearance that all those discounts means the company will pay you, you won’t be that lucky. But all discounts should help lower the cost of coverage.

Larger auto insurance companies and a selection of discounts can be read below.

  • Farmers Insurance offers discounts including good student, switch companies, pay in full, bundle discounts, early shopping, and distant student.
  • Esurance policyholders can earn discounts including homeowner, renters, safety device, DriveSense, and multi-car.
  • State Farm has discounts for multiple policy, good driver, Steer Clear safe driver discount, good student, multiple autos, accident-free, and passive restraint.
  • GEICO offers premium reductions for multi-policy, defensive driver, anti-theft, driver training, and seat belt use.
  • Allstate may have discounts that include resident student, premier discount, senior citizen, early signing, and 55 and retired.

When comparing rates, check with each insurance company which credits you are entitled to. Some discounts may not apply to policies in your area.

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

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Save 15 percent in 15 minutes? Is it for real?

Consumers can’t get away from ads for insurance savings from the likes of State Farm, Allstate and GEICO. All the ads make an identical promise that drivers can save some big amount if you move your insurance policy to them.

How does each company have lower policy pricing? You have to listen carefully.

Companies quote their cheapest rates for the type of customer that earns them the most money. An example of a profitable customer could possibly be between the ages of 30 and 50, has a low-risk occupation, and drives a lower-performance vehicle. A customer that meets those criteria will get a cheap rate quote and will probably save quite a bit of money when switching.

Potential insureds who fall short of those criteria may receive higher prices and this results in the customer buying from a different company. If you listen closely, the ads state “customers that switch” not “all people who quote” save the amount stated. That’s why insurance companies can confidently advertise the savings. This illustrates why you should compare rate quotes every year. It’s just too difficult to predict with any certainty which company will have the lowest prices for your situation.

Tailor your car insurance coverage to you

When buying adequate coverage, there isn’t really a “perfect” insurance plan. Each situation is unique and a cookie cutter policy won’t apply. For instance, these questions might help in determining whether or not you would benefit from an agent’s advice.

  • Is my teenager covered with friends in the car?
  • What are the best liability limits?
  • Am I covered when pulling a rental trailer?
  • Can I pay claims out-of-pocket if I buy high deductibles?
  • Does my personal policy cover me when driving out-of-state?
  • What vehicles should carry emergency assistance coverage?
  • Is business property covered if stolen from my car?
  • What is medical payments coverage?
  • Will my rates increase for filing one claim?

If you’re not sure about those questions but you think they might apply to your situation, you might consider talking to an agent. If you want to speak to an agent in your area, simply complete this short form or click here for a list of car insurance companies in your area. It’s fast, free and can provide invaluable advice.

Coverages available on your insurance policy

Learning about specific coverages of a insurance policy aids in choosing which coverages you need and proper limits and deductibles. Insurance terms can be ambiguous and nobody wants to actually read their policy. These are typical coverages found on most insurance policies.

Medical expense insurance

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage kick in for bills for dental work, pain medications and rehabilitation expenses. They can be used to cover expenses not covered by your health insurance policy or if you are not covered by health insurance. Coverage applies to both the driver and occupants and also covers any family member struck as a pedestrian. Personal injury protection coverage is not universally available but it provides additional coverages not offered by medical payments coverage

Comprehensive (Other than Collision)

This pays for damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. A deductible will apply then your comprehensive coverage will pay.

Comprehensive coverage protects against claims such as fire damage, damage from getting keyed, damage from a tornado or hurricane, hitting a bird and damage from flooding. The most a insurance company will pay at claim time is the ACV or actual cash value, so if your deductible is as high as the vehicle’s value consider removing comprehensive coverage.

Liability coverages

This will cover injuries or damage you cause to other people or property in an accident. It protects YOU against claims from other people, and doesn’t cover your injuries or vehicle damage.

Coverage consists of three different limits, bodily injury for each person injured, bodily injury for the entire accident and a property damage limit. As an example, you may have limits of 50/100/50 that means you have a $50,000 limit per person for injuries, a total of $100,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and $50,000 of coverage for damaged propery.

Liability insurance covers claims like repair bills for other people’s vehicles, bail bonds and legal defense fees. How much coverage you buy is your choice, but consider buying higher limits if possible.

Collision insurance

Collision insurance pays to fix your vehicle from damage resulting from colliding with another car or object. You will need to pay your deductible then the remaining damage will be paid by your insurance company.

Collision coverage pays for things such as driving through your garage door, damaging your car on a curb, crashing into a ditch and colliding with a tree. Collision coverage makes up a good portion of your premium, so analyze the benefit of dropping coverage from vehicles that are older. Drivers also have the option to bump up the deductible in order to get cheaper collision rates.

Protection from uninsured/underinsured drivers

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage protects you and your vehicle’s occupants when other motorists either have no liability insurance or not enough. Covered claims include injuries to you and your family as well as damage to your BMW X5.

Since a lot of drivers only carry the minimum required liability limits, it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. That’s why carrying high Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage is very important.

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

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Smart consumers save more

More affordable auto insurance can be bought from both online companies as well as from independent agents, so you should compare both to get a complete price analysis. Some insurance companies may not have online rate quotes and many times these regional carriers provide coverage only through local independent agents.

As you restructure your insurance plan, it’s very important that you do not sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. In many cases, someone dropped uninsured motorist or liability limits to discover at claim time that a couple dollars of savings turned into a financial nightmare. Your goal is to get the best coverage possible for the lowest price, not the least amount of coverage.

Even more information can be read by following these links: