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: Apr 7, 2018

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Have you finally had enough of robbing Peter to pay Paul to pay high car insurance rates every month? You are in the same boat as most other consumers.

Multiple insurers compete for your business, so it’s not easy to compare every provider to find the lowest price

Don’t miss these money-saving discounts

Properly insuring your vehicles can get expensive, but you might find some hidden discounts that you may not even be aware of. A few discounts will be applied at the time of purchase, but some may not be applied and must be asked for before you will receive the discount.

  • Club Memberships – Having an affiliation with qualifying clubs or civic groups can get you a small discount on your bill.
  • Government Employee Discount – Active or retired federal employment could provide a small rate reduction on Odyssey insurance depending on your insurance coverage provider.
  • Senior Citizen Rates – If you qualify as a senior citizen, you could receive lower premium rates on Odyssey insurance.
  • Early Payment Discounts – If you can afford to pay the entire bill rather than paying in monthly installments you can avoid monthly service charges.
  • Theft Deterent – Cars and trucks that have factory anti-theft systems help deter theft and that can save you a little bit as well.

While discounts sound great, it’s important to understand that most of the big mark downs will not be given the the whole policy. Some only reduce individual premiums such as physical damage coverage or medical payments. Even though the math looks like all those discounts means the company will pay you, you aren’t that lucky.

A few of the larger companies and a partial list of their discounts are:

  • Progressive has discounts for good student, multi-policy, homeowner, online signing, and continuous coverage.
  • Farmers Insurance offers discounts for early shopping, electronic funds transfer, alternative fuel, good student, and pay in full.
  • Farm Bureau policyholders can earn discounts including youthful driver, multi-vehicle, multi-policy, safe driver, good student, and renewal discount.
  • State Farm may have discounts that include safe vehicle, multiple policy, driver’s education, Steer Clear safe driver discount, and student away at school.
  • GEICO discounts include military active duty, multi-policy, emergency military deployment, driver training, five-year accident-free, and multi-vehicle.
  • SAFECO includes discounts for anti-lock brakes, safe driver, bundle discounts, teen safe driver, teen safety rewards, and drive less.
  • Liberty Mutual has savings for preferred payment discount, teen driver discount, safety features, newly married, newly retired, good student, and new vehicle discount.

Before you buy a policy, ask every insurance company to apply every possible discount. Some of the discounts discussed earlier may not be available in your area. If you would like to see a list of insurance companies with the best insurance coverage discounts, follow this link.

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How to buy auto insurance online

When comparison shopping, there are several ways to compare rate quotes from local auto insurance companies. One of the best ways to compare rates is to jump online and get quotes. This is quite simple and can be completed in a couple of different ways.

  • Hands down the most simple method to get the best comparison quotes is a comparison rater form click to view form in new window. This type of form keeps you from doing separate forms for each company you want a rate for. Just one form compares rates from multiple low-cost companies.
  • A less efficient way to find lower rates requires you to visit each individual company website and repeat the quote process again and again. For instance, we’ll assume you want to see prices from USAA, State Farm and Farmers. You would have to take the time to go to each site and repeatedly type in your coverage information, and that’s why the first method is more popular. For a list of links to companies insuring cars in your area, click here.
  • The least efficient method to compare rates is driving to local insurance agencies. The internet reduces the need to sit down with an agent unless your situation requires the guidance of an agent trained in personal lines coverage. Drivers can get the lowest quotes online and have a local agent actually service the policy.

Whichever way you choose to compare rates, compare identical deductibles and coverage limits for each quote you get. If you have mixed coverages it’s not possible to decipher which rate is best. Just a small difference in limits can result in a big premium difference. Keep in mind that comparing a large number of companies will enable you to find a lower rate.

Do I need special coverages?

When choosing the right insurance coverage for your personal vehicles, there is no cookie cutter policy. Every situation is different and your policy should reflect that. For example, these questions might help in determining if your insurance needs will benefit from professional help.

  • Is business equipment covered while in my vehicle?
  • Do I need roadside assistance coverage?
  • Will I be non-renewed for getting a DUI or other conviction?
  • Is pleasure use cheaper than using my 2008 Honda Odyssey to commute?
  • What discounts do I qualify for?
  • Can my babysitter drive my car?
  • Can I drive in Mexico and have coverage?
  • Is my dog or cat covered if injured in an accident?

If you can’t answer these questions but you think they might apply to your situation, you might consider talking to an insurance agent. If you don’t have a local agent, complete this form or go to this page to view a list of companies.

Specific coverage details

Knowing the specifics of car insurance can help you determine appropriate coverage and the correct deductibles and limits. The terms used in a policy can be difficult to understand and nobody wants to actually read their policy. Listed below are typical coverages found on the average car insurance policy.

Coverage for liability

This can cover damages or injuries you inflict on other people or property by causing an accident. It protects you against claims from other people. Liability doesn’t cover your injuries or vehicle damage.

Coverage consists of three different limits, bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage. You might see values of 50/100/50 which means $50,000 in coverage for each person’s injuries, a total of $100,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and property damage coverage for $50,000. Alternatively, you may have a combined single limit or CSL which limits claims to one amount with no separate limits for injury or property damage.

Liability insurance covers things such as funeral expenses, structural damage, loss of income and attorney fees. How much liability coverage do you need? That is a decision to put some thought into, but you should buy as much as you can afford.

Comprehensive coverage

Comprehensive insurance coverage covers damage that is not covered by collision coverage. A deductible will apply and then insurance will cover the rest of the damage.

Comprehensive coverage protects against things such as hail damage, damage from a tornado or hurricane and hitting a deer. The maximum payout a car insurance company will pay at claim time is the cash value of the vehicle, so if the vehicle’s value is low consider dropping full coverage.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage gives you protection from other motorists when they are uninsured or don’t have enough coverage. Covered losses include injuries to you and your family as well as damage to your Honda Odyssey.

Since many drivers only purchase the least amount of liability that is required, it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages should not be overlooked. Usually these coverages are set the same as your liablity limits.

Collision protection

This pays for damage to your Odyssey caused by collision with a stationary object or other vehicle. You first must pay a deductible then your collision coverage will kick in.

Collision can pay for claims like damaging your car on a curb, rolling your car, crashing into a building, colliding with a tree and backing into a parked car. Collision coverage makes up a good portion of your premium, so consider dropping it from older vehicles. Drivers also have the option to increase the deductible to get cheaper collision coverage.

Medical payments coverage and PIP

Coverage for medical payments and/or PIP pay for immediate expenses like pain medications, prosthetic devices, rehabilitation expenses, ambulance fees and nursing services. They are often utilized in addition to your health insurance policy or if you lack health insurance entirely. Coverage applies to all vehicle occupants in addition to getting struck while a pedestrian. Personal Injury Protection is not an option in every state and gives slightly broader coverage than med pay

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

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Best coverage at the best price

As you shop your coverage around, you should never buy lower coverage limits just to save a few bucks. In too many instances, an accident victim reduced comprehensive coverage or liability limits only to discover later they didn’t purchase enough coverage. The ultimate goal is to get the best coverage possible at the lowest possible cost, but do not sacrifice coverage to save money.

Cheap 2008 Honda Odyssey insurance is definitely available on the web in addition to local insurance agencies, and you should be comparing both to get a complete price analysis. Some insurance companies do not provide online price quotes and these smaller companies sell through independent agencies.

Even more information can be found in the articles below: