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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Nobody likes buying auto insurance, especially when they know it costs too dang much. There are many auto insurance companies to choose from, and although it’s nice to have a choice, it can be more difficult to find the best rates.

You should make it a habit to shop coverage around periodically due to the fact that insurance prices are variable and change quite frequently. Even if you think you had the best quotes for M3 insurance a couple years back other companies may now be cheaper. You can search a lot of auto insurance online but I’m going to show you some of the best techniques to lower your auto insurance premiums.

Compare insurance coverage quotes online

There are multiple methods you can shop for insurance coverage but some are less time-consuming than others. You can waste hours driving to insurance agencies in your area, or you can utilize the internet to get the quickest rates.

Many of the larger companies belong to an insurance system where insurance shoppers only type in their quote data once, and every company returns a rated price. This saves time by eliminating form submissions to each individual insurance coverage company.

To compare pricing click here to start a free quote.

The single downside to using this type of form is you are unable to specify the providers to get quotes from. So if you want to select specific insurance companies to compare, we have a page of the cheapest insurance coverage companies in your area. Click here to view list.

How you compare quotes is your choice, just double check that you are using the exact same coverage limits with every price quote. If you use different coverage information it will be nearly impossible to make an equal comparison.

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

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Insurance buyers beware

Drivers constantly see and hear ads for the lowest price insurance by companies like Progressive, Allstate and GEICO. All the companies try to convey promises that you can save if you move to their company.

How is it plausible that every one can charge you less for car insurance? This is the way they can do it.

Companies quote their best rates for the type of customer they prefer to insure. An example of a desirable risk may need to be over the age of 40, has few claims, and drives less than 10,000 miles a year. Any person who matches that profile will qualify for the lowest car insurance rates and will also save some money.

Insureds who don’t meet this ideal profile will probably be forced to pay higher premium rates which leads to the customer buying from a different company. The trick companies use is to say “people that switch” but not “everyone who gets a quote” can save as much as they claim. That’s why companies can truthfully advertise the savings. This illustrates why drivers should compare rate quotes every year. It’s just not possible to know with any certainty which company will have the lowest rates.

Insurance rates are influenced by these factors

Many things are considered when quoting car insurance. Most are fairly basic such as your driving history, but other criteria are not quite as obvious like where you live or your vehicle rating.One of the most helpful ways to save on auto insurance is to to have a grasp of the different types of things that go into determining your premiums. When consumers understand what determines premiums, this allows you to make educated decisions that can help you get cheaper rates.

The list below includes a few of the things companies use to determine prices.

  • Marriage discount – Having a significant other may cut your premiums compared to being single. It means you’re more mature than a single person and insurance companies reward insureds because drivers who are married are more cautious.
  • A good credit history can save money – Your credit rating will be a significant factor in determining premium rates. If your credit score is lower than you’d like, you could potentially save money when insuring your 2009 BMW M3 by improving your rating. Drivers with excellent credit scores tend to be more responsible and file fewer claims than drivers who have lower ratings.
  • File a claims and pay more – If you are the type of insured that files lots of claims you shouldn’t be surprised to get higher premiums or even policy non-renewal. Companies give cheaper rates to policyholders who file claims infrequently. Auto insurance is designed for claims that pose a financial burden.
  • Gender and car insurance premiums – Statistics show that females tend to be a little less risky than males. That doesn’t necessarily mean that women are better drivers. Women and men are in fender benders in similar numbers, but the male of the species have costlier accidents. Men also get more serious tickets such as DWI and reckless driving.
  • Drive less and get lower premiums – Driving more miles in a year the higher your rate. A lot of insurance companies apply a rate based on how the vehicle is used. Cars and trucks used primarily for pleasure use can get a lower rate than cars that get driven a lot. Incorrect rating for your M3 may be costing you. It’s always a good idea to double check that your policy states annual mileage.
  • Your location is important – Residing in a rural area has definite advantages when insuring your vehicles. People in densly populated areas have to deal with congested traffic and more severe claims. Less people translates into fewer accident claims in addition to fewer liability claims.
  • Better prices for no policy lapses – Driving without insurance coverage in place is against the law and your next policy will cost more because you let your insurance expire. Not only will rates go up, getting caught without coverage could result in a revoked license or a big fine.

Cheap insurance rates with discounts

Some insurers don’t always publicize every available discount very well, so the below list has a few of the more well known in addition to some of the lesser obvious discounts that you may qualify for.

  • Passive Restraints – Vehicles equipped with air bags or automatic seat belts may earn rate discounts of 20 to 30 percent.
  • Seat Belt Discounts – Forcing all vehicle occupants to buckle their seat belts can save up to 15% off the personal injury premium cost.
  • Include Life Insurance and Save – If the company offers life insurance, you could get a discounted rate on car insurance if you buy auto and life insurance together.
  • New Car Discount – Adding a new car to your policy can save you some money because newer models are generally safer.
  • Pay Upfront and Save – If paying your policy premium upfront rather than paying monthly you may reduce your total bill.
  • Driver Education Discount – Teen drivers should sucessfully take a drivers education course in high school.
  • Early Renewal Discounts – A few insurance companies allow discounts for buying a new policy before your current coverage expires. This discount can save up to 10%.

Consumers should know that most credits do not apply the the whole policy. Most only cut specific coverage prices like collision or personal injury protection. So even though they make it sound like you can get free auto insurance, you won’t be that lucky.

Larger insurance companies and some of their more popular discounts are outlined below.

  • Farm Bureau discounts include multi-policy, youthful driver, good student, multi-vehicle, 55 and retired, driver training, and safe driver.
  • State Farm offers discounts for good student, multiple policy, good driver, anti-theft, and multiple autos.
  • Progressive may have discounts that include multi-policy, online quote discount, online signing, multi-vehicle, good student, and homeowner.
  • Allstate offers premium reductions for utility vehicle, resident student, early signing, farm vehicle, eSmart discount, multi-policy, and defensive driver.
  • Nationwide policyholders can earn discounts including accident-free, family plan, defensive driving, business or organization, multi-policy, good student, and anti-theft.
  • MetLife has discounts for accident-free, defensive driver, multi-policy, good driver, claim-free, and good student.

If you need lower rates, check with every prospective company what discounts are available to you. Some of the earlier mentioned discounts might not apply in your area. To view insurers with discount rates, follow this link.

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

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Tailor your insurance coverage to you

When it comes to buying proper insurance coverage, there really is not a “perfect” insurance plan. Every situation is different and your policy should reflect that. For instance, these questions might help in determining whether or not you might need professional guidance.

  • Am I covered if I hit my neighbor’s mailbox?
  • Am I covered when driving a rental car?
  • Who is covered when they drive my 2009 BMW M3?
  • Does my policy cover me when driving someone else’s vehicle?
  • Why am I required to buy high-risk coverage?
  • What are the financial responsibility laws in my state?

If you’re not sure about those questions, then you may want to think about talking to an insurance agent. To find lower rates from a local agent, complete this form or go to this page to view a list of companies. It’s fast, doesn’t cost anything and can help protect your family.

Specifics of your car insurance policy

Knowing the specifics of your policy can be of help when determining appropriate coverage for your vehicles. The coverage terms in a policy can be impossible to understand and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording. These are the normal coverages available from car insurance companies.

Med pay and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – Medical payments and Personal Injury Protection insurance provide coverage for expenses like funeral costs, X-ray expenses and EMT expenses. They are utilized in addition to your health insurance program or if there is no health insurance coverage. They cover both the driver and occupants and also covers if you are hit as a while walking down the street. PIP coverage is not available in all states but it provides additional coverages not offered by medical payments coverage

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) – Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage protects you and your vehicle when the “other guys” do not carry enough liability coverage. Covered losses include medical payments for you and your occupants and also any damage incurred to your 2009 BMW M3.

Because many people only purchase the least amount of liability that is required, it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. That’s why carrying high Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage is important protection for you and your family.

Collision coverage – Collision coverage will pay to fix damage to your M3 resulting from a collision with another car or object. You first must pay a deductible then the remaining damage will be paid by your insurance company.

Collision insurance covers things like sideswiping another vehicle, sustaining damage from a pot hole and crashing into a building. Collision coverage makes up a good portion of your premium, so consider dropping it from lower value vehicles. Drivers also have the option to raise the deductible in order to get cheaper collision rates.

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

Comprehensive coverage pays for claims like a tree branch falling on your vehicle, hitting a bird, vandalism, damage from flooding and rock chips in glass. The maximum amount you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the actual cash value, so if your deductible is as high as the vehicle’s value consider dropping full coverage.

Liability car insurance – This coverage protects you from injuries or damage you cause to a person or their property that is your fault. It protects you against other people’s claims, and does not provide coverage for your injuries or vehicle damage.

Split limit liability has three limits of coverage: 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 which means 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 coverage protects against things like bail bonds, court costs, funeral expenses and loss of income. How much liability coverage do you need? That is your choice, but consider buying higher limits if possible.

Compare but don’t skimp

You just learned many ways to lower your 2009 BMW M3 insurance premium rates. It’s most important to understand that the more rate quotes you have, the more likely it is that you will get a better rate. Consumers may even find the lowest priced insurance comes from a small local company. These companies often have lower prices on specific markets compared to the large companies like Allstate and Progressive.

As you shop your coverage around, it’s a bad idea to reduce needed coverages to save money. There are many occasions where an insured dropped liability coverage limits to discover at claim time that the savings was not a smart move. Your objective should be to purchase a proper amount of coverage at the best cost while not skimping on critical coverages.

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