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 1, 2018

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Locating low-cost insurance can appear to be difficult for beginners to comparing rates and buying insurance online. When there are so many online companies, how can anyone possibly compare every company to locate the cheapest price possible?

Seven factors that impact insurance prices

When buying car insurance it’s important to understand the factors that go into determining the price you pay for car insurance. If you understand what positively or negatively impacts your premiums, this allows you to make good choices that could help you find big savings. Multiple criteria are used in the calculation when you get your auto insurance bill. Most are fairly basic like your driving record, but other criteria are not quite as obvious such as your marital status or how financially stable you are.

  • Teenagers vs. mature drivers – Older, more experienced drivers are more responsible, tend to cause fewer accidents , and usually have better credit.Teen drivers are statistically proven to be more careless in a vehicle therefore car insurance rates are much higher.
  • What’s your car’s NHTSA crash test rating? – Vehicles with high crash test scores get lower rates. Vehicles built for safety help reduce the chance of injuries in an accident and lower rates of occupant injuries means lower claim amounts passed on to you as lower rates. If your Acura scored better than four stars on it may cost less to insure.
  • Responsible credit means lower rates – An insured’s credit rating can be an important factor in determining what you pay. Drivers with very good credit scores tend to be more responsible and file fewer claims than drivers who have poor credit. So if your credit score can use some improvement, you could pay less to insure your 2011 Acura MDX if you improve your credit rating.
  • Keep rates low by being claim-free – Companies generally give most affordable rates to people who are claim-free. If you file a lot of claims you can definitely plan on either higher rates or even cancellation. Your car insurance is meant to be used in the event of the bigger claims that can’t be paid out-of-pocket.
  • Safeguard your assets with liability coverage – Your policy’s liability coverage is the coverage that protects you if ever a court rules you are at fault for causing damage or personal injury in an accident. Your liability coverage provides legal defense coverage to defend your case. Liability is cheap as compared to coverage for physical damage, so drivers should buy more than the minimum limits required by law.
  • Avoid policy lapses – Driving without insurance is a misdemeanor and companies may charge more for letting your coverage lapse. Not only will you pay higher rates, failure to provide proof of insurance may earn you a steep fine or even jail time. You may need to submit proof of financial responsibility or a SR-22 with your state department of motor vehicles.
  • Having a spouse brings a discount – Getting married actually saves money on your car insurance bill. Having a significant other generally demonstrates drivers are more mature than a single person it has been statistically shown that married drivers tend to file fewer claims.

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Lower-cost car insurance rates with discounts

Some insurers don’t always advertise every policy discount in an easy-to-find place, so the below list has both the well known and the more hidden discounts that you may qualify for. If you do not check that you are getting every discount available, you could be getting lower rates.

  • Multi-line Discount – Not all car insurance companies offer life insurance, but some may give you a break if you buy some life insurance in addition to your auto policy.
  • Theft Deterent Discount – Cars and trucks with anti-theft systems have a lower chance of being stolen and earn discounts up to 10% off your insurance quote.
  • Onboard Data Collection – Insureds who allow their car insurance company to spy on where and when they drive by using a telematics device such as Progressive’s Snapshot may see discounts if their driving habits are good.
  • Payment Discounts – If you pay your bill all at once instead of making monthly payments you could save up to 5%.
  • Federal Government Employee – Federal government employees may qualify for a discount when you quote insurance on MDX insurance with certain companies.
  • Good Student – A discount for being a good student can save 20 to 25%. Many companies even apply the discount to college students until age 25.
  • Home Ownership Discount – Owning your own home or condo can help you save on car insurance because of the fact that having a home is proof of financial responsibility.
  • Seat Belt Discounts – Requiring all passengers to use their safety belts could cut 10% or more on the medical payments or PIP coverage costs.
  • Sign Online – Some of the larger companies will provide an incentive for completing your application on the web.
  • Driver Safety – Successfully completing a class that teaches safe driver techniques could earn you a small percentage discount and make you a better driver.

Drivers should understand that most credits do not apply to the overall cost of the policy. A few only apply to specific coverage prices like comprehensive or collision. So even though you would think you would end up receiving a 100% discount, it doesn’t quite work that way.

For a list of insurers with significant discounts, click here to view.

Insurance advertising tricks

State Farm, Allstate and GEICO constantly bombard you with ads on television and other media. All the companies advertise claims about saving some big amount if you move your coverage. How do they all lower your rates? This is the way they can do it.

Many companies have specific criteria for the type of driver that earns them the highest profit. One example of this type of insured could possibly be a mature driver, has no prior claims, and does not commute to work. A driver that hits that “sweet spot” will probably get cheap car insurance rates as well as save if they switch.

Insureds who fall short of this stringent profile will be charged a higher premium which results in the driver buying from a lower-cost company. If you pay close attention to the ads, they say “drivers that switch” not “everybody who quotes” save that much when switching. This is how insurance companies can claim big savings. Each company has different criteria, so it is so important to get insurance quotes from several different companies. Because you never know which insurance companies will fit you best based on your risk profile.

Tailor your car insurance coverage to you

When it comes to buying proper insurance coverage, there really is not a best way to insure your cars. Your needs are not the same as everyone else’s.

For instance, these questions might point out whether your personal situation would benefit from an agent’s advice.

  • When would I need rental car insurance?
  • Do I get a pro-rated refund if I cancel my policy early?
  • What is the ISO rating for a 2011 Acura MDX?
  • Am I covered if I crash into my own garage door?
  • Does car insurance cover theft of personal property?
  • Does liability extend to a camper or trailer?
  • Am I covered when driving someone else’s vehicle?
  • Why does it cost so much to insure a teen driver?
  • I have health insurance so do I need medical payments coverage?

If it’s difficult to answer those questions but you think they might apply to your situation then you might want to talk to an agent. To find lower rates from a local agent, simply complete this short form.

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Car insurance coverages for a 2011 Acura MDX

Having a good grasp of your auto insurance policy can be of help when determining the right coverages for your vehicles. The terms used in a policy can be impossible to understand and coverage can change by endorsement.

Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist insurance

This protects you and your vehicle from other motorists when they either have no liability insurance or not enough. It can pay for hospital bills for your injuries as well as your vehicle’s damage.

Since many drivers only purchase the least amount of liability that is required, their liability coverage can quickly be exhausted. This is the reason having UM/UIM coverage is a good idea.

Liability coverage

Liability insurance provides protection from damage or injury you incur to a person or their property. This insurance protects YOU from claims by other people. It does not cover damage sustained by your vehicle in an accident.

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

Liability coverage pays for claims like attorney fees, emergency aid, bail bonds, legal defense fees and repair bills for other people’s vehicles. How much liability should you purchase? That is a decision to put some thought into, but buy higher limits if possible.

Collision coverage protection

This pays for damage to your MDX caused by collision with an object or car. You first must pay a deductible then the remaining damage will be paid by your insurance company.

Collision coverage protects against claims like sustaining damage from a pot hole, crashing into a ditch and driving through your garage door. Collision is rather expensive coverage, so consider removing coverage from vehicles that are 8 years or older. It’s also possible to bump up the deductible to save money on collision insurance.

Insurance for medical payments

Med pay and PIP coverage pay for immediate expenses for things like prosthetic devices, ambulance fees and funeral costs. They are used to fill the gap from your health insurance policy or if you are not covered by health insurance. They cover you and your occupants and will also cover being hit by a car walking across the street. Personal injury protection coverage is not available in all states and may carry a deductible

Comprehensive coverage (or Other than Collision)

This will pay to fix damage from a wide range of events other than collision. You need to pay your deductible first and then insurance will cover the rest of the damage.

Comprehensive can pay for things such as rock chips in glass, damage from a tornado or hurricane and a tree branch falling on your vehicle. The highest amount a auto insurance company will pay at claim time is the ACV or actual cash value, so if the vehicle’s value is low consider dropping full coverage.

And the best car insurance company is…

We covered a lot of ways to shop for 2011 Acura MDX insurance online. The key thing to remember is the more you quote insurance, the more likely it is that you will get a better rate. You may even discover the most savings is with a small mutual company.

When shopping online for auto insurance, you should never reduce coverage to reduce premium. There have been many cases where consumers will sacrifice collision coverage and discovered at claim time that the savings was not a smart move. Your aim should be to purchase a proper amount of coverage at the best price, not the least amount of coverage.

People change insurance companies for any number of reasons including not issuing a premium refund, policy non-renewal, unfair underwriting practices and denial of a claim. No matter why you want to switch, choosing a new company is not as hard as you think.

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