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: Nov 17, 2018

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Looking for cheaper insurance rates for your BMW 3 Series? Nobody I know loves paying for insurance, especially when they know the cost is too high. There are many car insurance companies to purchase coverage from, and even though it’s nice to be able to choose, it can be more difficult to get the best deal.

Shopping for cheaper protection is simple if you know the tricks. If you are insured now or are looking for a new policy, you can follow these tips to cut your premiums while maintaining coverages. Vehicle owners only need to know the best way to shop over the internet.

Choices you make can impact your insurance prices

Lots of factors are used in the calculation when you get your auto insurance bill. Some factors are common sense like your driving record, although some other factors are less obvious like where you live or how financially stable you are.A large part of saving on insurance coverage is knowing the rating factors that come into play when calculating the rates you pay for insurance coverage. If you know what influences your rates, this enables you to make decisions that will entitle you to cheaper rates.

The list below includes some of the factors insurance coverage companies consider when setting your prices.

  • Don’t cut corners with liability – Liability insurance provides coverage if you are found liable for causing personal injury or damage in an accident. Your liability coverage provides legal defense coverage up to the limits shown on your policy. This coverage is relatively inexpensive compared to comp and collision, so do not cut corners here.
  • Save mileage and save money – The more you drive your BMW every year the more you’ll pay to insure your vehicle. Most companies rate vehicles based upon how much you drive. Autos that are left in the garage get more affordable rates than cars that get driven a lot. It’s a good idea to make sure your insurance coverage coverage reflects the correct usage, because it can save money. A policy that improperly rates your 3 Series is just wasting money.
  • Your address can modify rates – Residing in less populated areas of the country can save you money if you are looking for the lowest rates. People who live in big cities regularly have more auto accidents and more time behind the wheel. Less people means reduced accidents in addition to lower liability claims
  • Your stress level may be raising your rates – Careers like real estate brokers, architects and emergency personnel generally have the highest average rates because of intense work-related stress and lots of time spent at work. On the other hand, jobs like professors, students and homemakers have the lowest average rates on 3 Series insurance.
  • Expect high rates for teens – Inexperience drivers tend to be inattentive with other occupants in the car so insurance coverage rates are higher. Parents adding a beginning driver onto your insurance coverage will cause a huge premium hike. Older people are more cautious drivers, cause fewer claims and accidents and receive fewer citations.
  • Allowing your policy to lapse raises insurance coverage rates – Driving any period of time without insurance can get your license suspended and as a result your rates will increase for letting your insurance expire. In addition to paying higher rates, being ticketed for driving with no insurance can result in a steep fine or even jail time. Then you may be required to provide proof of insurance in the form of an SR-22 filing with your state department of motor vehicles.
  • High coverage deductibles save money – Insurance for physical damage, otherwise known as comp (or other than collision) and collision, covers damage that occurs to your BMW. Some examples of covered claims could be a dented fender, damage from fire, and rolling your vehicle. The deductibles you choose tell how much you are willing to pay if the claim is covered. The more the insured has to pay upfront, the lower your rates will be on 3 Series insurance.

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

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Lower rates by qualifying for discounts

Buying auto insurance is not cheap, but there could be significant discounts to help bring down the price. Many discounts should be triggered at the time of quoting, but some discounts are required to be specially asked for before you will receive the discount.

  • Responsible Driver Discounts – Drivers who don’t get into accidents may receive a discount up to 45% on 3 Series insurance than drivers with accidents.
  • Student in College – Older children living away from home attending college and don’t have a car can receive lower rates.
  • Professional Organizations – Joining a professional or civic organization could earn you a nice discount when getting a insurance coverage quote.
  • Theft Prevention System – Cars and trucks equipped with anti-theft or alarm systems are less likely to be stolen and qualify for as much as a 10% discount.
  • Discount for Passive Restraints – Factory air bags and/or automatic seat belt systems can receive discounts of more than 20%.
  • Good Students Pay Less – Excelling in school may save as much as 25% on a insurance coverage quote. The discount lasts until age 25.
  • Safety Course Discount – Taking a course in defensive driver could cut 5% off your bill depending on where you live.
  • Discounts for Multiple Vehicles – Buying insurance for all your vehicles with the same company can get a discount on all vehicles.

It’s important to understand that some credits don’t apply to the entire policy premium. The majority will only reduce individual premiums such as liability, collision or medical payments. So even though it sounds like adding up those discounts means a free policy, it’s just not the way it works.

If you would like to see a list of companies that offer the discounts shown above, click here to view.

Car insurance is unique, just like you

When choosing the right insurance coverage for your personal vehicles, there isn’t really a cookie cutter policy. Everyone’s situation is unique so your insurance needs to address that. For example, these questions might point out if your situation might need professional guidance.

  • Do I pay less if my vehicle is kept in my garage?
  • Will I be non-renewed for getting a DUI or other conviction?
  • Should I file a claim if it’s only slightly more than my deductible?
  • Can I get a multi-policy discount?
  • Can I rate high risk drivers on liability-only vehicles?
  • Should I sign the liability waiver when renting a car?
  • How much liability coverage do I need in my state?
  • Why am I required to buy high-risk coverage?
  • Can I make deliveries for my home business?
  • Am I covered when driving on a suspended license?

If you’re not sure about those questions but you know they apply to you, 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 is quick, free and may give you better protection.

Educate yourself about car insurance coverages

Having a good grasp of car insurance can help you determine the best coverages for your vehicles. The coverage terms in a policy can be ambiguous and nobody wants to actually read their policy. Shown next are the usual coverages found on most car insurance policies.

Medical expense coverage

Medical payments and Personal Injury Protection insurance kick in for expenses such as hospital visits, pain medications, prosthetic devices, dental work and chiropractic care. They are utilized in addition to your health insurance program or if you do not have health coverage. They cover both the driver and occupants and will also cover any family member struck as a pedestrian. PIP coverage is only offered in select states but it provides additional coverages not offered by medical payments coverage

Auto collision coverage

Collision insurance pays to fix your vehicle from damage from colliding with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. You will need to pay your deductible then the remaining damage will be paid by your insurance company.

Collision insurance covers claims such as sustaining damage from a pot hole, colliding with a tree, colliding with another moving vehicle, hitting a mailbox and crashing into a building. Collision is rather expensive coverage, so consider removing coverage from older vehicles. You can also bump up the deductible to get cheaper collision coverage.

Uninsured or underinsured coverage

This coverage protects you and your vehicle when the “other guys” either have no liability insurance or not enough. Covered losses include injuries to you and your family and damage to your BMW 3 Series.

Since a lot of drivers carry very low liability coverage limits, their limits can quickly be used up. This is the reason having UM/UIM coverage should not be overlooked. Most of the time these limits are similar to your liability insurance amounts.

Comprehensive protection

This coverage pays to fix your vehicle from damage OTHER than collision with another vehicle or object. A deductible will apply and then insurance will cover the rest of the damage.

Comprehensive insurance covers claims like damage from a tornado or hurricane, fire damage and a broken windshield. The maximum amount you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the cash value of the vehicle, so if the vehicle is not worth much consider dropping full coverage.

Liability insurance

This will cover damage that occurs to people or other property by causing an accident. It protects you against other people’s claims, and does not provide coverage for your own vehicle damage or injuries.

Liability coverage has three limits: bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage. You might see limits of 50/100/50 that means you have $50,000 bodily injury coverage, a per accident bodily injury limit of $100,000, and a limit of $50,000 paid for damaged property. Some companies may use a combined limit which provides one coverage limit without having the split limit caps.

Liability coverage pays for things like bail bonds, funeral expenses, repair costs for stationary objects, legal defense fees and court costs. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is a personal decision, but consider buying as high a limit as you can afford.

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

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Don’t throw your cash in the trash

As you shop your coverage around, it’s not a good idea to buy poor coverage just to save money. In too many instances, someone sacrificed comprehensive coverage or liability limits and discovered at claim time that it was a big error on their part. The goal is to buy enough coverage at the lowest possible cost but still have enough coverage for asset protection.

We just covered many ways to lower your 2012 BMW 3 Series insurance rates. The key concept to understand is the more price quotes you have, the better your chances of lowering your car insurance rates. Drivers may discover the lowest rates are with a company that doesn’t do a lot of advertising. Some small companies can often insure niche markets at a lower cost than the large multi-state companies such as GEICO and State Farm.

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