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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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

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 6, 2015

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I can’t think of a single person who loves paying for auto insurance, particularly when the cost is too high. Online insurance companies like GEICO, Farmers Insurance and State Farm persitently shower you with advertising and consumers find it hard to separate fact from fiction and take the time to shop coverage around.

If you have a current auto insurance policy or need new coverage, you can use these tips to shop for the lowest rates while maintaining coverages. Buying car insurance is quite easy. Vehicle owners only need an understanding of the tricks to shop for auto insurance online.

How to compare car insurance quotes

Getting a low cost price on 2012 BMW ActiveHybrid 7 insurance is a fairly straight forward process. Drivers just need to invest a few minutes comparing rate quotes from online providers. It’s really simple and can be done in a couple of different ways.

  1. If you don’t have a lot of time, the easiest way to find the lowest comparison rates is to use a rate comparison form click to view form in new window. This type of form saves time by eliminating multiple quote forms for every car insurance company. Taking the time to complete one form gets coverage cost estimates from many national carriers.
  2. A less efficient way to compare prices requires visiting each individual company website and repeat the quote process. For sake of this example, let’s say you want to view quotes from Nationwide, GEICO and Progressive. In order to compare rates, you need to go to every website to input your insurance information, which is not fast way to get rate quotes.

    For a list of links to insurance companies in your area, click here.

  3. The most difficult way to compare price estimates is driving around to insurance agents’ offices. Doing it all online has made agencies unnecessary unless you require the advice and guidance of an agent trained in personal lines coverage. If you prefer, some companies allow you to price shop online and have a local agent actually service the policy.

How you compare quotes is your choice, just try to keep equivalent information for each quote you get. If you compare different coverage information you can’t possibly make a fair rate comparison.

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

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Be skeptical of car insurance ads

Consumers can’t get away from ads that promise big savings for switching from the likes of State Farm and Allstate. They all make the same claim that you can save if you switch your car insurance coverage to their company.

How does every car insurance company give you a better price? This is the way they can do it.

Insurance providers provide the lowest rates for the type of customer that will add to their bottom line. For example, a desirable risk may need to be over age 30, has no claims, and the vehicle is rated for pleasure use. A customer getting a price quote that fits those parameters receives the best prices as well as cut their rates if they switch.

Drivers who are not a match for this ideal profile will see higher premium rates which translates to the prospect going elsewhere. The ad wording is “customers that switch” not “everyone that quotes” save that kind of money. This is how companies can truthfully claim big savings. This illustrates why you need to compare quotes as often as possible. It’s just not possible to know which car insurance company will fit you best based on your risk profile.

Do you qualify for discounts?

Some insurance providers don’t always advertise the entire discount list in an easy-to-find place, so here is a list some of the best known and also the lesser-known credits available to you.

  • Distant Student Discount – Any of your kids who are attending college and don’t have a car could qualify for this discount.
  • Discount for Swiching Early – Some insurance companies provide a discount for switching companies prior to your current policy expiration. It can save you around 10%.
  • Good Drivers – Insureds who avoid accidents could pay up to 40% less on ActiveHybrid 7 insurance compared to accident prone drivers.
  • Anti-lock Brake Discount – Cars, trucks, and SUVs with ABS braking systems or traction control prevent accidents and the ABS can save up to 10%.
  • Driver’s Education for Students – Require your teen driver to participate in a local driver’s education class if it’s offered in school.
  • Theft Prevention System – Vehicles that have factory alarm systems and tracking devices can help prevent theft and qualify for as much as a 10% discount.
  • Defensive Driver Discount – Taking a course teaching safe driver skills may get you a small discount and easily pay for the cost of the class.

Discounts save money, but please remember that most credits do not apply to all coverage premiums. The majority will only reduce individual premiums such as comprehensive or collision. So when the math indicates you could get a free car insurance policy, it’s just not the way it works.

Larger car insurance companies and a partial list of their discounts are included below.

  • American Family may offer discounts for multi-vehicle, accident-free, good student, good driver, early bird, and mySafetyValet.
  • Farm Bureau may have discounts that include good student, youthful driver, driver training, renewal discount, multi-vehicle, and safe driver.
  • State Farm offers discounts including defensive driving training, driver’s education, multiple policy, student away at school, anti-theft, good driver, and passive restraint.
  • Travelers has savings for student away at school, multi-policy, save driver, good student, and new car.
  • The Hartford may include discounts for defensive driver, bundle, vehicle fuel type, driver training, air bag, good student, and anti-theft.
  • GEICO offers premium reductions for membership and employees, air bags, five-year accident-free, seat belt use, defensive driver, driver training, and federal employee.
  • Progressive has discounts for multi-policy, multi-vehicle, good student, online signing, and online quote discount.

Check with all companies you are considering how many discounts you can get. Savings may not be offered in your area. If you would like to choose from a list of insurance companies that can offer you the previously mentioned discounts, click here to view.

Don’t assume everyone needs the same insurance coverage coverage

When choosing adequate coverage for your vehicles, there isn’t really a best way to insure your cars. Coverage needs to be tailored to your specific needs and your policy should reflect that. These are some specific questions may help highlight if you would benefit from professional advice.

  • Can I pay claims out-of-pocket if I buy high deductibles?
  • Should I sign the liability waiver when renting a car?
  • What if I don’t agree with a claim settlement offer?
  • Is borrowed equipment or tools covered if stolen or damaged?
  • Is my vehicle covered by my employer’s policy when using it for work?
  • Is my custom paint covered by insurance?

If it’s difficult to answer those questions but you know they apply to you, you may need to chat with a licensed agent. To find lower rates from a local agent, take a second and complete this form or you can also visit this page to select a carrier It’s fast, free and may give you better protection.

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

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Insurance coverage considerations

Knowing the specifics of your insurance policy aids in choosing the best coverages for your vehicles. The terms used in a policy can be difficult to understand and nobody wants to actually read their policy. Below you’ll find typical coverages available from insurance companies.

Auto collision coverage

This covers damage to your ActiveHybrid 7 caused by collision with a stationary object or other vehicle. You first must pay a deductible and the rest of the damage will be paid by collision coverage.

Collision insurance covers claims like colliding with another moving vehicle, crashing into a building, scraping a guard rail and damaging your car on a curb. Paying for collision coverage can be pricey, so consider removing coverage from older vehicles. You can also raise the deductible in order to get cheaper collision rates.

Insurance for medical payments

Medical payments and Personal Injury Protection insurance reimburse you for immediate expenses such as chiropractic care, prosthetic devices, hospital visits and surgery. They can be used to cover expenses not covered by your health insurance policy or if there is no health insurance coverage. It covers both the driver and occupants and will also cover any family member struck as a pedestrian. PIP is only offered in select states but can be used in place of medical payments coverage

Liability auto insurance

Liability coverage protects you from damage that occurs to other people or property by causing an accident. It protects YOU against claims from other people. It does not cover damage sustained by your vehicle in an accident.

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. Your policy might show values of 50/100/50 which stand for a limit of $50,000 per injured person, a per accident bodily injury limit of $100,000, and property damage coverage for $50,000.

Liability insurance covers claims such as structural damage, medical expenses, attorney fees, repair bills for other people’s vehicles and repair costs for stationary objects. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is a personal decision, but you should buy higher limits if possible.

Comprehensive coverage (or Other than Collision)

Comprehensive insurance coverage pays to fix your vehicle from damage that is not covered by collision coverage. A deductible will apply then your comprehensive coverage will pay.

Comprehensive insurance covers claims such as hail damage, fire damage and a tree branch falling on your vehicle. The highest amount you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the ACV or actual cash value, so if the vehicle’s value is low it’s not worth carrying full coverage.

Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist insurance

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage gives you protection from other drivers when they either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. It can pay for hospital bills for your injuries as well as your vehicle’s damage.

Since many drivers carry very low liability coverage limits, it only takes a small accident to exceed their coverage. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages is a good idea.

Money doesn’t grow on trees

Cheaper insurance can be purchased on the web and from local insurance agents, and you should be comparing both to get a complete price analysis. A few companies may not have online price quotes and these small, regional companies prefer to sell through independent agencies.

We’ve covered quite a bit of information on how to save on 2012 BMW ActiveHybrid 7 insurance. The most important thing to understand is the more rate quotes you have, the better your comparison will be. You may even find the lowest premium rates are with a smaller regional carrier. They often have lower prices on specific markets than the large multi-state companies such as Allstate and Progressive.

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