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: Feb 25, 2018

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Perplexed by the wide range of car insurance providers available to you? Drivers have so many providers available that it can easily turn into a real difficult job to compare premium rates.

It’s a great practice to do price comparisons before your policy renews because insurance prices change frequently. Just because you found the lowest rates for 3 Series insurance a year ago there may be better deals available now. There is too much inaccurate information about car insurance on the internet, but in a few minutes you can learn some solid techniques on how to find affordable car insurance.

Finding affordable coverage is quite easy. Essentially every vehicle owner who shops for auto insurance will more than likely be able to reduce their rates. But vehicle owners do need to know the way companies determine prices and use this information to your advantage.

How to get insurance price quotes

The are a couple different ways of comparing rates from many insurance companies in your state. By far the easiest way to find affordable BMW 3 Series insurance rates is to use the internet to compare rates. It’s really quite simple and can be done in a couple minutes as outlined below.

  • The recommended way to find the lowest comparison rates would be an industry-wide quote request form click here to open form in new window. This type of form keeps you from doing separate forms for each price estimate. A single, simple form gets rate comparisons from many national carriers. It’s the fastest way to compare.
  • A more time consuming way to get comparison quotes is to manually visit the website of each company to complete their respective quote request forms. For sake of this example, we’ll assume you want to get rates from Progressive, State Farm and GMAC. In order to get each rate, you would have to spend time on each company’s site and enter your information, and that’s why the first method is more popular.

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

The approach you take is up to you, just make darn sure you compare equivalent coverage limits on every quote you get. If your comparisons have different liability limits it will be impossible to get a fair rate comparison. Having just a slight variation in coverages can mean a large discrepancy in price. And when price shopping your coverage, comparing more quotes provides better odds of finding the best rates.

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

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Do insurance companies bend the truth?

Big name companies like Allstate, GEICO and Progressive seem to constantly run ads on TV and radio. They all seem to seem to make the promise of big savings just by switching your insurance coverage to their company. But how can every company make almost identical claims?

Insurance companies have specific guidelines for a prospective insured that earns them the most money. One example of a desirable risk may need to be a married female, has other policies, and drives less than 5,000 miles a year. Someone that fits those parameters is entitled to the best price and as a result will probably save a lot if they switch.

Potential insureds who are not a match for the ideal profile will probably be forced to pay higher prices which usually ends up with the prospect going elsewhere. The ad wording is “drivers that switch” but not “everyone who gets a quote” can get the lowest rates when switching. That is how companies can make claims like that. This really emphasizes why it is so important to do a price quote comparison at every renewal. It is impossible to predict the company that will give you lower rates than your current company.

Lower-cost insurance rates with discounts

Some providers do not list every discount in an easy-to-find place, so the list below details some of the best known as well as the least known discounts you could be receiving when you buy car insurance online. If you do not double check each discount available, you are not getting the best rate possible.

  • Sign Online – A handful of companies will discount your bill up to fifty bucks just for signing your application over the internet.
  • Seat Belts Save more than Lives – Using a seat belt and requiring all passengers to fasten their seat belts could cut 10% or more off the medical payments premium.
  • Accident Forgiveness – This isn’t a discount exactly, but some insurance companies allow you one accident without raising rates so long as you haven’t had any claims for a set time period.
  • New Vehicle Savings – Adding a new car to your policy may earn a small discount because newer models are generally safer.
  • Anti-lock Brake System – Cars, trucks, and SUVs with ABS and/or traction control prevent accidents so companies give up to a 10% discount.
  • Accident Free – Good drivers with no accidents pay much less when compared with accident-prone drivers.
  • Discount for Low Mileage – Low mileage vehicles may enable drivers to earn lower premium rates due to less chance of an accident.
  • Multi-car Discount – Insuring all your vehicles with the same company can reduce rates for all insured vehicles.

We need to note that most discount credits are not given to the entire cost. Some only reduce individual premiums such as medical payments or collision. So despite the fact that it appears all those discounts means the company will pay you, you aren’t that lucky.

A few popular companies and their offered discounts are included below.

  • GEICO has discounts for emergency military deployment, daytime running lights, air bags, anti-lock brakes, seat belt use, and anti-theft.
  • Travelers discounts include good student, home ownership, student away at school, payment discounts, driver training, continuous insurance, and save driver.
  • Farm Bureau policyholders can earn discounts including youthful driver, good student, driver training, multi-policy, safe driver, and multi-vehicle.
  • Liberty Mutual includes discounts for preferred payment discount, exclusive group savings, newly retired, newly married, hybrid vehicle, and safety features.
  • American Family may have discounts that include multi-vehicle, good student, good driver, accident-free, TimeAway discount, and early bird.
  • Progressive has savings for homeowner, good student, multi-vehicle, online quote discount, multi-policy, and online signing.

Check with all the companies the best way to save money. Savings may not apply to policies in your area.

Tailor your auto insurance coverage to you

When choosing coverage for your vehicles, there really is no single plan that fits everyone. Coverage needs to be tailored to your specific needs.

These are some specific questions might point out whether or not you would benefit from professional advice.

  • Is my dog or cat covered if injured in an accident?
  • Who is covered when they drive my 2014 BMW 3 Series?
  • Am I covered when renting a car or should I buy coverage from the car rental agency?
  • Do I get a pro-rated refund if I cancel my policy early?
  • Am I covered when driving someone else’s vehicle?
  • Do I need medical payments coverage since I have good health insurance?
  • Is my business laptop covered if it gets stolen from my vehicle?
  • Are there companies who specialize in insuring high-risk drivers?

If you can’t answer these questions but you think they might apply to your situation, you may need to chat with a licensed insurance agent. To find lower rates from a local agent, complete this form.

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

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Auto insurance coverages and their meanings

Knowing the specifics of auto insurance can help you determine which coverages you need and the correct deductibles and limits. The coverage terms in a policy can be impossible to understand and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording.

Comprehensive protection

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

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

Uninsured or underinsured coverage

This protects you and your vehicle from other motorists when they are uninsured or don’t have enough coverage. It can pay for injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants and damage to your BMW 3 Series.

Since a lot of drivers only carry the minimum required liability limits, their limits can quickly be used up. So UM/UIM coverage is very important.

Medical expense coverage

Med pay and PIP coverage provide coverage for expenses for doctor visits, nursing services, rehabilitation expenses and funeral costs. They are often utilized in addition to your health insurance policy or if there is no health insurance coverage. They cover all vehicle occupants and will also cover getting struck while a pedestrian. PIP is not available in all states but it provides additional coverages not offered by medical payments coverage

Collision coverage

This pays for damage to your 3 Series resulting from a collision with another car or object. You will need to pay your deductible and then insurance will cover the remainder.

Collision can pay for claims such as colliding with a tree, crashing into a building, driving through your garage door, rolling your car and crashing into a ditch. Collision coverage makes up a good portion of your premium, so consider dropping it from older vehicles. Drivers also have the option to bump up the deductible to save money on collision insurance.

Liability auto insurance

Liability coverage provides protection from injuries or damage you cause to other’s property or people. It protects you against claims from other people, and doesn’t cover your own vehicle damage or injuries.

Split limit liability has three limits of coverage: per person bodily injury, per accident bodily injury, and a property damage limit. You might see policy limits of 100/300/100 which stand for a $100,000 limit per person for injuries, a total of $300,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and $100,000 of coverage for damaged propery.

Liability coverage protects against things like structural damage, bail bonds, court costs, repair bills for other people’s vehicles and medical expenses. How much liability coverage do you need? That is your choice, but it’s cheap coverage so purchase as high a limit as you can afford.

Don’t be a big spender

We just presented many tips how you can save on 2014 BMW 3 Series insurance. The key thing to remember is the more you quote car insurance, the better chance you’ll have of finding low cost car insurance. Consumers could even find that the lowest rates are with a small local company.

As you quote car insurance, it’s a bad idea to reduce needed coverages to save money. There are many occasions where consumers will sacrifice liability coverage limits and learned later that the savings was not a smart move. The goal is to buy a smart amount of coverage for the lowest price.

Insureds leave their current company for many reasons like lack of trust in their agent, questionable increases in premium, an unsatisfactory settlement offer or even high rates after DUI convictions. Regardless of your reason, choosing a new company is not as hard as you think.

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