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 6, 2015

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Having to pay for pricey insurance can bleed your accounts and make it tough to pay other bills.

There are many insurance companies to buy insurance from, and although it’s nice to have a selection, so many choices can make it hard to compare rates and find the lowest cost insurance.

Smart consumers take time to compare premium rates yearly due to the fact that insurance rates trend upward over time. Even if you think you had the lowest rate for X3 coverage at your last renewal you can probably find a better price now. Forget anything you know (or think you know) about insurance because I’m going to let you in on the secrets to one of the easiest ways to eliminate unnecessary coverages and save money.

Finding affordable coverage is quite easy. Just about every vehicle owner who shops for insurance coverage will more than likely be able to lower their premiums. Nevertheless, consumers do need to learn the methods companies use to market insurance on the web and use this information to your advantage.

Insurance coverage quotes comparison

All the larger insurance coverage companies make it easy to get coverage price quotes direct online. Getting online rates is fairly straightforward as all you need to do is type in the coverages you want into the form. Once you submit the form, the quote system automatically orders your credit score and driving record and quotes a price based on the information you submitted. Quoting online helps simplify price comparisons, but the process of having to visit many different websites and type in your information is repetitive and time-consuming. But it’s very important to do this in order to find better insurance coverage pricing.

Rate comparisons made easy

The quickest way to lower your rates is to use a quote form that analyzes rates from several companies at one time. It saves time, eliminates form submissions, and makes online shopping a little more enjoyable. Immediately after you send the form, it gets priced with multiple companies and you can pick any or none of the returned quotes. If a lower price is quoted, you can simply submit the application and buy the policy. The entire process only takes a few minutes and you’ll know if lower rates are available.

To quickly fill out one form to compare multiple rates now, click here to open in a new tab and submit your coverage information. If you have a policy now, it’s recommended you copy your coverages as shown on your current policy. This way, you will have comparison quotes for similar insurance coverage.

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

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Don’t miss these rate-reducing discounts

Companies offering auto insurance don’t always advertise the complete list of policy discounts in an easy-to-find place, so we break down a few of the more well known and also the lesser-known insurance savings.

  • Good Student Discount – Being a good student can be rewarded with saving of up to 25%. This discount can apply up until you turn 25.
  • Military Discounts – Having a deployed family member could qualify you for better prices.
  • ABS and Traction Control Discounts – Vehicles with ABS braking systems or traction control have fewer accidents and the ABS can save up to 10%.
  • Theft Prevention System – Vehicles that have factory alarm systems and tracking devices have a lower chance of being stolen and earn discounts up to 10% off your auto insurance quote.
  • Save with a New Car – Insuring a new car is cheaper since newer vehicles are generally safer.
  • Early Signing – Some insurance companies reward drivers for signing up prior to your current policy expiring. Ten percent is about the average savings.
  • Discounts for Multiple Vehicles – Buying coverage for primary and secondary vehicles on a single policy may reduce the rate for each vehicle.
  • Air Bag Discount – Factory air bags or automatic seat belts can qualify for discounts of up to 25% or more.

Remember that some of the credits will not apply the the whole policy. A few only apply to the cost of specific coverages such as liability, collision or medical payments. Even though it appears having all the discounts means you get insurance for free, companies wouldn’t make money that way.

Large insurance companies and some of the discounts can be found below.

  • 21st Century offers discounts for driver training, early bird, student driver, automatic seat belts, and 55 and older.
  • Progressive may include discounts for multi-vehicle, continuous coverage, online signing, online quote discount, and good student.
  • State Farm discounts include multiple policy, Steer Clear safe driver discount, driver’s education, anti-theft, passive restraint, defensive driving training, and good student.
  • Nationwide has savings for accident-free, multi-policy, Farm Bureau membership, family plan, anti-theft, business or organization, and easy pay.
  • Esurance may offer discounts for emergency road assistance, Switch & Save, anti-theft, anti-lock brakes, and homeowner.
  • The Hartford includes discounts for air bag, bundle, vehicle fuel type, driver training, defensive driver, anti-theft, and good student.

If you need affordable auto insurance quotes, ask all the companies the best way to save money. Depending on the company, some discounts may not apply to policies in your area. If you would like to see a list of insurance companies that can offer you the previously mentioned discounts, follow this link.

Quote BMW X3 insurance at a discount

One of the most helpful ways to save on insurance is to to have a grasp of the rating factors that are used to determine your premiums. When you know what positively or negatively influences your rates, this empowers consumers to make smart changes that can help you get lower rates.

Shown below are a few of the things companies use to determine your premiums.

  • Prices may be higher where you live – Being located in less populated areas has it’s advantages when trying to find low car insurance rates. Residents of big cities have to deal with more traffic problems and more severe claims. Less people living in that area means fewer accidents in addition to fewer liability claims.
  • Poor credit can mean higher costs – Having a good credit score will be a significant factor in determining your rates. So if your credit rating could use some work, you could save money insuring your 2014 BMW X3 by improving your credit score. Insureds that have excellent credit scores tend to file fewer claims than drivers who have lower ratings.
  • Having a spouse can lower costs – Having a spouse can actually save you money when shopping for insurance. Marriage translates into being more responsible it has been statistically shown that married drivers tend to have fewer serious accidents.
  • Accidents drive up prices – Having a single driving citation may cause rates to rise by as much as twenty percent. Careful drivers get better rates as compared to those with violations. Drivers who have gotten serious violations like DUI, reckless driving or excessive speeding may find they need to file a proof of financial responsibility form (SR-22) with their state DMV in order to legally drive.
  • Employer reflects on prices – Occupational choices like judges, social workers and emergency personnel have higher average rates attributed to job stress and lengthy work days. On the other hand, jobs like professors, students and the unemployed generally pay rates lower than average for X3 coverage.
  • When should you file a claims? – Companies give lower rates to insureds who do not rely on their insurance for small claims. If you are a frequent claim filer, you can pretty much guarantee either higher rates or even cancellation. Auto insurance is designed for larger claims.
  • Gaps in coverage mean higher rates – Having a gap between insurance policy dates is a quick way to trigger a rate increase. In addition to paying higher premiums, being ticketed for driving with no insurance could result in a fine, jail time, or a revoked license. You may then have to provide proof of insurance in the form of an SR-22 filing with your state department of motor vehicles.
  • Cut rates and deter theft – Selecting a car model that has a built-in theft deterrent system can help lower your premiums. Systems that thwart theives such as GM’s OnStar, tamper alarm systems and vehicle immobilizers all help stop car theft and help bring rates down.

Do I need special coverages?

When it comes to buying adequate coverage, there really is no single plan that fits everyone. Coverage needs to be tailored to your specific needs so your insurance should reflect that For instance, these questions may help you determine if your insurance needs will benefit from professional help.

  • Do I need added coverage for expensive stereo equipment?
  • How many claims can I have before being cancelled?
  • What vehicles should carry emergency assistance coverage?
  • Will I lose any money if I cancel my policy before it expires?
  • Why do I only qualify for high-risk insurance?
  • Which is better, split liability limits or combined limits?
  • I don’t drive much so do I pay less?
  • What are the best liability limits?
  • What happens if I owe more than my 2014 BMW X3 is worth?
  • Can my teen drive my company car?

If you can’t answer these questions but you think they might apply to your situation then you might want to talk to a licensed insurance agent. To find an agent in your area, take a second and complete this form or you can go here for a list of companies in your area.

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

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Truth in insurance coverage advertising

Respected companies like State Farm, Allstate and GEICO regularly use ads on television and other media. All the ads state the claim that you’ll save big if you move to them. It sounds good, but how can they all make the same claim?

Most companies give the best rates for the type of driver that earns them the highest profit. One example of a desirable risk may be over the age of 35, has few claims, and drives a car with an anti-theft system. Any new insured that matches those criteria will probably get cheap car insurance rates and as a result will probably save money with a new company.

Consumers who are not a match for the ideal profile will probably be forced to pay a higher premium and the customer not purchasing. If you pay close attention to the ads, they say “drivers who switch” but not “all drivers who get quotes” save the amount stated. That is how insurance companies can advertise the savings. This really illustrates why you really should do a price quote comparison at every renewal. It’s just too difficult to predict with any certainty which company will give you the biggest savings.

Insurance coverage basics

Understanding the coverages of a insurance policy can be of help when determining appropriate coverage and the correct deductibles and limits. The terms used in a policy can be ambiguous and coverage can change by endorsement. Below you’ll find the usual coverages found on most insurance policies.

Med pay and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – Medical payments and Personal Injury Protection insurance pay for bills like pain medications, ambulance fees, rehabilitation expenses, hospital visits and dental work. They can be used to cover expenses not covered by your health insurance policy or if you lack health insurance entirely. It covers all vehicle occupants and also covers getting struck while a pedestrian. Personal injury protection coverage is only offered in select states and may carry a deductible

Liability auto insurance – Liability insurance protects you from damage that occurs to other people or property by causing an accident. It protects YOU from claims by other people, and doesn’t cover your own vehicle damage or injuries.

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. You might see limits of 100/300/100 which stand for $100,000 in coverage for each person’s injuries, a total of $300,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and property damage coverage for $100,000.

Liability insurance covers claims such as loss of income, court costs, repair costs for stationary objects, legal defense fees and pain and suffering. How much coverage you buy is up to you, but consider buying as high a limit as you can afford.

Comprehensive insurance – This coverage pays for damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. You need to pay your deductible first and then insurance will cover the rest of the damage.

Comprehensive coverage pays for things such as hitting a deer, a broken windshield and hitting a bird. The maximum payout a insurance company will pay at claim time is the actual cash value, so if the vehicle’s value is low it’s probably time to drop comprehensive insurance.

Collision – This coverage pays for damage to your X3 resulting from a collision with a stationary object or other vehicle. A deductible applies and the rest of the damage will be paid by collision coverage.

Collision can pay for things like hitting a mailbox, driving through your garage door, colliding with another moving vehicle, sustaining damage from a pot hole and crashing into a ditch. Paying for collision coverage can be pricey, so analyze the benefit of dropping coverage from lower value vehicles. Another option is to bump up the deductible to get cheaper collision coverage.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) – Your UM/UIM coverage gives you protection from other motorists when they either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. Covered claims include injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants as well as your vehicle’s damage.

Since a lot of drivers only purchase the least amount of liability that is required, it only takes a small accident to exceed their coverage. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages should not be overlooked.

Better coverage you can count on

As you prepare to switch companies, do not reduce needed coverages to save money. There are many occasions where someone sacrificed physical damage coverage and discovered at claim time that the savings was not a smart move. Your goal should be to buy a smart amount of coverage at the best cost.

Some insurance providers may not offer the ability to get quotes online and many times these regional insurance providers only sell coverage through independent agents. Lower-priced 2014 BMW X3 insurance can be purchased online and from local agencies, and you need to price shop both to get a complete price analysis.

Much more information about car insurance can be found at these links: