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 5, 2015

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Pricey insurance coverage can eat up your funds and possibly require postponing other expenditures.

Numerous insurance companies battle for your business, so it’s not easy to compare every company to discover the definitive cheapest price

If you are paying for car insurance now, you will be able to reduce your rates substantially using these techniques. Choosing the best insurance company for you is quite easy. Although vehicle owners do need to know how big insurance companies determine prices and apply this information to your search.

Eight discounts for cheaper auto insurance rates

Car insurance companies don’t list all their discounts very clearly, so the below list has a few of the more common as well as some of the hidden ways to save on auto insurance.

  • Theft Deterent – Anti-theft and alarm system equipped vehicles are less likely to be stolen and can earn a small discount on your policy.
  • Discount for Passive Restraints – Cars that have air bags or automatic seat belts may get savings of up to 25% or more.
  • Telematics Data – Insureds that choose to allow driving data collection to monitor vehicle usage by using a telematics device in their vehicle such as State Farm’s In-Drive might get better premium rates if they have good driving habits.
  • Student Discounts – Being a good student can save 20 to 25%. Many companies even apply the discount to college students well after school through age 25.
  • Own a Home and Save – Owning a home can save a few bucks since owning and maintaining a home requires personal responsibility.
  • Payment Method – If you can afford to pay the entire bill instead of paying each month you can avoid the installment charge.
  • Driver’s Ed – Reduce the cost of insurance for teen drivers by having them enroll and complete driver’s education in school or through a local driver safety program.
  • Save over 55 – Seniors could receive a small decrease in premiums on Q60 Coupe insurance.

Discounts lower rates, but some of the credits will not apply to the entire cost. The majority will only reduce the price of certain insurance coverages like comprehensive or collision. So despite the fact that it appears you could get a free auto insurance policy, insurance companies wouldn’t stay in business. But any discount will cut the cost of coverage.

A few of the larger companies and a selection of discounts are outlined below.

  • GEICO has savings for air bags, driver training, emergency military deployment, five-year accident-free, good student, and federal employee.
  • USAA includes discounts for multi-vehicle, good student, loyalty savings, annual mileage, and new vehicle.
  • Progressive offers discounts for multi-policy, online signing, multi-vehicle, good student, homeowner, online quote discount, and continuous coverage.
  • American Family may have discounts that include defensive driver, early bird, TimeAway discount, good student, and good driver.
  • Esurance may include discounts for homeowner, good driver, emergency road assistance, Switch & Save, and multi-car.
  • Farmers Insurance may offer discounts for switch companies, bundle discounts, homeowner, teen driver, and pay in full.
  • State Farm has discounts for anti-theft, accident-free, defensive driving training, Drive Safe & Save, multiple autos, driver’s education, and Steer Clear safe driver discount.

If you want affordable insurance quotes, ask every prospective company which discounts they offer. Some of the discounts discussed earlier may not be available in your state. If you would like to view insurers who offer auto insurance discounts, click here.

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

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Smaller companies may have the best rates

GEICO, State Farm and Progressive constantly bombard you with ads on TV and radio. They all seem to advertise claims about saving some big amount if you change to their company. But how can every company cost less than your current company? It’s all in the wording.

All the different companies have an ideal profile for a prospective insured that earns them the most money. For instance, a profitable risk profile may need to be over the age of 45, has never had a policy lapse, and chooses high deductibles. Anyone that matches those criteria will probably get the lowest premium rates and will cut their rates substantially.

Consumers who do not fit these stringent criteria will get higher prices and ends up with the customer buying from someone else. The trick is to say “people that switch” but not “everyone who gets a quote” save that much when switching. This is how companies can make the claims of big savings. That is why drivers must get price quotes at each policy renewal. It’s just too difficult to predict which insurance company will have better prices than you’re paying now.

Tailor your insurance coverage coverage to you

When choosing coverage, there really is not a best way to insure your cars. Everyone’s needs are different and a cookie cutter policy won’t apply. Here are some questions about coverages that could help you determine whether your personal situation will benefit from professional help.

  • Is my dog or cat covered if injured in an accident?
  • Is extra glass coverage worth it?
  • Do I need replacement cost coverage?
  • Can I rate high risk drivers on liability-only vehicles?
  • Which is better, split liability limits or combined limits?
  • Am I missing any policy discounts?
  • How can I get high-risk coverage after a DUI?
  • Am I covered when driving a rental car?
  • Can I get a multi-policy discount?

If you’re not sure about those questions but you think they might apply to your situation, you might consider talking to a licensed insurance agent. If you want to speak to an agent in your area, simply complete this short form or you can go here for a list of companies in your area.

Insurance coverage considerations

Having a good grasp of insurance can be of help when determining the best coverages for your vehicles. The terms used in a policy can be difficult to understand and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording. These are typical coverages found on the average insurance policy.

Liability coverages – This coverage will cover injuries or damage you cause to people or other property by causing an accident. It consists of three limits, bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage. Your policy might show limits of 100/300/100 that means you have $100,000 in coverage for each person’s 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 funeral expenses, bail bonds, loss of income and structural damage. How much coverage you buy is your choice, but consider buying as much as you can afford.

Collision – This coverage will pay to fix damage to your Q60 Coupe resulting from a collision with a stationary object or other vehicle. You will need to pay your deductible then the remaining damage will be paid by your insurance company.

Collision insurance covers things such as driving through your garage door, sustaining damage from a pot hole, colliding with a tree and hitting a mailbox. This coverage can be expensive, so consider dropping it from vehicles that are older. Drivers also have the option to increase the deductible to bring the cost down.

UM/UIM Coverage – Your UM/UIM coverage gives you protection from other drivers when they are uninsured or don’t have enough coverage. It can pay for hospital bills for your injuries and damage to your Infiniti Q60 Coupe.

Since many drivers only carry the minimum required liability limits, their liability coverage can quickly be exhausted. This is the reason having UM/UIM coverage is important protection for you and your family.

Comprehensive or Other Than Collision – Comprehensive insurance coverage pays to fix your vehicle from damage from a wide range of events other than collision. A deductible will apply and the remainder of the damage will be paid by comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive coverage pays for claims like rock chips in glass, hitting a deer, damage from a tornado or hurricane, damage from flooding and hail damage. The most you’ll receive from a claim is the cash value of the vehicle, so if the vehicle is not worth much consider removing comprehensive coverage.

Medical costs insurance – Coverage for medical payments and/or PIP pay for expenses for things like chiropractic care, prosthetic devices, EMT expenses and X-ray expenses. They are used to fill the gap from your health insurance policy or if there is no health insurance coverage. Medical payments and PIP cover you and your occupants and will also cover getting struck while a pedestrian. Personal injury protection coverage is only offered in select states and may carry a deductible

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

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Knowledge is power

As you shop your coverage around, make sure you don’t sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. In many cases, someone sacrificed collision coverage only to regret that it was a big error on their part. Your strategy should be to find the BEST coverage at the lowest possible cost while still protecting your assets.

More affordable auto insurance can be purchased online as well as from insurance agents, so you need to shop insurance with both in order to have the best chance of saving money. Some insurance companies do not offer the ability to get quotes online and most of the time these regional insurance providers only sell coverage through independent agents.

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