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 24, 2018

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No one gets a kick out of paying for car insurance, especially when they could get a better deal. Multiple car insurance companies compete to insure your vehicles, so it’s not easy to compare every provider to find the absolute best rates possible.

Informed drivers know how to find insurance for less

One of the most helpful ways to save on insurance is to to have a grasp of some of the factors that aid in calculating the price you pay for insurance. If you understand what controls the rates you pay, this helps enable you to make changes that may result in lower insurance prices.

  • Guys tend to take more risk – Statistics have proven that females take fewer risks when driving. It does not mean females are better at driving than males. Males and females cause at-fault accidents in similar numbers, but the men tend to have more serious accidents. Not only that, but men also get cited for more serious violations such as reckless driving. Youthful male drivers generally have the highest accident percentage and therefore are the most expensive to insure.
  • Drive less and get lower premiums – The more miles you rack up on your MINI every year the more you’ll pay to insure it. Almost all companies charge rates based on their usage. Cars that do not get driven very much can get a lower rate than vehicles that have high annual mileage. Verify your declarations sheet correctly shows the correct usage, because improper ratings can cost you money. Improper usage on your Cooper Coupe may be costing you.
  • Do you need those extra policy coverages? – Policies have additional extra coverages that can add up if you aren’t diligent. Insurance for things like roadside assistance, towing coverage, and extra equipment coverage are probably not needed. The coverages may be enticing when talking to your agent, but if they’re wasting money consider taking them off your policy.
  • Insurance companies don’t like frequent policy claims – If you are the type of insured that files lots of claims you can expect increased rates or even have your policy non-renewed. Insurance companies award lower rates to insureds who are not frequent claim filers. Auto insurance is intended for larger claims.
  • Liability insurance – Liability coverage is the coverage that protects you in the event that you are found liable for causing damage or personal injury in an accident. It provides legal defense coverage up to the limits shown on your policy. Liability is cheap when compared to the cost of physical damage coverage, so do not skimp.
  • More people means more accidents – Residing in less populated areas is a good thing if you are looking for the lowest rates. Drivers who live in large cities tend to have more aggressive driving styles and a longer drive to work. Less people translates into fewer accidents and a lower car theft rate.

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Cut your auto insurance rates with discounts

Auto insurance is not cheap nor is it fun to buy but discounts can save money and there are some available to reduce the price significantly. A few discounts will be applied at the time of quoting, but some must be specifically requested before you get the savings.

  • Good Students Pay Less – A discount for being a good student can earn a discount of 20% or more. Most companies allow this discount up until you turn 25.
  • Pay Now and Pay Less – If paying your policy premium upfront instead of paying each month you can actually save on your bill.
  • Drivers Education – Make teen driver coverage more affordable by requiring them to take driver’s ed class as it will make them better drivers and lower rates.
  • 55 and Retired – Mature drivers can possibly qualify for a small discount on rates for Cooper Coupe insurance.
  • Driving Data Discount – Drivers who agree to allow companies to study when and where they use their vehicle by using a telematics device in their vehicle such as In-Drive from State Farm or Allstate’s Drivewise system could possibly reduce rates if their driving habits are good.

We need to note that most of the big mark downs will not be given to the entire policy premium. Some only reduce specific coverage prices like collision or personal injury protection. Even though the math looks like you could get a free auto insurance policy, you won’t be that lucky.

Popular auto insurance companies and their offered discounts are:

  • American Family offers premium reductions for good student, bundled insurance, good driver, multi-vehicle, accident-free, and air bags.
  • Nationwide offers discounts for Farm Bureau membership, easy pay, accident-free, multi-policy, anti-theft, and defensive driving.
  • MetLife offers discounts including multi-policy, good driver, claim-free, accident-free, defensive driver, and good student.
  • 21st Century has discounts for teen driver, good student, early bird, theft prevention, and student driver.
  • Farmers Insurance may have discounts that include good student, youthful driver, distant student, multi-car, early shopping, homeowner, and alternative fuel.
  • Allstate policyholders can earn discounts including teenSMART discount, good payer, farm vehicle, utility vehicle, multi-policy, economy car, and 55 and retired.

It’s a good idea to ask every insurance company to apply every possible discount. Discounts might not be offered on policies in your area. To see a list of auto insurance companies who offer discounts, click this link.

You are unique and your insurance should be too

When it comes to buying proper insurance coverage, there is no cookie cutter policy. Everyone’s situation is unique so your insurance should reflect that Here are some questions about coverages that may help you determine whether your personal situation might need professional guidance.

  • Is a blown tire covered by insurance?
  • Am I covered if I hit my neighbor’s mailbox?
  • Will my rates increase for filing one claim?
  • Am I covered if I hit a deer?
  • How do I buy GAP insurance?
  • Will my vehicle be repaired with OEM or aftermarket parts?
  • What are the best liability limits?

If you can’t answer these questions, you may need to chat with a licensed agent. To find lower rates from a local agent, simply complete this short form or you can also visit this page to select a carrier It’s fast, doesn’t cost anything and you can get the answers you need.

Specific coverages for a 2015 MINI Cooper Coupe

Learning about specific coverages of a car insurance policy aids in choosing which coverages you need and proper limits and deductibles. Policy terminology can be confusing and coverage can change by endorsement. Shown next are the usual coverages found on the average car insurance policy.

Coverage for medical payments – Medical payments and Personal Injury Protection insurance kick in for short-term medical expenses such as prosthetic devices, nursing services and hospital visits. They can be used to cover expenses not covered by your health insurance plan or if you are not covered by health insurance. Coverage applies to both the driver and occupants and also covers any family member struck as a pedestrian. Personal Injury Protection is not available in all states and gives slightly broader coverage than med pay

Liability coverage – Liability insurance provides protection from damages or injuries you inflict on other’s property or people that is your fault. This coverage protects you against claims from other people, and doesn’t cover damage sustained by your vehicle in an accident.

It consists of three limits, bodily injury for each person, bodily injury for the entire accident, and a limit for property damage. You might see limits of 50/100/50 which means a $50,000 limit per person for injuries, a limit of $100,000 in injury protection per accident, and a total limit of $50,000 for damage to vehicles and property. Another option is one limit called combined single limit (CSL) that pays claims from the same limit and claims can be made without the split limit restrictions.

Liability coverage pays for things such as repair costs for stationary objects, medical services, attorney fees, emergency aid and legal defense fees. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is your choice, but consider buying as much as you can afford.

Uninsured and underinsured coverage – This coverage protects you and your vehicle from other drivers when they either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. This coverage pays for injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants and damage to your MINI Cooper Coupe.

Because many people carry very low liability coverage limits, their liability coverage can quickly be exhausted. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages is important protection for you and your family. Most of the time these limits do not exceed the liability coverage limits.

Comprehensive coverages – Comprehensive insurance pays for damage that is not covered by collision coverage. A deductible will apply then your comprehensive coverage will pay.

Comprehensive insurance covers claims such as a broken windshield, hail damage, vandalism, hitting a bird and damage from flooding. The highest amount you’ll receive from a claim is the ACV or actual cash value, so if it’s not worth much more than your deductible consider dropping full coverage.

Collision – Collision insurance will pay to fix damage to your Cooper Coupe resulting from colliding with another car or object. You will need to pay your deductible then the remaining damage will be paid by your insurance company.

Collision insurance covers things like sustaining damage from a pot hole, backing into a parked car and damaging your car on a curb. Collision coverage makes up a good portion of your premium, so consider removing coverage from lower value vehicles. Another option is to increase the deductible in order to get cheaper collision rates.

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Stretch your dollar

When searching for cheap insurance quotes, don’t be tempted to skimp on critical coverages to save a buck or two. Too many times, someone sacrificed uninsured motorist or liability limits only to find out that a couple dollars of savings turned into a financial nightmare. The proper strategy is to purchase plenty of coverage at the best price while not skimping on critical coverages.

Cheaper insurance is possible both online and from local insurance agents, and you should be comparing both in order to have the best chance of saving money. Some insurance providers may not offer the ability to get a quote online and these smaller providers only sell through independent insurance agents.

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