UPDATED: Mar 12, 2020
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Getting a new car is always a major decision, but it can feel even bigger when you’re pricing the new insurance rate that comes with luxury vehicles, like BMW. As a result, it becomes priority number one to get a fair rate.
Researching auto insurance plans and knowing the industry terms like collision coverage and deductibles can be a real chore. And, the process can’t be put off to next week, or next month. It needs to be done within 4 days—a standard grace period insurance companies give customers to get a new plan for a new car.
That’s why we have done some of the legwork for you.
Read more to learn about Bavarian Motor Works, more commonly BMW, its vehicles and their company history’s impact on insurance plans. We’ve covered the safety and insurance basics for some of the most popular BMW models, from the sporty ones to luxury ones.
Shedding a ‘beemer’ of light on an iconic brand
Bavarian Motor Works (BMW) is the descendant of three German companies that were producing a variety of engine types since the early 1900s. An airplane engine, known for its fuel- efficiency at high altitudes, was the first product built under the unified name of BMW. BMW’s past is represented in its current logo which symbolizes a white or silver propeller blade spinning against a clear blue sky.
Headquartered in Munich, Germany, BMW produces motor vehicles in Germany, Brazil, China, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. It is currently the 12th largest automobile manufacturer in the world.
German engineering is world-renowned, and BMW had a lot to do with building that reputation. But when it comes to your monthly auto insurance bill, what matters most is safety, safety, safety.
We’ve gathered information from two reputable online to give you a glimpse into how safe each vehicle is:
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety—This organization was founded in 1959 by insurance company interests, but it has evolved into an independent, nonprofit with the mission of using factual data, scientific research and safety education to reduce deaths, injuries and property damage due to motor vehicle crashes. They have a user-friendly “Ratings” tool on their website that gives vehicles ratings for crashworthiness (how well occupants are protected in a crash) and crash avoidance and mitigation (how well the vehicle can prevent an accident or lessen its severity). There are four possible ratings: Poor, Marginal, Acceptable or Good for each safety category.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration—Through enforcing vehicle performance standards established by state and local governments, the goal of the NHTSA is to reduce deaths, injuries and economic losses from motor vehicle crashes. The NHTSA also has a user-friendly “Ratings” tool online, but they take it up one notch. You can also use their “Vehicle Comparison” tool to make your choice between two or three makes and models a little easier and better informed.
By the numbers: How much does it cost to insure BMW vehicles?
Safety is critical when it comes to securing good auto insurance rates, but the cost of replacing a totaled vehicle matters, too. So, for luxury vehicles, rates can skyrocket. Let’s take a look at what owning a BMW will do to your monthly insurance bill.
Studies have shown that insurance rates in Oregon represent a national average rate. We found what the price of insurance, for each model of vehicle, would be for an Oregon driver. To calculate each model, we used the following information:
- 2018 model
- 10,001–15,000 miles driven yearly
- Basic coverage
- No accidents in the past 5 years
- Driver located in Oregon
- Good credit
Here is how it breaks down, by model:
The average insurance costs for a BMW X5 is $135 a month — or $1,615 a year.
The average insurance costs for a BMW X3 is $116 a month — or $1,395 a year.
The average insurance costs for a BMW 5 Series is $163 a month — or $1,949 a year.
3 Series Sedan
The average insurance costs for a BMW 3 Series Sedan is $160 a month — or $1,923 a year.
The average insurance costs for a BMW 2 Series Coupe is $167 a month — or $2,004 a year.
Is there a way to save money on auto insurance?
Most things involving a rate in life are based on formulas designed to up the odds the provider of that money makes money. You get a better rate when those formulas find favor with your personal information and consider you low risk. The savings can sometimes be big, so here are some helpful tips to reduce your vehicle insurance costs.
The X5 is considered a midsize luxury SUV and for 5 years running it has earned a “Superior” front crash prevention rating when installed with all optional equipment. Meanwhile, for more than two decades, it has garnered the highest possible crashworthiness rating (“Good”). Headlight safety ratings and child seat anchors do not rank as highly. Those features for the 2018 model received an “Acceptable” and “Marginal” rating respectively.
The X3 is also considered a midsize luxury SUV and its safety rating record is a near copy-and-paste of the X5, with the positive exception of the child seat anchors. The X3 earned a “Marginal” rating, one step above the X5.
The 5 Series sedan by BMW has been an icon for large luxury, high-performance vehicles for decades. The 2018 version received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s highest recognition, the Top Safety Pick+. That’s because its crashworthiness and crash avoidance and mitigation system received the highest safety rankings available across all subcategories. In other words, if you’re looking to feel safe on a road full of rigs, pickups and large SUVs, but you don’t want to drive a tank, the BMW 5 Series is the sedan for you.
To qualify for 2018 Top Safety Pick+, a vehicle must earn good to superior ratings across a variety of evaluation categories, such as:
- Overlap tests
- Roof strength
- Head restraint tests
- Front crash prevention
- Headlight ratings
The only rating that was not the highest safety rating possible was for the child seat anchors, which received a ranking of “Acceptable.”
3 Series Sedan
The 3 Series is a four-door sedan that is considered a midsize luxury car with the highest crashworthiness rating (“Good”) available. However, its crash avoidance and mitigation system just barely received the “Advanced” rating. Headlight safety ratings for the 2018 model received an “Acceptable” rating, but that’s an improvement now two consecutive years over its 2016 “Marginal” rankings. Child seat anchors received a “Marginal” rating.
The M3 is BMW’s “small car” and it gets big ratings for safety. Across all crashworthiness subcategories except Head Restraints & Seats, the M3 gets the highest rating. Head restraints & seats, however, still scored the second best rating available.
The M3 also performed well with an “Advanced” rating for crash avoidance and mitigation, but only reached the “Acceptable” level for child seat anchors ease of use.
Fill in the blanks
A number of factors, including your age and sex, impact your insurance costs. You can’t control those two things, but there are factors you may have more control over than you think:
- Geographic location—If your car is used, for instance, to make a basic commute in the suburbs versus a longer rush-hour commute through a high-traffic urban area, your insurance rate will almost certainly be affected. You may not be inclined to move or change jobs just to reduce your insurance expenses, but you can be diligent about how and where you use your car. And, when the usage is—according to data—shorter and safer, your rates should be lower.
- Driving record—Speeding tickets—yes, even that one for doing 30 in a 20MPH zone—can add up. Make sure you take advantage of any court options, like traffic schools, to wipe tickets off your record. Policies differ across states and insurance carriers, but in general, a ticket can clear off your record in 2 to 5 years. Again, the most control you have over this rate adjustment factor is to follow the rules of the road, all the time.
- Credit score—Using one’s credit score to determine accident risk is controversial and is being contested in court in some parts of the country. Nonetheless, studies done over the years show a correlation between people with better credit records and being in fewer accidents. So, keep those Visa and Mastercard balances low or pay off your credit cards each month. At minimum, you should stay current on your credit card payments by making at least the minimum monthly payment listed on your monthly statement.
- Vehicle type—Vehicle safety is not the only game in town. The value of your car will impact your insurance rates, too. This factor makes a lot of sense to most drivers. To replace a brand new Porsche is way more expensive than replacing a 2010 Toyota Camry. After all, insurance is still a business.
Smart research begets wise choices, or at least informed ones you don’t regret. Make sure to compare price estimates from a variety of insurance companies. While competition keeps most carriers in the same cost range, not all carriers offer the same discounts or as much of a price reduction for the same discount. What’s more, some carriers are able to bundle your vehicle insurance with other forms of insurance, such as life, renters or homeowners insurance. This can open the door to significant discounts, and that can mean significant savings over the course of a year. It’s wise to start your pricing search with an insurer that offers more than one kind of insurance.
Meanwhile, programs like Progressive’s Snapshot enables a driver to have a device installed on the computer that manages your car. The device is designed to capture driving habit information such as: how often you drive, how fast you drive, what time of day or night you drive, and more. This data is meant to provide the clearest picture possible of your risk as a driver. If the system sees your habits as safe, it could keep your insurance rates lower.
You should think about purchasing your insurance online through us. We are an objective third party, because we provide coverage from a variety of carriers. Rather than sell you on one company’s limited number of plans, it’s in our best interest to sell you the provider’s plan that works best for you.
Please reach out and visit us online if you have questions about your insurance situation. We have average rate information available per make and model and year, with feature articles about traffic and vehicle safety as well.