Are you sick and tired of paying out the nose each month for car insurance? You are no different than the majority of other car owners in California.
Because there are so many companies and agents to choose from, it is very difficult to choose the best provider.
This information will instruct you on the best way to quote coverages and some money-saving tips. If you are paying for car insurance now, you will be able to cut costs considerably using these techniques. Although California drivers must learn how big insurance companies price insurance differently and apply this information to your search.
Be sure to get all your discounts
Insuring your vehicles can cost a lot, buy you may qualify for discounts that can drop the cost substantially. Most are applied when you get a quote, but some may not be applied and must be inquired about before you will receive the discount.
- Multiple Cars – Insuring all your vehicles on one policy qualifies for this discount.
- Passive Restraints – Vehicles with factory air bags or automatic seat belts can receive discounts of up to 25% or more.
- Safe Driver Discount – Safe drivers can get discounts for up to 45% lower rates than drivers with accidents.
- Homeowners Discount – Owning a house in Los Angeles can save you money due to the fact that maintaining a home shows financial diligence.
- Driver’s Ed – Make teen driver coverage more affordable by requiring them to successfully complete driver’s ed class if it’s offered in school.
- Resident Student – Any of your kids who are attending college and do not have a car may be able to be covered for less.
- Auto/Life Discount – Larger companies have better rates if you take out life insurance from them.
Keep in mind that most credits do not apply to the entire cost. The majority will only reduce specific coverage prices like liability and collision coverage. So when the math indicates all the discounts add up to a free policy, you won’t be that lucky. But any discount will bring down your overall premium however.
How do I know if I need professional advice?
When it comes to buying adequate coverage for your vehicles, there is no perfect coverage plan. Every insured’s situation is different so this has to be addressed. These are some specific questions may help highlight whether your personal situation will benefit from professional help.
- Am I covered when delivering products for my home-based business?
- How much liability coverage do I need in California?
- Will I be non-renewed for getting a DUI or other conviction?
- Do I need to file an SR-22 for a DUI in California?
- Does my policy pay for OEM or aftermarket parts?
- When should I remove comp and collision on my vehicle?
- Is my nanny covered when driving my vehicle?
- Do I need rental car coverage?
- Is there coverage for injuries to my pets?
- What can I do if my company won’t pay a claim?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, then you may want to think about talking to a licensed agent. To find lower rates from a local agent, fill out this quick form or you can also visit this page to select a carrier
Additional car insurance information can be found on the website for the California Department of Insurance located here. California consumers can find out which companies have the most complaints, find a variety of consumer forms, report car insurance fraud, and find disaster information.
Coverages available on your car insurance policy
Having a good grasp of a car insurance policy helps when choosing the best coverages and the correct deductibles and limits. Car insurance terms can be difficult to understand and nobody wants to actually read their policy. These are typical coverage types available from car insurance companies.
Uninsured or underinsured coverage – This provides protection when other motorists do not carry enough liability coverage. This coverage pays for medical payments for you and your occupants as well as damage to your vehicle.
Since a lot of drivers carry very low liability coverage limits (15/30/5 in California), their liability coverage can quickly be exhausted. So UM/UIM coverage is important protection for you and your family. Frequently these limits are set the same as your liablity limits.
Medical expense coverage – Med pay and PIP coverage pay for short-term medical expenses for EMT expenses, rehabilitation expenses and funeral costs. They are often used to cover expenses not covered by your health insurance plan or if you lack health insurance entirely. Coverage applies to not only the driver but also the vehicle occupants as well as if you are hit as a while walking down the street. Personal Injury Protection is not available in all states and gives slightly broader coverage than med pay
Collision coverage – Collision insurance will pay to fix damage to your vehicle caused by collision with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. You have to pay a deductible and the rest of the damage will be paid by collision coverage.
Collision can pay for things such as driving through your garage door, hitting a mailbox, rolling your car, crashing into a ditch and sustaining damage from a pot hole. This coverage can be expensive, so consider dropping it from older vehicles. It’s also possible to raise the deductible to bring the cost down.
Auto liability – Liability insurance protects you from damage or injury you incur to people or other property. It protects you from claims by other people. It does not cover your own vehicle damage or injuries.
Liability coverage has three limits: bodily injury for each person injured, bodily injury for the entire accident and a property damage limit. You commonly see limits of 50/100/50 which means $50,000 bodily injury coverage, $100,000 for the entire accident, and property damage coverage for $50,000. Alternatively, you may have one limit called combined single limit (CSL) that pays claims from the same limit rather than limiting it on a per person basis.
Liability can pay for claims like medical services, pain and suffering, repair bills for other people’s vehicles and bail bonds. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is a personal decision, but consider buying as much as you can afford. California requires drivers to carry at least 15,000/30,000/5,000 but you should think about purchasing more coverage.
Comprehensive protection – Comprehensive insurance pays to fix your vehicle from damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. You first must pay your deductible then the remaining damage will be covered by your comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive can pay for things like hitting a deer, hitting a bird, damage from getting keyed and a tree branch falling on your vehicle. The most your car insurance company will pay is the cash value of the vehicle, so if it’s not worth much more than your deductible it’s probably time to drop comprehensive insurance.
More effort can pay off
Cheap car insurance in Los Angeles is possible both online and also from your neighborhood insurance agents, and you need to price shop both to have the best chance of lowering rates. There are still a few companies who may not provide online quoting and most of the time these small insurance companies sell through independent agents.
When trying to cut insurance costs, it’s not a good idea to reduce needed coverages to save money. Too many times, an accident victim reduced physical damage coverage only to regret at claim time they didn’t purchase enough coverage. The aim is to buy enough coverage at the best price while still protecting your assets.