If you’re trying to find lower-cost insurance online, are you confused by the number of car insurance companies in your area? Vehicle owners have so many companies available that it can easily become a challenge to find lower car insurance rates. If you live there, you know that Santa Monica has lots to offer, but high . car insurance rates can make it hard for many residents to buy proper levels of coverage.
If you are insured now or need new coverage, you will benefit by learning to get lower rates and possibly find even better coverage. The purpose of this post is to help educate you on the most effective way to quote insurance and some tricks to saving. California drivers only need to know the proper way to shop for car insurance over the internet.
Don’t overlook these seven car insurance discounts
Companies that sell car insurance do not advertise every discount they offer very well, so we break down both the well known and also the more inconspicuous credits that you can use to lower your rates.
- Passive Restraint Discount – Vehicles equipped with air bags and/or automatic seat belt systems can receive discounts of up to 25% or more.
- Defensive Driver Discount – Completing a defensive driver class is a good idea and can lower rates and easily recoup the cost of the course.
- Drive Safe and Save – Drivers who don’t get into accidents can get discounts for up to 45% lower rates than their less cautious counterparts.
- Federal Government Employee – Having worked for a branch of the government may reduce rates when you with certain companies.
- Accident-Free Discounts – Drivers who don’t have accidents can save substantially as compared to drivers who are more careless.
- Early Signing – Some larger companies provide a discount for buying a policy before your current policy expires. Ten percent is about the average savings.
- Sign Online – Some larger companies will give you a small discount for buying your policy on your computer.
Discounts reduce rates, but you should keep in mind that most discount credits are not given to your bottom line cost. A few only apply to individual premiums such as comp or med pay. So even though you would think all the discounts add up to a free policy, insurance companies wouldn’t stay in business.
The best car insurance companies and their possible discounts include:
- Travelers may have discounts that include IntelliDrive, save driver, hybrid/electric vehicle, continuous insurance, good student, and driver training.
- 21st Century offers discounts for student driver, theft prevention, early bird, driver training, anti-lock brakes, teen driver, and good student.
- State Farm may include discounts for passive restraint, multiple autos, student away at school, good student, and defensive driving training.
- Geico may offer discounts for federal employee, good student, anti-theft, seat belt use, defensive driver, membership and employees, and air bags.
- SAFECO has savings for safe driver, multi-car, drive less, anti-lock brakes, and teen safety rewards.
- AAA discounts include multi-policy, AAA membership discount, education and occupation, good driver, anti-theft, good student, and pay-in-full.
Before buying, ask every prospective company which discounts you may be entitled to. Some of the discounts discussed earlier might not be offered in every state. To locate companies who offer online car insurance quotes in California, follow this link.
How to compare Santa Monica car insurance quotes
Cutting your Santa Monica car insurance rates is not rocket science. All that’s required is to take a few minutes comparing provided by online insurance companies. It’s really simple and can be done by following the guidelines below.
- If you’re in a hurry, the quickest way consumers can analyze rates is a comparison rater form (click to open form in new window). This quick form keeps you from doing separate forms to each individual car insurance company. Just one form will return quotes from multiple companies. This is perfect if you don’t have a lot of time.
- A more time consuming way to find more affordable insurance requires you to visit the website for every company you want to comare and go through the quote process again. For examples sake, we’ll assume you want to compare rates from Auto-Owners, Progressive and GMAC. To get rate quotes you would need to navigate to each company’s site and type in your information over and over, and that’s why the first method is more popular. For a list of companies in Santa Monica, click here.
It’s up to you how you get prices quotes, just make darn sure you compare nearly identical deductibles and coverage limits for each quote you get. If each company quotes unequal deductibles or liability limits you can’t possibly determine the best price in Santa Monica.
When to get professional advice
When choosing proper insurance coverage for your personal vehicles, there isn’t really a cookie cutter policy. Everyone’s needs are different.
For example, these questions might help in determining if you might need an agent’s assistance.
- Am I covered when pulling a rental trailer?
- Do I need roadside assistance coverage?
- Will I be non-renewed for getting a DUI or other conviction?
- Does my vehicle qualify for pleasure use?
- Is my cargo covered for damage or theft?
- Do I really need UM/UIM coverage?
- I don’t drive much so do I pay less?
- Is business equipment covered while in my vehicle?
- I have good health insurance, so how much medical payments coverage do I need?
If it’s difficult to answer those questions but you think they might apply to your situation, you may need to chat with a licensed insurance agent. If you want to speak to an agent in your area, simply complete this short form. It’s fast, doesn’t cost anything and may give you better protection.
Car insurance coverage basics
Understanding the coverages of your car insurance policy can help you determine appropriate coverage at the best deductibles and correct limits. Car insurance terms can be ambiguous and reading a policy is terribly boring.
This coverage will cover damage or injury you incur to other’s property or people. It protects you from claims by other people. Liability doesn’t cover damage to your own property or vehicle.
It consists of three limits, bodily injury for each person injured, bodily injury for the entire accident and a property damage limit. You might see policy limits of 50/100/50 that translate to $50,000 in coverage for each person’s injuries, a per accident bodily injury limit of $100,000, and $50,000 of coverage for damaged propery. Occasionally you may see one number which is a combined single limit which limits claims to one amount with no separate limits for injury or property damage.
Liability can pay for things such as court costs, structural damage, emergency aid and legal defense fees. How much liability coverage do you need? That is your choice, but buy as large an amount as possible. California requires minimum liability limits of 15,000/30,000/5,000 but drivers should carry higher limits.
This will pay to fix damage OTHER than collision with another vehicle or object. A deductible will apply and then insurance will cover the rest of the damage.
Comprehensive insurance covers claims such as vandalism, hitting a deer, damage from flooding, theft and a broken windshield. The maximum amount your car insurance company will pay is the ACV or actual cash value, so if it’s not worth much more than your deductible consider removing comprehensive coverage.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage
This coverage protects you and your vehicle from other drivers when they do not carry enough liability coverage. This coverage pays for medical payments for you and your occupants as well as your vehicle’s damage.
Since a lot of drivers only carry the minimum required liability limits (15/30/5 in California), it only takes a small accident to exceed their coverage. That’s why carrying high Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage should not be overlooked. Most of the time the UM/UIM limits are similar to your liability insurance amounts.
Medical payments coverage and PIP
Medical payments and Personal Injury Protection insurance kick in for immediate expenses like chiropractic care, prosthetic devices and dental work. They are utilized in addition to your health insurance plan or if you do not have health coverage. They cover you and your occupants and also covers any family member struck as a pedestrian. Personal injury protection coverage is only offered in select states and gives slightly broader coverage than med pay
Collision coverage covers damage to your vehicle resulting from colliding with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. You will need to pay your deductible and the rest of the damage will be paid by collision coverage.
Collision coverage protects against things such as crashing into a ditch, hitting a parking meter, crashing into a building, sustaining damage from a pot hole and sideswiping another vehicle. Collision coverage makes up a good portion of your premium, so you might think about dropping it from vehicles that are 8 years or older. Another option is to raise the deductible in order to get cheaper collision rates.
In the end, you save
Discount car insurance can be sourced both online as well as from insurance agents, and you should be comparing both to have the best selection. There are still a few companies who may not have the ability to get quotes online and these smaller providers provide coverage only through local independent agents.
As you , it’s a bad idea to skimp on critical coverages to save a buck or two. There are too many instances where consumers will sacrifice collision coverage only to regret at claim time that the savings was not a smart move. Your focus should be to buy the best coverage you can find at the best price.
Consumers leave their current company for a number of reasons such as policy cancellation, denial of a claim, high rates after DUI convictions or even not issuing a premium refund. No matter why you want to switch, finding the right car insurance provider is not as difficult as it may seem.
Additional California consumer information
More information is located on the California Department of Insurance website found here. California consumers can report car insurance fraud, discover disciplinary actions, read consumer alerts, and read state legal mandates and laws.