Are you overwhelmed by the number of auto insurance providers available to you? Many other drivers are too. You have such a large number of options that it can easily turn into a difficult mission to lower your prices. Everyone knows that Richmond is the perfect city to reside in, but the high cost of auto insurance can make it nearly impossible for many drivers to afford good insurance coverage.
You should make it a habit to price shop coverage on a regular basis because rates trend upward over time. Just because you had the best premium rates a few years ago the chances are good that you can find a lower price today. You’ll find quite a bit of inaccurate information about auto insurance online, but by reading this article, you’re going to learn some tested techniques to stop overpaying for insurance.
Low cost Richmond auto insurance
Finding a better price on auto insurance can be relatively painless. Drivers just need to spend a few minutes on the computer comparing rate quotes from different insurance companies. Price comparisons can be done by following the guidelines below.
- One of the fastest ways to get quotes for comparison is an all-inclusive rate comparison click here to open form in new window. This method prevents you from having to do boring form submissions for every auto insurance company. One form gets insurance cost estimates direct from many companies. It’s definitely the quickest method.
- A more difficult way to get comparison quotes requires a trip to each company website and complete a new quote form. For examples sake, we’ll pretend you need rates from Geico, Esurance and Farmers. To get each rate you have to visit each site to enter your coverage information, which is not fast way to get rate quotes.
For a list of companies in Richmond, click here.
- The old school way to find cheaper rates to different Richmond agent offices. Quoting online eliminates this option unless you require the professional abilities only provided by licensed Richmond agents. It is possible to compare online quotes and get advice from an agent in your area.
How you compare quotes is your choice, just try to use nearly identical information with each company. If your comparisons have differing limits it will be next to impossible to truly determine the lowest rate in Richmond.
Lower rates by qualifying for these nine discounts
The price of auto insurance can be rather high, but there’s a good chance there are discounts that many people don’t even know exist. Some of these disounts will be visible at the time of quoting, but some discounts are required to be requested specifically before being credited.
- Payment Discounts – If you can afford to pay the entire bill instead of making monthly payments you can avoid the installment charge.
- Paperwork-free – A few larger online companies will discount your bill up to fifty bucks online.
- Onboard Data Collection – Insureds who allow their insurance company to monitor where and when they drive by using a telematic data system like Allstate’s Drivewise could see a rate decrease if they show good driving skills.
- Theft Prevention Discount – Cars with anti-theft systems help deter theft and can earn a small discount on your policy.
- Home Ownership Discount – Simply owning a home can save you money because owning a home is proof of financial responsibility.
- 55 and Retired – If you qualify as a senior citizen, you can get a small discount on rates.
- Good Student – Getting good grades can earn a discount of 20% or more. Earning this discount can benefit you up until you turn 25.
- Multiple Vehicles – Buying coverage for more than one vehicle with the same auto insurance company can reduce the rates for all insured vehicles.
- Seat Belts Save more than Lives – Drivers who always wear seat belts and also require passengers to buckle up before driving could cut 10% or more on the premium charged for medical payments and/or PIP.
As a disclaimer on discounts, most of the big mark downs will not be given to the entire policy premium. Most only cut specific coverage prices like liability, collision or medical payments. So when it seems like adding up those discounts means a free policy, companies wouldn’t make money that way.
Some companies that may offer policyholders most of these discounts may include but are not limited to:
If you are trying to find , ask every prospective company which discounts can lower your rates. A few discounts may not apply to policyholders in your area. To view insurance companies that have a full spectrum of discounts in California, click this link.
Independent or captive auto insurance agents
Certain consumers still like to buy from a local agent and that is a personal choice. Licensed agents can help you choose the best coverages and help you file claims. A good thing about comparing auto insurance online is that drivers can save money and get the lowest rates and still have an agent to talk to.
To make it easy to find an agent, after completing this form (opens in new window), the quote information is transmitted to insurance agents in Richmond that can give you for your auto insurance coverage. It makes it easy because there is no need to visit any agencies due to the fact that quote results will go immediately to your email address. If you want to compare prices for a specific company, you can always visit that company’s website and submit a quote form there.
Picking the best insurer shouldn’t rely on just the quoted price. The answers to these questions are important, too.
- Which members of your family are coverage by the policy?
- What insurance companies do they recommend if they are an independent agent?
- How long have they been in business?
- Will the agent or a CSR service your policy?
- Are they full-time agents?
If you are wanting to find an insurance agent, there are a couple of different types of agencies and how they function. Agents are considered either captive or independent agents depending on their company appointments. Both types can sell auto insurance policies, but we need to point out the differences since it can affect which agent you choose.
Captive Auto Insurance Agencies
Agents that elect to be captive write business for a single company such as Allstate and State Farm. Captive agencies are unable to provide prices from multiple companies so they have no alternatives for high prices. Captive agencies are well schooled on their company’s products and that enables them to sell even at higher rates. Many people buy from the same agent for years mostly because of the prominence of the brand and the convenience of having all coverages with one company.
Listed below are Richmond captive insurance agencies that can give you comparison quotes.
- Allstate Insurance – 2800 Hilltop Mall Rd # 900 – Richmond, CA 94806 – (510) 222-2080
- State Farm Insurance – 12560 San Pablo Ave – Richmond, CA 94805 – (510) 236-7410
Independent Auto Insurance Agencies
Agents that elect to be independent do not sell for just one brand so they can write business amongst many companies and get the cheapest rates. If your premiums go up, they can switch companies in-house and you won’t have to switch agencies.
If you are trying to find cheaper rates, you should always include several independent agencies so that you have a good selection of quotes to compare. Many independent agencies also insure through companies you’ve never heard of which can be an advantage.
The following are independent agencies in Richmond willing to provide price quote information.
- Mervyn M Davis Insurance – 12495 San Pablo Ave – Richmond, CA 94805 – (510) 232-5785
- Bench and Honeyman Agency – 232 Broadway – Richmond, CA 94804 – (510) 525-2163
- Byers Insurance Svc Inc – 30 Railroad Ave # 2 – Richmond, CA 94801 – (510) 970-7922
To view additional insurance agents in Richmond, view this full listing of Richmond, CA insurance agents.
Misconceptions in auto insurance advertisements
Consumers in California get pounded daily by advertisements that claim the cheapest rates from the likes of State Farm, Geico and Progressive. All the ads make an identical promise that you’ll save big if you switch your auto insurance policy to them.
But how can every company offer drivers better rates? This is the way they can do it.
Different companies provide the lowest rates for the type of driver that will add to their bottom line. For example, this type of risk profile might be described as over the age of 50, has no prior claims, and has great credit. Any new insured who meets those qualifications receive the lowest rate quotes and most likely will save money with a new company.
Drivers who cannot meet the ideal profile will probably be forced to pay higher premiums with the end result being business not being written. The ads say “customers who switch” but not “everyone who gets a quote” can get the lowest rates when switching. That’s the way companies can truthfully advertise the savings. This really drives home the point why you need to get as many as possible. It is just not possible to predict which auto insurance company will be your best fit.
Specifics of your auto insurance policy
Having a good grasp of auto insurance helps when choosing which coverages you need and proper limits and deductibles. Auto insurance terms can be ambiguous and nobody wants to actually read their policy.
Collision coverage – This coverage covers damage to your vehicle from colliding with a stationary object or other vehicle. A deductible applies and then insurance will cover the remainder.
Collision coverage protects against claims such as crashing into a ditch, sustaining damage from a pot hole, sideswiping another vehicle, rolling your car and colliding with another moving vehicle. Paying for collision coverage can be pricey, so consider removing coverage from vehicles that are older. You can also raise the deductible to save money on collision insurance.
Uninsured and underinsured coverage – Your UM/UIM coverage gives you protection when other motorists are uninsured or don’t have enough coverage. It can pay for hospital bills for your injuries and damage to your vehicle.
Since a lot of drivers carry very low liability coverage limits (15/30/5 in California), their limits can quickly be used up. That’s why carrying high Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage should not be overlooked.
Comprehensive coverages – Comprehensive insurance will pay to fix damage OTHER than collision with another vehicle or object. You first must pay your deductible then the remaining damage will be covered by your comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive coverage protects against things such as hitting a bird, hitting a deer and hail damage. The most a auto insurance company will pay at claim time is the ACV or actual cash value, so if your deductible is as high as the vehicle’s value it’s probably time to drop comprehensive insurance.
Coverage for medical payments – Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage provide coverage for expenses for things like ambulance fees, chiropractic care, rehabilitation expenses, dental work and X-ray expenses. The coverages can be utilized in addition to your health insurance policy or if you are not covered by health insurance. Coverage applies to both the driver and occupants in addition to being hit by a car walking across the street. PIP is not an option in every state and may carry a deductible
Liability insurance – This coverage will cover injuries or damage you cause to other’s property or people that is your fault. Split limit liability has three limits of coverage: bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage. As an example, you may have values of 100/300/100 that means you have a $100,000 limit per person for injuries, a total of $300,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and property damage coverage for $100,000.
Liability insurance covers things like structural damage, bail bonds and pain and suffering. How much liability coverage do you need? That is your choice, but it’s cheap coverage so purchase as high a limit as you can afford. California state law requires minimum liability limits of 15,000/30,000/5,000 but it’s recommended drivers buy more coverage.
Do the work, save more money
You just learned a lot of ways to get a better price on auto insurance. The key concept to understand is the more providers you compare, the higher your chance of finding . Drivers may discover the lowest car insurance rates are with the least-expected company.
When buying insurance coverage, do not reduce coverage to reduce premium. There are many occasions where someone dropped liability limits or collision coverage only to find out that the few dollars in savings costed them thousands. Your focus should be to purchase a proper amount of coverage at the best possible price.
People change insurance companies for any number of reasons including an unsatisfactory settlement offer, questionable increases in premium, delays in paying claims or even high rates after DUI convictions. Regardless of your reason for switching companies, choosing a new company is less work than it seems.
More tips and info about auto insurance can be read at the California Department of Insurance website. California drivers can report car insurance fraud, find disaster information, and file complaints about a company.
The following information may also be useful.