Confused by the dozens of auto insurance choices in Salinas? Many other consumers are too. You have so many options available that it can turn into more work than you anticipated to find lower rates.
You should make it a habit to shop coverage around every six months since rates are constantly changing. Just because you found the lowest price last year other companies may now be cheaper. So forget all the misinformation about auto insurance because you’re about to learn the things you must know in order to properly buy coverages and cut your premium.
What determines how much you pay?
Smart consumers have a good feel for the different types of things that help determine the price you pay for auto insurance. Having a good understanding of what controls the rates you pay enables informed choices that may reward you with better auto insurance rates.
The following are a partial list of the pieces auto insurance companies consider when setting rates.
- Too many auto insurance claims drive up costs – If you tend to file frequent claims, you can expect higher rates. Car insurance companies in California generally give discounts to insureds who file claims infrequently. Insurance coverage is intended for the bigger claims that can’t be paid out-of-pocket.
- A lapse in coverage is a bad thing – Driving your car without having proper coverage is against the law and as a result your rates will increase for letting your insurance expire. Not only will you pay more, failure to provide proof of insurance can result in a revoked license or a big fine.
- Your auto insurance rates can be influenced by your job – Did you know that where you work can have an impact on rates? Occupations such as real estate brokers, social workers and stock brokers tend to have the highest rates in part from high stress levels and long work hours. On the other hand, jobs such as scientists, students and homemakers receive lower rates.
- Rural vs Urban Areas – Living in less populated areas is a positive aspect when it comes to auto insurance. Drivers who live in large cities have more traffic problems and a longer drive to work. Fewer people means fewer accidents.
- Clean credit earns discounts – A driver’s credit score is a big factor in determining what you pay for auto insurance. People with good credit tend to be more responsible than drivers who have lower ratings. If your credit is low, you could be paying less to insure your by spending a little time repairing your credit.
- Liability coverage is peace of mind – The liability section of your policy will protect you when you are found to be at fault for causing damage or personal injury in an accident. Liability provides legal defense coverage starting from day one. Liability insurance is quite affordable compared to insuring for physical damage coverage, so do not skimp.
- Save money with special equipment – Driving a car with anti-theft technology or alarm system can help bring down rates. Anti-theft features such as vehicle immobilizer systems, General Motors OnStar and LoJack tracking systems all hinder your car from being stolen.
- With age comes lower rates – Mature drivers tend to be more responsible, tend to file fewer claims and get fewer tickets. Teen drivers have a tendency to get distracted easily in a vehicle and because of this, their auto insurance rates are much higher.
Take advantage of discounts
Companies do not advertise every discount in an easy-to-find place, so we took the time to find some of the more common as well as the least known savings tricks you should be using. If they aren’t giving you every credit you deserve, you are throwing money away.
- Theft Prevention System – Vehicles with anti-theft systems prevent vehicle theft and will save you 10% or more.
- Good Students Pay Less – Getting good grades can get you a discount of up to 25%. The discount lasts up to age 25.
- Military Discounts – Having a family member in the military could be rewarded with lower premiums.
- Homeowners Discount – Simply owning a home may trigger a auto insurance policy discount due to the fact that maintaining a home demonstrates responsibility.
- Payment Discounts – If you pay your entire premium ahead of time rather than paying monthly you could save up to 5%.
- Driver Safety – Successfully completing a course teaching defensive driving skills could possibly earn you a 5% discount and easily recoup the cost of the course.
- New Vehicle Savings – Insuring a new car can cost up to 25% less due to better safety requirements for new cars.
Consumers should know that most discounts do not apply to all coverage premiums. Most only apply to individual premiums such as liability, collision or medical payments. So when the math indicates all those discounts means the company will pay you, companies wouldn’t make money that way.
To see a list of insurance companies with the best auto insurance discounts in Salinas, click here.
Your local neighborhood insurance agent
A small number of people would prefer to get advice from a local agent and that is OK! Agents are trained to spot inefficiencies and help submit paperwork. The best thing about price shopping on the web is the fact that you can find the best rates but also keep your business local.
After completing this simple form, your coverage information is sent to agents in your area who will compete to get your business. There is no reason to visit any agencies due to the fact that quote results will go immediately to your email address. How’s that for easy!
Selecting an provider should depend on more than just a cheap price. Some important questions to ask are:
- What are the financial ratings for the companies they represent?
- Do they have adequate Errors and Ommissions coverage? This protects you if they make a mistake.
- Do they feel the quoted coverages are adequate?
- How long has their agency been in business in Salinas?
- Are they properly licensed to sell insurance in California?
- Can glass repairs be made at your home?
Different types of auto insurance agents in Salinas
When finding a reputable insurance agent or broker, you must know there are a couple types of agencies from which to choose. Agencies in Salinas are classified as either independent (non-captive) or captive. Both insure your vehicles, but it’s worth mentioning how they are different because it can influence buying decisions.
Captive Insurance Agents
Captive agencies can only write with one company and some examples include Allstate, State Farm and Farmers Insurance. These agents are unable to compare other company’s rates so keep that in mind. Captives are usually quite knowledgeable in insurance sales and that can be a competitive advantage. Consumers sometimes buy from captive agents mostly because of the brand legacy and solid financial strength.
Shown below are captive agencies in Salinas who may provide you with comparison quotes.
- State Farm Insurance – 1111 N Main St # A – Salinas, CA 93906 – (831) 757-5244
- Farmers Insurance Group – 335 Abbott St # C – Salinas, CA 93901 – (831) 443-6991
- Allstate Insurance – 184 E Laurel Dr – Salinas, CA 93906 – (831) 751-7377
Independent Insurance Agents
Independent agents do not work for one specific company so they have the ability to put coverage with lots of companies and potentially find a lower price. If you are not satisfied with one company, the business is moved internally without you having to go to a different agency.
When comparing rates, we recommend you contact at least one independent agent to get the best comparison. They also have the ability to place coverage with smaller regional carriers which can save you money.
The following is a list of independent agencies in Salinas that can give you price quotes.
- Glyn Johnson Insurance – 30 E San Joaquin St # 202 – Salinas, CA 93901 – (831) 759-2485
- Toscano Agency – 342 San Juan Grade Rd – Salinas, CA 93906 – (831) 443-9571
- Cost-U-Less Insurance Ctr – 1279 N Main St – Salinas, CA 93906 – (831) 442-0131
To view a full list of Salinas insurance agents, view this link.
After receiving answers to your satisfaction to your questions and an affordable coverage quote, you may have just found an auto insurance agent that is a good match to service your policy.
Additional resources for California consumers
More detailed California auto insurance information can be found at the California Department of Insurance website. California drivers can read consumer alerts, report car insurance fraud, and find out which companies have the most complaints.
The following articles may also be useful.
Best coverage at the best price
Discount auto insurance can be purchased both online and with local Salinas insurance agents, and you should be comparing both to have the best selection. A few companies do not offer you the ability to get quotes online and usually these small insurance companies provide coverage only through local independent agents.
When buying insurance coverage, never reduce needed coverages to save money. In too many instances, an insured cut collision coverage and found out when filing a claim that a couple dollars of savings turned into a financial nightmare. The proper strategy is to find the BEST coverage at a price you can afford.
We’ve covered some good ideas how to get a better price on auto insurance. The key concept to understand is the more rate comparisons you have, the better your chances of lowering your rates. You may be surprised to find that the lowest rates come from the least-expected company.