There isn’t a single person who gets a kick out of paying for car insurance, especially when they are aware that the cost is too high. Big-name insurance companies like State Farm, Progressive and GEICO constantly bombard you with advertising and consumers find it hard to ignore the promise of big savings and do the work needed to find the best deal.
Discounts can really help lower premiums
Car insurance is not an enjoyable expense, but companies offer discounts that could drop your premiums quite a bit. Certain credits will be shown at the time you complete a quote, but less common discounts must be specially asked for prior to receiving the credit.
- Good Students Pay Less – Being a good student may save you up to 25%. The good student discount can last up until you turn 25.
- Discounts for Federal Employees – Simply working for the federal government may reduce rates when you but check with your company.
- Low Mileage – Fewer annual miles can qualify you for slightly better car insurancerates than normal.
- Theft Deterent – Cars and trucks optioned with advanced anti-theft systems help deter theft and qualify for as much as a 10% discount.
- ABS Braking Discount – Cars and trucks with ABS and/or traction control can avoid accidents and earn discounts up to 10%.
- Early Switch Discount – Select companies give a discount for switching companies early. It’s a savings of about 10%.
As a disclaimer on discounts, most credits do not apply the the whole policy. Some only reduce individual premiums such as comp or med pay. Despite the appearance that it’s possible to get free car insurance, you’re out of luck. But any discount will cut your policy cost.
Larger car insurance companies and the discounts they provide are shown below.
- Progressive has discounts for multi-vehicle, online quote discount, homeowner, continuous coverage, and online signing.
- MetLife may offer discounts for accident-free, defensive driver, claim-free, good student, multi-policy, good driver
- Mercury Insurance offers premium reductions for age of vehicle, professional/association, multi-policy, type of vehicle, and good student.
- Nationwide offers discounts for multi-policy, family plan, defensive driving, Farm Bureau membership, business or organization, accident-free, and good student.
- GEICO has savings for membership and employees, anti-theft, seat belt use, driver training, defensive driver, emergency military deployment, and good student.
- AAA includes discounts for good driver, education and occupation, anti-theft, multi-car, good student, multi-policy, and AAA membership discount.
If you are trying to find , ask all the companies to apply every possible discount. Some discounts might not apply in every state.
Shopping for lower car insurance rates is a ton of work if you don’t utilize the most efficient way. You could spend your day driving to agents in Santa Maria, or you can stay home and use online quoting to quickly compare rates.
Most car insurance companies take part in a program that enables customers to enter their policy data once, and each company then returns a price quote based on the submitted data. This saves time by eliminating quote forms to each company. To get comparison pricing now click here to open in new window.
The only drawback to comparing rates this way is you don’t know exactly which companies to get pricing from. So if you want to choose specific insurance companies to compare prices, we have assembled a list of low cost car insurance companies in California. View list of California insurance companies.
Which method you use is up to you, but make sure you use apples-to-apples quote data on every quote. If each company quotes different limits and deductibles on each one you will not be able to find the best deal in Santa Maria.
Informed drivers can save money
When buying car insurance it’s important to understand some of the things that aid in calculating your car insurance rates. If you understand what controls the rates you pay, this allows you to make good choices that could help you find much lower annual insurance costs.
The list below includes some of the things utilized by car insurance companies to help set your prices.
- Vehicle features can affect car insurance rates – Choosing a vehicle that has an advanced theft prevention system can help lower your premiums. Systems that thwart theives such as tamper alarm systems, vehicle immobilizer technology and General Motors OnStar help track and prevent your vehicle from being stolen.
- Good drivers have lower rates – Drivers who don’t get tickets have lower premiums than bad drivers. Only having one speeding ticket or other violation may cause rates to rise forty percent or more. Drivers unfortunate enough to have severe tickets like hit and run, DWI or reckless driving convictions are required to prove financial responsibility with their state DMV in order to drive a vehicle legally.
- Only buy extra policy coverages you need – Insurance companies have many optional add-on coverages you can purchase on your policy. Coverages like rental car reimbursement, high-cost glass coverage, and motor club memberships are examples of these. They may sound like good ideas when buying your policy, but if you have no use for them think about removing them and cutting costs.
- Car insurance policy lapses increase rates – Going without insurance will be a fast way to drive up your policy premiums. And not only will your rates increase, the inability to provide proof of insurance may result in a steep fine or even jail time.
Will just any policy work for me?
When it comes to choosing coverage for your personal vehicles, there really is no “best” method to buy coverage. Everyone’s situation is a little different so your insurance should reflect that For example, these questions might point out whether you might need an agent’s assistance.
- Do I benefit by insuring my home with the same company?
- Am I covered when delivering products for my home-based business?
- Should I buy more coverage than the required California minimum liability coverage?
- Am I covered when driving in Canada or Mexico?
- What are the financial responsibility laws in California?
- Does my liability insurance cover pulling a trailer or camper?
- Does my policy cover me when driving someone else’s vehicle?
If you can’t answer these questions, then you may want to think about talking to an insurance agent. To find an agent in your area, simply complete this short form or go to this page to view a list of companies. It is quick, free and can provide invaluable advice.
What is YOUR best insurance company?
Some companies do not provide the ability to get a quote online regional carriers prefer to sell through local independent agencies. Lower-priced car insurance is possible from both online companies and from local agencies, and you should compare rates from both to have the best selection.
We just showed you many ways to shop for car insurance online. The key concept to understand is the more companies you get auto insurance rates for, the better your chances of lowering your auto insurance rates. Consumers may even find the lowest priced car insurance comes from a small local company. Smaller companies can often insure niche markets at a lower cost than the large multi-state companies such as Allstate and Progressive.
Additional information can be found on the website for the California Department of Insurance. Click here for link. California drivers can find a variety of consumer forms, get help finding coverage, find disaster information, and file complaints about an insurance agent or broker.