Tired of trying to scrape together enough money to buy car insurance? You are in the same boat as many other California consumers. Because there are so many choices, it can be difficult for consumers to find the cheapest car insurance in San Diego.
Compare San Diego Car Insurance Costs
Getting a cheaper price on insurance is a fairly straight forward process. Just take a couple of minutes to compare quotes from different insurance companies. It is quite easy and can be accomplished using a couple different methods.
- The best way consumers can analyze rates is to use a rate comparison form like this one (opens in new window). This type of form prevents you from having to do multiple quote forms for each company. Completing one form will get you price quotes from all major companies.
- A harder way to get quotes online requires a trip to the website of each company to request a price quote. For examples sake, we’ll assume you want to compare Allstate, Farmers and Liberty Mutual. To get rate quotes you would need to visit each site and enter your information, which is why most consumers use the first method. For a list of links to insurance companies in San Diego, click here.
- The least efficient method to get comparison rates is driving to insurance agents’ offices. Buying insurance online has reduced the need for local agents unless you prefer the professional advice that only a license agent can provide. Drivers can price shop your coverage online but buy from a local insurance agent. We’ll cover that shortly.
Whichever method you choose, ensure you are comparing the exact same coverages for every quote you compare. If you are comparing different values for each quote it’s not possible to determine the best price in San Diego.
Policy discounts you shouldn’t miss
Insurance can be prohibitively expensive, buy you may qualify for discounts that you may not even be aware of. Certain discounts will be triggered automatically when you quote, but less common discounts must be specially asked for before they will apply. If they aren’t giving you every credit you qualify for, you are paying more than you should be.
- Save over 55 – If you qualify as a senior citizen, you can possibly qualify for better car insurance rates.
- Theft Prevention System – Vehicles with anti-theft systems help deter theft and qualify for as much as a 10% discount.
- Drive Safe and Save – Insureds without accidents can get discounts for up to 45% lower rates than their less cautious counterparts.
- Driver Safety – Taking a course in driver safety could save 5% or more if your company offers it.
- Military Rewards – Being deployed with a military unit could be rewarded with lower premiums.
- Good Student – Performing well in school can earn a discount of 20% or more. The good student discount can last up until you turn 25.
- Multi-policy Discount – If you have multiple policies with one company you may earn up to 20% off your total premium.
- Sign Early and Save – Some companies give discounts for signing up prior to your current policy expiring. It can save you around 10%.
- Pay Now and Pay Less – If you pay your entire premium ahead of time rather than paying monthly you could save up to 5%.
A little note about advertised discounts, most discounts do not apply to the overall cost of the policy. A few only apply to individual premiums such as liability, collision or medical payments. Even though it may seem like all the discounts add up to a free policy, it doesn’t quite work that way. But any discount will reduce the amount you have to pay.
Are insurance agents a thing of the past?
Certain consumers would rather talk to a local agent and that is just fine! Good agents can help determine the best coverages and help submit paperwork. One of the great benefits of comparing rates online is the fact that you can find the lowest rates and still have an agent to talk to. And supporting local insurance agencies is especially important in San Diego.
By using this short form, your insurance coverage information is submitted to local insurance agents who will return price quotes to get your business. There is no need to visit any agencies since price quotes are sent directly to your email. How’s that for easy!
The difference between San Diego auto insurance agents
When looking for a reliable agent, there are two types of agencies from which to choose. Agents are either captive or independent. While both can properly insure your vehicles, but it’s important to know how they are different since it may influence your selection of an agent.
Independent Agencies or Brokers
These agents are not required to write business for one company so they can insure your vehicles with many different companies depending on which coverage is best. If your agent finds better pricing, the business is moved internally and you don’t have to find a new agent.
When comparing rates, you should always include price quotes from multiple independent agents to have the most options to choose from.
Listed below are San Diego independent agents that can give you rate quotes.
Amco Auto Insurance – 4698 Convoy St – San Diego, CA 92111 – (858) 573-9700
Jae H Kim Agency – 7750 Dagget St # 206 – San Diego, CA 92111 – (858) 278-7727
Barrigan Agency – 3505 Camino Del Rio S # 111 – San Diego, CA 92108 – (619) 284-8271
Business Owner’s Insurance – 3914 Murphy Canyon Rd # A239 – San Diego, CA 92123 – (858) 874-0101
Thompson Mc Queen Agency – 444 Camino Del Rio S # 219 – San Diego, CA 92108 – (619) 295-9935
Captive agents are contracted to one company like Allstate, State Farm and Farmers Insurance. These agents are unable to provide prices from multiple companies so keep that in mind. Captive agencies are well schooled in insurance sales and that can be a competitive advantage.
Shown below is a short list of captive insurance agents in San Diego who can help you get price quotes.
State Farm Insurance – 2667 Camino Del Rio S # 112 – San Diego, CA 92108 – (619) 291-1787
Allstate Insurance – 4370 Palm Ave # F – San Diego, CA 92154 – (619) 690-5502
Liberty Mutual Insurance – 9444 Waples St # 150 – San Diego, CA 92121 – (858) 558-8311
Farmers Insurance Group – 4724 Point Loma Ave – San Diego, CA 92107 – (619) 226-2551
For a complete listing of San Diego captive insurance agencies, please view this page.
Picking a car insurance agent requires more thought than just a low price. These questions are important to ask:
- If they are an independent agency, which companies do they recommend?
- What is the agency’s Better Business Bureau rating?
- Which company do they place the most coverage with?
- Do the companies they represent have a solid financial rating?
- Who is covered by the car insurance policy?
- Does the company allow you to choose your own collision repair facility?
- Is vehicle damage repaired with OEM or aftermarket parts?
Once you have received reasonable responses to your questions and a low price estimate, chances are good that you have found an insurance agent that is a good match to properly insure your vehicles.
Save Money with These Tips
It’s important that you understand the factors that play a part in calculating the price you pay for car insurance. Understanding what controls the rates you pay helps enable you to make changes that can help you get big savings.
Shown below are a partial list of the pieces that factor into your rates.
- Higher deductibles cost less – Physical damage insurance, otherwise known as comp (or other than collision) and collision, protects your car from damage. Some instances where coverage would apply would be a windshield shattered by a rock, collision with an animal, and windstorm damage. Your deductibles are the amount of money you are required to spend before a claim is paid by your company. The more expense you are required to pay out-of-pocket, the less your car insurance will be.
- A clean driving record saves money – Your driving record has a lot to do with how much you pay for insurance. Drivers with clean records get better rates than their less careful counterparts. Even one speeding ticket may increase your cost by twenty percent. Drivers who get dangerous violations such as hit and run, DWI or reckless driving convictions may be required to file a proof of financial responsibility form (SR-22) to the state department of motor vehicles in order to prevent a license revocation.
- Safer cars cost less to insure – Safer cars can get you lower premiums. Safer cars result in less severe injuries and any reduction in injury severity translates into fewer and smaller insurance claims passed on to you as lower rates.
- Marriage brings a discount – Getting married actually saves money when buying car insurance. Having a significant other is viewed as being more mature and responsible and it’s proven that being married results in fewer claims.
Shop smart and save
We covered some good ideas how to compare car insurance prices online. The key concept to understand is the more price quotes you have, the higher the chance of saving money. You may even find the lowest priced car insurance comes from some of the smallest insurance companies. These smaller insurers can often insure niche markets at a lower cost compared to the large companies like Geico and State Farm.
Cheaper car insurance can be bought on the web and with local San Diego insurance agents, so compare prices from both to get a complete price analysis. Some companies do not offer the ability to get a quote online and many times these smaller companies only sell through independent insurance agents.
As you shop your coverage around, do not buy poor coverage just to save money. In too many instances, an insured dropped liability limits or collision coverage only to regret that they should have had better coverage. The proper strategy is to purchase plenty of coverage at the best price while not skimping on critical coverages.
Additional California consumer information
More information is available on the website for the California Department of Insurance located here. Visitors are able to view agent and company licensing information, read state legal mandates and laws, and report car insurance fraud.