Shopping for low-cost San Jose car insurance on the internet may be problematic for beginners to price shopping online. With dozens of companies competing online, how can anyone effectively compare the different rates to find the cheapest car insurance in San Jose?
Smart consumers take time to do rate comparisons on a regular basis because prices are constantly changing. Just because you had the best rates last year you may be paying too much now. Block out anything you think you know about car insurance because we’re going to demonstrate the quickest way to find great coverage at a great price.
If you currently have a car insurance policy, you should be able to reduce your rates substantially using this information. This article will let you in on how to get online quotes. Nevertheless, California vehicle owners need to learn the methods companies use to market on the web because it can help you find the best coverage.
How to Compare Car Insurance in San Jose, California
When shopping for car insurance there are multiple ways to get quotes and find the best price. The easiest way by far to find the lowest rates is to use the internet to compare rates. This can be accomplished in just a few minutes using one of these methods.
- The single most time-saving way consumers can make multiple comparisons is a comparison rater form like this one (opens in new window). This form keeps you from doing boring form submissions for each company. One quote request will return price quotes from car insurance companies with the best prices. This is perfect if you don’t have a lot of time.
- Another way to compare prices is to take the time to go to each individual company website to request a price quote. For example, we’ll pretend you want to compare rates from USAA, Progressive and State Farm. To get each rate you have to take the time to go to each site to input your insurance information, which is why the first method is quicker. For a list of links to companies insuring cars in San Jose, click here.
It doesn’t matter which method you choose, just make absolute certain that you use the exact same coverages on every quote. If you are comparing different values for each quote then you won’t be able to determine the lowest rate in San Jose. Quoting even small variations in limits may cause a big price difference. Just keep in mind that quoting more will enable you to find a better price.
Don’t believe everything you hear
Car insurance providers like GEICO, State Farm and Progressive consistently run television and radio advertisements. They all make the same claim that you can save if you change your policy. How can each company make the same claim? It’s all in the numbers.
Different companies can use profiling for the driver that is profitable for them. An example of a preferred risk could possibly be between 30 and 50, insures multiple vehicles, and chooses high deductibles. Any driver who fits that profile will get the preferred rates and as a result will probably cut their rates substantially.
Potential insureds who are not a match for this ideal profile must pay a higher premium and this can result in the customer not buying. The ads state “people who switch” not “everybody who quotes” save money. That’s why companies can truthfully advertise the way they do.
This illustrates why drivers must get a wide range of price quotes. You cannot predict which company will fit your personal profile best.
Smart Consumers Save More
An important part of buying insurance is that you know the factors that play a part in calculating the rates you pay for car insurance. When you know what positively or negatively impacts premium levels allows you to make educated decisions that could result in better car insurance rates.
Shown below are some of the factors companies use to determine premiums.
- Lower rates with optional equipment – Driving a car that has an advanced theft prevention system can help lower your rates. Anti-theft features such as tamper alarm systems, vehicle immobilizer technology and General Motors OnStar all hinder your vehicle from being stolen.
- Where you reside plays a part – Residing in small towns and rural areas has it’s advantages when insuring your vehicles. Urban drivers tend to have congested traffic and longer commutes to work. Less people living in that area translates into fewer accidents and a lower car theft rate.
- Liability coverage is peace of mind – The liability section of your policy is the protection if you are found liable for damages from an accident. It will provide legal defense up to the limits shown on your policy. Carrying liability coverage is mandatory and cheap compared to insuring for physical damage coverage, so do not skimp.
- More than one policy can earn a discount – Many car insurance companies provide better rates to customers who buy several policies from them. It’s known as a multi-policy discount. This can amount to ten or even up to twenty percent in some cases. Even if you’re getting this discount you may still want to shop around to verify if the discount is saving money.
- More claims means more premium – Companies in California award lower rates to insureds who do not file claims often. If you are a frequent claim filer, you can definitely plan on higher rates. Insurance coverage is designed for the bigger claims that can’t be paid out-of-pocket.
Don’t miss out on these money-saving discounts
Insuring your fleet can be pricey, but companies offer discounts that can drop the cost substantially. Certain discounts will be applied at the time you complete a quote, but a few must be inquired about prior to getting the savings.
- Drivers Education – Make teen driver coverage more affordable by requiring them to complete a driver education course in high school.
- Low Mileage Discounts – Keeping the miles down can earn better rates on cars that stay parked.
- Sign Early and Save – Some insurance companies reward drivers for switching policies prior to your current policy expiration. It can save you around 10%.
- Drive Safe and Save – Safe drivers can get discounts for up to 45% lower rates than less cautious drivers.
- Passive Restraint Discount – Cars that have air bags or automatic seat belts can receive discounts of up to 25% or more.
- Military Discounts – Having a family member in the military could mean lower rates.
- Discount for New Cars – Putting insurance coverage on a new car can save up to 30% because new vehicles have to meet stringent safety requirements.
- Seat Belt Usage – Buckling up and requiring all passengers to use a seat belt can save 10% or more on the medical payments or PIP coverage costs.
- Payment Method – By paying your policy upfront instead of monthly or quarterly installments you could save up to 5%.
- College Student – Kids in college who are attending college and do not have access to a covered vehicle can be insured at a reduced rate.
Consumers should know that many deductions do not apply the the whole policy. Some only apply to the cost of specific coverages such as liability and collision coverage. So despite the fact that it appears adding up those discounts means a free policy, companies wouldn’t make money that way. But all discounts will reduce the cost of coverage.
Do I need special coverages?
When choosing adequate coverage for your personal vehicles, there really is not a one size fits all plan. Everyone’s situation is a little different.
For example, these questions may help you determine if your insurance needs could use an agent’s help.
- Do I need motorclub coverage?
- Can I afford low physical damage deductibles?
- Will I lose any money if I cancel my policy before it expires?
- When should my teen driver be added to my policy?
- Will my rates increase for filing one claim?
- Does my car insurance cover rental cars?
- When should I not file a claim?
- Are split liability limits better than a combined single limit?
- What can I do if my company won’t pay a claim?
- Is my vehicle covered by my employer’s policy when using it for work?
If it’s difficult to answer those questions but you think they might apply to your situation then you might want to talk to a licensed agent. To find lower rates from a local agent, fill out this quick form.
Quote often and quote early
Cost effective car insurance can be bought from both online companies and also from your neighborhood San Jose agents, and you should be comparing both to get a complete price analysis. There are still a few companies who may not provide online price quotes and most of the time these small, regional companies sell through independent agents.
We just covered a lot of information how to save on car insurance. The key concept to understand is the more companies you get rates for, the better chance you’ll have of finding lower rates. Consumers could even find that the lowest premiums are with some of the smallest insurance companies.
Drivers who switch companies do it for many reasons like lack of trust in their agent, delays in paying claims, questionable increases in premium or even an unsatisfactory settlement offer. It doesn’t matter why you want to switch choosing a new company can be easy and end up saving you some money.
More information can be read on the California Department of Insurance website through this link. Consumers can report car insurance fraud, file complaints about a company, read industry bulletins, and find out industry alerts.