Shopping for lower-cost San Mateo car insurance can appear to be rather challenging for drivers who are beginners to quoting and comparing rates and buying car insurance on the internet. With so many insurance companies available, how can drivers have the ability to compare the different rates to find the lowest price available?
Finding affordable coverage in San Mateo is not rocket science. If you are insured now or are looking for a new policy, you can use this information to find the best rates while maximizing coverage. California drivers only need to know the best way to shop for car insurance online.
Effectively comparing car insurance prices can be challenging if you aren’t aware of the most efficient way to do it. You can spend your afternoon talking to insurance agencies in San Mateo, or you could save time and use the internet for quick rates.
Most major companies are enrolled in a marketplace where prospective buyers submit their information once, and at least one company then returns a price quote based on that information. This eliminates the need for repetitive form submissions for each company.
To submit your quote information now, click here (opens in new window).
The only downside to doing it this way is you can’t choose which providers to receive prices from. So if you want to select specific insurance companies to compare rates, we have a page of low cost car insurance companies in California. View list of California insurance companies.
It’s your choice how you get your quotes, but do your best to use the exact same information for every quote you compare. If you enter differing limits you will not be able to determine the best price in San Mateo.
Can switching companies really save?
Consumers in California constantly see and hear ads that claim the lowest premium rates from companies such as Progressive, Allstate and Geico. All the companies make an identical promise about saving some big amount after switching your coverage to them.
That’s great but how can every company sell you cheaper insurance coverage? It’s all in how they say it.
All the different companies are able to cherry pick for a prospective insured they prefer to insure. For instance, a profitable insured might be a married male, is a homeowner, and drives less than 10,000 miles a year. Someone who fits those characteristics is entitled to the best price as well as save quite a bit of money when switching.
Consumers who fall short of those criteria will probably be forced to pay higher premium rates and the prospect going elsewhere. Company advertisements say “customers that switch” but not “everyone who gets a quote” save the amount stated. That’s why insurance companies can make it sound like they have such great auto insurance rates. Different companies use different criteria so it is so important to quote coverage with many companies. Because you never know which company will give you the biggest savings.
Four factors that affect insurance costs
Lots of things are part of the calculation when pricing auto insurance. A few of the factors are predictable like your driving record, but others are not as apparent such as whether you are married or your vehicle rating.
The following are most of the major factors that factor into rates.
- Coverage deductibles are a factor – Comp and collision deductibles define how much you are required to spend out-of-pocket in the event of a claim. Coverage for physical damage, aka comp and collision, covers damage that occurs to your car. A few examples of covered claims could be colliding with a stationary object, damage from fire, or theft of your vehicle. The more of the claim you choose to pay out-of-pocket, the less money you will pay for car insurance.
- Poor credit can mean higher costs – Credit rating is a large factor in determining what you pay. People that have excellent credit tend to be more responsible and file fewer claims than drivers who have bad credit. If your credit history is not that good, you could be paying less to insure your vehicle by taking the time to improve your credit score.
- Do you work long hours in a tough vocation? – Jobs like military personnel, architects and accountants are shown to have higher average rates attributed to high stress and extremely grueling work hours. On the flip side, careers such as professors, historians and retirees pay the least.
- Type of car determines base prices – The type of car, truck or SUV you drive makes a huge difference in your premium level. Smaller low performance passenger cars generally have the cheapest insurance rates, but there are many factors that impact the final cost.
Do you qualify for discount car insurance?
Car insurance companies don’t always publicize every disount available very well, so the list below details both well-publicized and also the lesser-known credits that may apply to you.
- Fewer Miles Equal More Savings – Driving less may allow you to get lower car insurancerates due to less chance of an accident.
- Discount for Passive Restraints – Vehicles equipped with air bags or motorized seat belts may get savings up to 30%.
- Auto/Home Discount – If you insure your home and vehicles and insure them with the same company you may earn as much as 10 to 15 percent.
- Driver Education Discount – Reduce the cost of insurance for teen drivers by having them enroll in driver’s education if it’s offered in school.
- Data Collection Discounts – Drivers who elect to allow their car insurance company to look at their driving habits by using a telematic data system like In-Drive from State Farm and Progressive’s Snapshot might see lower rates as long as the data is positive.
- Multi-Vehicle Discounts – Buying coverage for multiple vehicles on a single policy could earn a price break for each car.
Discounts reduce rates, but you should keep in mind that most credits do not apply to all coverage premiums. Most only cut individual premiums such as liability and collision coverage. So when the math indicates all those discounts means the company will pay you, it’s just not the way it works. Any qualifying discounts will help reduce the amount you pay for coverage.
A list of companies and a partial list of their discounts are included below.
- AAA policyholders can earn discounts including good driver, pay-in-full, multi-policy, good student, anti-theft, and education and occupation.
- Progressive discounts include online quote discount, multi-policy, online signing, homeowner, and good student.
- State Farm may offer discounts for Steer Clear safe driver discount, anti-theft, good student, Drive Safe & Save, and student away at school.
- Esurance offers discounts for online quote, anti-theft, claim free, good student, paid-in-full, and DriveSense.
- Nationwide includes discounts for accident-free, defensive driving, good student, easy pay, Farm Bureau membership, and family plan.
If you want , ask all the companies the best way to save money. Some of the earlier mentioned discounts might not apply in every state. If you would like to choose from a list of insurers who offer discounts in California, follow this link.
Smart shoppers get results
We covered some good ideas how you can lower your car insurance prices. The key concept to understand is the more price quotes you have, the better your chances of lowering your rates. Consumers may even find the lowest prices come from an unexpected company.
As you , it’s not a good idea to buy lower coverage limits just to save a few bucks. In too many instances, someone dropped liability limits or collision coverage only to regret that it was a big mistake. Your aim should be to purchase a proper amount of coverage at the best price, not the least amount of coverage.
Consumers leave their current company for a number of reasons such as policy cancellation, being labeled a high risk driver, unfair underwriting practices or denial of a claim. It doesn’t matter why you want to switch finding a new car insurance company can be less work than you think.
Read more about California car insurance
Even more information can be found at the California Department of Insurance website. California consumers can report car insurance fraud, read industry bulletins, and learn about specific coverages.