Documents Needed To Avail Best Rates On California Car Insurance

Posted on: 15Jan,2016

No matter what company you deal with for your car, home, and/or life insurance, there is one common thread between all of them – the deluge of paperwork that is required. In fact, many individuals will tell you that dealing with the paperwork is more frustrating than trying to find the right insurance company for your needs. Unfortunately, insurance companies still rely heavily on this paperwork, even though so many companies in other industries have gone digital.

Ironically, it doesn’t stop there. Not only do you have to filter through, read, and sign a mountain of paperwork, your insurance company will most likely drown you in more documents once you sign up with them. Haven’t these companies heard about going green (i.e., paperless) like so many other businesses have done within the past decade? If you have grown discontent with your current insurer and are shopping around for a new provider, brace yourself. The onslaught of paperwork is about to begin.

A Word about California Financial Responsibility Law

If you are a licensed California driver, then you are probably aware of the state’s financial responsibility laws or minimum insurance requirements. You must carry this with you in your vehicle at all times and be able to present your evidence of financial responsibility, or proof of insurance as it is more commonly referred to. It must be shown whenever:

• You are asked to show proof of insurance by law enforcement
• You are renewing your vehicle registration
• Your vehicle is involved in an accident or traffic collision

Unless you are financing a new or used vehicle, you are only required to carry minimum liability insurance which is:

• $15,000 for the death of or injury to one person
• $30,000 for death of or injuries to more than one person
• $5,000 for property damages

Whenever you are operating a vehicle in the state of California, you must carry the minimum liability coverage discussed above.

The only exception is if you are financing a new or used vehicle in which case the lender will most likely require that you carry Collision and Comprehensive coverage as well. Additionally, you should be aware of the fact that 15 out of every 100 drivers are not insured and consider adding uninsured/underinsured coverage to your insurance policy. That is slightly higher than the national average of 1 in 7.

What Documents are Required?

Before you start shopping for California car insurance, you want to be sure that you have the following documents with you:

• Bank information (checking account/credit card account information) – most insurance companies are going to review your credit history. Statistics show that drivers who file the most claims are typically late when paying their bills. Additionally, if you are planning on setting up your premium payments as an EFT or electronic funds transfer, they will need a cancelled check.
• California driver’s license – this verifies that you can legally drive
• Social Security numbers of everyone to be covered on the policy
• Vehicle information – you will need to provide the insurance agent with your VIN or vehicle identification number. Some vehicles are safer to drive than others so your vehicle’s safety rating will come into play when figuring out the amount of your premium.
In addition to the above, the insurance agent will ask you certain questions and require additional information such as:

• General information including the name, date of birth, address, etc. of those individuals who will be driving the insured vehicle
• Information regarding prior incidents and moving violations
• Type of coverage you will need (you should know this before discussing matters with an insurance agent

What Documents will the Insurance Company give You?

In addition to the paperwork you have to wade through and return to the insurance company, they will send you the following:

• California car insurance policy
• declaration page containing all of your personal and other pertinent information
• monthly payment schedule (depending on the plan you choose)
• proof of insurance (evidence of financial responsibility)
• updated declarations page

Be sure when you are shopping for California car insurance that you inquire about any discounts that you may qualify for. This will help you to save money on your monthly premium as well when comparing several insurance companies for the best rates.