How to get Best Rates on California Car Insurance Quote?
Posted on: 15Jan,2016
The internet has made it much easier for individuals to shop for consumer products and services than ever before. A prime example of this is getting a California car insurance quote when you are shopping around for a cheaper premium rate. Unfortunately, when couples and individuals are victims of an economic downswing as many were in 2008-09, the temptation to skimp on car insurance is hard to resist. Consequently, this causes unnecessary worry about getting involved in an accident.
Whenever individuals encounter a financial hardship such losing their job or having to take a cut in pay, affordable car insurance becomes more than a monetary benefit – it becomes a necessity. Despite the fact that there are dozens of insurance companies that offer cheap premiums, cheaper does not always equate to better. According to the many consumer watchdogs out there, as well as numerous insurance experts, purchasing the cheapest car insurance is not always a smart decision.
So how do you get the best rates possible on a California car insurance quote? You need to determine the type of coverage you need, research the reputability of the companies you are comparing, and qualify for every discount that you can. However, there is more to the equation than that. Here is a basic guide to getting the best California car insurance quote:
Start with your vehicle – determine the amount of Collision and Comprehensive coverage you want based on the make, model, and year of your vehicle(s). The general rule of thumb is that your premium will be higher if you own a newer, more expensive vehicle. Collision and Comprehensive coverage rates are fairly constant throughout the industry, so if you don’t want to pay more, then purchase a less expensive new or used vehicle.
Know the state’s legal minimums – in California, the financial responsibility laws require that you carry the legal minimum on liability coverage provided you are not financing a new or used vehicle. If that is the case, the finance company will most likely require that you have Collision and Comprehensive coverage.
If you can afford your share of the costs, take the highest deductible coverage – this is still the easiest way to lower the cost of your premium when getting a California car insurance quote. Raising your deductible from $250 to $1,000 (the maximum with most insurance companies) will cost you less initially. However, you will be responsible for more of the repair costs if you do this.
Get your credit score and research your credit report – your credit score can affect your premium rate so it is a good idea to get yours from one of the three major credit reporting agencies (i.e., Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion). A poor credit score will result in a higher premium. Monitor your credit report closely for any errors and get them corrected. Also, pay your bills on time. Otherwise, you are going to pay higher auto insurance rates.
Narrow down your choices – you should research at least 5 or 6 insurance companies in order to do a thorough comparison. Eliminate half of them and then research the ones remaining again. You should also talk with each company’s agent in the process to ensure that the quote you got was as accurate as possible.
Find out what discounts are available – there are a number of discounts that you may be able to qualify for, so don’t forget to inquire about them with each company that you interview. You can oftentimes get discounts for being a good student, combining different insurance policies into one (e.g. auto, home, and life), insuring multiple cars under a single policy, and taking a defensive driving class – just to name a few.
Low-cost insurance programs – the state of California offers low-cost (and in some cases) no-cost insurance programs to those individuals who can qualify for them. These programs benefit low-income households (households that are below or close to poverty level). These policies typically cost less than $400 annually. These programs are now available online.
When shopping for the best California car insurance quote, keep in mind that life is by no means static (unchanging) and that your insurance premiums won’t be either. Be sure you review your policy prior to renewal time in case a change in companies becomes necessary.