Feel like you have high-priced auto insurance? Don't sweat it because many San Jose consumers feel financially strained by their auto insurance policy.
A recent survey discovered that most consumers have stayed with the same insurance company for a minimum of four years, and practically 40% of auto insurance customers have never compared rates from other carriers. With the average premium in California being $1,400, drivers could save themselves almost 35% a year by just shopping around, but most tend to underestimate the rate savings if they switched to a more affordable policy. You have multiple insurance companies to purchase coverage from, and though it is a good thing to have multiple companies, lots of choices makes it harder to compare company pricing.
It's a good idea to price shop coverage quite often since insurance prices change frequently. Even if you think you had the best price on auto insurance two years ago there is a good chance you can find better rates now. Forget anything you know (or think you know) about auto insurance because it's time to teach you how to use the internet to properly buy coverages and cut your premium.
The quickest way to compare rates is to understand most insurance companies pay for the opportunity to give free rates quotes. To start a quote, the only thing you need to do is provide the companies a bit of rating information such as your occupation, how many miles driven, which vehicles you own, and how much coverage you want. That information gets sent immediately to insurance carriers in your area and they return rate quotes instantly.
To start a rate quote now, click here and see if a lower rate is available in San Jose.
The following companies have been selected to offer price quotes in San Jose, CA. If multiple providers are shown, it's highly recommended you get price quotes from several of them to get the cheapest price.
|Make, Model, and Trim Level||Annual Policy Premium||6-month Policy Premium||Monthly Premium|
|Chevrolet Equinox LT AWD||$1,396||$698||$116|
|Chevrolet Silverado LT Regular Cab||$2,002||$1,001||$167|
|Dodge Grand Caravan SE||$1,220||$610||$102|
|Dodge Ram Crew Cab Sport 4WD||$1,618||$809||$135|
|Ford Escape XLT 2WD||$1,452||$726||$121|
|Ford F-150 XL Crew Cab 4WD||$1,274||$637||$106|
|Ford Focus SE 2-Dr Coupe||$1,516||$758||$126|
|Honda Accord EX 2-Dr Coupe||$2,128||$1,064||$177|
|Honda CR-V EX-L 4WD||$1,524||$762||$127|
|Honda Civic GX 4-Dr Sedan||$1,648||$824||$137|
|Hyundai Elantra SE Touring Station Wagon||$1,252||$626||$104|
|Hyundai Sonata GLS 4-Dr Sedan||$1,598||$799||$133|
|Mazda 3 I SV 4-Dr Sedan||$1,166||$583||$97|
|Nissan Altima 3.5 SR 4-Dr Sedan||$1,490||$745||$124|
|Toyota Camry SE||$1,874||$937||$156|
|Toyota Corolla XRS||$1,422||$711||$119|
|Get Your Own Custom Quote Go|
Data rating is based on single female driver age 30, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $250 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include multi-policy, claim-free, homeowner, multi-vehicle, and safe-driver. Prices do not factor in specific location which can change rates significantly.
Auto insurance prices based on gender
The chart below visualizes the comparison of insurance prices for male and female drivers in San Jose. The rates are based on no tickets, no at-fault accidents, comp and collision included, $1,000 deductibles, marital status is single, and no other discounts are factored in on a Hyundai Elantra SE Touring.
Hyundai Elantra rates are for example purposes only. To get rate quotes for your specific vehicle, click here.
Does full coverage make sense?
The example below shows the difference between Chevrolet Silverado insurance premiums when comparing full coverage to liability only. The premiums assume no tickets, no at-fault accidents, $500 deductibles, married male driver, and no additional discounts are factored in.
Chevrolet Silverado rates are for example purposes only. To get rates for your specific vehicle, click here.
Are you wasting money on full coverage?
There is no exact rule for dropping comp and collision coverage, but there is a guideline you can consider. If the yearly cost of full coverage is more than 10% of any settlement you would receive from your insurance company, then it might be time to consider dropping full coverage.
For example, let's say your Chevrolet Silverado claim settlement value is $4,000 and you have $1,000 full coverage deductibles. If your vehicle is totaled, the most your company will settle for is $3,000 after the deductible is paid. If you are paying in excess of $300 a year to have full coverage, then you might want to think about dropping full coverage.
There are a few cases where eliminating full coverage is not financially feasible. If you haven't satisfied your loan, you have to carry full coverage as part of the loan conditions. Also, if your finances do not allow you to purchase a different vehicle if your current one is totaled, you should not remove full coverage.
Can higher deductibles save money?
The example below illustrates how choosing a deductible and can change Kia Optima insurance costs for different categories of driver ages. The costs are based on a single female driver, comprehensive and collision coverage, and no discounts are factored in.
Kia Optima rates are for example purposes only. To get rates for your specific vehicle, click here.
Three good reasons to insure your vehicle
Despite the high cost of buying insurance in San Jose, car insurance may be required for several reasons.
First, the majority of states have mandatory insurance requirements which means you are required to carry a specific minimum amount of liability insurance coverage if you don't want to risk a ticket. In California these limits are 15/30/5 which means you must have $15,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, $30,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and $5,000 of property damage coverage.
Second, if you have a lien on your car, most banks will stipulate that you have insurance to guarantee payment of the loan. If you cancel or allow the policy to lapse, the bank will be required to insure your vehicle for a much higher rate and require you to reimburse them the higher premium.
Third, insurance protects not only your vehicle but also your financial assets. It will also provide coverage for all forms of medical expenses for not only you but also any passengers injured in an accident. Liability coverage, the one required by state law, will also pay attorney fees if you are sued as the result of your driving. If you receive damage to your vehicle caused by a storm or accident, collision and comprehensive coverages will pay to repair the damage.
The benefits of having insurance are without a doubt worth the cost, especially with large liability claims. According to a survey of 1,000 drivers, the average driver is overpaying more than $869 every year so you should quote rates at least once a year to make sure the price is not too high.
Discounts mean cheaper rates
Properly insuring your vehicles can get expensive, but you may qualify for discounts that you may not even know about. Many discounts should be triggered at the time you complete a quote, but some need to be specially asked for before they will apply.
- Discounts for Responsible Drivers - Insureds who avoid accidents can pay as much as 50% less than drivers with accidents.
- Full Payment Discount - If you pay your entire premium ahead of time instead of making monthly payments you could save up to 5%.
- Switch and Save Discount - A few companies offer discounts for renewing your policy prior to the expiration date on your current policy. It can save you around 10%.
- Bundle and Save - When you combine your auto and homeowners insurance and place coverage with the same company you could save at least 10% off all policies.
- Telematics Discount - Drivers who elect to allow their company to study vehicle usage by using a telematic data system such as Drivewise from Allstate or Snapshot from Progressive could save a few bucks if they have good driving habits.
- Multiple Cars - Buying a policy with more than one vehicle with the same company can reduce the rates for all insured vehicles.
- Discount for Low Mileage - Driving less could qualify for lower premium rates on the low mileage vehicles.
- Driver's Education for Students - Have your child take driver's ed class in school or through a local driver safety program.
- Clubs and Organizations - Having an affiliation with specific professional or occupational memberships or organizations may earn a discount on your bill.
Discounts reduce rates, but you should keep in mind that most credits do not apply to the entire policy premium. Some only reduce the cost of specific coverages such as collision or personal injury protection. Even though it may seem like having all the discounts means you get insurance for free, nobody gets a free ride. But any discount will definitely lower the cost of your policy.
Popular insurance companies and some of the premium reductions they offer are included below.
- State Farm policyholders can earn discounts including safe vehicle, accident-free, defensive driving training, multiple autos, and good driver.
- GEICO discounts include good student, multi-policy, emergency military deployment, driver training, five-year accident-free, defensive driver, and air bags.
- SAFECO has savings for homeowner, accident prevention training, safe driver, anti-theft, teen safe driver, multi-car, and drive less.
- Farmers Insurance may offer discounts for mature driver, alternative fuel, electronic funds transfer, bundle discounts, switch companies, and early shopping.
- AAA has discounts for education and occupation, pay-in-full, AAA membership discount, good driver, multi-car, good student, and anti-theft.
- USAA offers premium reductions for annual mileage, military installation, good student, driver training, multi-vehicle, defensive driver, and safe driver.
When comparing rates, check with every prospective company to apply every possible discount. Depending on the company, some discounts may not be available in your state. To find insurance companies that have a full spectrum of discounts in California, click here.
Local San Jose auto insurance agents
A small number of people just prefer to get advice from a local agent and that is not a bad decision Agents are trained to spot inefficiencies and give you someone to call. One of the great benefits of comparing rates online is you may find cheap car insurance rates and still have an agent to talk to.
After filling out this short form, your information is transmitted to companies in San Jose who will give competitive quotes and help you find cheaper coverage. It's much easier because you don't need to contact an agency since rate quotes are delivered directly to your email. If you wish to quote rates from a specific insurance company, you just need to go to their quote page and fill out the quote form the provide.
Finding the right insurer should include more criteria than just a cheap quote. Agents should be asked these questions:
- Is the agency active in community causes in San Jose?
- Do they see any coverage gaps in your plan?
- Is every driver in your family covered?
- Is the agent properly licensed in California?
- Will the agent help in case of a claim?
- Do they write coverage based solely on cost?
- Which companies can they place coverage with?
- Do they receive special compensation for putting your coverage with one company over another?
If you are searching for an insurance agent, you should know the different types of agents to choose from. Car insurance agents can either be exclusive or independent (non-exclusive). Either one can sell car insurance policies, but it's worth mentioning why they differ since it could factor into the type of agent you choose.
Exclusive Insurance Agencies
Exclusive insurance agents generally can only insure with one company such as Allstate, Farmers Insurance, State Farm, and AAA. These agents are unable to provide prices from multiple companies so if the price isn't competitive there isn't much they can do. Exclusive agents are well trained on the products they sell and that enables them to sell even at higher rates.
Listed below are exclusive agencies in San Jose who can help you get price quotes.
Independent Agencies or Brokers
Agents in the independent channel are not restricted to one company and that gives them the ability to insure with lots of companies enabling the ability to shop coverage around. If you are not satisfied with one company, they simply move your policy to a different company and the insured can keep the same agent.
If you need lower rates, you should always get rate quotes from at a minimum one independent agency for maximum quote selection.
Below are San Jose independent insurance agencies willing to provide rate quotes.
Sergio Plascencia Insurance Agency
3136 Story Rd - San Jose, CA 95127 - (408) 254-8336 - View Map
Cya Insurance Agency From Sn
1271 Story Rd #50 - San Jose, CA 95122 - (408) 971-4172 - View Map
Upon receiving good feedback to any questions you may have and a low price estimate, you may have found an auto insurance agent that is reputable and can adequately provide car insurance.
Affordable auto insurance rates are possible
We just showed you many ideas to save on auto insurance in San Jose. The most important thing to understand is the more times you quote, the better your chances of lowering your rates. You may even discover the lowest priced auto insurance comes from a smaller regional carrier. Some small companies may often insure only within specific states and give getter rates than their larger competitors like State Farm or Progressive.
Some auto insurance companies may not offer the ability to get a quote online and most of the time these smaller providers only sell through independent agencies. Cheaper auto insurance in San Jose can be purchased on the web as well as from insurance agents, and you should be comparing both so you have a total pricing picture.
When trying to cut insurance costs, never skimp on coverage in order to save money. There are a lot of situations where drivers have reduced liability limits or collision coverage only to regret that the few dollars in savings costed them thousands. The ultimate goal is to purchase a proper amount of coverage at the lowest possible cost while not skimping on critical coverages.
Even more information can be read by following these links:
- Think You're a Safe Driver? (State Farm)
- New Honda safety features benefit drivers of all ages (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
- Tread Depth and Tire Safety (State Farm)
- What is a Telematics Device? (Allstate)
- Vehicle Insurance in the U.S. (Wikipedia)