If you're shopping for more affordable insurance, do you get frustrated by the crazy number of auto insurance providers in Orinda? Many other drivers are as well. California people have so many providers available that it is a challenge to compare rates on auto insurance. Orinda has many things to offer, but inflated auto insurance rates can make it nearly impossible for many drivers to make ends meet.
Statistics show that most auto insurance buyers kept buying from the same company for at least four years, and roughly 40% of drivers have never compared quotes from other companies. Many consumers in California could cut their rates by nearly $500 a year just by comparing rates, but they feel it's too difficult to shop their coverage around.
It's a good idea to shop coverage around occasionally because auto insurance prices go up and down regularly. If you had the lowest price on auto insurance a couple years back the chances are good that you can find a lower rate today. You can find a lot of information about auto insurance on the web, but you can learn the best ways to lower your auto insurance premiums.
If you have coverage now, you will most likely be able to buy cheaper insurance using the concepts you're about to learn. This information will help you learn how to effectively get price quotes and how to save the most money. But California consumers need to learn how big insurance companies sell insurance online and use this information to your advantage.
Score discounts to get cheaper Orinda car insurance quotes
Some insurance providers don't always list every disount available in an easy-to-find place, so the next list breaks down both the well known as well as the least known discounts that may be available.
- Early Renewal Discounts - Some insurance companies reward drivers for switching policies before your current expiration date. It's a savings of about 10%.
- Multiple Policy Discount - If you can bundle your homeowners and auto insurance with one company you could save up to 20% and get you cheaper Orinda auto insurance.
- Accident-Free Discounts - Drivers with accident-free driving histories have much lower rates as opposed to drivers with a long claim history.
- Anti-theft Discount - Cars, trucks, and SUVs equipped with tracking devices and advanced anti-theft systems help deter theft and will qualify for a discount on a Orinda auto insurance quote.
- One Accident Forgiven - Not really a discount, but companies like GEICO, State Farm, and Progressive may permit one accident before they charge you more for coverage if you are claim-free for a set time period.
- Smart Student Discounts - Performing well in school can earn a discount of 20% or more. Earning this discount can benefit you up to age 25.
- Driver's Ed - Cut your cost by having your teen driver successfully complete driver's ed class in school.
Don't be shocked that many deductions do not apply to the entire policy premium. Most only cut the cost of specific coverages such as liability and collision coverage. Just because you may think all the discounts add up to a free policy, you won't be that lucky.
The best car insurance companies and some of the premium reductions they offer are detailed below.
- GEICO policyholders can earn discounts including federal employee, good student, multi-vehicle, defensive driver, military active duty, and seat belt use.
- USAA has discounts for annual mileage, military installation, safe driver, defensive driver, loyalty savings, and family discount.
- Progressive offers discounts including good student, multi-policy, online quote discount, multi-vehicle, homeowner, and continuous coverage.
- American Family may include discounts for mySafetyValet, bundled insurance, early bird, defensive driver, Steer into Savings, and good driver.
- Esurance includes discounts for good driver, multi-car, renters, online quote, good student, paid-in-full, and homeowner.
- Farmers Insurance may offer discounts for multi-car, teen driver, early shopping, business and professional, switch companies, mature driver, and youthful driver.
- State Farm offers premium reductions for accident-free, good driver, anti-theft, good student, multiple autos, and student away at school.
Before you buy a policy, ask each company or agent which discounts you may be entitled to. Depending on the company, some discounts may not apply in Orinda.
The are a couple different ways to compare rate quotes from car insurance companies in your area. The best method to find affordable insurance rates is to use the internet to compare rates. When quoting car insurance, remember that making a lot of price comparisons will increase your chances of finding lower pricing.
The providers in the list below offer free quotes in California. If multiple companies are listed, we recommend you get prices from several of them to get a more complete price comparison.
|Make, Model, and Trim Level||Annual Policy Premium||6-month Policy Premium||Monthly Premium|
|Chevrolet Impala LS||$1,298||$649||$108|
|Chevrolet Malibu LS||$1,458||$729||$122|
|Chevrolet Silverado LT Extended Cab 4WD||$1,172||$586||$98|
|Dodge Ram Quad Cab Sport 4WD||$1,618||$809||$135|
|Ford Escape XLS 2WD||$1,094||$547||$91|
|Ford F-150 XL Regular Cab 2WD||$1,112||$556||$93|
|Ford Focus SE 4-Dr Sedan||$1,264||$632||$105|
|Ford Fusion SEL AWD 4-Dr Sedan||$1,550||$775||$129|
|Honda Accord LX-P 4-Dr Sedan||$1,102||$551||$92|
|Honda CR-V EX 2WD||$1,028||$514||$86|
|Honda Civic SI 4-Dr Sedan||$1,516||$758||$126|
|Hyundai Sonata GLS 4-Dr Sedan||$1,458||$729||$122|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 2WD||$1,226||$613||$102|
|Nissan Altima 2.5 S 2-Dr Coupe||$1,344||$672||$112|
|Nissan Rogue SL AWD||$1,332||$666||$111|
|Toyota Camry LE||$1,722||$861||$144|
|Toyota Corolla S||$1,302||$651||$109|
|Toyota Tacoma 2WD||$1,648||$824||$137|
|Get Your Own Custom Quote Go|
Data rating is based on married male driver age 30, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1000 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include claim-free, multi-vehicle, safe-driver, homeowner, and multi-policy. Prices do not factor in specific Orinda garaging location which can lower or raise coverage prices significantly.
Male drivers compared to female drivers in Orinda
The illustration below shows the comparison of premium costs for male and female drivers in Orinda. Data assumes a clean driving record, no claims, full physical damage coverage, $500 deductibles, marital status is single, and no discounts are factored in on a Hyundai Elantra SE.
Hyundai Elantra rates are for example purposes only. To get rate quotes for your specific vehicle, click here.
Should you raise deductibles?
When shopping for car insurance, a common question is how high should the deductibles for physical damage be. The figures shown below sum up how much more you'll pay when you select higher and lower physical damage coverage deductibles. The first rate table uses a $250 deductible for comp and collision and the second set of prices uses a $1,000 deductible.
Ford Focus rates are for example purposes only. To get rates for your specific vehicle, click here.
|Model||Comp||Collision||Liability||Medical||UM/UIM||Annual Premium||Monthly Premium|
|Focus S 4-Dr Sedan||$298||$576||$442||$26||$132||$1,499||$125|
|Focus SE 4-Dr Sedan||$298||$576||$442||$26||$132||$1,499||$125|
|Focus SEL 4-Dr Sedan||$298||$678||$442||$26||$132||$1,601||$133|
|Focus SES 4-Dr Sedan||$298||$678||$442||$26||$132||$1,601||$133|
|Focus SE 2-Dr Coupe||$342||$678||$500||$30||$150||$1,725||$144|
|Focus SES 2-Dr Coupe||$342||$678||$500||$30||$150||$1,725||$144|
|Get a Quote for Your Vehicle Go|
|Model||Comp||Collision||Liability||Medical||UM/UIM||Annual Premium||Monthly Premium|
|Focus S 4-Dr Sedan||$184||$362||$442||$26||$132||$1,146||$96|
|Focus SE 4-Dr Sedan||$184||$362||$442||$26||$132||$1,146||$96|
|Focus SEL 4-Dr Sedan||$184||$426||$442||$26||$132||$1,210||$101|
|Focus SES 4-Dr Sedan||$184||$426||$442||$26||$132||$1,210||$101|
|Focus SE 2-Dr Coupe||$210||$426||$500||$30||$150||$1,316||$110|
|Focus SES 2-Dr Coupe||$210||$426||$500||$30||$150||$1,316||$110|
|Get a Quote for Your Vehicle Go|
Data based on married male driver age 30, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include multi-vehicle, claim-free, homeowner, multi-policy, and safe-driver. Rate information does not factor in the specific area where the vehicle is garaged which can modify rates significantly.
Based on this data, using a $250 deductible will cost you approximately $32 more each month or $384 annually than quoting the higher $1,000 deductible. Since the policyholder would be required to pay $750 more if you file a claim with a $1,000 deductible as compared to a $250 deductible, if you go at least 23 months between claims, you would most likely save money if you choose a higher deductible.
How insurance companies determine car insurance rates
Consumers need to have an understanding of some of the factors that are used to determine your policy premiums. If you understand what controls the rates you pay, this allows you to make educated decisions that may reward you with much lower annual insurance costs.
- Filing insurance claims can increase rates - Insurance companies in California provide discounts to people who are not frequent claim filers. If you're an insured who likes to file claims you can definitely plan on either policy cancellation or increased premiums. Your car insurance is intended for claims that pose a financial burden.
- Driving citations cost more than a fine - Your driving citation history can have a huge impact on auto insurance premiums. Good drivers pay lower auto insurance prices compared to drivers with tickets. Having a single moving violation can increase the cost of insurance substantially. Drivers unfortunate enough to have careless violations such as reckless driving, hit and run or driving under the influence are required to file a proof of financial responsibility form (SR-22) to the state department of motor vehicles in order to prevent a license revocation.
- Costs impacted by vehicle usage - The more you drive your car every year the more you will pay for car insurance. Many insurance companies calculate prices based upon how you use the vehicle. Cars and trucks that have low annual miles can get a lower rate compared to those used for work or business. It's a good idea to make sure your vehicle rating is rated on the proper vehicle usage, because improper ratings can cost you money.
- Compare rates if you combine your policies - Many insurance companies apply a discount to buyers that buy multiple policies, otherwise known as a multi-policy discount. Discounts can be ten percent or more. Even with this discount applied, it's still a good idea to compare other rates to verify if the discount is saving money. Consumers may find a better deal by buying car insurance from a different company.
- Vehicles with better crash test results are cheaper to insure - Cars with high safety ratings tend to have lower insurance rates. These vehicles help reduce the chance of injuries in an accident and fewer injuries translates into savings for insurance companies and cheaper rates on your policy. If your car, truck, or SUV is rated at a minimum an "acceptable" rating on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website or four stars on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website you may be receiving a better rate.
- Car insurance policy lapses increase premiums - Driving your car without having proper coverage can get your license suspended and any future policy may cost more because you let your insurance coverage expire. And not only will your rates increase, being ticketed for driving with no insurance might get you fines and jail time.
- Vocation impacts premiums - Occupational choices like military generals, architects and accountants tend to pay higher rates than the rest of us because of stressful work requirements and extremely grueling work hours. On the other hand, occupations such as professors, students and retirees pay lower than average rates.
Exclusive or independent insurance agents
Many drivers still like to talk to a local agent and that is a personal choice. A good thing about comparing rates online is that you can find cheap rate quotes but still work with a licensed agent. Buying from and supporting neighborhood agents is especially important in Orinda.
To find an agent, once you fill out this form (opens in new window), your information is transmitted to insurance agents in Orinda who will return price quotes for your car insurance coverage. It simplifies rate comparisons since you won't have to search for an agent because prices are sent to you instantly. Get lower rates AND a local agent. If you have a need to get a comparison quote for a specific company, don't hesitate to jump over to their website and submit a quote form there.
Do you need an independent or exclusive car insurance agent?
When searching for a reliable insurance agency, it can be helpful to understand the different agency structures and how they can write your policy. Insurance agencies in Orinda can be classified as either exclusive or independent (non-exclusive).
Independent Agents (or Brokers)
Agents that elect to be independent are not employed by one company and that gives them the ability to insure with many different companies and find you the best rates. If they find a cheaper price, they simply switch companies in-house and you don't have to switch agencies.
When comparing rate quotes, it's a good idea to include price quotes from several independent insurance agents for the best price selection. Many independent agencies also insure through companies that do not advertise much which could offer lower prices.
Exclusive agents can only place business with one company and examples are Allstate, State Farm and Farmers Insurance. They usually cannot provide prices from multiple companies so it's a take it or leave it situation. Exclusive agents are highly trained on their company's products and that allows them to sell at a higher price point. Consumers sometimes use the same agent mostly because of high brand loyalty and the convenience of having a single billing for all their coverages.
Choosing an insurance agent shouldn't rely on just a cheap price quote. The questions below may impact your decision as well.
- How many companies do they write for?
- Is the agent properly licensed in California?
- How often do they review policy coverages?
- Does the quote include credit and driving reports?
- Do they specialize in personal lines auto insurance in Orinda?
- Does the agency have a positive business rating?
- Are all drivers listed on the coverage quote?
Protect your vehicle and other assets
Even though rates can get expensive, auto insurance is not optional due to several reasons.
- Almost all states have minimum mandated liability insurance limits which means you are required to buy a minimum amount of liability 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.
- If you bought your vehicle with a loan, it's guaranteed your bank will stipulate that you have full coverage to protect their interest in the vehicle. If coverage lapses or is cancelled, the lender will be forced to insure your vehicle at an extremely high rate and require you to pay for it.
- Auto insurance protects not only your vehicle but also your assets. It will also cover hospital and medical expenses for yourself as well as anyone injured by you. Liability coverage, the one required by state law, also covers all legal expenses up to the policy limit if you are sued as the result of an accident. If damage is caused by hail or an accident, comprehensive and collision coverage will pay to have it repaired.
The benefits of carrying enough insurance greatly outweigh the cost, particularly when you have a large claim. The average driver in California overpays as much as $830 a year so compare quotes from several companies at every renewal to be sure current rates are still competitive.
Affordable insurance rates are available
People who switch companies do it for any number of reasons including extreme rates for teen drivers, questionable increases in premium, delays in responding to claim requests and even high rates after DUI convictions. Whatever your reason, switching insurance companies can be easy and end up saving you some money.
When buying insurance coverage, make sure you don't buy less coverage just to save a little money. There have been many situations where consumers will sacrifice liability limits or collision coverage and learned later that the savings was not a smart move. Your focus should be to get the best coverage possible for the lowest price while not skimping on critical coverages.
In this article, we covered many tips how you can reduce insurance premium rates online in Orinda. It's most important to understand that the more times you quote, the more likely it is that you will get a better rate. You may even be surprised to find that the best price on insurance is with a smaller regional carrier.
For more information, feel free to browse the following helpful articles:
- Car Insurance: When not to Skimp (BankRate.com)
- How Much are Car Insurance Quotes for Inexperienced Drivers in California? (FAQ)
- Learn About Car Insurance (GEICO)
- Safe Vehicles for Teens (iihs.org)
- Winter Driving (Insurance Information Institute)