Are you irritated from not being able to scrape enough together to pay insurance each month? Your situation is no different than most other drivers in California.
Unfortunately, most insurance customers have been with the same company for over three years, and roughly 40% of drivers have never even compared rates from other companies. Many consumers in California can cut their rates by nearly $470 a year by just comparing quotes, but they feel it's too difficult to compare other rate quotes.
Many insurers vie for your business, and because of this it can be hard to compare car insurance companies to find the absolute best rate on insurance.
Get cheap costs by understanding these factors
Part of the insurance buying process is learning some of the elements that are used to determine the price you pay for insurance. When you understand what impacts premium levels, this allows you to make good choices that may reward you with lower insurance prices. Lots of things are part of the equation when premium rates are determined. Some are obvious like your driving record, but other factors are more obscure such as your credit history or your financial responsibility.
Better prices with anti-theft devices - Choosing a vehicle with anti-theft technology or alarm system can help lower your rates. Theft prevention features like vehicle immobilizer systems, General Motors OnStar and LoJack tracking systems all hinder your car from being stolen.
Do you know your comp and collision deductibles? - The deductibles tell how much you are required to spend if the claim is covered. Insurance for physical damage, also known as collision and other-than-collision, covers damage that occurs to your car. Some examples of covered claims could be rearending another vehicle, vandalism, and having a roll-over accident. The higher the amount you have to pay, the lower your rates will be.
How old are your drivers? - Youthful drivers in California are known to be inattentive when driving with friends therefore insurance rates are much higher. Having to add a young driver to your insurance policy can really hurt. Older insureds tend to be more responsible, statistically cause fewer accidents, and are generally more financially stable.
Certain employers pay higher rates - Occupations such as real estate brokers, airline pilots, and accountants generally pay higher rates than average attributed to high stress levels and lots of time spent at work. On the flip side, occupations like actors, students and performers have lower than average premiums.
Are women or men drivers cheaper? - Over time, data shows that females take fewer risks when driving. However, this does not mean men are WORSE drivers than women. Women and men tend to get into auto accidents at a similar rate, but the men have costlier accidents. Not only that, but men also receive more major tickets like reckless driving and DUI.
To find cheap rates, there are a couple of ways of comparing rate quotes from many auto insurance companies in California. The simplest method to compare rates consists of shopping online.
Comparing rate quotes online is fast and free, and it makes it obsolete to call or drive to all the different Santa Monica insurance agencies. The ability to quote auto insurance online eliminates this option unless you have a need for the trained guidance only provided by licensed Santa Monica agents. It is possible to find lower rates online and have a local Santa Monica agent actually service the policy.
It's important to know that getting more free quotes helps locate a lower rate than you're paying now. Not every company does online price quotes, so it's necessary to compare price quotes from the smaller companies as well.
The providers in the list below have been selected to offer free quotes in California. If your goal is to find cheap auto insurance in California, it's highly recommended you visit two to three different companies to get a more complete price comparison.
|Make, Model, and Trim Level||Annual Policy Premium||6-month Policy Premium||Monthly Premium|
|Chevrolet Silverado Crew Cab Hybrid 4WD||$1,972||$986||$164|
|Dodge Ram Quad Cab Laramie 2WD||$1,358||$679||$113|
|Ford Edge SE 2WD||$1,248||$624||$104|
|Ford Escape XLT 4WD||$1,010||$505||$84|
|Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 4WD||$1,562||$781||$130|
|Ford F-150 Lariat Crew Cab Harley 4WD||$1,276||$638||$106|
|Ford Focus SES 2-Dr Coupe||$1,976||$988||$165|
|Honda Accord EX 4-Dr Sedan||$1,042||$521||$87|
|Honda CR-V LX 4WD||$1,228||$614||$102|
|Honda Civic LX 2-Dr Coupe||$1,612||$806||$134|
|Kia Optima LX||$1,588||$794||$132|
|Nissan Altima 3.5 SR 4-Dr Sedan||$1,710||$855||$143|
|Toyota Camry Hybrid||$1,306||$653||$109|
|Toyota Corolla XLE||$1,232||$616||$103|
|Toyota Tacoma Double Cab TRD Sport Package 4WD||$1,048||$524||$87|
|Get Your Own Custom Quote Go|
Price data assumes married female driver age 50, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $500 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include homeowner, multi-vehicle, safe-driver, claim-free, and multi-policy. Rates do not factor in vehicle location which can impact premium rates substantially.
Rate increases following a ticket or accident
The chart below illustrates how violations and at-fault accidents can influence Chevrolet Silverado insurance prices for different age groups. The premiums assume a married female driver, full coverage, $500 deductibles, and no discounts are applied.
Chevrolet Silverado rates are for example purposes only. To get rates for your specific vehicle, click here.
Should you buy full coverage?
The chart below illustrates the comparison of Chevrolet Silverado insurance premiums with and without physical damage coverage, medical payments, and uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage. The data assumes no driving violations, no at-fault accidents, $100 deductibles, married female 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.
Should you pay for full coverage or liability only?
There isn't a steadfast formula that works best for making the decision to drop physical damage coverage, but there is a general guideline. If the yearly cost of full coverage is more than around 10% of replacement cost minus your deductible, then you might want to think about dropping full coverage.
For example, let's assume your Chevrolet Silverado replacement value is $3,000 and you have $1,000 deductibles. If your vehicle is totaled, you would only receive $2,000 after paying your policy deductible. If it's costing you more than $200 annually for physical damage coverage, then you might want to think about dropping full coverage.
There are some conditions where removing full coverage is not a good idea. If you still have a loan on your vehicle, you have to keep full coverage to satisfy the loan requirements. Also, if you don't have enough money to buy a different vehicle if your current one is totaled, you should maintain full coverage.
Three good reasons to insure your vehicle
Even though it's not necessarily cheap to insure a vehicle in Santa Monica, buying insurance may be required and benefits you in several ways.
- Almost all states have minimum liability requirements which means you are required to buy a minimum amount of liability insurance in order to get the vehicle licensed. 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 your vehicle has a loan, it's most likely the lender will stipulate that you buy full coverage to ensure they get paid if you total the vehicle. If the policy lapses, the lender may have to buy a policy to insure your vehicle at a much higher premium rate and require you to reimburse them for the expensive policy.
- Insurance protects not only your vehicle but also your assets. It will also pay for hospital and medical expenses for both you and anyone you injure as the result of an accident. One policy coverage, liability insurance, also pays for attorney fees and expenses if someone files suit against you as the result of an accident. If mother nature or an accident damages your car, comprehensive (other-than-collision) and collision coverage will cover the damage repairs after a deductible is paid.
The benefits of buying enough insurance definitely exceed the price paid, specifically if you ever have a liability claim. Today the average American driver overpays more than $800 each year so you should quote rates at every renewal to ensure rates are inline.
Auto insurance policy discounts you can't miss
Companies offering auto insurance don't list every discount in a way that's easy to find, so the next list breaks down both well-publicized and also the more inconspicuous credits available to you.
- Multiple Cars - Drivers who insure multiple cars on one policy can get a discount for every vehicle.
- Air Bags and Passive Restraints - Vehicles equipped with air bags or automatic seat belts may get savings of 25 to 30%.
- Homeowners Savings - Just being a homeowner can save a few bucks because it requires personal responsibility.
- Multi-policy Discount - If you combine your home and auto policies with the same insurance company you may save at least 10% off all policies.
- Theft Deterrent - Vehicles that have factory alarm systems and tracking devices are stolen with less frequency and qualify for as much as a 10% discount.
- E-sign - Many auto insurance companies will provide an incentive shop Santa Monica car insurance over the internet.
- Telematics Devices - Insureds who allow their company to look at driving manner by using a telematics device in their vehicle such as Snapshot from Progressive or Drivewise from Allstate might get better premium rates if they show good driving skills.
- Seat Belt Usage - Drivers who require all occupants to fasten their seat belts could cut 10% or more off the medical payments premium.
- Driver Training Discounts - Taking time to complete a driver safety course could cut 5% off your bill if your company offers it.
- Driver's Education for Students - Teen drivers should enroll in driver's education as it will make them better drivers and lower rates.
As is typical with insurance, most credits do not apply to all coverage premiums. Some only apply to specific coverage prices like collision or personal injury protection. Even though it appears adding up those discounts means a free policy, you're out of luck.
A few of the larger companies and some of the discounts are detailed below.
- Farm Bureau may have discounts that include multi-policy, multi-vehicle, good student, driver training, safe driver, and youthful driver.
- State Farm may include discounts for passive restraint, accident-free, defensive driving training, good student, good driver, and safe vehicle.
- Progressive policyholders can earn discounts including good student, online signing, multi-vehicle, online quote discount, multi-policy, continuous coverage, and homeowner.
- Allstate has savings for eSmart discount, early signing, auto/life discount, senior citizen, and anti-theft.
- Nationwide offers premium reductions for multi-policy, accident-free, business or organization, anti-theft, and family plan.
- MetLife offers discounts for defensive driver, multi-policy, good driver, accident-free, and good student.
When comparing rates, check with every prospective company to give you their best rates. Some discounts might not be offered on policies everywhere. To see a list of companies who offer auto insurance discounts in California, click this link.
You can find cheap coverage
Budget-friendly car insurance in Santa Monica can be found on the web and from local insurance agents, so you should be comparing quotes from both in order to have the best chance of saving money. A few companies may not have the ability to get quotes online and many times these smaller companies only sell coverage through independent insurance agents.
When shopping online for car insurance, it's very important that you do not skimp on critical coverages to save a buck or two. Too many times, an insured cut liability limits or collision coverage only to discover later that saving that couple of dollars actually costed them tens of thousands. Your aim should be to purchase a proper amount of coverage at a price you can afford, but don't skip important coverages to save money.
Additional information can be found at the links below
- How to shop for a safer car (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
- How Much is Auto Insurance for Single Moms in California? (FAQ)
- How Much is California Car Insurance for a Chevrolet Silverado? (FAQ)
- What Auto Insurance is Cheapest for a Mazda CX-7 in California? (FAQ)
- What Auto Insurance is Cheapest for a Jeep Grand Cherokee in California? (FAQ)
- Who Has the Cheapest Car Insurance Rates for Good Students in California? (FAQ)
- What Auto Insurance is Cheapest for Young Drivers in California? (FAQ)
- Parking Tips to Reduce Door Dings (State Farm)
- What is a Telematics Device? (Allstate)