How to Find the Most Affordable Car Insurance in California

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Car insurance rates in California can vary from car insurance company to car insurance company. And that’s why it is so important to shop around for car insurance. You’re looking for the best deal and the cheapest deal available in California. Make sure you choose the insurance coverage that’s right for you and your family. Having too little coverage puts you and your family at risk if an accident occurs and you have no way to pay your share of the damages.

Let’s look at the different kinds of car insurance coverages in California, including minimum liability requirements and full coverage.

Minimum Coverage in California

Are you shopping for minimum car insurance coverage in California? Minimum coverage meets California’s minimum legal requirements for car insurance so it’s something you need to have. In California, state law requires drivers to have car insurance policies that have at least bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverages.

Here are the coverage amounts. For minimum bodily injury liability, coverage is $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident.

For property damage liability, the minimum requirement is $5,000 per accident. Auto liability coverage helps pay for the other person’s expenses if you are at fault for an accident. And while just carrying the minimum auto insurance coverage meets state law, you will want to consider additional coverage and protection if you can afford it, otherwise, you’ll pay for damages to your car with your own money. More insurance coverage will give you greater protection in times of accidents and other damages to your car.

Full Coverage Car Insurance in California

Looking for a more complete car insurance policy? Consider full coverage, which includes higher liability limits and collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage is coverage that helps to repair or replace your car if it’s damaged in an at-fault accident with another vehicle or object such as a tree or a fence. Comprehensive auto insurance covers events that are not covered by collision coverage. These events include fire, theft, vandalism and damages from weather such as a hailstorm, a windstorm, a hurricane or a tornado.

If there is a loan on your car, your auto lender may require you to carry collision coverage and comprehensive coverage for your vehicle.

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Why California Is Expensive for Car Insurance

California is an expensive state for car insurance. California’s average six-month premium of $934 is 21 percent higher than the US average. Why is auto insurance so expensive in California? Its population density and the claim-to-profit ratio for insurance companies are key factors. California cities with high population densities also have more vehicles. And drivers of these vehicles are more likely to have accidents and claims, which impacts insurance premiums. The claim payouts during California wildfires also lowers the profit-to-loss ratio for insurers. And insurers pass on these losses to consumers with higher insurance rates.

Ways to Save Money on Auto Insurance

Looking for ways to save money on auto insurance? Consider these tips.

Bundle your policies. Bundling your auto insurance with other insurance policies such as a homeowners policy will save you money on car insurance.

Have multiple car insurance accounts. If you can, insure more than one car with the same insurance company. Doing so will save you money on your premiums.

Keep a clean driving record. Being a perfect driver will help you save money on car insurance. So drive safely and avoid at-fault accidents, speeding tickets, moving violations and DUIs.

Pay once or twice a year. Rather than paying monthly auto insurance bills, pay the entire annual amount or six-month amount. Your premium will be lower when you pay just once or twice a year.

Have anti-theft and safety features. Having certain anti-theft and safety features on your car will lower your car insurance. So be sure to check with your insurance company about safety and anti-theft features.

Check your memberships. Members of certain professional organizations or affiliate groups get discounts on auto insurance. So check the memberships in your wallet and see if any will give you a discount on your auto insurance.

Insure less on older cars. The maximum payout for collision coverage and comprehensive coverage is limited by the value of the car. So if an older car has a low market value, it may not make financial sense to carry comprehensive and collision coverages any longer.

Choose high deductibles. If you are buying comprehensive and collision coverages for your car, you can save money by choosing high deductibles. A deductible is the amount you pay out of your own pocket when making a claim. Choosing high deductibles for both collision and comprehensive will lower the premium that you pay. With liability insurance, there is no deductible.

Low Credit, No Problem

One thing you won’t have to worry about when shopping for car insurance in California is your credit score. California is one of three states that does not allow insurance companies to consider a consumer’s credit when setting insurance rates. The other two states are Massachusetts and Hawaii.

Shop Around for Car Insurance in California

One of the best ways to save money on car insurance is to shop around. Don’t settle for the first quote you get. Check auto insurance rates from a variety of companies. SmartFinancial makes it easy to do. Just enter the type of insurance you are looking for and a zip code to get started. Answer a few quick questions and you’ll be comparing auto insurance rates in California in no time.

SmartFinancial has access to rates from more than 200 insurance companies. So you are bound to find the auto insurance coverage you want at the price you can afford.

So shop smart for auto insurance rates in California and keep rates low by being a safe and considerate driver. Being safe on the roads helps you to save money on your car insurance.

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