When shopping for California auto insurance, there are some qualities to look for in carriers to ensure you get the best possible policy. Shopping around and comparing prices, policies, and offers will help you find reliable auto insurance that meets your needs.
Reasons to Shop Around
California auto insurance premium laws allow companies to calculate their own rates based on past loss experience and expenses. Within the state, rates can vary tremendously. Claims handling methods and customer service will also vary from one company to the next. By comparing several California car insurance companies, you will be able to determine which rate and type of coverage will work for you.
How to Compare
When comparing California auto insurance providers, be sure to obtain a list of various types of coverage offered by each company. Also, obtain a copy of your driving record before shopping so you can receive adequate quotes from several companies. Compare the types of coverage along with the coverage dollar amount and policy payout limits. The types of coverage to consider are liability for personal injury, property liability, collision, comprehensive, uninsured and underinsured motorist, medical, towing, and full glass. These cover different types of claims, and can greatly affect the premium of your policy.
When buying auto insurance, California insurance companies will take your driving record into consideration when offering a quote. So, the better your record, then the better your premium quotes will be. If you’ve had several speeding tickets or a major accident or two that were your fault, your insurance premiums will be much higher than someone with a clear driving record. That’s why you can’t rely on quotes offered to other drivers for your own comparison. Obtain your own quotes based on your record for the best comparison.
Compare California Auto Insurance Agents
An agency is only as good as its agents, especially when it comes to car insurance. Be sure the agent is licensed with the California Department of Insurance (CDI). You can ask friends, neighbors, co-workers, or relatives which insurance agent they use and if they’re pleased with the service provided. Ask friends if they’ve recently had to make a claim and how well it was handled. Ask if the agent is prompt in responding when there’s a question or a need to change a policy. Also ask if the agent takes time to explain things in the policy to make it easy to understand. Read all documentation concerning broker fees before signing an agreement. The broker is required to give you a special broker fee disclosure.
Compare insurance discounts to see if you qualify. Also, consider a higher deductible to lower your overall premium. Consider the company’s policy on other drivers for your vehicle, policies on driving out of the country to Canada or Mexico, payment options and terms of the policy, and extra fees such as membership fees or policy issuance fees.
Keep these in mind before securing your California auto insurance. Compare coverage and pricing, and read the policy carefully before signing. Do one last check with the Better Business Bureau to be sure the company doesn’t have excessive complaints. And lastly, use online resources to compare various California auto insurance companies from the comfort of your home. You won’t regret it!