Car insurance costs in California are notoriously high, with the average full coverage policy running around $2,065 and the minimum coverage averaging $733 per year. However, there are ways to find affordable coverage that meets your needs. Here are some tips to help you get the best rates.
Shop Around Since coverage rates can be expensive, it is worth shopping around to find a company with the best rates that can provide you with the coverages you need. Below are some of the California companies that boast some of the lowest annual premium rates.
- Esurance: $1164
- Progressive: $1568
- California Capital: $1621
- Mercury: $1643
- 21st Century: $1665
- USAA: $1666
- Allstate: $1694
Consider Your Age and Marital Status A major factor that plays a role in the total cost that you will pay for your annual insurance premium is the age bracket you fall in. Younger drivers have less experience, which puts them at a higher risk of being involved in an accident. Because of this, those between the ages of 16 and 25 will pay the highest rates, though there is a significant drop when a driver turns 20. 50 and 60-year-olds will see the best rates with a slight increase when they turn 70.
Marital status also plays a role in the rates you will pay for your auto insurance. Married drivers actually pay an average of $77 less per year than their single counterparts.
Driving History Matters One of the most significant factors affecting your annual average car insurance rates is your driving history. Those with good driving records will see the lowest rates, while those with violations can see rates almost double with some offenses. For instance, having one speeding ticket on your record can lead to an increase of more than $600 to your insurance policy per year. Similarly, having a DUI on your record is one of the violations that can cause you to have the highest rates.
Consider Your Coverage Needs According to Bankrate.com, you are not required to carry any collision or comprehensive coverage in the state, but if your vehicle is financed, oftentimes, the lender will require it. All insurers are required to offer uninsured and underinsured bodily injury and uninsured motor property damage in the state. However, you have the right to decline these options if you choose.
In conclusion, there are many factors to consider when shopping for car insurance in California, but with careful consideration of your coverage needs, driving history, and demographic factors, you can find a policy that fits your budget. Remember to compare rates from multiple providers before making a decision.