If you want to save money, the best way to find lower priced auto insurance rates in San Francisco is to make a habit of regularly comparing prices from insurance carriers in California. Rate comparisons can be done by following these steps.
- First, get an understanding of car insurance and the steps you can take to drop your rates. Many factors that result in higher prices like accidents, traffic tickets, and a less-than-favorable credit history can be rectified by making lifestyle changes or driving safer. Later in this article we will cover instructions to lower rates and get bigger discounts.
- Second, request rate estimates from direct, independent, and exclusive agents. Direct companies and exclusive agencies can provide rates from one company like GEICO and State Farm, while independent agencies can quote prices for a wide range of insurance providers.
- Third, compare the new rate quotes to your current policy premium and determine if there is any savings. If you can save some money, make sure coverage is continuous and does not lapse.
- Fourth, provide notification to your current company of your decision to cancel your existing policy and submit a down payment along with a completed application to the newly selected company. Once the application is submitted, safely store the proof of insurance certificate with your vehicle’s registration.
A good tip to remember is to try to compare identical coverages on every price quote and and to compare every company you can. This enables a level playing field and a thorough price selection.
Unbelievable but true according to a study nearly 70% of consumers have bought auto insurance from the same company for four years or more, and virtually 40% of consumers have never compared auto insurance rates at all. San Francisco drivers can cut their rates by $470 a year just by getting comparison quotes, but they think it’s difficult to shop their coverage around.
If you have insurance now, you stand a good chance to be able to lower your rates using these tips. Buying affordable car insurance in San Francisco is not rocket science. But California car owners must comprehend the way companies determine how much to charge because it varies considerably.
When quoting car insurance, remember that obtaining a wide range of quotes provides better odds of finding more affordable insurance.
The car insurance companies shown below provide free rate quotes in California. If more than one company is shown, it’s a good idea that you get prices from several of them in order to get a fair rate comparison.
Insurance quotes and discounts
Companies offering auto insurance don’t necessarily list every discount very clearly, so we break down both the well known and the harder-to-find credits available to bring down your rates.
- Accident Forgiveness – This one isn’t a discount, but certain companies permit an accident before raising your premiums if you have no claims before the accident.
- Online Discount – Certain insurance companies will give a small break simply for signing on your computer.
- Organization Discounts – Belonging to certain professional organizations could earn you a nice discount when getting a San Francisco auto insurance quote.
- Theft Deterrent Discount – Cars, trucks, and SUVs that have factory anti-theft systems are stolen less frequently so companies will give you a small discount.
- Pay Upfront and Save – If you pay your bill all at once rather than paying in monthly installments you can avoid monthly service charges.
- Life Insurance Discount – Larger companies have better prices if you take out some life insurance in addition to your auto policy.
Don’t be shocked that most discounts do not apply to the entire policy premium. Some only apply to the price of certain insurance coverages like comprehensive or collision. So even though you would think having all the discounts means you get insurance for free, companies wouldn’t make money that way.
The illustration below visualizes the comparison of Buick Lucerne annual premium costs with and without discounts applied. The price estimates are based on a female driver, a clean driving record, no at-fault accidents, California state minimum liability limits, comp and collision included, and $250 deductibles. The first bar for each age group shows premium with no discounts. The second shows the rates with multi-car, marriage, safe-driver, homeowner, multi-policy, and claim-free discounts applied.
A few of the larger companies and their possible discounts are outlined below.
- Progressive may have discounts that include continuous coverage, multi-policy, homeowner, good student, and online signing.
- MetLife policyholders can earn discounts including good student, defensive driver, good driver, accident-free, multi-policy, claim-free
- Mercury Insurance has discounts for ease of repair, annual mileage, accident-free, type of vehicle, multi-policy, professional/association, and good student.
- Nationwide offers discounts for multi-policy, business or organization, anti-theft, accident-free, and good student.
- GEICO offers premium reductions for multi-policy, anti-lock brakes, five-year accident-free, defensive driver, driver training, military active duty, and anti-theft.
- AAA includes discounts for good student, multi-car, pay-in-full, good driver, anti-theft, education and occupation, and AAA membership discount.
When getting free San Francisco auto insurance quotes, it’s a good idea to each company or agent which discounts can lower your rates. Discounts might not be offered on policies in San Francisco. To see a list of providers who offer cheap Buick Lucerne insurance quotes in California, click here.
Insurance coverage analysis
The rate information displayed next outlines detailed analysis of coverage prices for Buick Lucerne models. Knowing how auto insurance premiums are determined can be of help when making smart policy decisions.
|Model||Comp||Collision||Liability||Medical||UM/UIM||Annual Premium||Monthly Premium|
|Lucerne CXL Special Edition||$330||$774||$416||$24||$124||$1,668||$139|
|Get Your Own Custom Quote Go|
Prices above based on married female driver age 50, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $100 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include safe-driver, multi-policy, claim-free, multi-vehicle, and homeowner. Table data does not factor in the specific area where the vehicle is garaged which can decrease or increase price quotes noticeably.
Drive responsibly or pay higher rates
The example below illustrates how violations and at-fault collisions increase Buick Lucerne insurance rates for different age groups. The rate quotes are based on a single male driver, comprehensive and collision coverage, $250 deductibles, and no additional discounts are factored in.
Cost of full coverage in San Francisco
The chart below shows the difference between Buick Lucerne annual premium costs with full physical damage coverage compared to only buying liability only. The rates are based on no claims or driving violations, $500 deductibles, drivers are single, and no discounts are factored in.
When to stop buying comprehensive and collision coverage
There is no specific rule to delete full coverage on your policy, but there is a guideline you can consider. If the yearly cost of full coverage is more than around 10% of the vehicle’s replacement cost less your deductible, then it’s probably a good time to buy liability coverage only.
For example, let’s pretend your Buick Lucerne claim settlement value is $8,000 and you have $1,000 policy deductibles. If your vehicle is damaged in an accident, the most you would get paid by your company is $7,000 after paying your policy deductible. If you are paying over $700 a year for comprehensive and collision coverage, then it could be time to drop full coverage.
There are some situations where eliminating full coverage is not financially feasible. If you haven’t paid off your loan, you have to maintain full coverage as part of the loan conditions. Also, if your savings is not enough to buy a different vehicle in case of an accident, you should not buy liability only.
Six Things That Affect Your Insurance Prices
Multiple criteria are part of the calculation when quoting car insurance. Some of the criteria are obvious such as traffic violations, although others are less obvious like your continuous coverage and annual miles driven. An important part of buying insurance is that you know some of the things that are used to determine your premiums. If you know what positively or negatively impacts your premiums, this allows you to make educated decisions that can help you get much lower annual insurance costs.
Do you have enough liability insurance? – Liability insurance will provide protection when you are determined to be liable for causing damage or personal injury in an accident. This coverage provides for a legal defense to defend your case. This coverage is very inexpensive when compared with rates for comp and collision, so insureds should have plenty of protection for their assets.
Prevent theft and reduce auto insurance rates – Choosing a vehicle that has an advanced theft prevention system can help bring down rates. Theft prevention features like vehicle immobilizer systems, General Motors OnStar and LoJack tracking systems can thwart car theft and help bring rates down.
A good credit history can save money – Having a bad credit history is a big factor in determining your rates. Insureds that have very good credit scores tend to file fewer claims and have better driving records than those with worse credit. If your credit rating leaves room for improvement, you could pay less to insure your Buick Lucerne by improving your credit score.
Insure your auto and home with one company – Lots of insurers give a discount to customers that buy multiple policies, otherwise known as a multi-policy discount. Discounts can amount to five, ten or even twenty percent. Even though this discount sounds good, you may still want to comparison shop to ensure the best deal. You may still be able to save money by buying from different companies
Cheaper rates for being claim-free – Auto insurance companies in California award lower rates to people who are not frequent claim filers. If you file claims often, you can expect either a policy non-renewal or much higher rates. Your insurance policy is designed for claims that pose a financial burden.
Physical damage deductibles are a factor – Comprehensive and collision coverage deductibles define how much you are willing to pay out-of-pocket if the claim is covered. Insurance for physical damage to your car, also called comprehensive and collision insurance, insures against damage to your car. Some coverage claims are colliding with a stationary object, collision with a deer, and damage from wind. The more the insured is willing to pay, the bigger discount you will receive.
Local San Francisco insurance agencies
A lot of people still like to talk to a local agent and that is OK! A good thing about price shopping on the web is that you can find cheap rate quotes and still choose a local agent. Putting coverage with local insurance agencies is still important in San Francisco.
To make it easy to find an agent, after completing this form (opens in new window), the quote information is immediately sent to local insurance agents in San Francisco who will give competitive quotes and help you find cheaper coverage. It’s much easier because you don’t need to contact an agency as quotes are delivered directly to you. You’ll get the best rates AND a local agent. If you wish to compare prices from one company in particular, don’t hesitate to visit that company’s website and give them your coverage information.
Choose the right car insurance agent
If you want an insurance agent, you should know the types of agencies and how they differ in how they quote coverages. Agents in San Francisco may be either independent agents or exclusive agents depending on their employer.
Independent Auto Insurance Agents
These agents are not limited to a single company and that enables them to quote your coverage with an assortment of companies and find you cheaper rates. If they quote lower rates, the agent simply finds a different carrier which requires no work on your part. If you are comparing rate quotes, you should always include rate quotes from several independent insurance agents for maximum quote selection.
Listed below is a partial list of independent agents in San Francisco that may be able to give you free rate quotes.
CAL Insurance and Associates
2311 Taraval St – San Francisco, CA 94116 – (415) 661-6500 – View Map
Exclusive agents can only write with one company and examples are State Farm or Allstate. These agents are unable to shop your coverage around so they really need to provide good service. These agents receive a lot of sales training on their company’s products which helps them sell insurance even at higher premiums.
Listed below are San Francisco exclusive insurance agents that are able to give price quotes.
Picking the best car insurance agent requires more thought than just a cheap price. You should also get answers to these questions.
- What companies can they write with?
- Does their agency support local causes in San Francisco?
- Does the agency have a positive business rating?
- How many years have they been established?
- Is there a Errors and Omissions policy in force?
- Do they have cheaper tiers of coverage?
- Will the quote change when the policy is issued?
- Are they able to influence company decisions when a claim is filed?
Upon receiving good feedback to any questions you have and an affordable coverage quote, you may have just found an insurance agent that is reputable and can adequately provide auto insurance. But keep in mind you are entitled to cancel your coverage whenever you choose to so never assume you’re contractually obligated to a policy for the full term.
When in doubt talk to an agent
Always keep in mind that when comparing your policy, there really isn’t a one size fits all plan. You are unique so this has to be addressed.
For instance, these questions can help discover if you will benefit from professional help.
- Are split liability limits better than a combined single limit?
- How much liability coverage do I need in California?
- Can I get a multi-policy discount for packaging my home and auto coverage?
- Are my custom wheels covered?
- Do I have coverage for damage caused while driving under the influence?
- Should I drop comprehensive coverage on older vehicles?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions but one or more may apply to you, then you may want to think about talking to a licensed insurance agent. If you want to speak to an agent in your area, complete this form or you can go here for a list of companies in your area.
Keep this in mind when shopping around
We covered many ways to lower your Buick Lucerne insurance prices in San Francisco. The key thing to remember is the more quotes you get, the better your comparison will be. You may even discover the most savings is with an unexpected company. They may often insure only within specific states and give better rates compared to the large companies like State Farm, GEICO and Nationwide.
As you restructure your insurance plan, it’s not a good idea to skimp on critical coverages to save a buck or two. There have been many situations where an insured cut liability coverage limits and discovered at claim time that the few dollars in savings costed them thousands. The ultimate goal is to buy a smart amount of coverage for the lowest price, not the least amount of coverage.
A few companies don’t offer rate quotes online and usually these small insurance companies only sell coverage through independent agencies. Budget-friendly insurance in San Francisco is attainable from both online companies and also from your neighborhood San Francisco agents, and you should compare price quotes from both to have the best selection.
Additional information can be read on the following sites:
- Should I Purchase an Umbrella Liability Policy? (Insurance Information Institute)
- Who Has Cheap Car Insurance Quotes for a Jeep Wrangler in San Francisco? (FAQ)
- Who Has Cheap Auto Insurance for a GMC Sierra in San Francisco? (FAQ)
- How Much are Car Insurance Quotes for Seniors in San Francisco? (FAQ)
- How to Avoid Buying a Flooded Car (Insurance Information Institute)
- Rollover Crash FAQ (iihs.org)
- Teen Driver Statistics (Insurance Information Institute)