It’s a fact that auto insurance companies want to prevent you from shopping around. Consumers who shop around annually are likely to buy a new policy because the odds are good of finding a policy with more affordable rates. A survey found that drivers who regularly shopped around saved about $3,500 over four years compared to those who never shopped around.
If finding the best rates on insurance in San Francisco is your target objective, then knowing the best way to quote and compare insurance can help simplify the task of finding more affordable coverage.
The best way to get more affordable car insurance rates in San Francisco is to compare quotes annually from insurers in California.
- First, get an understanding of what coverages are included in your policy and the steps you can take to lower rates. Many policy risk factors that increase rates such as at-fault accidents, speeding tickets, and a low credit score can be improved by making minor driving habit or lifestyle changes.
- Second, quote rates from direct carriers, independent agents, and exclusive agents. Exclusive agents and direct companies can provide rates from one company like Progressive or Farmers Insurance, while independent agencies can provide price quotes from multiple companies.
- Third, compare the new rate quotes to your existing coverage to see if cheaper IS 200t coverage is available in San Francisco. If you find a better price, verify that coverage does not lapse between policies.
- Fourth, notify your agent or company to cancel your current policy. Submit a completed policy application and payment to your new insurance company. Immediately upon receiving it, safely store the certificate of insurance above your visor, in the console, or in the glove compartment.
The most important part of shopping around is to use the same deductibles and limits on every quote and and to get rates from every company you can. Doing this guarantees an apples-to-apples comparison and a complete selection of prices.
Pricing cheaper insurance in San Francisco is not as difficult as people think. Essentially anyone who wants cheaper insurance will probably find a lower-cost company. But California car owners must learn how companies compete online because rates are impacted by many factors.
Get cheap rates by getting these six discounts
Insurance can be prohibitively expensive, but you may find discounts that you may not even know about. Larger premium reductions will be automatically applied when you get a quote, but once in a while a discount must be specifically requested before you get the savings. If you don’t get every credit you deserve, you’re just leaving money on the table.
- Military Discounts – Having a deployed family member may lower your car insurance rates slightly.
- Auto/Life Discount – If the company offers life insurance, you could get a small discount if you purchase life insurance.
- Safe Driver Discount – Accident-free drivers may receive a discount up to 45% than their less cautious counterparts.
- Low Mileage Discounts – Driving fewer miles may enable drivers to earn slightly better car insurance rates than normal.
- Save over 55 – If you’re over the age of 55, you may qualify for better car insurance rates.
- Claim Free – Insureds who avoid accidents and claims are rewarded with significantly better rates on San Francisco car insurance quote in comparison to policyholders that have many claims.
As a disclaimer on discounts, most discount credits are not given to the entire policy premium. Most only apply to the price of certain insurance coverages like comp or med pay. So even though it sounds like having all the discounts means you get insurance for free, car insurance companies aren’t that generous.
A few companies that may offer quotes with many of the previously listed discounts include:
Before you buy a policy, ask each company to give you their best rates. Some discounts listed above may not apply in your state. To find companies that offer many of these discounts in California, click here.
Insurance coverage specifics
Understanding the coverages of your policy can help you determine the best coverages and proper limits and deductibles. The coverage terms in a policy can be impossible to understand and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording.
Liability insurance – Liability coverage will cover damages or injuries you inflict on a person or their property. Liability coverage has three limits: bodily injury for each person, bodily injury for the entire accident, and a limit for property damage. Your policy might show policy limits of 15/30/5 that means you have $15,000 bodily injury coverage, a per accident bodily injury limit of $30,000, and a total limit of $5,000 for damage to vehicles and property. Occasionally you may see a combined limit which provides one coverage limit with no separate limits for injury or property damage.
Liability can pay for claims like repair bills for other people’s vehicles, medical expenses, bail bonds, attorney fees and repair costs for stationary objects. How much coverage you buy is up to you, but it’s cheap coverage so purchase as large an amount as possible. California state law requires minimum liability limits of 15/30/5 but it’s recommended drivers buy better liability coverage.
The next chart shows why the minimum limit may not be high enough to adequately cover claims.
Collision coverage – Collision insurance pays to fix your vehicle from damage resulting from a collision with another car or object. You first must pay a deductible and then insurance will cover the remainder.
Collision insurance covers things like hitting a mailbox, crashing into a building and backing into a parked car. Collision is rather expensive coverage, so consider removing coverage from lower value vehicles. Another option is to choose a higher deductible on your IS 200t in order to get cheaper collision rates.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage – Your UM/UIM coverage gives you protection from other motorists when they are uninsured or don’t have enough coverage. Covered losses include hospital bills for your injuries as well as damage to your Lexus IS 200t.
Since many California drivers only purchase the least amount of liability that is required (which is 15/30/5), their liability coverage can quickly be exhausted. So UM/UIM coverage is a good idea. Usually these coverages do not exceed the liability coverage limits.
Medical payments coverage and PIP – Med pay and PIP coverage reimburse you for expenses like pain medications, surgery and funeral costs. They are often utilized in addition to your health insurance plan or if there is no health insurance coverage. They cover all vehicle occupants as well as getting struck while a pedestrian. PIP is not universally available but it provides additional coverages not offered by medical payments coverage
Comprehensive coverage – Comprehensive insurance pays for damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. You first have to pay a deductible then your comprehensive coverage will pay.
Comprehensive insurance covers claims like hitting a bird, fire damage and damage from getting keyed. The most a insurance company will pay at claim time is the actual cash value, so if your deductible is as high as the vehicle’s value it’s not worth carrying full coverage.
Don’t give up on affordable premiums
When shopping online for insurance, it’s not a good idea to reduce needed coverages to save money. There are too many instances where an insured dropped liability coverage limits to discover at claim time that it was a big error on their part. The goal is to find the BEST coverage for the lowest cost, but do not sacrifice coverage to save money.
Affordable Lexus IS 200t insurance in San Francisco is attainable on the web and also from your neighborhood San Francisco agents, so you should compare both so you have a total pricing picture. Some insurance companies do not offer online quoting and many times these regional carriers only sell through independent agencies.
Consumers leave their current company for many reasons like extreme rates for teen drivers, an unsatisfactory settlement offer, high rates after DUI convictions and lack of trust in their agent. It doesn’t matter why you want to switch finding a new insurance company is not as hard as you think.
For more information, feel free to browse the articles below:
- Reducing Your Risks in a Car Crash Video (iihs.org)
- Who Has the Cheapest San Francisco Auto Insurance Quotes for a Toyota Highlander? (FAQ)
- What Does No-Fault Insurance Cover? (Allstate)
- Teen Driving Statistics (GEICO)
- Property Damage Coverage (Liberty Mutual)