Easy Tips to Pay Less on San Francisco Car Insurance

If you’ve never shopped for car insurance online, you may be confused by the hoards of online car insurance companies and websites offering insurance in San Francisco.

Consumers need to compare prices on a regular basis since rates go up and down regularly. If you had the best deal two years ago a different company probably has better rates today. You can find a lot of misleading information regarding car insurance on the internet, so by reading this article, you’re going to learn the best ways to save money.

More discounts equal less premium

Companies offering auto insurance don’t always list every discount very well, so we researched some of the more common and the harder-to-find ways to save on car insurance. If you don’t get every credit you deserve, you’re paying more than you need to.

  • Driver Safety – Completing a defensive driving course can save you 5% or more and easily recoup the cost of the course.
  • Drive Less and Save – Driving fewer miles could qualify for discounted rates on garaged vehicles.
  • Driver’s Ed – Have your child take driver’s ed class if it’s offered in school.
  • Payment Method – If paying your policy premium upfront instead of making monthly payments you can actually save on your bill.
  • Service Members Pay Less – Being deployed with a military unit can result in better rates.
  • Good Students Pay Less – This discount can get you a discount of up to 25%. The discount lasts up until you turn 25.
  • Anti-theft System – Anti-theft and alarm systems are stolen less frequently and therefore earn up to a 10% discount.
  • No Claims – Drivers who don’t have accidents can earn big discounts when compared with accident-prone drivers.
  • Multiple Policy Discount – If you have multiple policies with one company you may save 10% to 20% off each policy.

A little note about advertised discounts, most discount credits are not given the the whole policy. Some only apply to the cost of specific coverages such as medical payments or collision. So when it seems like you would end up receiving a 100% discount, companies wouldn’t make money that way.

For a list of companies offering car insurance discounts in California, click this link.

Compare the Market for Car Insurance in San Francisco

There are multiple methods you can shop for car insurance but there is one way that is easier and takes less work. You could waste time talking to insurance agencies in San Francisco, or you could save time and use online quotes to get rates in a matter of minutes.

Most car insurance companies belong to a marketplace that allows shoppers to send in one quote, and each company provides a quote based on the submitted data. This eliminates the need for quote requests for each company. To enter your information into the quoting system, click to open in new window.

The single downside to using this type of system is you cannot specify which carriers to receive prices from. So if you want to choose individual companies to receive pricing from, we have a listing of the cheapest car insurance companies in California. Click to view list.

Which method you use is up to you, but compare the exact same information on every quote you get. If you enter differing limits it’s impossible to determine the best price in San Francisco.

What determines how much you pay?

Smart consumers have a good feel for the rating factors that go into determining car insurance rates. Understanding what determines base rates enables informed choices that will entitle you to better car insurance rates.San Francisco insurance quotes

Listed below are a few of the “ingredients” car insurance companies consider when setting prices.

  • Extra coverages can waste money – There are quite a few extra bells and whistles you can purchase if you aren’t careful. Things like roadside assistance, better glass coverage and additional equipment coverage are examples of these. They may seem like a good idea when talking to your agent, but now you might not need them so remove them from your policy.
  • Do you know you’re credit rating? – Credit score is a big factor in calculating your car insurance rates. Therefore, if your credit rating is lower than you’d like, you could potentially save money when insuring your by repairing your credit. Drivers who have good credit tend to be better drivers and file fewer claims than drivers with poor credit.
  • Don’t cancel a policy without a new one in place – Not having insurance is a misdemeanor and you will pay a penalty because you let your insurance lapse. Not only will rates go up, but not being able to provide proof of insurance can result in a hefty fine and possibly a revoked license.You may then be required to provide proof of insurance in the form of an SR-22 filing with the California motor vehicle department.
  • Safer occupants lowers premiums – Vehicles with high crash test scores tend to have better insurance rates. Safe vehicles have better occupant injury protection and better occupant protection means less money paid by your insurance company passed on to you as lower rates.
  • Where you live can impact rates – Choosing to live in a rural area can save you money when buying car insurance. Fewer drivers means fewer accidents. Drivers in populated California areas tend to have traffic congestion and longer commute times. Longer commute distances means higher likelihood of an accident.
  • Is your vehicle built for speed? – The performance of the vehicle you drive makes a significant difference in determining your rates. Low performance passenger vehicles generally receive the lowest base rates, but other factors influence the final cost greatly.

Your personal situation dictates your coverage

When it comes to buying adequate coverage, there really is no “perfect” insurance plan. Each situation is unique.

For instance, these questions could help you determine if your situation could use an agent’s help.

  • Do I qualify for additional discounts?
  • What should my uninsured motorist coverage limits be in California?
  • Is my vehicle covered for flood damage?
  • Does my insurance cover my expensive audio equipment?
  • Should I buy additional glass protection?
  • Am I covered by my spouse’s policy after a separation?

If you’re not sure about those questions but you know they apply to you then you might want to talk to a licensed agent. If you don’t have a local agent, take a second and complete this form. It is quick, free and you can get the answers you need.

Are insurance agents a thing of the past?

A small number of people just want to visit with an insurance agent and that is OK! Good agents are trained to spot inefficiencies and give you peace of mind. One of the best bonuses of comparing insurance prices online is you can get better rates but also keep your business local.

For easy comparison, once you complete this simple form, your insurance coverage information is submitted to agents in your area who will compete for your business. There is no reason to even leave your home since price quotes are sent straight to your inbox. How’s that for easy!

Deciding on an insurance company should depend on more than just the premium amount. Ask your prospective agent these questions:

  • Is the agent and/or agency licensed to do business in California?
  • Are they full-time agents?
  • How are they compensated?
  • Is vehicle mileage a factor when determining depreciation for repairs?
  • Are you getting all the discounts the company offers?

Listed below are agents in San Francisco that can give you rate quotes.

  • State Farm Insurance – 1601 N Point St, San Francisco, CA 94123 – (415) 923-0192
  • Allstate Insurance – 2075 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94109 – (415) 292-5445
  • Sam Levin Agency – 3216 Geary Blvd # B, San Francisco, CA 94118 – (415) 387-7727
  • O’Kane & Tegay Insurance – 2121 19th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94116 – (415) 242-8777
  • Farmers Insurance Group – 2323 Noriega St # 206, San Francisco, CA 94122 – (415) 731-7888
  • Bay Health Insurance – 185 Berry St # 5509, San Francisco, CA 94107 – (415) 777-2907

For a complete listing of licensed insurance agents in San Francisco, visit this site.

California car insurance prices

Upon receiving positive feedback to all your questions and an affordable coverage quote, you’ve probably found an insurance company that can provide car insurance coverage.

The best insurance company isn’t always the cheapest

Cheaper car insurance is available from both online companies as well as from independent agents in San Francisco, and you should compare price quotes from both in order to have the best price selection to choose from. Some insurance providers don’t offer online price quotes and these smaller companies work with independent agents.

In this article, we presented a lot of tips how to reduce car insurance prices online. The most important thing to understand is the more rate comparisons you have, the higher your chance of finding lower rates. Consumers may even find the best price on car insurance is with a small local company.

When you buy insurance online, it’s very important that you do not buy less coverage just to save a little money. There are a lot of situations where an insured dropped collision coverage only to discover later that a couple dollars of savings turned into a financial nightmare. Your focus should be to buy the best coverage you can find at the best price while not skimping on critical coverages.

Additional detailed information can be found at the California Department of Insurance website. California drivers can find out industry alerts, file complaints about a company, and download brochures.