Smart Shoppers Guide to Finding the Best Insurance Agent in Berkeley, CA

When pricing auto insurance in Berkeley, CA, there are a lot of options and finding the best California insurance agency is more difficult than just making a phone call. You require an excellent agent, and also the lowest rates in Berkeley.

Online insurance companies like State Farm, Farmers Insurance, GEICO and Allstate all promote huge savings with fancy advertisements and it is challenging if not impossible to see past the corporate glitz and find the best price available.

There’s no such thing as the perfect policy

When it comes to choosing the right insurance coverage, there isn’t really a single plan that fits everyone. Everyone’s situation is a little different and a cookie cutter policy won’t apply. For instance, these questions could help you determine if your situation will benefit from professional help.

  • Am I covered when driving someone else’s vehicle?
  • Do I have coverage for damage caused while driving under the influence?
  • Should I drop comprehensive coverage on older vehicles?
  • When should I drop full coverage on my vehicle?
  • What discounts do I qualify for?
  • Is business equipment covered while in my vehicle?
  • Can my teen driver be rated on a liability-only vehicle?
  • Do I need PIP (personal injury protection) coverage in California?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you may need to chat with a licensed agent.

Shop online but buy locally

Licensed agents can answer important questions and help file insurance claims. One of the best bonuses of getting online price quotes is you can get better rates and still have an agent to talk to.

For easy comparison, once you complete this quick form, your coverage information is emailed to companies in Berkeley who will compete for your coverage. You won’t need to leave your house as quotes are delivered directly to your email. How cool is that?!

Choosing an insurance agent shouldn’t rely on just a low price. These are valid questions to ask:

  • How long has their agency been open in Berkeley?
  • Will you be dealing directly with the agent or with a Custom Service Representative (CSR)?
  • Is working in the agency their full-time job?
  • Are they properly licensed to sell insurance in California?
  • Will vehicle repairs be made with aftermarket parts or OEM replacement parts?
  • How are they compensated?

How to choose the best car insurance agent in Berkeley

When searching for an insurance agent, there are two different types of agents from which to choose. Berkeley agents are classified as either independent (non-captive) or captive. While both can do a good job, but it’s important to know the difference between them since it can impact your agent selection.

Captive Insurance Agents

Captive agencies work for only one company and examples are Allstate, Farmers Insurance, State Farm and AAA. They are unable to place coverage with different providers so they have no alternatives for high prices. Captive agents are trained well on their products and sales techniques and that can be a competitive advantage.

Below is a short list of captive agents in Berkeley who can help you get rate quotes.

State Farm Insurance – 2323 4th St – Berkeley, CA 94710 – (510) 549-2122
Allstate Insurance – 2717 San Pablo Ave – Berkeley, CA 94702 – (510) 649-3870
Farmers Insurance Group – 1600 Shattuck Ave # 216 – Berkeley, CA 94709 – (510) 843-5023

Independent Agencies or Brokers

These agents are not locked into one company so they have the ability to put coverage with many different companies and possibly get better coverage at lower prices. To move your coverage to a new company, they simply move the coverage in-house and that require little work on your part. When searching for an agent, you should always get quotes from multiple independent agents to get the best comparison.

Listed below is a list of independent agencies in Berkeley that can give you price quote information.

AAA Insurance – 1775 University Ave – Berkeley, CA 94703 – (510) 845-8890
Reidenbach Insurance – 3034 Hillegass Ave – Berkeley, CA 94705 – (510) 849-1483

To view a complete directory of insurance agents in Berkeley, visit this site.

Upon receiving answers to your satisfaction to any questions you have and a low price estimate, chances are good that you have found a car insurance agent that will properly service your auto insurance policy.

But what about online car insurance?

Licensed agents can be invaluable at times, but you can also buy California car insurance direct over the internet. Certain companies that are more known for using agents, also give you the ability to quote and buy online, so this should also be taken into consideration if the lowest rate is your goal.

If you’re apprehensive about choosing your own coverages when buying online, don’t sweat it. Insurance companies give you access to trained agents that you can contact for information.

Will you save money buying auto insurance online? It’s difficult to say for sure because there are many factors that determine your policy premium. It would make sense to think that shopping direct cuts out the agent as a middleman. For most online online companies, however, marketing expenses are significant and this tends to eat up any savings.

When trying to find the best rates, the only way to determine who has the best rates, online companies or local insurance agents, is to compare price quotes from both. Even though it sounds odd, people frequently get different pricing from the same company when comparing online quotes to a quote from an agent.

More detailed California auto insurance information is available at the California Department of Insurance website. Visitors are able to report car insurance fraud, file complaints about a company, view a list of available companies, and find out which companies have the most complaints.

Find Berkeley insurance agent

Also read more on this page for auto insurance in California and

Final thoughts

As you go through the steps to switch your coverage, it’s a bad idea to sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. There are many occasions where someone dropped liability limits or collision coverage only to discover later they didn’t have enough coverage. Your focus should be to find the BEST coverage at an affordable rate.

Insureds switch companies for many reasons like being labeled a high risk driver, unfair underwriting practices, poor customer service or even policy non-renewal. Whatever your reason, choosing a new company can be easy and end up saving you some money.