|--- Be wary of unlicensed
insurers which offers rates that are sometimes 30 to 50 percent lower
than other insurers. California drivers are often victimized by
unlicensed companies which promise low rates but offer worthless policies not
covered by state guarantee funds.
Consider the companies complaint record. A company that does not pay it's claims is
one you should avoid. The department of insurance publishes a complaint study that
can help you find a service-oriented company.
|--- Consider higher
deductibles. By requesting a higher deductible on your collision and
comprehensive coverage, you may lower your costs substantially.
Drop collision and/or comprehensive coverage on older cars. It may not be cost
effective to have collision or comprehensive coverage's on cars worth less than $1000
because any claim you make would not substantially exceed annual cost and deductible
|--- Avoid "fringe"
coverage's. Many policies covering towing services or rental vehicle
reimbursement are of little value. They do not include physical damage coverage.
Comparison Shop. Prices for the same coverage may cost two or three times as much
with one company as another. You may obtain a free comparative survey of insurance
premiums charged by the 12 largest companies from the California Department of Insurance.
|--- Compare Finance Charges.
Out of the convenience of necessity, most Californians finance their insurance
premiums. Some companies provide "in-house" financing, other arrangements
involve banks or finance companies. Just as you compare premiums and coverage's, you
should compare credit costs. Using your credit card may save you interest charges.
Brokers Fees. Sometimes brokers' fees are charged in addition to the agents
commission. If you are charged both, ask why. Also, if you agree to pay a
brokers' fee, the amount of the fee should be clearly stated in writing. If the policy is
canceled for any reason the fee will not be refunded.
|--- Read Your Policy.
Don't wait until an accident to become familiar with it. If you don't understand
your policy, ask your agent and/or company for clarification.
Be a Good Driver. Under Proposition 103, good drivers (defined as no more than one
accident or moving violation in the past three years) are entitled to "good
driver" discounts of 20 percent. Every auto insurance company licensed in
California must provide coverage to good drivers.
|--- Safety Saves.
Automobile manufacturers have built safety features into many new cars. Air bags and
improved bumpers can enhance the safety performance of your car and help lower insurance
premiums. Complying with the state's seat belt law at all times can help reduce
injuries and loss of life.