How to Buy Auto Insurance
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Know what coverage, limits of liability and deductibles you want.  Remember, price is not the only factor.

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--- 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 amounts.
--- 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.


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