Living in a top ten most expensive auto insurance state, such as California can drive you to search out cheap insurance. However, finding cheap insurance in San Diego, California can be frustrating, simply because the quotes you receive may not measure up to the averages you hear about. Remember that with all the statistics provided in this article, they are simple starting points on a sliding comparison that is constantly changing. In the end, it will be better for you to get a minimum of 10 comparison quotes from national, regional and local insurers to ensure you are getting the best rate for your personal situation.
Defining Your Insurance Goals
As a driver you will need to understand the costs and consequences of your auto insurance choices. One of the first things as a driver to look at in regards to insurance needs is the regulations within your own home state.
California is considered an “at fault” state, traditional or tort insurance law system. These terms are fairly interchangeable and refer to what happens when you cause an accident with your vehicle or if you are a victim in an accident. Within an at fault system if you cause an accident, then you are typically financially responsible for the victim’s financial expenses related to the accident. This could include medical costs and property damage and in serious cases even lost income due to a permanent disfigurement or impairment.
This is why California also has a mandatory requirement for drivers to carry insurance, even though almost 15% of Californians do not have auto insurance. This requirement includes mandatory minimums that typically state a 15/30/5 requirement. This means that you must have $15,000 in liability insurance for injury of a single person, $30,000 coverage for a multiple person injury claim and $5,000 to cover property damage. These minimum requirements would almost never cover the costs of even a mild injury lawsuit, from which you were found at fault.
If you are found at fault, you will pay the victims according to an award by the court. California is a “pure comparative fault” state, whereby anyone assigned blamed, even 1% can recover 1% of their expenses. In other words, if you are 99% at fault, you could recover 1% of your expenses through this comparative fault system.
In such a system, it is important to understand how to protect yourself by getting adequate insurance to cover for disastrous events and doing so as cheaply as possible.
Refining Your Insurance Quotes
In this case, you should have a coverage, as suggested by most experts of 100/300/50, equalling $100,000, $300,000 and $50,000 respectively. As the pure comparative fault system encourages multi-party civil suits, this insurance can ensure even if you are found at fault, you will not be financially responsible, as your insurance will cover the costs.
It is imperative when refining your quoting with insurers that you give as accurate information as possible and uncover discounts wherever possible. California also prohibits insurers from pricing insurance based on income, credit score, or profession and mainly on your driving record. For this reason it is important to become the best driver you can be, and avoid traffic violations.
The Cheapest Auto Insurance in San Diego
If you live in San Diego, there may be local insurers that are cheaper than regional or national carriers. Finding the cheapest for your situation however, will require that you use a quality online quoting comparison site and may even require that you call local insurers that may not post rates online.
Who is the Cheapest in San Diego?
According to ValuePenguin’s latest survey, the five cheapest insurers in San Diego are USAA, Amica Mutual, California Capital, Progressive West and Horace Mann. Remember however that USAA is only for members of the military, so you may not qualify for its rates. For a single driver can be as low as $764 with Amica Mutual or for a married person, $768 with Progressive West. Yet the city-wide average rates of $1038 are significantly higher than these providers and for a 19 year old single male, prices can be as high as $1,799.
Average Cheapest Insurer in California
In following the advice to look for ten insurance quotes from different companies, you might also consider the cheapest overall insurers in the state of California. According to ValuePenguin’s recent survey results, the top five cheapest insurers in California include:
Amica Mutual*, $834
Sterling Casualty, $905
Western General, $921
Progressive West*, $929
Alliance United, $978
*represents companies already mentioned as cheapest in the city of San Diego.
You may also consider the highest rated insurers by customer ratings if you value customer service. Remember their rates may be higher, but their service standards are generally better as well. Consider these top three-rated companies:
California Automobile Insurance Company
Essentia Insurance Company
Garrison Prop & Cas Insurance Company
Finding the cheapest auto insurance in California will require you to do some research with your personal information. By doing so with online quoting tools, you can eliminate several companies quickly and efficiently; just be sure to get insurance that covers your needs.