Are you trying to find cheaper auto insurance rates in San Rafael, CA? If you're shopping for lower-priced insurance, are you confused by the crazy number of auto insurance providers available to you? Many other drivers are too. There are such a large number of options that it can turn into a burden to find the perfect company for you. San Rafael is an excellent city in which to live, but budgeting for expensive auto insurance can make it impossible to purchase enough protection.

It's hard to believe, but about 70% of customers renewed their policy with the same company for at least four years, and nearly 40% of drivers have never compared rate quotes at all. With the average auto insurance premium being $1,847, U.S. drivers can cut their rates by as much as $850 a year, but most just don't grasp how much money they would save if they switched to a more affordable policy.

Comparison shopping for the most affordable car insurance coverage in San Rafael is not as difficult as people think. Just about everyone who quotes car insurance will most likely be able to cut their insurance bill. Nevertheless, California drivers do need to learn the methods companies use to charge you for coverage because it can help you find the best coverage.

Buy more affordable auto insurance with these tips

Lots of things are used in the calculation when you quote your car insurance policy. Most are fairly basic like an MVR report, although some other factors are less obvious such as whether you are married or how financially stable you are.

Qualify for multi-policy discounts - Many insurers give a discount for people who buy several policies from them in the form of a multi-policy discount. The discount can add up to 10 percent or more. Even if you qualify for this discount already, it's always a smart idea to get quotes from other companies to ensure the best deal. You may still be able to save more without the discount by buying auto insurance from a different company.

Always keep your auto insurance policy in force - Having an insurance coverage lapse will be a fast way to increase your renewal premiums. And not only will insurance be more expensive, getting caught without coverage can result in a fine, jail time, or a revoked license. You may then be required to file a SR-22 with the California motor vehicle department.

Avoid tickets and save - Whether or not you get tickets has a huge affect on how much you pay. Drivers who don't get tickets tend to pay less for car insurance as compared to careless drivers. Having a single moving violation may increase your cost forty percent or more. Drivers who have gotten dangerous violations like reckless driving or DUI may be required to submit a SR-22 or proof of financial responsibility to the state department of motor vehicles in order to legally drive a vehicle.

Car features can affect prices - Owning a car with a theft deterrent system can earn a premium discount. Systems that thwart theives such as GM's OnStar, tamper alarm systems and vehicle immobilizers all help prevent vehicle theft.

Lower stress equals lower rates - Careers such as judges, air traffic controllers, and emergency personnel have the highest average rates because of stressful work requirements and long work hours. Other occupations like scientists, students and the unemployed pay the least.

Liability insurance limits are a factor - Your auto insurance policy's liability coverage is the protection when you are responsible for personal injury or accident damage. Liability provides you with a defense in court to attempt to prove you were not liable. Carrying liability coverage is mandatory and cheap compared to comp and collision, so insureds should have plenty of protection for their assets.

When comparison shopping, comparing all the rates in your area gives you a better chance of getting more affordable insurance. Some insurance companies are not set up to provide rate quotes online, so you also need to get price estimates from them as well.

The companies shown below can provide free rate quotes in California. To get the cheapest auto insurance in California, we recommend you compare several of them to get the best price comparison.

Insurance Price Estimates for Popular Vehicles in San Rafael
Make, Model, and Trim Level Annual Policy Premium 6-month Policy Premium Monthly Premium
Chevrolet Impala LT $1,168 $584 $97
Chevrolet Silverado LT Extended Cab 2WD $1,482 $741 $124
Dodge Ram Crew Cab Sport 2WD $1,220 $610 $102
Ford Escape XLS 4WD $1,128 $564 $94
Ford F-150 FX2 Super Cab 2WD $1,260 $630 $105
Ford Focus SES 4-Dr Sedan $1,228 $614 $102
GMC Sierra SLT Extended Cab 4WD $1,450 $725 $121
Honda Accord EX 4-Dr Sedan $1,324 $662 $110
Honda CR-V EX-L 2WD $1,268 $634 $106
Honda Civic EX 4-Dr Sedan $1,204 $602 $100
Hyundai Elantra GLS 4-Dr Sedan $1,236 $618 $103
Hyundai Sonata SE 4-Dr Sedan $1,388 $694 $116
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4WD 2-Dr $1,484 $742 $124
Kia Optima LX $1,668 $834 $139
Nissan Altima 2.5 4-Dr Sedan $1,566 $783 $131
Nissan Rogue S 2WD $1,490 $745 $124
Toyota Camry XLE $1,236 $618 $103
Toyota Corolla XLE $1,418 $709 $118
Get Your Own Custom Quote Go

Data variables include married female driver age 50, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $500 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include claim-free, homeowner, multi-policy, safe-driver, and multi-vehicle. Rate quotes do not factor in specific location which can increase or decrease price quotes greatly.

Gender-based auto insurance rates by age

The illustration below illustrates the comparison of car insurance rates for male and female drivers in San Rafael. The data assumes no violations or accidents, comprehensive and collision coverage, $500 deductibles, drivers are not married, and no discounts are applied on a Honda Civic EX-L.

Honda Civic rates are for example purposes only. To get rate quotes for your specific vehicle, click here.

Violations and accidents raise rates

The information below demonstrates how speeding tickets and at-fault fender-benders increase Dodge Ram insurance costs for different age groups. The data assumes a married female driver, comprehensive and collision coverage, $1,000 deductibles, and no policy discounts are applied.

Dodge Ram rates are for example purposes only. To get rates for your specific vehicle, click here.

Physical damage deductibles

The diagram below shows how choosing a deductible and can increase or decrease Hyundai Sonata insurance costs for each age group. The premiums are based on a single female driver, full coverage, and no discounts are applied to the premium.

Hyundai Sonata rates are for example purposes only. To get rates for your specific vehicle, click here.

The largest companies are not always cheapest

Popular car insurance providers such as State Farm, Allstate and GEICO constantly bombard you with ads in print and on television. All the companies make the same claim of big savings if you switch your policy. How is it possible that every company can make the same claim? This is how they do it.

Different companies are able to cherry pick for the type of insured that will add to their bottom line. An example of this type of risk profile might be between the ages of 30 and 50, has no tickets, and insures a new vehicle. Any customer who matches those parameters gets the lowest prices as well as cut their rates substantially.

Drivers who fall outside these standards will get higher prices which leads to business going elsewhere. Company advertisements say "people that switch" not "everyone who quotes" will save that much if they switch. That is how companies can truthfully make it sound like they have such great rates.

This illustrates why drivers must get San Rafael car insurance quotes from several different companies. Because without a comparison, you cannot know which company will have the lowest car insurance in San Rafael.

Auto insurance in California serves several purposes

Even though rates can get expensive, insuring your vehicle serves several important purposes.

First, just about all states have mandatory insurance requirements which means state laws require specific minimum amounts of liability in order to get the vehicle licensed. In California these limits are 15/30/5 which means you must have $15,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, $30,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and $5,000 of property damage coverage.

Second, if your car has a loan, almost every bank will require you to have full coverage to guarantee loan repayment. If you default on your policy, the bank will be required to insure your vehicle for a much higher rate and make you pay much more than you were paying before.

Third, auto insurance protects not only your vehicle but also your financial assets. It will also provide coverage for medical transport and hospital expenses incurred in an accident. One of the most valuable coverages, liability insurance, also pays expenses related to your legal defense if someone files suit against you as the result of an accident. If mother nature or an accident damages your car, your auto insurance policy will pay to repair the damage minus the deductible amount.

The benefits of carrying enough insurance more than offset the price you pay, especially with large liability claims. But the average American driver is currently overpaying as much as $850 per year so it's important to compare rates at least once a year to make sure the price is not too high.

Do you qualify for discounts on car insurance?

Car insurance companies do not advertise all discounts very clearly, so the list below contains both well-publicized and also the more inconspicuous car insurance savings.Discount car insurance

Policy discounts save money, but most discount credits are not given the the whole policy. The majority will only reduce the price of certain insurance coverages like comprehensive or collision. So even though you would think it's possible to get free car insurance, it just doesn't work that way.

A few of the larger companies and some of their more popular discounts include:

When quoting, ask each company or agent how many discounts you can get. Some credits might not apply in your area.

Independent and exclusive car insurance agents

Many drivers just want to get advice from a local agent and that can be a great decision One of the best bonuses of comparing rate quotes online is you can get lower rates and still choose a local agent. And supporting small agencies is important particularly in San Rafael.

Insurance agents in San RafaelBy using this simple form, your insurance coverage information is submitted to local insurance agents that can provide free San Rafael car insurance quotes for your insurance coverage. It simplifies rate comparisons since you won't have to leave your computer since price quotes are sent directly to you. It's the lowest rates AND an agent nearby. If you wish to get a price quote from a specific company, you can always go to their quote page to submit a rate quote request.

When narrowing the list to find a reliable insurance agency, it's important to understand the different types of agents and how they are slightly different. Agents in San Rafael are categorized either exclusive or independent (non-exclusive).

Independent Insurance Agents

These agents are appointed with more than one company so as a result can place your coverage with lots of companies and potentially find a lower price. If your agent finds better pricing, they can switch companies in-house and you don't have to find a new agent. When searching for an agent, you definitely need to get some free quotes from at least one independent agent to get the most accurate price comparison. Most also write with small mutual carriers which could offer lower prices.

Exclusive Insurance Agents

Agents in the exclusive channel can only place business with one company like Allstate, Farmers Insurance or State Farm. They are unable to give you multiple price quotes so always compare other rates. They are highly trained on sales techniques which helps offset the inability to provide other markets. A lot of people purchase coverage from exclusives mainly due to the brand name and solid financial strength.

Finding a good insurance agency requires more thought than just a cheap price quote. The questions below may impact your decision as well.

If you get good answers to any questions you have as well as an affordable premium quote, it's a good possibility that you have found an insurance agency that is professional and can adequately provide insurance. It's important to know that it's your policy and you can cancel coverage any time you want so never feel you are locked into a specific agent for the entire policy term.

Everyone needs different insurance coverages

Always keep in mind that when comparing insurance from an agent or online for your vehicles, there isn't really a cookie cutter policy. Everyone's situation is a little different so your insurance needs to address that.Drive safe and save For example, these questions may help you determine if your insurance needs might need professional guidance.

If you can't answer these questions but a few of them apply, you might consider talking to an agent. To find an agent in your area, complete this form or click here for a list of insurance companies in your area.

Auto insurance claim statistics

Which vehicles statistically have few claims? The claim statistics below list the best and worst manufacturer models for likelihood of filing claims.

Vehicle Make and Models with the Lowest and Highest Car Insurance Comprehensive Claims
Lowest Claim Frequency Highest Claim Frequency
Chevy Silverado 2500 Bentley Continental GTC
GMC Sierra 2500 BMW M6
Ford F-350 Audi S7
Nissan Xterra Mercedes-Benz S Class
Smart ForTwo Porsche Panamera GTS
Nissan Leaf Maserati Granturismo

Data Source: iihs.org (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) for 2013-2015 Model Years

Medical Payment Coverage Claims by Vehicle
Lowest Claim Frequency Highest Claim Frequency
Ford Expedition Chevrolet Spark
Audi A4 Allroad Chevrolet Sonic
Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Nissan Sentra
Ford F-350 SuperCrew Dodge Charger
Ford F-250 SuperCrew Nissan Versa
Tesla Model S Hyundai Accent

Data Source: iihs.org (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) for 2013-2015 Model Years

Manufacturer Models with the Lowest and Highest Liability Insurance Claims
Lowest Claim Frequency Highest Claim Frequency
Acura MDX Mitsubishi Lancer
Audi A6 Hyndai Accent
Volvo XC60 Chrysler 200
Subaru Forester Kia Rio
Subaru Outback Chevrolet Impala
Fiat 500 Mitsubishi Mirage

Data Source: iihs.org (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) for 2013-2015 Model Years

Lowest and Highest Collision Claims by Vehicle
Lowest Claim Frequency Highest Claim Frequency
Nissan Xterra BMW 6 Series
Ford F-250 SuperCab Bentley Continental Flying Spur
Smart ForTwo BMW M6
Mini Cooper Audi RS7
Jeep Wrangler Maserati Granturismo
Ford Edge Bently Continental GT

Data Source: iihs.org (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) for 2013-2015 Model Years

A little work can save a LOT of money

Cheaper car insurance in San Rafael is definitely available on the web in addition to local insurance agencies, and you need to comparison shop both in order to have the best chance of saving money. A few companies do not provide the ability to get a quote online and many times these smaller companies provide coverage only through independent agents.

As you restructure your insurance plan, it's not a good idea to buy lower coverage limits just to save a few bucks. In too many instances, someone sacrificed liability coverage limits and learned later that saving that couple of dollars actually costed them tens of thousands. Your focus should be to buy the best coverage you can find for the lowest cost but still have enough coverage for asset protection.

Throughout this article, we presented many ideas to compare car insurance rates in San Rafael. It's most important to understand that the more companies you get auto insurance rates for, the higher your chance of finding low cost San Rafael car insurance quotes. You may even be surprised to find that the lowest priced car insurance comes from some of the smallest insurance companies. These companies may cover specific market segments cheaper than their larger competitors like State Farm, GEICO and Nationwide.

To read more, feel free to browse the following helpful articles: