When shopping for more affordable insurance, are you overwhelmed by the sheer number of insurance choices available to you? Many other drivers are too. People have so many options that it can easily turn into a real difficult job to find the perfect company for you. If you've ever been there, you know that Palo Alto is an awesome place to live, but paying high insurance rates can make it hard for many residents to make ends meet.
A recent survey discovered that most insurance policyholders kept their coverage with the same insurance company for at least the last four years, and approximately 40% of consumers have never shopped around. With the average insurance premium being $1,390, California drivers can save up to 35% each year, but most undervalue the amount of money they would save if they swap their current policy for a cheaper one.
These tips will instruct you on the best methods to compare rates and how to save the most money. If you are insured now, you will definitely be able to find the best rates using this strategy. But California car owners can benefit from knowing how big insurance companies market on the web and use it to find better rates.
Auto insurance companies offering competitive prices in California
The auto insurance companies shown below can provide free quotes in Palo Alto, CA. If you want to find the cheapest auto insurance in California, we suggest you visit several of them to get the lowest price.
|Make, Model, and Trim Level||Annual Policy Premium||6-month Policy Premium||Monthly Premium|
|Chevrolet Impala LS||$1,680||$840||$140|
|Chevrolet Silverado LS Crew Cab 2WD||$1,200||$600||$100|
|Dodge Ram Crew Cab TRX 4WD||$1,832||$916||$153|
|Ford Edge Limited 2WD||$1,306||$653||$109|
|Ford Escape Limited 2WD||$1,208||$604||$101|
|Ford F-150 FX2 2WD||$1,048||$524||$87|
|Ford Focus SE 2-Dr Coupe||$1,312||$656||$109|
|Ford Fusion S 4-Dr Sedan||$1,168||$584||$97|
|Honda Accord LX-S 2-Dr Coupe||$1,366||$683||$114|
|Honda CR-V LX 4WD||$1,102||$551||$92|
|Honda Civic LX 4-Dr Sedan||$1,562||$781||$130|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8 4WD||$1,710||$855||$143|
|Nissan Altima 3.5 SR 4-Dr Sedan||$1,302||$651||$109|
|Toyota Camry Hybrid||$1,800||$900||$150|
|Toyota Corolla S||$1,638||$819||$137|
|Get Your Own Custom Quote Go|
Above prices assume married male driver age 30, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $500 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include homeowner, multi-vehicle, safe-driver, multi-policy, and claim-free. Rate information does not factor in garaging location in Palo Alto which can alter coverage rates significantly.
Auto insurance deductibles
The illustration below shows how choosing a deductible and can impact Chevrolet Silverado yearly insurance costs for each different age category. The information is based on a single male driver, full coverage, and no discounts are applied.
Chevrolet Silverado rates are for example purposes only. To get rates for your specific vehicle, click here.
Comparison of full coverage and liability-only policies
The illustration below visualizes the comparison of Hyundai Sonata car insurance costs with and without physical damage coverage, medical payments, and uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage. The rates are based on a clean driving record, no claims, $500 deductibles, married female driver, and no discounts are applied.
Hyundai Sonata rates are for example purposes only. To get rates for your specific vehicle, click here.
When to stop buying comprehensive and collision coverage
There is no set rule to exclude full coverage, but there is a broad guideline. If the annual cost of your full coverage insurance is more than 10% of the replacement cost of your vehicle minus the policy deductible, then you might want to think about dropping full coverage.
For example, let's say your Hyundai Sonata replacement value is $6,000 and you have $1,000 deductibles. If your vehicle is totaled in an accident, the most your company would pay you is $5,000 after paying your deductible. If you are currently paying more than $500 a year for full coverage, then it might be time to consider dropping full coverage.
There are some cases where dropping physical damage coverage is not recommended. If you still owe a portion of the original loan, you have to keep full coverage in order to keep the loan. Also, if you don't have enough money to buy a different vehicle if your current one is totaled, you should keep full coverage in place.
Annual premiums for males versus females
The chart below illustrates the difference between insurance costs for male and female drivers in Palo Alto. The premiums are based on no tickets, no at-fault accidents, comp and collision included, $1,000 deductibles, single marital status, and no discounts are applied to the premium on a Nissan Altima 2.5 S.
Nissan Altima rates are for example purposes only. To get rate quotes for your specific vehicle, click here.
Quote cheaper auto insurance with these tips
Many things are used when pricing auto insurance. Some are pretty understandable like an MVR report, although others are more obscure such as whether you are married and annual miles driven. It's important that you understand the different types of things that come into play when calculating auto insurance rates. When consumers understand what determines base rates, this helps enable you to make changes that may result in better auto insurance rates.
- Single drivers may pay higher rates - Having a wife or husband may earn you lower rates on your auto insurance policy. It means you're more responsible and it's proven that married couples file fewer claims.
- Job impacts premiums - Occupations like real estate brokers, police officers, and dentists usually pay higher premiums than the average policyholder attributed to intense work-related stress and long work hours. Other careers such as scientists, students and homemakers pay the least.
- Age of drivers - Drivers with little experience have been known to be inattentive and easily distracted when behind the wheel therefore auto insurance rates are much higher. More experienced drivers are proven to be safer behind the wheel, are lower risk to insure, and are generally more financially stable.
- Do you know you're credit history? - Credit score can be a huge factor in calculating your premium rate. Insureds that have very high credit ratings tend to be better risks to insure than drivers with bad credit. Therefore, if your credit history is low, you may save money insuring your vehicle if you improve your credit rating.
- Policy add-ons may be wasting money - There are many extra bells and whistles that sound like a good idea at the time if you don't pay attention. Insurance for things like replacement cost coverage, accidental death, and Farm Bureau memberships are some examples. The coverages may be enticing when talking to your agent, but if they're wasting money think about removing them and cutting costs.
- Tickets can be expensive - Your driving record influences premium rates substantially. Drivers with clean records receive lower rates than their less careful counterparts. Having a single driving citation could increase your next policy renewal substantially. Drivers who have serious tickets like DUI or reckless driving may find they need to file a proof of financial responsibility form (SR-22) with their state's licensing department in order to legally drive.
- Pay more for higher performance vehicles - The make and model of the car you are insuring makes a significant difference in how high your rates are. The most favorable rates tend to be for the lowest performance passenger models, but other factors influence the final cost greatly.
- Raising comp and collision deductibles lowers prices - The deductibles you choose state the amount of money you are willing to pay out-of-pocket if the claim is covered. Coverage for physical damage, termed comprehensive and collision coverage on your policy, is used to repair damage to your car. Examples of covered claims would be a windshield broken by a bird, hail damage, or theft of your vehicle. The more you're willing to pay, the less your auto insurance will be.
Lower-cost Palo Alto car insurance rates with discounts
Not too many consumers would say car insurance is affordable, but companies offer discounts that could help you make your next renewal payment. Many discounts should be triggered at the time of quoting, but occasionally some discounts must be manually applied prior to getting the savings.
- Driver Training Discounts - Passing a class that teaches defensive driving techniques could cut 5% off your bill if you qualify.
- Low Mileage Discounts - Driving fewer miles could earn cheaper car insurance rates.
- Theft Prevention System - Cars equipped with anti-theft or alarm systems can help prevent theft and earn discounts up to 10% off your Palo Alto auto insurance quote.
- Driver's Education for Students - Reduce the cost of insurance for teen drivers by having them complete a driver education course in school.
- Seat Belts Save - Buckling up and requiring all passengers to fasten their seat belts can save up to 10 percent (depending on the company) off the personal injury premium cost.
While discounts sound great, it's important to understand that most discounts do not apply to the entire cost. Some only apply to the price of certain insurance coverages like physical damage coverage or medical payments. So when it seems like you would end up receiving a 100% discount, that's just not realistic. Any qualifying discounts will help lower the cost of your policy.
For a list of insurers that can offer you the previously mentioned discounts in California, click this link.
Local Palo Alto auto insurance agents and auto insurance
A lot of people would prefer to sit down and talk to an agent and doing that can be a smart decision A good thing about getting online price quotes is you can get the lowest rates and still have a local agent. Buying from and supporting neighborhood agents is important especially in Palo Alto.
After completing this form (opens in new window), the coverage information is submitted to agents in your area that provide free Palo Alto auto insurance quotes for your auto insurance coverage. You won't even need to search for an agent since rate quotes are delivered to you. It's the lowest rates without the usual hassles of price shopping. If you need to get a rate quote from a particular provider, you would need to go to their quote page and complete a quote there.
Two different types of car insurance agents
If you need to find a good insurance agency, it's important to understand the different agency structures and how they differ in how they quote coverages. Insurance agencies in Palo Alto are considered either exclusive or independent (non-exclusive).
These type of agents are appointed with more than one company and that enables them to quote your coverage through many companies and find you the best rates. To transfer your coverage to a different company, an independent agent can move your coverage and that require little work on your part. If you are comparing rate quotes, you need to get insurance quotes from a couple of independent agencies so that you can do a thorough price comparison. Most have the option of insuring with lesser-known insurance companies which may have better rates.
Exclusive Auto Insurance Agencies
Exclusive insurance agents can only quote rates from one company and examples are AAA, Allstate, State Farm, or Farmers Insurance. These agents are unable to provide rate quotes from other companies so keep that in mind. These agents are usually well trained on their company's products and that can be a competitive advantage. A lot of people use the same exclusive agent mainly due to the prominence of the brand and the convenience of having a single billing for all their coverages.
Finding the right insurance agency should depend on more than just the premium amount. The questions below may impact your decision as well.
- Do they get extra compensation for selling add-on coverages?
- Are there any extra charges for paying monthly?
- Will one accident increase rates?
- What company do they have the most business with?
- Do they reduce claim amounts on high mileage vehicles?
- How many years of experience in personal auto insurance do they have?
Upon getting good responses to any questions you may have and a good coverage price, you have narrowed it down to an auto insurance agent that can be trusted to insure your vehicles.
A conclusion for your car insurance search
We just showed you a lot of tips how to compare car insurance auto insurance rates in Palo Alto. The key thing to remember is the more providers you compare, the more likely it is that you will get a better rate. Consumers could even find that the biggest savings come from a company that doesn't do a lot of advertising.
Cheap car insurance in Palo Alto is definitely available online and with local Palo Alto insurance agents, and you should compare price quotes from both to get a complete price analysis. Some car insurance companies do not provide internet price quotes and most of the time these small, regional companies provide coverage only through independent insurance agents.
As you prepare to switch companies, don't be tempted to buy lower coverage limits just to save a few bucks. In many instances, consumers will sacrifice liability coverage limits only to regret that they should have had better coverage. Your objective should be to purchase plenty of coverage at the lowest possible cost, but don't skip important coverages to save money.
Additional detailed information is located in these articles:
- Car Insurance for Teen Drivers with Divorced Parents (Allstate)
- Who Has Affordable California Car Insurance Rates for Handicapped Drivers? (FAQ)
- How Much are Car Insurance Quotes for Seniors in California? (FAQ)
- How to Avoid Buying a Flooded Car (Insurance Information Institute)
- Rollover Crash FAQ (iihs.org)
- Car Insurance: When not to Skimp (BankRate.com)