Car insurance in California is legally required just like other states but it is much more expensive, although California is considered as the 5th most expensive state in the US with average annual rates of $1,970.
Importance of Car Insurance
Car insurance, aside from being legally important, is also necessary for you and your family too in several other ways which are as follows:
1. PROTECT OTHERS: Having right type of car insurance can protect you, and your passengers from personal liability. Sometimes when you are involved in an at-fault accident, you are responsible for the medical expenses if the person is injured or monetary expenses if the person is dead which may cost all your fortune if you are an average family.
2. HEALTH ACCESORY: This insurance will also help you to pay for your bodily injuries that health insurance may not cover such as dental or other medical treatment resulting due to the accident. It will be helpful in both at-fault or no-fault accidents covering you and your passengers too.
3. PEACEFULNESSS: By having an uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage you would have a peace of mind during the conditions where the driver at-fault has no insurance at all. Because at that moment you can sue the driver if you want but what if his credit store is not stable then you will be the only one to deal with your loss. Whereas if you have an insurance you would be confident and satisfied.
4. PROTECT VEHICLE: The car is the most valuable asset anyone can have and any damage to it can cost higher than you thought. Vehicle, yours or anyone else’s, can be safe and secure with the insurance paying for the repair and replacement cost due to any accident.
5. SAVE YOUR EXPENSES: Initially, the insurance might seem like a burden as you have to pay the premium monthly or annually. But you will get to know its importance once you are involved in some kind of accident because at that time the expenses you would encounter will be very high and the small payments you have made before will come save you through the insurance.
Car Insurance Companies California
This type of insurance product is mandatory and much running product in California. There is a list of car insurance companies offering uniquely different coverage for the ease of their customers. You can easily explore every one of them to find out which suits you best. Following are generally the best auto insurance companies in California:
1. Wawanesa Car Insurance
Wawanesa has been declared as number 1 in customer satisfaction. This company is said to be the best for the prices and claims. Following are some other benefits and coverage besides the normal liability and motorist coverage and because of which it is considered on the top of the list:
- The most transparent company
- Functional mobile application
- Automobile medical payments
- Rental expense
- Vehicle manufacturer replacement parts
Everyone must have heard about this company. If you are from military family or related to some one who is or was in such family then this insurance is best for you. USAA could have been the first one in ranking but its limitation u to the military families list of car insurance companies has lowered his ranks.
But it can be considered as number 1 for the military car insurance. It offers rather affordable rates and the most outstanding thing is that it would pay you back if the profit exceeds the limit so you might get paid by being a part of it.
3. Auto Club
This is the club affiliated with AAA insurance company. In fact it is the largest club of this company. Auto club is famous for the discounts and savings you can seek once you gain the membership of this club. Following discount can be availed:
- Membership discount in some places
- Good student discount
- Safe driving discount
- Multi-car insurance discount
- Bundling of policy discount
- Low mileage discount
- New car discount
- Loyalty discount
4. State Farm
This company provide one on one services which is a plus point for their customers. State farm is famous for all of its insurance products such as homeowners, life, health and car insurance. It offers the cheap full coverage car insurance nationwide. Another plus is that there are agents in every are ready to answer each and every query of yours.
The Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO) is one of the cheaper car insurance company for Americans. It has its routes all over the nation offering their affordable car insurance services to the Californian’s too. You can all the coverage you, there are various options for savings too.
How Car Insurance Works in California?
Working of car insurance can be a bit complicated in California, since it is an ‘At-Fault’ state. Whether you own a car or not you should know that how car insurance works here.
Being the ‘fault’ state means during an accident the person or the driver who is at fault is always responsible for the damages that occur. These damages could include medical bills of the victim, or the property damage of the third party, etc. This is the reason that liability coverage whether bodily injury or property damage, is mandatory in the California. The damages can be covered by the insurance company you are membered with but it is only applicable up to a certain limit.
Rather than full coverage car insurance, the minimum coverage that you can have with your insurance company is $15,000 for the injury of one person or up to $30,000 for the injury of more than one person, and only $5,000 for the property damage.
This can be a simple procedure you can follow to know about car insurance. But for further information you can always contact any car insurance attorney.
Auto Insurance Laws in California
There are laws for each and everything going on in the state, same is the case with car insurance. Each state has their own distinguishable auto insurance laws which are legally applicable to all the drivers of the state. In California the laws are said to be surprisingly user-friendly. Following are the conditions required or not required in this state:
Car Insurance Pricing Criteria: The pricing criteria for the auto insurance is different here as it is not allowed to set the rates depending upon the gender difference, or credit history or they also cannot cost for the lapses in the coverage. The gender based pricing is the new rule from this year so it is not applicable in every insurance company yet.
Minimum Coverage: According to the law, the minimum insurance required by every Californian driver is:
- $15,000 per person or $30,000 per accident for bodily injury liability coverage
- $5,000 for property damage liability coverage
- $15,000 per person or $30,000 per accident for bodily injury uninsured motorist coverage
- $3,500 for uninsured motorist property damage coverage
Auto Body Repair: The claims which you want for the repairing of your car’s body parts may include following rights which you can avail:
- Choose your own repair shop
- To give the list of items you want for the repair and whether they are used, or new
- Should have full information about the roadside assistance and rental car services when your car is in the repair shop
Average Cost of Auto Insurance in California
- For minimum coverage: $570
- For full coverage: $1,800
- For liability coverage: $570
- For collision coverage: $450
- For comprehensive coverage: $100
But, these rates may vary widely depending on the conditions or situation you are in such as age of the driver, driving history, family, etc. Following are the top affordable car insurance companies according to the different conditions:
FULL COVERAGE FOR 40-YEAR-OLD GOOD DRIVER:
- GEICO: $1,341
- Liberty Mutual: $1,466
- Wawanesa: $1,477
- Kemper: $1,557
MINIMUM COVERAGE FOR 40-YEAR-OLD DRIVER:
- GEICO: $437
- CSAA: $469
- Kemper: $531
- Liberty Mutual: $580
AFTER DRIVE UNDER THE INFLUENCE (DUI):
- Infinity: $2,558
- Mercury: $2,574
- Kemper: $3,364
- GEICO: $3,372
FULL COVERAGE FOR 30-YEAR-OLD DRIVER:
- Esurance: $1,316
- GEICO: $1,499
- CIG: $1,563
- CSAA: $1,565
MINIMUM COVERAGE FOR 30-YEAR-OLD DRIVER:
- CSAA: $396
- GEICO: $406
- Grange: $485
- Progressive: $529
AFTER SPEED VOILATION TICKET:
- CSAA: $2,004
- Kemper: $2,054
- GEICO: $2,087
- Wawanesa: $2,095
FULL COVERAGE FOR 20-YEAR-OLD DRIVER:
- Wawanesa: $1,993
- Grange: $2,111
- CIG: $2,491
- Kemper: $2,527
MINIMUM COVERAGE FOR 20-YEAR-OLD DRIVER:
- Grange: $644
- CSAA: $720
- Kemper: $817
- Wawanesa: $829
CAR INSURANCE DEPENDING ON THE CITIES:
The range of prices flow along with the different cities of California, giving you a wide variety of options to live in;
|Name of the City||Average Annual Rate|
Why is California Car Insurance Expensive?
California is included in the top most expensive states of US. And also there is no uncertainty that California car insurance is very overpriced. Following are the reasons of the expensiveness:
1. Dense Population: California is a highly populated state with more than 14 million vehicles registered. With as much cars on the road, there are increased chances of accidents and the car insurers take advantage of this situation by increasing the premium prices
2. High Urbanization: It is specifically more urban comparing to other states. Due to which there is congestion because of high traffic, more car stealing, vandalism and also more severe accidents. The rates for the auto insurance would be definitely higher because of increase risk of auto theft in this nation.
3. Natural Disasters: Although the weather in this state is quite pleasant, it sometimes encounter disastrous earthquakes and wild fires which are enough to destroy a huge measure of vehicles in those particular times. This is one of the factors increasing the rate of insurance.
4. Uninsured Motorists: Around 16% of the California’s driver are driving without having car insurance. And when they are involved in any accident, they are usually unable to pay for the consequences and insurance have to pay for it too. They now increase their rates to cover this kind of coverage too.
5. High Mileage: Majority of the Californians drive their own cars, only 5% of the population use public transport. The more you drive, more will be the mileage resulting in increase annual or monthly insurance cost.
Besides these reasons which are specific for people living in California, there are two more which are applicable in all states of the US:
6. Diverge Driving: People nowadays are more into texting then they were before. Even during driving it is difficult for them to leave their cellphones. This trend of texting while driving is leading to more accidents and also increased premiums.
7. Expensive Equipment Repairing: In this modern world, the equipment used inside the car are advanced such as stereo systems, navigation system, etc. The cost required for their repairing or their replacing has increased too, thereby increasing the premium rates.
How to Lower Car Insurance in California?
Because of all this expensiveness you might wonder to skip having the auto insurance but that is not the option. Here are some of the things that every driver in California should do to lower the risk of asking that how much is car insurance per month:
1. Drive Less: You should learn to drive less although it is like a life style to drive in California. But driving less will reduce your annual mileage causing a considerable amount of reduction on the premium. This can be done by trying any of the following method:
- Use more public transportation
- Walking might be a good option too
- Share the ride whenever you can
- Online working
- Move in the neighborhood of your workplace
2. Safe Drive: This option is always the best. If you have poor driving history you can still improve your skills and be a safe driver. For this you have to ensure your insurers that you are a safe driver by carrying out following measures:
- Do not text and drive
- Never drive under the influence (DUI)
- Drive within the speed limit
- Take defensive driving class
- Drive carefully when it’s raining
3. Avail Discounts: Despite the high rates of car insurance they also offer some reasonable discounts which are very helpful to adjust your premium rates:
- You can bundle your car insurance with family by utilizing multi-car discounts
- If you are a senior citizen you can avail the discount by seniors car insurance
- Having a teen with good grades can make you eligible for good student discount
- If you are being save on your own such as installing anti-theft device in your car, then you will get discount since there will be less chances of vandalism
- If you have taken the defensive driving classes then you can prove your safe driving and can hence get a discount
To summarize all, it is clear that car insurance in California is quite expensive but there are ways to lower the rates too. The annual cost of insurance also depends on different conditions such as if you want to have an insurance after a speed violation ticket you should go for CSAA which costs $2,004 per year, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the average car insurance cost in California?
The car insurance is much expensive in this state, almost 20% more than the national average. And the average cost required for this insurance is $1,868 a year, which can be sometimes misleading but also helpful to estimate the rough value.
What do you do if you can’t afford car insurance?
This can be very difficult because in most of the states car insurance is legally required. Therefore, if because of some reasons you are unable to afford it you should acquire all of the following factors or maybe some of it:
- Explore other cheaper options for insurance
- Try to increase your income
- Move to less risky area or a less expensive area
- Go for used and cheap car so that the insurance premium would be less too
What happens if you have no car insurance?
Talking about the law? It is legally essential to have the car insurance while driving. It does not matter if the car is yours or not. If you still have no insurance it would charge you penalties such as fines, suspension of driving license, loss of car registration, etc. And not just if you are involved in any accident without having insurance then the consequences could be worse.
Can you register a car without insurance in California?
Yes you can register a car without having insurance but there is a time limit of 10 days from the date of buying that car. After which you have to have the insurance and you are not allowed to drive in California without insurance, under any circumstances.
Can you self insure your car in California?
Yes you can self insure in this state. Self insurance is something in which a person does not want to involve any third party insurance company and carry the risk himself. In California there are three ways that law allows alternatively to the car insurance:
- Having a Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) certificate
- A cash deposit worth $35,000 with DMV
- 35,000 dollars of surety bond
The best car insurance in California is Wawanesa Insurance which is best rated for customer satisfaction. Although it can be quite difficult, there is a solution for every problem therefore you can utilize any of the techniques to lower your car insurance rate too rather than skipping it and breaking the law.