How to Sift Through the Hype and Enjoy a Cheaper Car Insurance Rate in San Jose, California

The truth is if you want to find cheap car insurance, you’ll have to dig deeper than the surface with most companies. You should get to know the minimum requirements of your state and determine if this amount is sufficient for your automobile coverage. If not, then the variables will change a great deal when comparing rates among providers. Let’s take a look at some of these variables and how they affect your car insurance rate.
California Facts about Car Insurance
If you feel that you only need the minimum liability coverage as required by the State of California, then here are the numbers. The liability requirements for Bodily Injury Liability coverage are $15,000 for injury or death of any one individual per accident and $30,000 total for one accident. The requirement for Property Damage Liability is $5,000 per accident. In California, your liability coverage will pay for damages up to these amounts if you cause an automobile accident.
The state does not require other types of coverage such as uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist, collision, medical payments, comprehensive, towing, etc. Your lender might require collision if you still owe money on your vehicle. Collision covers damages to your own vehicle if you are in a one-car accident or a multi-car accident in which you are at fault. If you owe money to a lender, the amount of your coverage must be equal to or greater than the value of your automobile. This ensures that the lender will receive the full amount (or close to the amount) of the loan back in the case of an accident.
You might also consider buying more coverage than needed to play it safe. Though not required by California law, comprehensive coverage gives you complete peace of mind by covering unusual incidents that may cause damage to your vehicle. These include storm/wind damage, flooding, hail stones, flying rocks (broken windshield), fire, theft, vandalism and highway encounters with animals such as deer, bears, cows, etc. With this type of coverage, you’ll pay more for your insurance but will be able to rest easy knowing these occurrences are covered.
San Jose Statistics for the Road
As you shop for cheap car insurance in San Jose, CA keep in mind that insurance providers use city and state statistics to determine many of their risk factors. These include statistics about accidents, theft, work commute mileage, average ages of drivers, etc. Providers also consider national auto crash test results, which determine which automobiles will likely have the least number of serious injuries or fatalities. In San Jose, 44 fatal automobile crashes were reported in 2007. These involved 111 people and 65 automobiles. That same year, San Jose had 6,413 auto thefts! Some of the most popular cars among thieves in 2008 were the 1991 Honda Accord, the 1994 Acura Integra, the 2007 Toyota Corolla, the 2004 Chevrolet Full Size C/K 1500 Pickup, the 1989 Toyota Camry and the 1994 Nissan Sentra.
You can research your local and state statistics easily online. The Department of Insurance provides a wealth of information on its website. Statistics affect everyone’s insurance, but can also give you an idea of what an insurance company considers to be high or low risk. For instance, if you’re planning to buy a new vehicle, you might avoid those that are on the most stolen list. Also, consider parking your car inside a locked garage at night, or add a security device and alarm. Buy a car with a top safety rating that has all the latest features.
Look for ways to save on your car insurance such as discounts, opting for a high deductible and insuring both your home and automobiles with the same provider. Use online comparisons to find out rates among the top companies based on your criteria. A little research can go a long way!