Car Insurance Tips When Moving to Los Angeles
Welcome to LA! Maybe you’re not here yet, but you’re on your way to the immensity of the Greater Los Angeles metro. What an exciting time.
One of the first decisions you should make before the big move is to review your car insurance policy. That’s especially true if you’re moving from out of state and have little understanding of the city and California law.
What Makes LA So Different Than Where I Live Right Now?
You’ve probably seen photos or news reports featuring multiple lanes of Los Angeles highway traffic at a total standstill. Bumper-to-bumper traffic crawling along — if there’s any movement at all. And yes, depending on when you hit the road and other factors, your work commute or drive time for errands or recreation can be quite significant here.
In fact, the latest figures show that the City of Angels is the fifth most congested metro in the United States.
Which gets us to our second important point: congestion means accidents. Los Angeles had some 54,000 collisions in 2019. This was actually a slight drop from the numbers of the previous year. It averages out to roughly 150 accidents a day on those congested roads.
First Step, Review Your Coverage
Is your minimum coverage car insurance enough in California?
As is true of almost every U.S. state, California requires that motorists have at least minimal car insurance to drive here. The main purpose of this coverage is actually to financially protect the interests of the other driver and passengers if you are the cause of a collision.
This minimum coverage is called liability, which means it will pay the bills when you’re liable, or legally declared to be at fault for the accident.
As to the damage to your own vehicle — well, that’s on you. If your car sustains thousands of dollars in damage and is rendered dead on the road, you’ll be in trouble if you can’t immediately afford to repair or replace the vehicle. You’ll have to figure out how you’ll get to work or drop the kids off and pick them up from schools and social engagements and otherwise make your way around a metro that’s likely to be much more widespread than what you’re used to.
Consider Upgrading to Full Coverage For Los Angeles Traffic
Liability coverage can make good sense when you’re trying to save as much money as possible and you think that the risk of getting into an accident is small. But in congested Los Angeles, on streets where you won’t always have a firm idea of where you’re going, the risk rises considerably.
Your liability protection won’t pay for the damage to your own vehicle if an accident happens, but full-service coverage will up to your policy limits. The basic coverage you’ll get with a full-service policy consists of the following:
Collision — This is the coverage that pays for the damage when your vehicle is in a typical accident with another car. You’re also covered if you’re in a single-car accident, such as a rollover or even if you sustain damage hitting an animal such as a deer.
Comprehensive — This is the financial settlement you’ll receive to repair or replace your vehicle when it’s damaged or lost in non-collision events. Examples of this can include your car being stolen or vandalized, or lost or damaged by flood or fire.
Between collision and comprehensive coverage, your finances are protected from the cost of most of the things that can happen to damage or destroy your vehicle. Your full-service coverage gets you back on the road quickly, and you’ll certainly need trustworthy transportation once you move to LA.
Don’t Forget Roadside Service in California
Those congested highways are not your friend if you must pull over to the side of the road for a flat tire, an overheated radiator, or any other source of mechanical failure. That’s why many motorists in Los Angeles have roadside assistance coverage as part of their full-service car insurance policy.
With this coverage, all you have to do is call your customer service number and help is on the way. Whether you need a tire change, your battery must be jumped or you need your vehicle to be towed to a service garage, an expert will help you safely deal with whatever roadside assistance you need.
This sort of coverage might be particularly appreciated if you have young drivers in the family. No more fears of them — or you — being left stranded on unfamiliar LA roads in the middle of the night.
Still Need to Save Money? Consider Your Deductible
One way to keep your insurance rates as low as possible is to increase your deductible. Your deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay out of pocket before your insurer assumes the rest of the settlement cost. So if you have a $500 deductible on $3,000 in damage to your vehicle, you’ll pay that amount and your insurer will pay for the remaining $2,500 in damages.
But if, for instance, you were to agree to pay the first $1,000 in damages instead of $500, you’d pay much less for your premiums. Is that the right move for you? Discuss the details with your insurance agent and decide where it’s best for you to set your deductible based on your budget and needs.
Call Us For Affordable California Car Insurance
You’ve got a lot to think about as you plan your upcoming and very exciting move to the Los Angeles area. You’re going to enjoy your new surroundings immensely.
Contacting a Cost-U-Less independent insurance agent will help remove one source of potential stress and keep you and your family financially protected in the Golden State. We’ll answer all of your questions, get you the cheapest car insurance in California, and even point you toward additional discounts that can further reduce your rates.