How Can I Switch Auto Insurance in California?

four young people raising hand in convertible car

If you’re on the hunt for cheaper car insurance in California, the search begins with knowing how to find great companies and what factors might affect your insurance premiums. From there, you should compare rates between different insurers until you find the best deal for you.

Below, we share some tips for finding someone else to insure your vehicle so you can save money while retaining the coverage you need.

1. Begin by Searching for Trustworthy Companies

Not all insurance companies are created equal, and it’s important to get a feel for which ones you can trust as you begin your online search. Ask for recommendations from friends or family. Some really useful information will come from people who have had to file claims for accidents or damages, as this is when insurance companies’ true colors usually show. Did the person’s rates go up significantly after filing a claim? Did the company work with them or make things difficult?

The best way to start is by shopping around. Begin with those recommendations from friends or family, looking for these insurers online and contacting all of them if they look promising. Costs can have a wide variation between different insurers, so be sure to keep a detailed record of what each insurer offers and what the deductible levels are for them.

This last point is an important one. If you are getting quotes for different policies — say, for a policy with a $3,000 deductible vs. $1,500 — you’re going to get different quotes. This will make it extremely difficult to compare insurers accurately since you’re not starting from the same baseline each time. Avoid this problem by deciding ahead of time what deductibles you’re able to pay.

Your deductible should reflect what you can afford. Indeed, raising your deductibles will significantly reduce your coverage cost, but can you afford to do that? If you have a $5,000 deductible, you should be absolutely sure that having to pay $5,000 out of pocket won’t put you in financial trouble should you get in an accident.

Ultimately, you want to land on a new company that’s offering you a better deal with a more trustworthy reputation behind it. The agent you speak with should do what they can to help you — if you get the sense they are not acting on behalf of your best interests, consider that a red flag.

Cost-U-Less provides policyholders with high-quality coverage at some of the lowest rates in California. You can visit our website to obtain an online quote for car insurance. We also recommend you speak with a representative directly to get a highly accurate quote.

2. The Car You Drive Matters

Driving a two-door sports coupe is going to cost more to insure than a more modestly priced car with high safety ratings. The reasons for this are simple: things that cost more to buy cost more to fix, and a fast, flashy car can be a magnet for cops — as well as an invitation to anyone with a heavy foot.

The best choice is to go with a reliable, safe car that has demonstrated consistently good ratings. If you are a young driver driving a family car, it’s a good idea to choose the cheapest one to assign to your name on the insurance policy. Whatever you do, if you’re looking for cheaper insurance, try to avoid driving a car insurance companies view as high risk.

Shopping for a used car is a great way to get a deal on a safe, reliable automobile that won’t automatically land you in high-premium territory. This will mean more reasonable insurance rates and better safety in the event of a crash. If you’re shopping for a used car, read our blog post on how to find the right used vehicle.

3. If You’re a Young Driver, See If You Can Get on Your Family’s Policy

Insurance companies that have established histories with their customers are more likely to offer reasonable rates to those customers. If your family situation is such that your parents have a car insurance policy with a company — particularly if they’re in good standing with that company and have been with them for several years — you should consider switching to a family plan to save money.

Young Man Uses Smartphone to find car insurance in california

It can work several ways, but the most ideal is for your parents’ insurance company to simply add another driver to their policy: you. You may be listed as a primary driver for a certain car or part-time driver to one of the family’s cars. Your decision between these will likely come down to price.

If your parents have a long-standing relationship with their insurer, you are likely to be able to benefit from discounts and savings. In many states, parents’ better credit ratings affect auto insurance rates as well, but remember that California prohibits insurers from basing rates on credit scores.

For this to work, you will need to live at your parents’ home at least part of the time. This is generally the case if you are going to school somewhere and still live at home for part of the year.

4. You May Be Able to Drop Collision or Comprehensive Coverage

If you’re hunting for another insurer to offer cheap car insurance in California, you should also consider whether it’s necessary to pay for collision and comprehensive coverage. These are generally useful for higher-value vehicles. However, if you have a low-value car you could manage to replace if it’s totaled, you may be better off saving that extra money.

5. See What You Can Do to Get Discounts

Discounts are available for going a long time without an accident and being a good student if you are a younger driver. These can lead to as much as 25% savings. You may also find discounts for being a military veteran, for leaving your car part of the year (if you’re away or on vacation), and for taking defensive driving courses. You should also do whatever you can to keep points on your license to a minimum.

Switch to Cost-U-Less for the Best Car Insurance in California

Cost-U-Less is the place to go if you’re looking for cheaper car insurance in California. We offer our drivers excellent auto, renters, homeowners, and other types of insurance with the ability to bundle packages to save more. Contact us today to find out how much money we can save you.