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California Car Insurance Policies

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Understanding how California car insurance policies work is the key to finding cheap CA auto insurance. The state of California is the third largest state in the United States in terms of size. Naturally, it is also one of the most congested states for high speed traffic. California has one of the most complex state highway systems in all of the country and has a notorious reputation for traffic jams and car accidents. Of course, these facts will have ramification on your California car insurance policy.

Facts on California Car Insurance Policies

The California Highway Patrol (CHIP) stated that in the year 2008 highway accidents continued to rise while auto-related fatalities decreased. CHIP reported 1,119 accidents in the year 2008 compared to 1,036 accidents in 2007. The fact that there were more accidents and fewer fatalities may be encouraging to hear overall, but for the insurance companies that is no reason to give motorists a break on their car insurance premiums.

With all of this potential for mistakes and wreckage comes great risk, and a higher insurance rate for practically every motorist. California state law requires that all motorists be insured and that their insurance policy covers a minimum of liability damages. The law states that all drivers have to carry a covered minimum of $15,000 for Bodily Injury Liability per injured person up to a total of $30,000 for once accident. In addition, all drivers must carry a Property Damage Liability policy worth at least $5,000. Furthermore, the state of California uses what is called a tort system when weighing the liability of car accidents. That means that one party must be found liable for the car accident, and hence that person and their insurance company will assume responsibility for damages.

Playing it Safe with California Car Insurance Policies

Many California residents assume that because the state requires a minimum of $15,000 coverage they can get away with paying for the lowest cost insurance policy and still be legally and materially covered. Yes, they are legally covered. However, they may be underestimating the dangers that come along with paying for “cheap” CA car insurance policies.

Consider for example, the Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury coverage. This is a policy that is not required by law and one that, under most circumstances, would be rarely used. However, the few times that this policy might be used, specifically in the event that an uninsured motorist hits your car, would certainly make the investment worthwhile. If an uninsured motorist hits you and has no insurance, all you can do is file a lawsuit against him or her (or convince him to pay you in cash, which is unlikely). However, if the damage wasn’t significant you may have to limit yourself to a small claims court. On the other hand, even if the motorist is insured within the legal requirement, he may not be insured to the extent that his insurance policy could cover major damage to your automobile. Unless you have such a policy in place, you may have to pay for damages that aren’t your fault.

California’s car insurance quotes have been steadily increasing in recent years. The average auto insurance premium for California residents in the year 2009 was $1,711, which is very close to the national average. It’s easy to assume that the state of California probably fixes these rates, or that because you are a certain demographic, it may be pointless to try and negotiate a better insurance rate.

Finding A Lower Cost California Car Insurance Policy

However, if you are willing to talk to your California auto insurance company, or even sign up with another insurance provider, then you may be able to find a cheaper CA auto insurance rate. Have confidence in yourself that if you match the criteria for a low risk driver, then you can renegotiate your policy. For example, drivers past the age of 25 are usually considered lower risk than the average young person. Drivers past the age 50 are considered lower-risk than average adult drivers. Married drivers are also traditionally safer than single drivers. If any of these circumstances change in your life, you may be qualified to ask for a lower insurance rate, provided you maintain a clean driving record.

Geography also has to be considered in determining California car insurance policies. Understand that in California, just by the sheer size of the state and the ferocity of its traffic, will cost more for a car insurance policy than a small town in Wyoming. Where you live makes a difference, particularly if you drive in heavily congested areas like Los Angeles and San Diego. Other factors that you can change include the type of vehicle you drive (the older and more modest car, the easier it is to insure) and your occupation, along with the total mileage you cover in a year.

You might expect to pay a little bit more than the norm for a California insurance policy. However, you shouldn’t assume that just because you’re Californian you can’t find a better deal on car insurance out there. Start by comparing auto insurance quotes online using a free auto insurance comparison website. You may be surprised at the savings you find just because you take the initiative to switch to another CA car insurance provider. Enter your zip above to start finding the best California car insurance today!

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