Whether you have purchased your insurance from a local service or a national insurance service, there are several things you can do to lower the cost of your California Car Insurance premium rates. In order to lower your premium rates, some due diligence and research is required. For most individuals, you can save a considerable amount of time by researching this issue online. Applicable Statistics According to a 2013 research study conducted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the following chart lists the top 10 states with the highest average annual and monthly premium rates: STATE ANNUAL PREMIUM MONTHLY PREMIUM Michigan $2,551 $213 West Virginia $2,518 $260 Georgia $2,201 $183 Washington, D.C. $2,127 $177 Rhode Island $2,020 $168 Montana $2,013 $168 Louisiana $1,971 $164 California $1,962 $164 New Jersey $1,905 $159 Maryland $1,810 $151 Additionally, the IINC or Insurance Information Network of California (IINC) revealed that 1 out of every 6 drivers in California was uninsured and 1 out of 10 was underinsured. In addition to this, some insurance companies have been victims of fraud. On an interesting side note, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, nearly 92,000 questionable claims were filed in 2010. Unfortunately, when an insurer pays off these fraudulent claims, guess who winds up paying higher premium rates? That’s right – you do! Suggestions for Lowering Your Premium Rates There are a number of factors that insurance companies consider when calculating how much you pay for your auto insurance. These factors include: • amounts and types of coverage • how much your car is driven • type of car • where the vehicle is parked • your age • your credit score • your driving record • your gender • your geographic location Granted, Auto Insurance can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. The following tips could help you save a bundle on your premium rates: • Avoid duplication of your medical coverage – there’s no point in paying for anything twice. If medical payments (MedPay) or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) are one of the coverages in your current policy, you could be paying for it twice if you already have good disability, health, and life insurance. Not only will you save money on your insurance premium, you’ll be saving overall. • Combine your auto and homeowner’s policies – most insurance companies will offer discounts of up to 20% for combining multiple policies. So if you’d like to save up to 20 cents out of every dollar that you spend on your auto insurance, this is definitely something to consider. • Drive less – instead of driving your vehicle to work every day, why not leave it parked in the garage once in a while. You can either carpool once in a while with your co-workers or use your local public transportation system. Most of the major auto insurance companies in California offer low-mileage discounts when you do this. Lowering your annual mileage will save you money on your insurance premium as well as at the gas pumps and repair shop. • Forgo the coverages you don’t really need – if you have an older vehicle whose market value is extremely low, you should consider dropping your collision and comprehensive coverage on it. Chances are, those coverages are no longer worth it because in all likelihood, any claim that you file will not exceed the deductible amount and your insurance costs. To assess the value of your older vehicle, check on Kelley Blue Book websites and determine whether or not it is feasible to keep those coverages. • Increase the amount of your deductible – this is one of the primary ways that you can lower the cost of your premium. Just keep in mind that the amount of your deductible is something you need to be comfortable with considering that is the amount you will have to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance company takes over and pays for any repairs. Interestingly enough, many individuals never bother to review their auto insurance policies. In today’s economy and with so many individuals concerned about their household budgets, it’s important that you do this on an annual basis at the least or whenever your insurance is up for renewal.