Whenever you are shopping for California car insurance rates, you will always be urged to go online and compare the different companies and their premium rates. After all, when you are in the market for a new vehicle, you don’t purchase the first one that catches your eye do you? So it makes sense that you would compare car insurance rates as well. It is important that you know exactly what factors to compare because it is so easy to get trapped in a routine and not compare rates at least once a year. Why should I compare my Car Insurance Rates? At some point in time, you have probably thought about shopping for another insurance company to meet your personal driving needs. However, there are a number of reasons for making comparisons. Here are the most important ones: Insurance rates are constantly changing – keeping this in mind, comparing companies on a regular basis is just common sense. The primary reason that insurance companies do this is to remain competitive. However, it’s a safe bet that if one insurer offers something like “accident forgiveness” coverage, it won’t be long before their competitors find a way to lower their premium costs. Similar coverage rates will vary from one insurance company to the next – it’s not uncommon to find a diverse price range for the same coverage when you are shopping different companies. The reason that rates oftentimes vary is attributed to the different factors that companies take into consideration such as age, claims record, driving record, and gender. Your personal insurance needs could change – circumstances in our lives are always subject to change. A person in their early 20’s will have an entirely different set of needs compared to someone in their 40’s. However, there are certain life-changing events that may require you to shop for better premium rates. These include: • buying a home • getting married • having children • passing certain age milestones • purchasing a new vehicle Whenever circumstances such as these arise during your life, it is always recommended that you sit down and compare premium rates. You can do this online or visit your insurance agent and discuss your needs in person. How to accurately compare Insurance Premium Rates It’s easy to focus on the cost of your insurance premium rates, but you do need to compare coverage between different companies. This includes the specific type of coverage, the limits on it, and any deductibles that may apply. Just remember, there is more to compare than just the final premium price. Consider the following: Check your deductible amounts – collision/comprehensive insurance coverage pays for any damages to your vehicle. In most cases, insurance policies cover the cost of repairs or replacement at market value should the vehicle be totaled in an accident. However, it is the deductible that you need to be concerned with as this is the money that you will have to pay out of pocket before your coverage pays off the remaining costs. Don’t neglect or overlook uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage – this is especially true where California car insurance is concerned considering the fact that 1 out of every 7 drivers on the road is either uninsured or underinsured. Find out which discounts you qualify for – one of the easiest ways to save money on your insurance premium rates is by qualifying for additional discounts such as being a good student or a safe driver. There are also discounts available for insuring multiple vehicles under the same policy. This is something else that you want to discuss with your current insurance agent. Get a minimum of 6 quotes – it’s obvious that you don’t want to go with the first insurance company you come across so it is always advisable that you compare a minimum of 6 different companies before making your decision. Look at liability coverage limits – this particular coverage pays for any damage repair or medical bills that arise for the other driver when you are involved in an accident. Every state has minimum liability limits and California car insurance is no exception. Even though the minimum liability will save you money, it may not be sufficient in the worst-case accident scenario.