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San Jose used to be a flourishing agricultural center a little over 60 years ago. But thanks to technological development and a little bit of luck, the city was strategically placed for the Silicon Valley economic boom which took place from 1950-1980. This rapid growth is not without its problems, however; the infrastructure of San Jose still hasn’t quite caught up to the city’s large, bustling population.
Motorists who wish to drive in California legally need to purchase the following coverage:
|Bodily Injury Liability||15,000/30,000||100,000/300,000|
|Property Damage Liability||5,000||100,000|
|Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury||Not required||20,000/40,000|
|Medical Payments||Not required||5,000|
|Collision||Not required||500 deductible|
|Comprehensive||Not required||250 deductible|
If you’re thinking about only purchasing the bare minimum level of coverage, take a minute to understand exactly what Liability coverage takes care of. With only Liability insurance, your provider will only pay out claims for accidents which are deemed your fault. If you’re involved in a hit-and-run, or of severe weather damages your vehicle, you will have to foot the bill for getting it fixed.
For many California drivers, average monthly premiums can run as high as $164 per month or more. Luckily, San Jose motorists have the opportunity to get rates as low as $38/mo*! If you know what to look for, you can earn some significant discounts.
State Farm, Liberty Mutual, and Farmers are offering some of the lowest rates in San Jose right now. But drivers should keep in mind that other elements, such as good customer service and a streamlined claims process, are just as essential as getting the lowest possible rate.
Auto insurance carriers consider numerous variables when assessing insurance quotes, including marital status, type of vehicle owned, education, how many years of driving experience you have, and your current insurance coverage and limits. Also keep in mind that premiums differ from company to company. If you want to learn how to avoid paying high prices for your car insurance in California, keep reading.
There is a range of various things that can factor into the rate quotes you get. Even though a portion of these details aren’t actually anything you can do something about, some of them are elements which you can change for the better. Here are a few things which may affect your car insurance premium:
The cheapest car insurance is usually found in cities with a lower population density. Because there are fewer automobiles on the road, there are fewer opportunities for you to get into a major car accident with another driver. The population of San Jose is 998,537 and the median household income is $80,977.
For a city with nearly one million residents, San Jose has some fairly low accident statistics. This is good news, because it means that auto insurance providers in your area are more likely to offer lower monthly rates.
Auto theft is a major problem, especially in densely populated cities. If your location and/or vehicle model put you at a greater risk for theft, you may have trouble finding low-cost car insurance. The total number of stolen vehicles in San Jose was 7,926 in 2013. Due to such high rates of theft, you should strongly consider adding Comprehensive coverage to your policy – it’s the only way your provider will pay out theft claims.
California is one of three states which prohibits automotive insurance companies from charging higher or lower rates based on your credit score. For motorists with bad credit, this helps them get a fair price for insurance. But automotive insurance companies are also more likely to charge everyone a higher rate on average – even with good credit – to offset the risk.
Did you know that some companies will charge teenage drivers up to 300% more for insurance than someone twice their age? It all has to do with their overall lack of driving experience. Because of their inexperience, they are much more likely to get into an accident.
Serious driving violations – such as a DUI, or a reckless driving citation – can send your monthly premiums through the roof. Some companies may even refuse to cover you altogether. But if you only have minor citations, such as a speeding ticket, as your provider if you can save money with “Accident Forgiveness”.
Some drivers, especially those with an older or less expensive vehicle, can get away with the bare minimum insurance coverage. However, before you rush out to purchase a luxury vehicle for yourself, consider the fact that it will also come with a huge insurance bill each month. After all, you wouldn’t insure a luxury vehicle with Liability only, would you?
Don’t ignore the following factors completely, but don’t underestimate them, either:
As an individual, being married won’t get you very significant discounts on automotive insurance. However, bundling multiple policies with your spouse will drastically lower your monthly rate. This is also true for homeowner’s or boat insurance – the more policies you bundle, the more you can save.
The days of one gender being “known” as the better driver are becoming a relic of the past – at least, some insurance providers think so. These days, several major providers charge the exact same rate, regardless of gender. And those who still do charge different premiums usually raise prices no more than 2% on average.
The average San Jose worker can spend anywhere from 20-30 minutes driving to work each day (or more if you live in the outskirts of the city). More than three quarters of motorists choose to drive their own car to work, whereas 9-21% of people prefer to carpool.
You’d think that in a place like California, doing your best to limit your mileage each year would yield serious discounts. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong. At best, you can only lower your monthly premium by about 3-4%. Be careful, though, before listing your vehicle as a business vehicle on your policy. Those types of automobiles can cost over 10% more to insure each month than vehicles used for work, school, or pleasure commutes.
Raising your deductible is a good way to add some extra coverage and benefits to your automotive policy without seeing your monthly rate skyrocket. But make sure you have some money saved up, just in case the worst happens and you actually have to file a claim.
Most drivers in San Jose either have a bachelor’s degree or are still on the path towards completing high school. And, believe it or not, this does much more to help them get lower insurance rates than having a fancy job or a huge salary. A good number of motorists have a high school diploma. Education, by the way, is also a great way to save money on car insurance; the more education you have, the lower your rates will be.
There are many different options to choose from as far as San Jose universities are concerned. There’s San Jose State University, which is one of the oldest public universities anywhere on the West Coast. There’s also the San Jose/Evergreen Community College District which offers a variety of associates degrees to more than 30,000 young and old students each year.
Finding affordable auto insurance can be a hassle. There’s a lot of information you need to consider, and figuring out how insurance companies evaluate your potential risk can be complicated. But don’t let the wrong insurance company talk you into purchasing the wrong policy.
*We calculated our average rate based on the following metrics: a married, 34 year old male with good credit, a 12-month history of maintaining auto insurance, a clean driving record, who owns his own home. Miles driven annually were based on the national average. The average rate was also calculated based on a financed 2015 Honda Accord with a pre-installed anti-theft device.
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