Shocking but true, the vast majority of consumers have bought car insurance from the same company for well over three years, and 38% of drivers have never quoted car insurance rates at all. With the average car insurance premium being $1,387, Oakland drivers could cut their rates by as much as $470 a year just by shopping around, but most tend to underestimate the amount of savings they would get if they just switched companies.
If saving money is your primary concern, then the best way to get affordable auto insurance rates in Oakland is to regularly compare prices from providers in California. Drivers can shop around by following these steps.
First, learn about how companies price auto insurance and the factors you can control to keep rates in check. Many things that cause rate increases like accidents, careless driving, and bad credit can be eliminated by making small lifestyle or driving habit changes. Continue reading for the details to lower rates and get additional discounts.
Second, compare rates from exclusive agents, independent agents, and direct providers. Direct and exclusive agents can only quote rates from a single company like Progressive or Allstate, while independent agents can quote prices from multiple sources.
Third, compare the new rates to the price on your current policy and see if you can save money. If you find a lower rate and make a switch, verify that coverage does not lapse between policies.
The most important part of this process is that you use similar limits and deductibles on every price quote and and to get prices from as many companies as feasibly possible. This guarantees a fair rate comparison and the most accurate and complete price analysis.
Low cost Pontiac Aztek insurance prices in Oakland
The providers in the list below provide free quotes in California. To buy the best cheap car insurance in Oakland, CA, it’s highly recommended you visit two to three different companies to get the most affordable price.
Cheaper rates with discounts
The price of auto insurance can be rather high, but you might already qualify for some discounts that can help lower your rates. Certain reductions will be credited at the time of purchase, but once in a while a discount must be specially asked for before they will apply.
- Payment Method – If you pay your bill all at once instead of monthly or quarterly installments you could save up to 5%.
- Braking Control Discount – Cars that have steering control and anti-lock brakes can avoid accidents and qualify for as much as a 10% discount.
- Lower Rates for Military – Being deployed with a military unit could mean lower rates.
- Discounts for Safe Drivers – Drivers who don’t get into accidents can save as much as half off their rates compared to rates paid by drivers with frequent claims.
- Multiple Vehicles – Insuring multiple vehicles with one company can reduce rates for all insured vehicles.
- Early Switch Discount – Some larger companies give discounts for buying a policy before your current expiration date. It’s a savings of about 10%.
- Paperless Signup – Some of the larger companies will provide an incentive get Oakland auto insurance on their website.
- Accident-Free Discounts – Drivers with accident-free driving histories can earn big discounts as compared to drivers with a long claim history.
As is typical with insurance, most of the big mark downs will not be given to your bottom line cost. Some only reduce the cost of specific coverages such as comp or med pay. So when the math indicates you could get a free auto insurance policy, insurance companies wouldn’t stay in business.
The best auto insurance companies and their offered discounts are:
- The Hartford offers discounts for bundle, anti-theft, defensive driver, vehicle fuel type, good student, driver training, and air bag.
- American Family may include discounts for air bags, early bird, mySafetyValet, multi-vehicle, good driver, bundled insurance, and Steer into Savings.
- Progressive has savings for continuous coverage, multi-vehicle, online signing, multi-policy, online quote discount, good student, and homeowner.
- Travelers offers discounts including early quote, home ownership, multi-policy, driver training, continuous insurance, and payment discounts.
- Farmers Insurance may have discounts that include homeowner, youthful driver, business and professional, multi-car, electronic funds transfer, and alternative fuel.
- USAA policyholders can earn discounts including family discount, safe driver, defensive driver, driver training, vehicle storage, multi-policy, and annual mileage.
- Liberty Mutual may offer discounts for hybrid vehicle, safety features, new move discount, exclusive group savings, newly married, good student, and multi-car.
Before you buy a policy, ask each insurance company which discounts can lower your rates. Some discounts may not be offered in every state. If you would like to choose from a list of companies with the best discounts in California, click here.
Buying car insurance from Oakland insurance agents
Many people would prefer to visit with an insurance agent and doing that can be a smart decision Good agents can help determine the best coverages and help submit paperwork. A nice benefit of getting free rate quotes online is the fact that you can find cheap rate quotes and also buy local. Supporting local agencies is especially important in Oakland.
To find an agent, once you fill out this simple form, your insurance data is emailed to participating agents in Oakland that give free quotes to get your business. There is no need to leave your computer as quotes are delivered instantly to you. If you wish to quote rates from one company in particular, feel free to navigate to their website and fill out their quote form.
Pick the best car insurance agent in Oakland for you
When searching for a good Oakland insurance agent, you must know there are a couple types of agencies and how they are slightly different. Car insurance agents are classified as either independent or exclusive. Both can sell affordable car insurance policies, but it is a good idea to know the difference in the companies they write for since it could factor into buying decisions.
Independent Agencies or Brokers
These type of agents often have affiliation with several companies and that allows them to write policies with any number of different companies and find the cheapest car insurance rates. To transfer your coverage to a different company, the agent simply finds a different carrier and you won’t have to switch agencies.
When comparing car insurance prices, you need to get some free quotes from multiple independent agents to maximize your price options.
Listed below is a short list of independent agencies in Oakland that may be able to give price quote information.
Exclusive Insurance Agents
These agents generally can only insure with one company like State Farm or Allstate. They usually cannot shop your coverage around so they have to upsell other benefits. Exclusive agents are very knowledgeable on sales techniques which helps offset the inability to provide other markets.
The following are exclusive agents in Oakland willing to provide comparison quotes.
Deciding on an auto insurance agent is decision based upon more than just a cheap price quote. Below are some questions you should ask.
- Can they give you a list of client referrals?
- Are they involved in claim handling?
- Are claim adjusters local or do you have to take your car somewhere else?
- Is auto insurance their primary focus in Oakland?
- How experienced are they in personal risk management?
How do Car Insurance Companies Determine Pontiac Aztek Insurance Premiums?
Part of the car insurance buying process is learning the rating factors that go into determining your policy premiums. When you know what positively or negatively influences your rates, this allows you to make good choices that could result in lower rates. Lots of things are used when you get a price on insurance. Some are pretty understandable such as traffic violations, although some other factors are more transparent such as your credit history or how safe your car is.
- Rates may be lower depending on your occupation – Do you work in a high-stress field? Occupational choices like fire fighters, architects, and financial analysts tend to pay higher rates than the rest of us due to intense work situations and incredibly demanding work hours. On the other hand, professions such as professors, historians and performers have lower than average premiums.
- High coverage deductibles cost less – Insurance for physical damage to your car, also called ‘full coverage’, covers your vehicle from damage. Some examples of claims that would be covered are running into the backend of another car, collision with an animal, and rolling your vehicle. Comp and collision deductibles tell how much you are willing to pay out-of-pocket if a claim is determined to be covered. The more money the insured has to pay upfront, the lower your rates will be.
- Single drivers take more risk – Having a wife or husband can actually save you money on car insurance. Having a significant other usually means you are less irresponsible and it’s statistically proven that drivers who are married are more cautious.
- Choose high NHTSA crash test ratings and save – Vehicles that have high safety ratings tend to have lower insurance rates. Safer cars reduce the chance of injuries and better occupant protection means less claims paid and thus lower rates. If the Pontiac Aztek is rated at least an “acceptable” rating on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website it may cost less to insure.
- Don’t let your car insurance policy lapse – Going without insurance will be a guaranteed way to drive up your policy premiums. In addition to paying higher premiums, being ticketed for driving with no insurance may earn you a revoked license or a big fine.
- Remove unneeded add-on coverages – There are quite a few additional extra coverages you can purchase but may not be useful. Coverage for things like personal injury protection, accident forgiveness, and extra life insurance coverage may not be needed and are just wasting money. You may think they are a good idea when discussing your needs, but now you might not need them so remove them and pocket the money.
- Poor credit rating equals high rates – Having a bad credit rating factor in calculating your car insurance rates. Therefore, if your credit score is lower than you’d like, you could save money insuring your Pontiac Aztek by improving your rating. People with good credit tend to be more responsible and file fewer claims than drivers who have poor credit.
It may be expensive, but it’s not optional
Despite the high cost of buying insurance for a Pontiac Aztek in Oakland, car insurance serves a purpose in several ways.
- Almost all states have minimum mandated liability insurance limits which means state laws require a minimum amount of liability protection in order to drive the car. In California these limits are 15/30/5 which means you must have $15,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, $30,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and $5,000 of property damage coverage.
- If you bought your Pontiac with a loan, almost all lenders will have a requirement that you buy full coverage to guarantee loan repayment. If you let the policy lapse, the lender may insure your Pontiac at a much higher rate and make you pay for the much more expensive policy.
- Insurance safeguards not only your Pontiac Aztek but also your financial assets. It will also cover medical transport and hospital expenses for not only you but also any passengers injured in an accident. Liability insurance, one of your policy coverages, also covers all legal expenses up to the policy limit if you cause an accident and are sued. If damage is caused by hail or an accident, your car insurance policy will cover the repair costs.
The benefits of carrying enough insurance are definitely more than the cost, especially if you ever need it. An average driver in America overpays more than $865 each year so compare quotes from several companies at every policy renewal to save money.
Car insurance company ratings
Buying coverage from a good quality insurer is hard considering how many different insurance companies sell coverage in California. The ranking information shown next can help you select which providers you want to consider comparing rates from.
Top 10 Oakland Car Insurance Companies Overall
- American Family
- AAA of Southern California
- State Farm
- The Hartford
- AAA Insurance
- The General
- Titan Insurance
Some insurance companies do not offer online rate quotes and most of the time these smaller providers provide coverage only through independent agents. The cheapest Pontiac Aztek insurance in Oakland can be sourced from both online companies and also from your neighborhood Oakland agents, so you should be comparing quotes from both to have the best chance of lowering rates.
In this article, we covered a lot of ways to get a better price on Pontiac Aztek insurance in Oakland. The key concept to understand is the more providers you compare, the better your comparison will be. Drivers may even discover the lowest car insurance rates are with some of the smallest insurance companies. Some small companies may only write in your state and offer lower premium rates as compared to the big name companies such as State Farm, GEICO and Nationwide.
To learn more, feel free to visit the following helpful articles:
- Frontal Crash Tests (iihs.org)
- Who Has Affordable Car Insurance for a Company Car in Oakland? (FAQ)
- What Insurance is Cheapest for Uninsured Drivers in Oakland? (FAQ)
- Protect Yourself Against Auto Theft (Insurance Information Institute)
- Liability Insurance Coverage (Nationwide)