Shocking but true, almost 70% of drivers kept their policy with the same company for well over three years, and just under half have never compared rates to find cheaper insurance. Drivers in Oakland could save themselves up to $469 a year, but they won’t spend time to compare rate quotes online.
If your goal is the lowest price, then the best way to find cheaper prices for auto insurance rates in Oakland is to start doing a yearly price comparison from different companies in California. You can compare prices by following these guidelines.
- Try to learn about what is in your policy and the things you can control to keep rates in check. Many policy risk factors that result in higher rates like speeding tickets, careless driving and a less-than-favorable credit rating can be eliminated by making minor driving habit or lifestyle changes.
- Compare prices from direct carriers, independent agents, and exclusive agents. Direct companies and exclusive agencies can provide rates from a single company like Progressive or Farmers Insurance, while independent agencies can provide rate quotes from multiple sources.
- Compare the quotes to your existing rates to see if cheaper Spark coverage is available. If you find better rates, make sure coverage does not lapse between policies.
- Give proper notification to your current agent or company of your intention to cancel your current auto insurance policy. Submit a down payment along with a signed application for the new coverage. Immediately upon receiving it, place your new certificate verifying coverage somewhere easily accessible.
An essential thing to point out is that you’ll want to compare the same deductibles and limits on each price quote and and to analyze as many auto insurance providers as possible. This helps ensure an apples-to-apples comparison and the best price quote selection.
How to shop Chevy Spark insurance online
Getting a more affordable price on insurance can be surprisingly simple. All that’s required is to take a few minutes to get quotes from different insurance companies.
The companies shown below have been selected to offer free rate quotes in Oakland, CA. To get the best cheap auto insurance in Oakland, CA, we suggest you compare several of them to get a more complete price comparison.
Here’s why insurance is not optional
Despite the high cost, paying for insurance is required for several reasons.
- The majority of states have mandatory liability insurance requirements which means state laws require specific minimum amounts of liability insurance coverage in order to license the vehicle. 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 Chevy Spark with a loan, most banks will have a requirement that you have full coverage to ensure loan repayment if the vehicle is totaled. If you cancel or allow the policy to lapse, the bank may insure your Chevy at a much higher premium rate and force you to reimburse them the higher price.
- Insurance protects not only your Chevy Spark but also your financial assets. Insurance will also pay for most medical and hospital costs for both you and anyone you injure as the result of an accident. One of the most valuable coverages, liability insurance, will also pay for a defense attorney in the event you are sued. If your car is damaged in a storm or accident, comprehensive and/or collision insurance will pay all costs to repair after the deductible has been paid.
The benefits of carrying enough insurance definitely exceed the price paid, specifically if you ever have a liability claim. An average driver in America is overpaying more than $830 a year so shop around once a year at a minimum to make sure the price is not too high.
Check for these seven discounts on Chevy Spark insurance in Oakland
Companies that sell car insurance don’t necessarily list the entire discount list very well, so we researched a few of the more well known as well as the least known credits available to bring down your rates.
- Use Seat Belts – Drivers who require all occupants to wear their seat belts can save up to 15% off the PIP or medical payment premium.
- Payment Method – By paying your policy upfront rather than paying monthly you can avoid monthly service charges.
- Mature Driver Discount – Mature drivers may qualify for better car insurance rates.
- Accident Waiver – Not really a discount, but some insurance companies will forgive one accident before hitting you with a surcharge as long as you don’t have any claims for a set time period.
- Savings for New Vehicles – Adding a new car to your policy is cheaper because newer models have to meet stringent safety requirements.
- Oakland Homeowners Pay Less – Just owning your own home may trigger a policy discount on car insurance since home ownership requires a higher level of personal finance.
- Multi-line Discount – Not all car insurance companies offer life insurance, but some may give you a discount if you purchase a life policy as well.
As a disclaimer on discounts, most credits do not apply to the overall cost of the policy. Most only cut the price of certain insurance coverages like liability, collision or medical payments. Even though it appears you would end up receiving a 100% discount, you’re out of luck.
Large car insurance companies and some of their more popular discounts are included below.
- GEICO may offer discounts for membership and employees, five-year accident-free, multi-policy, anti-lock brakes, and daytime running lights.
- Travelers may include discounts for new car, student away at school, save driver, home ownership, hybrid/electric vehicle, IntelliDrive, and multi-policy.
- Nationwide discounts include accident-free, Farm Bureau membership, good student, family plan, multi-policy, defensive driving, and easy pay.
- Farmers Insurance policyholders can earn discounts including alternative fuel, early shopping, electronic funds transfer, business and professional, and distant student.
- Esurance has discounts for multi-car, DriveSense, defensive driver, good student, multi-policy, paid-in-full, and Switch & Save.
- State Farm has savings for good student, multiple policy, Steer Clear safe driver discount, student away at school, and passive restraint.
- Progressive offers discounts for multi-vehicle, online signing, online quote discount, continuous coverage, and good student.
- Mercury Insurance may have discounts that include type of vehicle, multi-car, low natural disaster claims, ease of repair, good driver, annual mileage, and anti-theft.
When getting a coverage quote, ask all companies you are considering which discounts you qualify for. Depending on the company, some discounts might not be offered on policies in every state. To choose insurers with significant discounts in California, click here.
Comparing prices from local Oakland insurance agencies
Some consumers just prefer to sit down with an agent and that is a personal choice. Good insurance agents are trained to spot inefficiencies and help you file claims. One of the great benefits of comparing insurance prices online is the fact that drivers can get better rates and still buy from a local agent. Buying from and supporting neighborhood agents is still important in Oakland.
Once you complete this simple form, the coverage information is emailed to insurance agents in Oakland who want to provide quotes to get your business. There is no reason to search for any insurance agencies as quotes are delivered to the email address you provide. If you need to quote rates from a specific insurance company, you can always search and find their rate quote page and submit a quote form there.
The type of car insurance agent you choose is important
If you are wanting to purchase auto insurance from a reliable insurance agent, you need to know there are two different types of agents that you can choose from. Agents can be categorized as either independent or exclusive depending on the company they work for. Both types can sell and service auto insurance coverage, but it’s important to know the difference in the companies they write for since it can affect which type of agent you select.
Independent Auto Insurance Agencies
Independent insurance agents are not locked into one company so they have the ability to put coverage with many different companies enabling the ability to shop coverage around. If your premiums go up, your agent can just switch to a different company which makes it simple for you. When comparing rate quotes, you need to get insurance quotes from independent agents to get the best comparison. Many write coverage with smaller mutual companies which can save you money.
Featured below is a short list of independent agents in Oakland who may provide free auto insurance rate quotes.
- Ruth Stroup Insurance Agency
3560 Grand Ave – Oakland, CA 94610 – (510) 874-5700 – View Map
- Fiesta Auto Insurance Center
4102 International Blvd – Oakland, CA 94601 – (510) 261-1300 – View Map
- Thandi Insurance Brokerage
2859 Mandela Pkwy – Oakland, CA 94608 – (510) 452-1566 – View Map
Exclusive Insurance Agencies
Agents that elect to be exclusive can only provide pricing for a single company and some examples include State Farm, AAA, and Liberty Mutual. Exclusive agents cannot place coverage with different providers so you might not find the best rates. Exclusive agents receive a lot of sales training on sales techniques which helps them sell insurance even at higher premiums. Some people will only buy from the same agent for years mainly due to loyalty to the company rather than low price.
Listed below are exclusive insurance agencies in Oakland that are able to give price quotes.
- Fernando Valenzuela – State Farm Insurance
1236 30th Ave – Oakland, CA 94601 – (510) 533-9712 – View Map
- Farmers Insurance – Margarita Rodriguez
3028 International Blvd – Oakland, CA 94601 – (510) 532-8426 – View Map
- Farmers Insurance – Kim McGuire Reid
4323 Piedmont Ave – Oakland, CA 94611 – (510) 428-2016 – View Map
Picking the best auto insurance agent needs to be determined by more than just the price. The answers to these questions are important, too.
- How long have they been in business?
- How are they compensated?
- Is the agent properly licensed in California?
- Is every driver in your family covered?
- Can you use your own choice of collision repair facility?
- Do they have adequate Errors and Omissions coverage? This protects you if they make a mistake.
- Is there a local claims center in Oakland?
What is the best car insurance company in California?
Picking the highest-rated company is difficult considering how many companies are available to choose from in Oakland. The company information displayed below could help you choose which coverage providers you want to consider when looking for cheaper rates.
Top 10 Oakland Car Insurance Companies Overall
- American Family
- AAA of Southern California
- State Farm
- The Hartford
- AAA Insurance
- The General
- Titan Insurance
Top 10 Oakland Car Insurance Companies by A.M. Best Rank
- USAA – A++
- Travelers – A++
- State Farm – A++
- GEICO – A++
- Esurance – A+
- Nationwide – A+
- Allstate – A+
- Mercury Insurance – A+
- Progressive – A+
- Titan Insurance – A+
Auto insurance coverage information
Learning about specific coverages of your auto insurance policy helps when choosing appropriate coverage for your vehicles. The terms used in a policy can be difficult to understand and nobody wants to actually read their policy.
This pays to fix your vehicle from damage caused by collision with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. You have to pay a deductible and the rest of the damage will be paid by collision coverage.
Collision coverage pays for things like sideswiping another vehicle, damaging your car on a curb, crashing into a building and colliding with another moving vehicle. Collision coverage makes up a good portion of your premium, so consider removing coverage from vehicles that are older. Drivers also have the option to choose a higher deductible on your Spark to get cheaper collision coverage.
Liability insurance protects you from damage that occurs to a person or their property in an accident. It protects you from claims by other people. Liability doesn’t cover your own vehicle damage or injuries.
Coverage consists of three different limits, bodily injury for each person, bodily injury for the entire accident, and a limit for property damage. Your policy might show liability limits of 15/30/5 which stand for $15,000 in coverage for each person’s injuries, a total of $30,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and property damage coverage for $5,000. Another option is a combined single limit or CSL which provides one coverage limit rather than limiting it on a per person basis.
Liability coverage pays for claims like repair costs for stationary objects, pain and suffering, bail bonds, medical expenses and loss of income. How much liability coverage do you need? That is a decision to put some thought into, but buy as high a limit as you can afford. California state minimum liability requirements are 15/30/5 but drivers should carry better liability coverage.
The next chart demonstrates why buying low liability limits may not be enough.
Comprehensive auto insurance
Comprehensive insurance pays for damage OTHER than collision with another vehicle or object. You first have to pay a deductible then your comprehensive coverage will pay.
Comprehensive insurance covers claims such as a tree branch falling on your vehicle, theft, hitting a deer, rock chips in glass and damage from a tornado or hurricane. The most you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the ACV or actual cash value, so if the vehicle is not worth much it’s not worth carrying full coverage.
Coverage for uninsured or underinsured drivers
This protects you and your vehicle when other motorists do not carry enough liability coverage. Covered claims include hospital bills for your injuries as well as damage to your Chevy Spark.
Because many people carry very low liability coverage limits (15/30/5), their liability coverage can quickly be exhausted. So UM/UIM coverage should not be overlooked. Frequently the UM/UIM limits do not exceed the liability coverage limits.
Coverage for medical expenses
Med pay and PIP coverage provide coverage for immediate expenses for things like EMT expenses, funeral costs, prosthetic devices and doctor visits. The coverages can be utilized in addition to your health insurance policy or if there is no health insurance coverage. They cover you and your occupants in addition to if you are hit as a while walking down the street. PIP coverage is only offered in select states but it provides additional coverages not offered by medical payments coverage
A conclusion for your insurance search
As you quote Oakland auto insurance, make sure you don’t reduce needed coverages to save money. There are too many instances where consumers will sacrifice physical damage coverage and learned later they didn’t have enough coverage. Your focus should be to buy a smart amount of coverage at a price you can afford, but do not sacrifice coverage to save money.
Cheaper insurance in Oakland can be bought both online as well as from independent agents in Oakland, and you need to price shop both to have the best chance of lowering rates. Some insurance companies may not have online rate quotes and usually these regional carriers only sell coverage through independent agents.
Insureds who switch companies do it for any number of reasons including being labeled a high risk driver, not issuing a premium refund, unfair underwriting practices or poor customer service. It doesn’t matter what your reason, finding a new company can be easier than you think.
For more information, feel free to visit these articles:
- Understanding Car Crashes Video (iihs.org)
- How Much is Car Insurance for 16 Year Olds in Oakland? (FAQ)
- Liability Insurance Coverage (Nationwide)
- What is Full Coverage? (Allstate)
- Parking Tips to Reduce Door Dings (State Farm)