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By KCAL-News Staff
/ KCAL News
Driving is a huge part of life in the Southland, and whether it be joy rides along the beach or suffering through the bumper-to-bumper traffic that is the the SoCal freeway system, getting behind the wheel of a car isn’t exactly cheap.
Cars themselves cost a pretty penny, but one of the biggest expenses is car insurance.
KCAL-News’s Joy Benedict takes a look at where and when you can spend, and where you should save in order to secure a cheaper rate and ease some of the strain on your wallet.
Experts say that one of the biggest mistakes that drivers make is blind loyalty, or sticking with the same company because it’s familiar. Instead, they advise that people shop around, and do so often.
“There are dozens of companies that want your business” said Mark Friedlander, with the Insurance Information Institute. He says that people should get at least three quotes a year, which is as simple as searching online or making some phone calls. “There’s so much competition out there. There’s always ways to get better rates.”
Another way to lower rates, is to combine renters or homeowners insurance onto the same policy as your vehicle.
“If you have two or more policies with the same insurance carrier, you will get a discount,” Friedlander said. “Sometimes 20% on the same package.”
He also notes that increasing your deductible could save you hundreds of dollars a year.
“Typically deductibles are in the $250 to $500 range, but you can get even higher deductibles, which will help reduce your premium,” he said.
While liability insurance is required in the Golden State, Friedlander reminds that comprehensive and collision policies are not. He suggests that car owners with an older vehicle that is already paid off drop those policies and save the extra money.
But, with the price that many cars cost nowadays, and the used car market drying up, other insurance agents advise against dropping them altogether.
“Maybe before where taking the collision and comprehensive off was a great idea, now, maybe it’s not,” said Danny Day, an agent with Allstate. “Now maybe the car’s worth more, maybe we should have that coverage. So I think it’s really good to look at that.”
Day also advises that car owners invest in rental car coverage.
“With how long it takes cars to be fixed, you may be a few weeks waiting on parts,” he said. “That’s a long time to be without a vehicle.”
As it stands, California ranks 18th in the nation when it comes to most expensive states for the average annual car insurance policy — costing just under $2,300 a year.
The KCAL News Staff is a group of experienced journalists who bring you the content on KCALNews.com and CBSLA.com.
First published on February 13, 2023 / 11:26 PM
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