Changes are coming to the California auto insurance industry in 2020. According to a report published by the Wall Street Journal in late December, insurance regulators in the Golden State are reviewing various proposals from lawmakers who wish to see stronger oversight of discounts offered to affinity groups by auto insurance companies. The basis for the argument against group discounts is that some programs end up leaving out low-income drivers, thus depriving them of potential savings and benefits. In essence, regulators want to see more equality in terms of insurance discounts, and this is good news for California drivers.
Something that won’t change in the new year is the need to shop around for car insurance. Instead of simply renewing your existing policy, you should review what insurance agencies have to offer and take time to negotiate before you make your purchase.
How Much You Can Actually Negotiate
There are limits as to what you can and cannot negotiate with regard to auto insurance in California. The actual rates are nonnegotiable because of regulatory oversight, meaning they’re promulgated after they’re approved. What can be negotiated to a certain extent is the type of coverage you can receive in exchange for premium payments. Keep in mind that coverage is based not only on the value of your vehicle but also on your profile as a driver and your individual needs.
Figuring Out Coverage According to Value
Insurance premium rates can go up and down based on various factors. First, you have market and regulatory conditions. Depreciation comes next, since it’s unavoidable for most vehicles. There’s also the coverage itself. Let’s say the car you’ve owned and driven for years has depreciated to about $4,000. In this case, collision and comprehensive coverage are no longer needed, but they’re nice to have. You may be able to negotiate to keep these features in case you have an actual need for them.
Bundling Insurance Policies
This is an aspect of insurance that provides consumers with greater bargaining power. If you own a home, a boat, or a business, purchasing all your policies from the same insurance company will very likely result in lower premiums across the board. This is something not many people in Southern California are aware of because insurance companies are very competitive and often seek ways to draw new customers away from other insurers.
Negotiating for Perks
There’s generally more room for bargaining when policies offer more coverage clauses, thus resulting in higher premiums. You can negotiate items such as roadside assistance, emergency funds, the cost of a rental car when your car is in the shop, and other perks that are worth more than many people realize.
Drivers who are searching for affordable, reliable auto insurance should reach out to the friendly agents at Altra Insurance Services. In addition to auto coverage, we offer a variety of insurance products, including motorcycle, homeowners, and renters insurance. San Diego residents can call one of our knowledgeable team members today at 619-474-6666 for a free quote.