California has the sixth-highest car insurance rates in the nation, which should come as no surprise to San Diego drivers. The good news is that while rates may be higher in California than elsewhere in the United States, there are many factors that go into determining insurance premiums, including factors within your control.
Average Cost of Car Insurance in San Diego
According to a 2019 Insure.com study, California car insurance premiums cost an average of $1,846 annually—still far below Michigan, the most expensive state in the country for car insurance, with average premiums of $2,611. However, for car insurance, San Diego has much lower rates than the state average. NerdWallet places San Diego within the top 20 cheapest California cities for car insurance, with an average annual premium of just $926, or $77 per month.
Factors Affecting San Diego Car Insurance Rates
Dozens of factors influence car insurance premiums, including vehicle theft rates and population density as well as the age of the driver, driving history, and the vehicle itself. Despite being the eighth most populous city in the United States, San Diego has a large land area that gives it a fairly low population density of around 4,000 people per square mile, which keeps rates lower than cities like San Francisco, where the density is more than 17,000 people per square mile. San Diego does have a higher-than-average car theft rate, though, with 4.94 thefts per 1,000 people.
Even the weather can affect rates. In California, traffic accident numbers are often three times higher on rainy days than on days with good weather. Fortunately, San Diego doesn’t log as many rainy days as other cities, and rain is considered the deadliest weather hazard.
Important Factors Affecting Your Car Insurance Premiums
California is one of just three states to ban the use of credit scores when setting car insurance rates. Still, this leaves many other factors that can influence how much you pay for coverage. The most important factors include:
- Where you live – Whether you live in an urban or suburban setting matters as well as vandalism rates, car theft rates, and population density.
- Your vehicle – Your insurance company considers your car’s accident rate, theft rate, safety rating, and average repair costs to determine how much you pay for insurance.
- The deductibles and coverage limits you choose – As a general rule, the lower your deductible and the higher the coverage limits you set, the higher your premium will be.
- Your marital status and gender – Men are at a higher risk of being in accidents, especially men below the age of 30. Married people typically drive less and more safely.
- Your driving record – A clean driving record helps you qualify for the lowest possible insurance premiums and even safe driver discounts.
- Your insurance claims history – If you have a history of at-fault insurance claims, you can expect a surcharge on your insurance premiums.
Some of these factors are outside your control, but you can reduce your rates by driving safely and obeying traffic laws. When it’s time to buy a new car, do your research to choose a safe model with low theft rates for even lower insurance premiums.
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 policies, 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.