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Escondido Car Insurance

The city of Escondido is located in the northern part of San Diego County, just about 30 miles from Downtown.

While the suburb is no more than 20 minutes from the City of San Diego, which is known for its beautiful sightseeing and public transportation, Escondido is a car-dependent city where most errands require a car.

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If you're buying a vehicle or you're moving to Escondido from another state, it's important that you learn about the state of California's car insurance laws.

By law, you're required to prove that you're financially responsible when you register a car to be operated on public roadways. If you're not familiar with California Financial Responsibility laws, here's what you need to know:

Escondido Vehicle Owners Must Comply with State Law

Auto insurance laws are set by state officials and the insurance marketplace is regulated by the state's Department of Insurance. Vehicle owners must comply with state-specific laws when they are registering their vehicles.

If you are moving to Escondido, you must educate yourself on California insurance laws.

What does the California car insurance law say?

When you own a vehicle in California, you must comply with the California Financial Responsibility Law. Unlike other state laws, insurance isn't mandatory in the state.

You have the option to deposit cash, buy a surety bond, or apply for a self-insurance certificate to prove that you are financially responsible enough to own a car. While these are options, the most popular way to comply is to buy motor vehicle liability insurance.

How much insurance is required in Escondido?

If you don't have $35,000 to deposit with the Department of Motor Vehicles or property to put up as collateral for a surety bond, buying auto insurance is the most sensible option.

If you choose to comply with the law by purchasing auto insurance, you're required to carry the following coverage options:

  • Bodily Injury Liability – Minimum limit of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
  • Property Damage Liability – Minimum limit $5,000 per person

What does liability insurance pay for?

Liability insurance protects your assets in the event of an accident.

Instead of paying for your repairs and medical bills, your liability limits will pay for the expenses that are incurred by others when you're at fault in an accident.

Bodily Injury pays for medical bills, lost wages, and funeral expenses. Property Damage pays to repair someone else's vehicle or other damaged property.

Forms of Insurance Companies in California Must Offer

There are coverage options that you're required to purchase and other coverage options that companies are required to offer you.

In the state of California, all licensed carriers are required by law to offer you both Medical Payments coverage and Uninsured Motorist Protection. If you don't want to pay for either coverage, you can reject it in writing.

Should you buy Medical Payments and Uninsured Motorist?

Just because you have the option to reject the coverage doesn't mean that you should. If you're questioning whether or not to add either coverage, it's important to learn how each coverage protects you.

Here's a breakdown of what the first-party coverage will pay for:

Other Types of Coverage That You Can Purchase

If you want more protection than what is afforded by a basic policy, you should consider adding other optional types of coverage to your policy. A policy with physical damage protection on it is called a full coverage policy.

Here are some of the various types of protection that can help you recover after an accident:

  • Comprehensive – Pays to repair your car after it's stolen, damaged in a fire, targeted by a vandal, or damaged by other non-collision perils
  • Collision – Pays to repair your car after you collide with an object or your vehicle overturns
  • Rental Car Reimbursement – Pays for a rental after a covered loss
  • Towing – Pays for the cost of towing after your car is disabled

Should you buy physical damage coverage?

Physical damage coverage can be very costly. The total cost for a full coverage policy in Escondido and surrounding areas in California is around $782.63 per year. It's important to take a look to see if full coverage is something that's necessary for your vehicle.

You should research the value of your vehicle before you search for auto insurance quotes.

The insurer will only pay up to the value of your car when you have a damage claim. If your vehicle is worth at least ten times the cost of premiums for physical damage coverage, it's wise to carry the protection.

If you're concerned about protection in the event of a theft, consider how often vehicles are vandalized in your area. There are a lot of property crimes reported in Escondido each year.

Based on the statistics, every resident in Escondido has a 1 in 49 chance of becoming a victim of motor vehicle theft. Comprehensive coverage is strongly recommended.

How to Choose the Best Carrier

There are hundreds of auto insurance companies that do business in Escondido. If you were to search for auto insurance carriers in your area, it's easy to get overwhelmed with all of your choices.

The best way to choose a carrier that you can trust is to narrow down the list. Consider the following:

  • State licensing status through the California Department of Insurance
  • Financial strength rating through credit rating agencies like A.M. Best or Moody's (each agency has its own rating system)
  • Product offering (property insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, etc.)
  • Contact methods available and hours of operation
  • Customer service ratings
  • Complaints reported through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners

How are your rates determined?

Every insurance company in California is required to file their rates for approval through the Department of Insurance.

Even though rates require approval, the carrier can charge their own unique rates if they are fair and justifiable. To personalize your rates, insurers will use several different rating factors which include:

  • Your age, gender, and marital status
  • Your claims history and accident history
  • Your driving record
  • Your years or driving experience in the United States
  • Your geographical location and garaging zip code
  • Your occupation
  • Your driving habits
  • Your annual mileage
  • Your vehicle type and safety features installed in the car

How to Save Money on Your Insurance

There are plenty of ways to save money on your California insurance rates. One way is to buy only what's required by law.

If you want to keep your rates low without lowering your coverage limits, here are some valuable tips to qualify for huge cost-saving discounts:

  • Raise your deductibles
  • Take a driver safety training class
  • Complete Mature Driver Training
  • Qualify for a good grades discount if you're 25 or under
  • Buy another line of insurance with the same carrier
  • Limit your mileage to qualify for a low mileage discount
  • Take traffic school when you get a citation

The most effective way to keep your insurance rates low is to shop around. You can shop around for competitive rates by using an online rate comparison tool. Enter your Escondido zip code, plug in your personal information, and compare insurance rates today.

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