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How much is Car Insurance per month in California?
Drivers in California are required to maintain a certain level of car insurance coverage to make sure they have the financial means to pay for any auto accident damages or injuries they may cause. Accidents can be very expensive, and even a minor fender bender can cost thousands of dollars in repairs, not to mention the cost if anyone is injured or killed. Auto insurers win business by pricing insurance coverage competitively and they continually look for ways to bring less expensive insurance to consumers.
California’s Minimum Car Insurance Requirements
In California, basic liability insurance is required for all drivers. The necessary coverage limits for liability are $15,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, $30,000 coverage per accident for bodily injury and $5,000 for personal property damages per accident.
To assist drivers who have difficulty paying for auto insurance, the state makes a low cost policy available through its California automobile Assigned Risk Plan. The liability coverage limits under this plan are lower, at $10,000 per person bodily injury, $20,000 of bodily injury per accident and $3,000 personal property damage coverage.
Additional Coverage Options
Additional auto insurance coverage is available to give drivers more protection, since liability does not cover the policyholder — it only pays for damages caused to someone else. Collision insurance provides coverage to the policyholder’s vehicle if someone else damages it, and comprehensive insurance covers any other kind of damage that may happen to a vehicle. This includes damage due to vandalism, weather, falling trees and animals.
Although California does not require any other insurance in addition to liability, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is beneficial to cover damage if somebody else causes an accident and injures you or damages your vehicle. Approximately 18% of California’s drivers do not have insurance, so this type of coverage makes good sense. Personal injury protection insurance provides extra medical coverage, and is especially helpful for people who do not have health insurance through an employer or other provider.
Factors Affecting California Car Insurance Premiums
Auto insurance premiums are calculated based on a variety of factors, including many years of historical driving and accident statistics tracked by insurance companies. The type of car a person drives, age, gender and driving history all play a part in calculating premiums. Receiving just one moving violation ticket can cause car insurance rates to increase noticeably, and recently, car insurance companies have also started to factor drivers’ credit histories into insurance premium calculations.
Latest California Auto Insurance Legislation
In California, as of 2008, Proposition 103’s requirement to prohibit insurance companies from using zip codes to calculate auto insurance premiums was fully implemented. When zip codes were factored in, insurance costs were substantially higher in larger, urban areas, even for “perfect” drivers. In lower-risk zip codes, poor drivers were able to get away with much cheaper insurance. California lawmakers have made sure that insurers must rely on an individual’s driving history to calculate premiums, with no consideration
given for where he resides in the state.
Average Car Insurance Cost for California
According to a study that follows average insurance rates each year, California’s average auto insurance quotes for 2011 is $1,190 per year. The average cost of insurance has come down over the last few years, from $1,650 in 2009 to $1,286 in 2010. These statistics are updated each month by averaging the last 12 months of data. The average for insurance on a national level is $1,442, which has also come down from a much higher level of $1,736 in 2009.
California’s Auto Accident Statistics
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration tracks auto accident data and fatalities every year for each state in the U.S. According to a report on the five-year trend for California’s top five counties in terms of auto accident fatalities. Alpine County tops the list with the highest rate of fatalities per 100,000 population. Since this number is based on a per capita statistic, the actual number of fatalities may not be as large as other counties. Sierra County, Mariposa County, Colusa County and Inyo County round out the top five. The median fatality rate for all US counties is 18.23 fatalities per 100,000 persons. Alpine County experienced 96 fatalities in 2009, and Inyo County had 34.7 fatalities per 100,000 in the same year.
The list looks slightly different when comparing the actual number of fatalities, without factoring in the relative population of each county. The top five counties with the highest number of fatalities are Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, Riverside and Kern counties. Los Angeles County had 588 traffic fatalities in 2009, and Kern County had 157 traffic fatalities in 2009.
How much is California Car Insurance per Month?
Average insurance statistics vary over time based on the type of coverage people buy, as well as their driving history and other factors. New legislation changes could also affect insurance rates, as traffic penalties and convictions become more or less frequent. California’s average auto insurance premiums of $1,190 per year comes out to $99.17 per month. Based on monthly rolling updates, the average insurance rate is trending slightly up through March of 2011, with the monthly insurance average coming out to $102.42 as of March 2011.
How to find Affordable Car Insurance in California
Quality auto insurance providers are plentiful in California, and most have an online presence that allows consumers to do quick comparison-shopping for rates. A little homework can turn up companies that make sense for good drivers and other insurance companies that specialize in high-risk drivers. It is important to find the right type of insurance company to fit a driver’s history, since rates can vary widely between them. One of the best ways to obtain quotes is to compare car insurance quotes online. Many national brands like Allstate Insurance, Progressive Insurance and State Farm Auto Insurance are all licensed to do business in California and many regional providers exist who also provide competitive quotes along with multiple discounts and competitive service.
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