Even the most careful drivers can be involved in collisions. That is why vehicle owners in Sacramento are required to carry car insurance. From fender benders on Stockton Boulevard to multi-car collisions on I-80, a good auto insurance policy can save you from facing large financial losses as a result.
Finding an ideal car insurance policy is easy when you work with a local independent agent. These experienced agents can help you obtain and compare customized car insurance quotes from some of the best car insurance companies in California.
Arrange an obligation-free consultation with an independent insurance agent in Sacramento to get started.
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Sacramento, CA?
The average cost of car insurance in California is higher than the national average. Comparing rates from a few different carriers lets you be sure you are getting your policy at a competitive price.
- National average annual car insurance cost: $1,311
- California average annual car insurance cost: $1,643
Of course, this average rate can only give you a general idea of what you might actually be expected to pay. Car insurance premiums can vary from one driver to the next because they are based on several factors like:
- The make, model, and year of the vehicle(s) you are insuring
- Your age, occupation, and driving history
- Information about the other licensed drivers in your household
- Whether you own or rent your home
- The amount of liability coverage you are purchasing
- The coverage options you want to include in your policy
There are ways to reduce your rates through discounts and incentives, such as if you bundle your car insurance with other policies like home insurance or renters insurance, if you have a good driving record, or if you are student with good grades.
Is Car Insurance Required in Sacramento, CA?
All California vehicle owners need to be insured before they can drive their cars legally. In this state, there are different ways to achieve this mandatory coverage.
Most Sacramento drivers purchase a traditional car insurance policy that meets or exceeds the state’s minimum liability coverage requirements. Alternatively, you can opt to:
- Make a $35,000 cash deposit with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
- Purchase a $35,000 surety bond from a company that is licensed to do business California
- Obtain a DMV-issued self-insurance certificate
What Are the Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in California?
In California, all car insurance policies must include liability insurance. This coverage is designed to cover other people’s property damage and medical bills if you are at fault for a collision. Your policy must have at least:
- $15,000 in bodily injury liability per person
- $30,000 in bodily injury liability per accident
- $5,000 in property damage liability per accident
If you are responsible for an accident that results in serious injuries to others, their medical costs can easily exceed what a minimum coverage policy can pay for. In that case, you would be expected to make up the difference out of pocket.
That is why many Sacramento drivers opt to purchase car insurance that has higher liability limits than the state requires. If you want even more liability coverage than your car insurance policy can offer, umbrella insurance is an affordable way to boost it.
What Else Can Sacramento Car Insurance Cover?
In addition to the mandatory liability coverage mentioned above, your insurance provider will offer a variety of coverage options, some or all of which you may want to include in your Sacramento car insurance policy. This optional coverage includes:
- Physical damage coverage: Also referred to as full coverage, this is designed to cover physical damage to your own vehicle. It includes:
- Uninsured motorist insurance (UIM): This can pay for your repair costs and medical treatment if you are in a collision caused by an uninsured driver.
- Medical payments coverage: This can provide limited coverage for the costs you might accrue if you or your passengers are injured in a collision, regardless of fault.
- Roadside assistance and towing coverage: This can pay for assistance if your car becomes disabled while you are away from home, such as if your engine overheats, you run out of gas, or you get a flat tire.
- Gap insurance: This can pay off your car loan if your vehicle is totaled in a covered event and you still owe more for it than it is worth. It's often a good idea during the first couple years of new car ownership.
- Rental car reimbursement coverage: This can pay for the cost of renting a car while yours is being repaired following a covered event.
Be sure to review each of your insurance options so you can decide which, if any, are a good fit for you and your family.
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What Is the Penalty for Driving without Insurance in Sacramento, CA?
In California, if you are caught driving without insurance, you can face penalties that include:
- A fine ranging from $100 to $500
- A penalty assessment fee ranging from $260 to $1,800
- The possible impoundment of your vehicle
- Higher car insurance rates
If you are in a collision while uninsured, you can have even more trouble. In addition to the penalties listed above, you can have your driver’s license suspended for one to four years and you will need to maintain an SR-22 for three years. Plus, you will not have coverage for the accident.
Despite these penalties, a significant number of drivers in this state are uninsured.
- Percentage of US drivers who are uninsured: 13.0%
- Percentage of California drivers who are uninsured: 15.2%
If you are in a collision caused by someone who does not have the insurance needed to cover their financial obligations to you, uninsured motorist insurance can ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve quickly and without the need to take legal action against the at-fault driver.
Does Sacramento Car Insurance Cover against Auto Theft?
The auto theft rate in the state of California is higher than the national rate; and in Sacramento, the rate is even higher. Residents of this city report around 3,000 stolen vehicles a year.
- National auto theft rate per 1,000 people: 2.29
- California auto theft rate per 1,000 people: 3.92
- Sacramento auto theft rate per 1,000 people: 5.29
Given the high rate of auto theft in this city, it is important to know that you can only receive compensation for a stolen vehicle if your car insurance policy includes comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive insurance covers more than just car theft. It also covers a variety of non-collision damage, such that caused by windstorms, fallen trees, and hail.
If you are still paying for your vehicle or if you have it on a lease, chances are good you have this coverage already. If not, you may want to find out how much it would cost you to include this optional coverage in your Sacramento car insurance policy, so you can determine whether it would be of good value to you.
How Can an Independent Agent in Sacramento Help Me Find the Best Car Insurance Policy?
If you are looking for the best auto insurance to meet your coverage and budgetary needs, a local independent agent can help. These agents work for you instead of for a particular insurance company. This allows them to shop around to find you the coverage you want at a price you can afford.
Contact an independent insurance agent in Sacramento to get more information and to start comparing customized car insurance quotes.
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