One of the more important considerations that are looked at to determine insurance cost is where your residence is. More populated areas tend to have more expensive auto insurance rates, whereas more rural areas have the luxury of cheap car insurance rates.
The information below rates the highest-priced areas in California for seniors in which to buy car insurance. Fresno comes in at #14 with an annual cost of $1,517 for the average insurance policy, which is around $126 per month.
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Premium costs are estimated as vehicle location can influence auto insurance rates substantially.
Determining which company quotes the cheapest auto insurance rates for seniors will require a little more work than just picking a company at random. Each insurance company has a unique formula to determine rates, so let’s take a look at the auto insurance companies that tend to have lower prices in California.
Find the Cheapest Auto Insurance for Mature Drivers
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USAA has some of the most affordable car insurance rates in Fresno at around $1,143 a year. This is $508 less than the average price paid by California drivers of $1,651. Wawanesa, CSAA, Nationwide, and Century National also are some of the best Fresno, CA auto insurance companies.
As shown in the table above, if you are a customer of Nationwide and switched to Wawanesa, you may realize savings of about $80. Drivers with Century National could save as much as $80 a year, and 21st Century insureds might reduce prices by as much as $179 a year.
Bear in mind that those estimates are averages for all drivers and vehicles in California and and are not figured with a specific vehicle garaging location for seniors. So the auto insurance company that fits you best may not even be in the top 24 companies shown above. That underscores the importance of why you need to compare as many prices as possible using your own personal information and vehicle type.
Rate comparison of full coverage and liability-only
Reducing the cost of auto insurance should be important to the majority of people, and an effective way to pay lower rates for insurance for seniors is to only pay for liability coverage. The illustration below illustrates the comparison of yearly insurance costs with and without full coverage. The rate quotes are based on no violations or accidents, $250 deductibles, marital status is single, and no additional discounts are factored in.
If we average the cost for ages 20 through 70, physical damage insurance costs an extra $2,558 per year more than insuring for liability only. At some point, about every driver wonders if buying full coverage is a good investment. There isn’t a steadfast formula for eliminating comprehensive and collision coverage on your policy, but there is a general guideline you can use. If the yearly cost of comp and collision coverage is more than 10% of the vehicle’s replacement cost less your deductible, then it may be the right time to buy liability only.
For example, let’s pretend your vehicle’s replacement cost is $8,500 and you have $1,000 full coverage deductibles. If your vehicle is severely damaged, the most you would receive is $7,500 after paying your policy deductible. If it’s costing you more than $750 annually for full coverage, then it may be the right time to buy liability only.
There are some scenarios where eliminating full coverage is not financially feasible. If you haven’t paid off your loan, you have to carry full coverage in order to prevent the bank from purchasing higher-priced coverage. Also, if you can’t afford to buy a different vehicle in the event your current vehicle is totaled, you should not consider dropping full coverage.
The diagram below highlights how deductible choice can raise or lower insurance premiums when researching cheap insurance for seniors. The premiums are based on a married female driver, comp and collision included, and no discounts are taken into consideration.
In the chart above, a 40-year-old driver could save $420 a year by switching their comprehensive and collision coverages from a $100 deductible up to a $500 deductible, or save $634 by using a $1,000 deductible. Even younger insureds, like the age 20 example, could shave up to $1,042 annually by using higher deductibles when buying full coverage. When choosing a higher deductible, it will be important to have emergency funds available to offset the extra out-of-pocket expense. That is the one drawback of using higher deductibles.
How to get discounts on Fresno insurance
Insurance providers that provide coverage for seniors may also offer special discounts that can reduce rates by as much as 35% if you meet the requirements. Larger auto insurance companies and a summarized list of policyholder discounts can be found below.
- GEICO has savings for daytime running lights, federal employee, military active duty, good student, driver training, and anti-lock brakes.
- MetLife offers premium reductions for defensive driver, good student, claim-free, good driver, and multi-policy.
- State Farm has discounts for Drive Safe & Save, driver’s education, multiple autos, safe vehicle, and defensive driving training.
- Progressive discounts include online signing, good student, multi-policy, continuous coverage, homeowner, and online quote discount.
- Mercury Insurance offers discounts for location of vehicle, annual mileage, multi-car, good student, type of vehicle, and anti-theft.
- 21st Century may offer discounts for good student, automatic seat belts, teen driver, student driver, and defensive driver.
- Allstate policyholders can earn discounts including multi-policy, early signing, auto/life discount, new car, defensive driver, anti-theft, and eSmart discount.
The chart below visualizes the comparison of yearly insurance costs with and without discounts applied to the policy premium. The premiums assume a female driver, a clean driving record, no at-fault accidents, California state minimum liability limits, full coverage, and $250 deductibles.
The first bar for each age group shows the average annual price with no discounts. The second shows the rates with homeowner, vehicle safety, accident-free, claim-free, multiple vehicle, and passive restraint discounts applied. When taking advantage of discounts, the amount saved on auto insurance for seniors is 29% or $642.
The importance of shopping around
California auto insurance rates are influenced by many factors that will increase or decrease the price of coverage. Simply improving your credit, moving to a new city, or getting a DUI may generate price changes that may make certain companies cheaper than competitors. In addition, car insurance companies change their prices every year or even multiple times each year as an adjustment for underwriting gains or losses. An extended period of higher than normal claims can cause rate hikes, while less frequent claims can result in more affordable Fresno car insurance rates.
To help illustrate this point, the bar chart below shows which companies have the cheapest car insurance in Fresno, CA for a 45-year-old male driver with no accidents or violations, and good financial standing. When comparing rates based on his personal risk profile, USAA may have the cheapest car insurance rates in Fresno at $1,310 a year. This is $341 less than the average premium paid by California drivers of $1,651. Wawanesa, Century National, CSAA, and Nationwide are also on the list of the best Fresno, CA auto insurance companies.
The chart below compares rates after we give the driver from the above example a couple of claims, a lower credit rating, and a few traffic violations. Due to the fact that every auto insurer has their own process to determine rates, analyzing rate quotes may now result in a significantly different list of affordable Fresno car insurance companies as shown below.
Grange now has the best price in Fresno, CA with Mercury, Allstate, Progressive, and GEICO now rounding out the top five. This shows why it is critical to take the time to shop around to get the lowest car insurance rates for seniors.
Car insurance prices are made up of many different factors and change frequently, so the cheapest rate two years ago may now cost much more than other companies.