Auto Insurance FAQs
Offered by SchoolsFirst Insurance Services, LLC
Are there ways to make my auto insurance more affordable?
Yes, many insurers offer discounts for being a good driver, working in certain occupations, or for being a student or senior. If you have more than one kind of insurance with the same company, you can also receive discounts on both policies. You can also raise the deductible—the amount you pay before the insurance company begins to pay—which will lower the premium amount. You may also receive a discount if you have anti-theft devices and keep your mileage within certain limits. But probably the best way to save money is to comparison shop as many insurance companies as possible. Our online quote system can give you immediate online quotes from as many as a dozen companies rated A+ or higher.
How often should I review my insurance coverage?
An insurance review is called for any time you make a life change, such as moving, getting married or divorced, purchasing a new or additional car, or having a change in your driving record. Otherwise, a twice-yearly review of your coverage and costs should be adequate.
What should I look for in choosing an insurance company?
Price is usually a consumer’s first consideration when choosing an insurance company, but it isn’t the only criteria, or even the most important. Choose an insurance company with a good reputation for handling claims quickly and fairly, and whose financial stability is rated A+ or higher by rating companies like Standard and Poor’s, Duff and Phelps, or Moody’s. While you may like the low premiums offered by low-rated companies, you may end up paying much more should your insurance company be unable to cover your claim.
What are the minimum levels of auto insurance I must have?
The laws vary from state to state, but California requires drivers to have a minimum policy of 15/30/5 ($15,000 bodily injury coverage per person, per accident; $30,000 bodily injury coverage for all injuries per accident; and $5,000 property damage coverage per accident). You do not have to carry Uninsured Motorist coverage in California. However, if you obtained a loan to purchase your car, your lender may require you to have additional coverage to protect their investment.
Why would I want to purchase more than the minimum insurance required by law?
If you cause a serious accident, the minimum coverage may not be enough to adequately protect you, especially if you own property and have savings. You may be sued by the injured driver, who can go after your assets once the policy limit is reached. You may want to consider comprehensive coverage if you have an expensive or new car, as it covers damages not caused by collisions, such as theft, fire, vandalism, or natural disasters.
Do I need Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage?
Government statistics estimate that over 13% of drivers are driving without a valid license, and 25% of motorists are driving without insurance. Uninsured Motorist coverage protects you from damage and injuries caused by a hit-and-run driver or an uninsured motorist. Underinsured Motorist coverage pays for damage not covered in the other driver’s insurance policy. If the driver who injured you or your property cannot be found, you’ll at least have some coverage for pain-and-suffering damages.
Do I need additional medical coverage if I already have medical insurance through another company?
Medical insurance offers benefits beyond your own personal insurance because it covers not only you, but your passengers as well. It also covers injuries you or your family incur as a pedestrian and is paid regardless of who is at fault.
Can I still get insurance if I’ve been in an accident or had driving tickets?
SchoolsFirst Insurance Service works with dozens of companies to find insurance that fits your driving record, your coverage needs, and your budget. Many insurance companies will insure drivers who have less-than-perfect histories. In some cases, they will add a surcharge (additional cost) to the cost of the coverage.
What is a deductible and when must it be paid?
A deductible is the amount you are financially responsible for before the insurance company begins to pay the claim. In most cases, a higher deductible will give you lower premiums. Usually, you pay the deductible amount directly to the repair facility when work on your vehicle is completed. If the settlement payment is being made directly to you, the deductible will be subtracted from the amount before you receive a check.
Do I have to pay the annual premium all at once?
No, you can choose a payment schedule that works best for you. Most insurers offer a range of payment plans including monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual payments.
Are other people who drive my car covered under my insurance?
You should check your policy to be sure, but in most cases anyone else who is licensed and has your permission to drive your vehicle is covered under your insurance.
Contact an Insurance Specialist
- Obtain a free online quote
- Discuss your needs over the phone, or schedule an appointment by calling 714/258-4000 or 800/462-8328 ext. 4309, Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm Friday 9am-6pm and Saturdays 9am-2pm.
- Email insurance@SchoolsFirstfcu.org
CA Insurance License 0I19344
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