What is the Average Cost of Car Insurance in Oakland?

Are you moving or have you recently moved to Oakland, California? In order to comply with state driving laws, you’ll need to find new auto insurance as soon as possible. California is not one of the cheapest places to live in the United States, but the cost of insurance for residents may be lower than you expect. Rates do vary drastically from city to city, however, and are impacted by population, average worker commute times, and even theft reports.

In most cases, individuals residing in cities with lower population density enjoy cheaper insurance premiums. It varies, but locations with fewer than 5,000 people per square mile tend to have the lowest average rates. Oakland, California, was home to an estimated 433,031 people in 2019. That means the population was just over 7,000 per square mile.

Because more time on the road often means there is more opportunity for an accident to occur, the average amount of time workers spend traveling to and from work also matters. Oakland, California workers, age 16 and older, had a mean travel time of just over 32 minutes between the years 2014 and 2018.

Another factor that often impacts car insurance rates is the frequency of vehicle theft in a city. Some cities, however, do not follow this trend. It is important to note that Oakland, California, is not featured on the theft hot spots report distributed by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) in 2018. This means that decisions about risk in your area may simply not include theft reports or may include a larger variety of crime in an effort to gauge overall risk.

What are the Insurance Requirements in Oakland?

In California, all parties file claims through the insurance company representing the individual deemed responsible for the accident in question. To ensure victims are covered, the state has established minimum insurance requirements all drivers must meet.

Coverage expectations include:

  • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

    Drivers must have a minimum of $15,000 of coverage per person and $30,000 of coverage per accident.

  • Property Damage Liability Coverage

    Drivers must have a minimum of $5,000 coverage.

While the above items are required for every driver, the state recommends securing additional coverage. Liability insurance does not cover bodily injuries or property damage sustained by you, your passengers, or your vehicle when you are deemed responsible for the accident. This could leave you financially responsible for any resulting medical bills and/or auto repairs. Every driver is unique and should find a plan that meets their specific needs.

Most Expensive and Least Expensive Insurance Rates by Zip Code

Cheap Car Insurance in Oakland by Insurer

While the cost of car insurance should never be the sole determining factor when considering which plan to purchase, it’s never a bad idea to shop around for a good price. Local rates may vary, but Geico tends to be the cheapest solution for auto insurance in California. The next cheapest option in the state is United Financial, but Geico’s rates are significantly lower than any of those offered for both minimum and full coverage plans.

Are you looking for a cheap car insurance quotes? Compare rates for all companies here.

Low Cost Auto Insurance for Bad Credit in Oakland

Drivers who have a bad credit history in Oakland, California, will still be able to find reasonable coverage. It is important to realize that, unlike most other states, California does not permit insurance companies to use credit scores to determine premiums. Providers must set prices based on a variety of other factors instead, including customer driving records and the number of miles driven per year.

Learn more on finding low cost car insurance rates with poor credit.

Full Coverage Vs. Liability, Which is Best For You?

What is Liability Only Coverage?

Liability insurance covers the possible cost of damage you cause to others while driving. This could mean the cost of medical care for those injured in an accident or repair costs of the damage you have caused to other vehicles.

With liability insurance, there are 3 key numbers: injury coverage per person, coverage for total injury per accident, and property damage coverage per accident. Each state has different requirements for car insurance minimums. In a policy that has coverage for 15/30/25 means $15,000 per injured person, with a maximum of $30,000 for all the people who are injured in an accident, and $25,000 in coverage for property damage.

What does Full Coverage Insurance Cover?

While liability insurance covers other people and vehicles in an accident where you were the one considered at fault, full coverage insurance can also cover you and your vehicle as well. Full coverage includes two different types of coverage combined into one insurance plan; comprehensive insurance and collision.

Comprehensive coverage is for the damage of other vehicles that are outside of driving situations such as weather damage, fire, or theft.

Collision coverage is basically to pay for damage that you caused while driving such as an accident with another vehicle, hitting an object, or driving off the road.

The difference between collision and comprehensive is, if a tree were to fall on your car and damage it, comprehensive insurance would cover it, however, if you were driving and hit a tree causing damage to your car, then it would be covered by collision.

What are the Major Differences Between Full Coverage and Liability?

The difference between full and liability coverage is quite dramatic. With liability, insurers gamble that they will only have to pay for one car in an accident. With a comprehensive or full coverage policy, insurance companies know that they are taking on more liability exposure and so their rates reflect the increased risk. In the case of a comprehensive policy, they might even have to cover claims for damages that don’t arise from a traffic incident.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in California by City

Additional cities in California you can check out.

Ways to Obtain a Lower Cost Auto Insurance Policy

There are many ways that you can save on auto insurance in Oakland:

  • Avoid Accidents

    Each time you are at fault in an accident, your insurance company must pay out to cover your liability. Thus, your rates are definitely going to rise any time you cause an accident. The longer you are able to maintain a driving record clean of accidents, the more favorable your policy will be in the eyes of insurance companies.

  • Don’t Speed

    Insurance rates are set relative to the risk you pose as a driver. Since speeding is positively linked to accidents, and thus to insurance claims, your tickets will also result in higher insurance rates.

  • Shop Around

    Insurance is like any other business and so some will charge lower rates in order to gain more customers. Before you purchase a policy from the last company you saw on television, do some homework and determine which policy is the best for you, even if it’s not the least expensive.

  • Comprehensive Insurance Packages

    Typically, insurance companies insure multiple asset types. They write policies for homes, boats, renters, and they can also cover your health. If you package your automobile insurance with your home, boat, and health insurance, you will likely pay a bit less for your car insurance.

  • Multiple Vehicles

    If you have more than one car, combine them on the same policy. The more cars you add, the lower your rates will be on a per-car basis.

This guide can help you find the best discounts on auto insurance.

These are the Common Reasons for Insurance Rates in Oakland, CA

Insurance companies factor in many variables when determining your automobile insurance rate. They look at your age, type of car, marital status, gender, and driving record, among other factors. Age is a factor because actuaries have found that older drivers tend to be safer drivers, whether due to experience or caution.

Your type of car is also important. For instance, cherry red convertible sports cars in particular might have the highest insurance rates. On this note, be aware that you might pay a lower premium for driving the sedan version of a sporty, high-horsepower vehicle. Still, what matters most is how you drive your hot-hatch or family wagon.

That’s because your driving record is perhaps the biggest single factor in your insurance rate. It is certainly the one that you have the most control over. That is, the longer you can maintain an incident-free driving record, the lower your rates are sure to be. Incidents can be anything from a minor speeding ticket to a reckless driving charge to being at-fault in a major automobile accident.

How to tickets and accidents affect your driving record and insurance?

Helpful Oakland, California Vehicle Resources:

Live Traffic Accidents by City

DMV in California (Find Locations, Vehicle Registration, Titles and Insurance Info)

Lyft in Oakland
Uber in Oakland CA

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