Remember that licensed insurance companies come in many shapes and sizes. Whether large, medium or small, licensed insurance companies are required to follow the insurance laws and regulations in California. To help you further in shopping for homeowners insurance that best fits your needs for service, coverage and price, the CDI provides a list of the current licensed insurance companies in California at From there, you can contact the companies directly for quotes or more information.

Factors That Affect Your Premium
Your premium will be based on several factors that you can control based on what you want or need from your homeowners insurance coverage. The main factors include the following:
  • Where you live
  • Level of fire protection available in the area
  • Construction type of your home (e.g., brick, frame)
  • Type of policy you purchase
  • Amount of coverage you buy

Ask About Discounts
Companies may offer premium discounts if you take steps to reduce the chances of a loss. Each company sets the amount of discounts it offers. Following are some of the more common homeowners insurance discounts available:
  • Impact resistant roof
  • Noncombustible rood
  • Burglar, fire and smoke alarm systems
  • Automatic sprinkler systems
  • Fire extinguishers on the premises
  • Premises in good condition (companies set their own standards)
  • Age of house (companies set their own standards)
  • Marking personal property with an identifying number (inspection required)
  • Good claims experience for three consecutive years
  • Other policies with the same company or group
  • House insured to full replacement cost
  • Senior citizens discount

California FAIR Plan Alternative
The California FAIR Plan is an association located in Los Angeles that comprises all insurers authorized to transact basic property insurance in California. Coverage is available to all California property owners, provided that basic underwriting guidelines are met. The California FAIR Plan does not estimate the cost to rebuild your home or the cost of labor and materials in your (or any other) area or determine the appropriateness of the coverage you request. When going this route for insurance, those are your responsibilities. The California FAIR Plan issues insurance as a last resort and should be used only after a diligent effort to obtain coverage in the voluntary market has been made. The CDI recommends that all California FAIR Plan policyholders shop for a different insurer at least annually to search for coverage that is more comprehensive than that offered by the California FAIR Plan.

Now that you’ve relocated to the Bay Area, it’s a good opportunity to familiarize yourself with auto insurance requirements in California. It’s also important to know exactly what your auto insurance covers and in what circumstances the insurance provider will not cover damages.

The responsibilities of owning and driving an automobile include following the financial responsibility laws under the vehicle code. All California drivers and owners must have at least the statutory limits of minimum liability insurance or an approved alternative way to pay for injury or property damage they may cause. Penalties are very severe for noncompliance with this section of the vehicle code.

In California, there are four ways to accomplish financial responsibility:
  • Coverage by a motor vehicle or automobile liability insurance policy
  • Cash deposit of $35,000 with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
  • Certificate of self-insurance issued by he DMV to owners of fleets of more than 25 vehicles
  • Surety bond for $35,000 obtained from an insurance company licensed to do business in California

The most common way to satisfy the financial responsibility for operating an automobile in California is by purchasing automobile liability insurance. Automobile insurance is simply a contract that helps pay for certain types of financial losses or obligations resulting from the use or ownership of an automobile. To obtain an insurance policy, you pay a premium, in return for which the insurance company agrees to pay certain expenses and legal liabilities depending on the terms of the policy. Having the right insurance coverage may prevent you from suffering a large financial loss in the event of an automobile accident.

If you choose to meet your financial responsibility by purchasing liability insurance, the DMV outlines minimum limits that you must purchase under Section 16451 of the Vehicle Code. When your car is in an accident for which you are found legally liable, bodily injury liability covers your liability to others for injuries to them. Property damage (PD) liability covers your liability for damage to someone else’s property. Residents must have a bodily injury liability minimum of $15,000 for death or injury of any one person or any one accident and $30,000 for all persons in any one accident. Residents also must have a property damage liability minimum of $5,000 for any one accident. Comprehensive coverage (other than collision), uninsured motorist, medical payments and collision insurance are not required by law in California.

Buying Your New Home Thanks to a sound economy, ...
Building Your Custom Dream Home Now that you are ...
Metropolitan Living Across the Bay East Bay is the ...
Learning From Kindergarten to College California’s public education system ...
Your Guide to Financing and Mortgage Although a newcomer ...
Quality Health Services for Bay Area Residents The San ...
Protecting Your Family and Property in San Francisco Once ...
Trailing Spouses—Job Hunting in the Bay Area Many San ...
Planning and Managing Your Move It’s been a hectic ...
Staying Organized Before The Move You’ve just received exciting ...
Alternatives to Buying a Home As a newcomer to ...
San Francisco In Depth Officially named the City and ...
An Unmatched Quality of Life San Francisco is one ...
The Technology Capital of the West Coast South Bay ...
Ease of Living With A View If you ask ...