Five Minute Guide to Researching a San Mateo Car Insurance Agent

When trying to find a good San Mateo agent, we recommend you do an initial search online instead of making phone calls. You need a friendly agent, and also want to find decent rates too.

Big-name insurance companies like State Farm and Geico constantly blast consumers with TV and radio ads and consumers find it hard to see through the cute green geckos and mayhem and find the best price available.

Comparing prices from San Mateo agents

Educated insurance agents are trained to spot inefficiencies and give you someone to call. One of the great benefits of comparing insurance prices online is that you can obtain the lowest rates and still choose a local agent.

After filling out this short form, your insurance coverage information gets sent to local insurance agents in San Mateo who will give you bids for your coverage. There is no reason to drive around as quotes are delivered to your email. How cool is that?!

Selecting an insurance agency shouldn’t rely on just the bottom line cost. Any agent should be forthright in answering these questions:

  • Do you have coverage for a rental car if your vehicle is in the repair shop?
  • Does the company allow you to choose your own collision repair facility?
  • Will their companies depreciate repairs to your car based on the mileage?
  • Is the agent and/or agency licensed to do business in California?
  • Is the agency involved in supporting local community causes?
  • If your car is totalled, how to they determine the replacement cost?
  • How many years of experience in personal lines insurance coverages do they have?
  • If you have an accident, will your rates go up?

The type of insurance agency you choose is important

When looking for a reputable insurance agent or broker, there are two types of agencies that differ in how they can insure your vehicles. Agents are classified as either captive or independent. Both types can write coverage properly, but it’s good to learn how they differ because it can impact the type of agent you choose

Agency Captives

These agents write business for a single company and some examples include AAA, Allstate, State Farm, Farmers Insurance or Liberty Mutual. Captives cannot compare other company’s rates so it’s a take it or leave it situation. Captive agencies are trained well on their company’s products which can be an advantage.

Shown below are San Mateo captive agencies who can help you get price quotes.

Farmers Insurance Group – 436 Peninsula Ave # B – San Mateo, CA 94401 – (650) 347-7222
Allstate Insurance – 15 41st Ave – San Mateo, CA 94403 – (650) 286-2900
State Farm Insurance – 16 N San Mateo Dr – San Mateo, CA 94401 – (650) 342-8857

Independent Agents

Independent insurance agents are not required to write business for one company but rather can write business with lots of companies enabling the ability to shop coverage around. If your agent finds better pricing, the business is moved internally and you won’t have to switch agencies. When comparing rates, we recommend you include multiple independent agents to ensure the widest selection of prices.

Shown below is a list of independent agencies in San Mateo who can help you get price quotes.

Gary W Reiterman Insurance – 1720 S Amphlett Blvd # 121 – San Mateo, CA 94402 – (650) 286-4120
Kitti Yindiphol Agency – 1650 Borel Pl # 121 – San Mateo, CA 94402 – (650) 571-1171
William Smith Agency – 86 17th Ave – San Mateo, CA 94402 – (650) 572-8944
James K Mason Insurance – 300 N San Mateo Dr # 1 – San Mateo, CA 94401 – (650) 401-6040

To view a complete directory of insurance agents in San Mateo, visit this site.

Upon receiving positive feedback for all questions you ask and a low price estimate, most likely you have located an auto insurance agent that is a good match to properly insure your vehicles.

Can you buy online and save?

Local insurance agents are important, but you also have the option of buying California car insurance directly from online companies. Even companies, such as State Farm, Allstate and Farmers, who employ agents also allow consumers to get a quote and buy online. This is something to consider if the lowest rate is your goal.

If you’re anxious about having to choose coverages yourself, don’t let it bother you. All companies that require consumers to choose their own coverages provide phone numbers and online resources that you can contact for information.

Is online auto insurance cheaper? Many people think so, but it’s hard to say for sure since companies use quite a few components which can adversely affect your policy premium. It’s often assumed that a shopper who purchases direct lowers rates due to not having any agent compensation. But that assumption is generally incorrect because promoting brand recognition is pricey so this can offset any savings.

San Mateo California insurance agents

More information about auto insurance

Even more information can be read at the California Department of Insurance website. California drivers can read consumer alerts, find disaster information, and learn about insurance regulations.

Other informative sites include and this list of insurance agents in San Mateo, CA.

More comparisons equals lower rates

Affordable auto insurance can be purchased on the web and with local San Mateo insurance agents, and you should be comparing both to have the best chance of lowering rates. A few companies do not offer online quoting and many times these regional insurance providers only sell through independent insurance agents.

Drivers who switch companies do it for any number of reasons including denial of a claim, poor customer service, being labeled a high risk driver and delays in paying claims. Regardless of your reason for switching companies, finding a new auto insurance company is actually quite simple.