There are four ‘components’ of car insurance.
Liability is used as a protection against third party insurance claims. It will be ‘used’ in case the driver of the car during accidents. This is compulsory in the state of California and some other states.
The minimum coverages in California should be 15000, 30000, 5000 (aka A, B, C)
* The maximum limit for one person’s injuries, medical expenses is A under the bodily injury portion;
* If two or more people are injured, the maximum limit for the accident will be B;
* The maximum limit for damage to other people’s property (their car, their fence, etc.) is C.
Based on your car driving history, the premiums change. The longer you have driven the car, with no driving records, will reduce the premiums. If you violate the car driving laws, you get points based on the violation. The violation depending on the type could change the insurance. Most of the violation (if they are minor), can be avoided by taking a traffic school. Traffic schools are now online or you can attend a class. The general format of an online class is you have to go through the different chapters, and every chapter has exam, and then a final exam at the end of the curriculum. The traffic school sends the report directly to the court house, and thus you can avoid the point coming onto your driving record.
Collision is not a mandatory component of the car insurance. If you car is not worth a lot, then one need not take it. This insurance component covers any accidents coverages that occur by you to your own car.
The parameter that goes with the collision insurance is
Deductible: This is the first amount that you pay, before the insurance company pays the rest of the damages. If the damages are almost equal or in the same vicinity of the deductible, it is better not to file the claim.
Comprehensive portion covers the car when the car is damaged other than collision. For example: Flooding, earthquake, fire etc.
It also can be configured by changing the deductible similar to what you can do with the collision deductible.
All the four options can be configured, and talk to multiple insurance companies (and even agents), before going with an insurance company.
Medical portion can be added, if you have uninsured (medically) passengers in the car during the accident, so that the medical portion can cover their hospital charges, medication etc. Most of the people do not opt for this, as they are medically insured through their company or self-employment.
Generally paying 6 month (or 1 year) premiums is better, as you can save on the high interest that the insurance companies might charge for a month-to-month payment.
Also try to add accessories that might help you in reducing the insurances viz. car alarm, ABS, etc.
Hope this helps you in customizing your insurance.