INSURANCE - CAR INSURANCE

Cost-U-Less California Auto Insurance Review [2024]: Is It Right for You?

Updated June 9, 2023
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Cost-U-Less Insurance offers different insurance options for California residents. Find out if it’s a good fit for you.

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Cost-U-Less Insurance is an insurance company that provides different coverage options, mainly for auto insurance, to California residents. It advertises affordable insurance rates and free quotes, including if you’re considered a high-risk driver because of your driving history.

But can Cost-U-Less compete with major, nationwide insurance providers?

In this Cost-U-Less Insurance review, you’ll learn what this insurance company offers and how it works. This will help you understand whether Cost-U-Less is a viable option for your insurance needs or if it makes more sense to explore other options.

In this Cost-U-Less Insurance review

Cost-U-Less: Is it worth it?

Pros Cons
  • Offers SR-22 filing for those with a DUI
  • Has more than 50 offices available throughout California
  • Offers reasonably priced options for high-risk drivers, such as those with a DUI
  • Only available in California
  • Quoted rate may change after speaking with the insurance partner offering the quote
  • National carriers may offer more coverage and discount options
Our verdict: Cost-U-Less is an insurance company available only to drivers in California. It offers reasonably priced insurance to high-risk drivers, provides SR-22 filings for those with a DUI, and has some discounts. If you live in California and don’t have a clean driving record, Cost-U-Less may help you save money on car insurance compared with other companies.

What is Cost-U-Less?

Cost-U-Less Insurance was founded in 1989 as an affordable insurance company for California drivers. It began in the Sacramento area and has expanded into other cities and communities throughout Northern and Southern California. It’s part of the Confie Seguros family of companies, one of the largest privately-held insurance brokers in the U.S.

The Cost-U-Less headquarters are located in Huntington Beach, California, but the company has over 50 office locations throughout the state. This gives you options to get coverage in person, though it should be easy to call and get a quote over the phone as well.

While the company may not be well-known outside of California, it has helped more than 600,000 California residents find affordable car insurance plans. This includes over 100 different car insurance options to choose from. The company has a B+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and 17 complaints closed in the last three years.

Year founded 1989
Types of coverage
  • Liability 
  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance
  • Medical payments (a.k.a. MedPay)
  • Roadside assistance
  • Guaranteed Asset Protection and New Car Replacement 
  • SR-22
  • Rental car reimbursement
Discounts available Discounts are not guaranteed but may include:
  • Military discount

  • Good student discounts

  • Good driving discounts

  • Safety and anti-theft devices discounts

  • Low-mileage discounts

  • Passive restraint discounts

  • Multiple car discount

  • Pay policy upfront discounts

  • Multi-policy discounts (bundling) if you also purchase home, renters, or RV coverage through Cost-U-Less

Where you can use it
  • Desktop or mobile web browser
Customer support
  • Website: www.costulessdirect.com
  • Accounts Payable: accountspayable@confie.com

  • Customer Service: 866-505-6767

  • Quotes and Insurance: 800-390-4071

Availability Only available in California

What insurance does Cost-U-Less offer?

Here are different types of car insurance and other related services you can expect Cost-U-Less to offer:

  • Liability: Typically separated into bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage, liability insurance coverage helps pay for injuries or property damage from a car accident that you cause.
  • Comprehensive: Covers damage to your vehicle from situations that may not involve a car accident. For example, comprehensive insurance could cover damage from vandalism, storms, animals, and more.
  • Collision: Collision insurance can help cover damages to your car if you collide with another car or an object, such as a telephone pole or your neighbor’s fence.
  • Full coverage: This isn’t an actual car insurance policy, but it typically consists of having multiple coverages at the same time. For example, if you have liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage, you might say you have full coverage car insurance.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: Uninsured motorist coverage can help cover car accident expenses if the at-fault driver doesn’t have any liability coverage. Underinsured motorist insurance comes into play if the at-fault driver has liability coverage, but it’s not enough to cover all the expenses.
  • Loan/lease payoff: Pays the difference between what you owe on a vehicle and what your insurance pays if your car is declared a total loss or stolen without being recovered. This coverage can only be added if you already have both comprehensive and collision coverage.
  • Medical payments: Can help cover your medical expenses resulting from a car accident, regardless of who is at fault.
  • Custom parts: Offers coverage for eligible custom parts on your vehicle, which could include special tires, custom paintwork, or camper tops.
  • Rental reimbursement: Provides a certain reimbursement amount for a rental car if your vehicle has a claim covered by your comprehensive or collision insurance.
  • Roadside assistance: Provides multiple options for support on the road, including locksmith assistance, rental car discounts, towing services, and more.

More insurance products

Cost-U-Less offers many types of insurance coverage and other insurance services, including:

  • Auto insurance
  • SR-22 filing
  • Commercial insurance
  • Motorcycle insurance
  • Renters insurance
  • Homeowners insurance
  • Motorhome and RV insurance
  • Travel trailer insurance
  • Boat insurance
  • Other watercraft insurance
  • Worker’s compensation insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) benefits
  • Identity theft protection
  • Vehicle registration renewals
  • Tax preparation services
  • Tire hazard protection plan
  • Paintless dent repair plan

As you can see, you have plenty of coverage to choose from with Cost-U-Less Insurance. This makes it easy to select different plans depending on your situation, whether you need the minimum amount of car insurance or car insurance plus motorcycle insurance and then coverage for your boat as well. However, even with all of these options, Cost-U-Less tends to focus more on its car insurance coverage. 

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Cost-U-Less: How cheap is it?

How to find discounts

Finding the best ways to save money on car insurance can be tricky. Although Cost-U-Less offers insurance discounts, you may not qualify based on your driving record or other factors. Some discounts that may be provided include:

  • Military: Current or former military members can receive additional discounts if they purchase through Cost-U-Less.
  • Student: Current high school and college students under 25 years old may receive a discount for maintaining a certain GPA for a semester or school year.
  • Good driver: Drivers in California who have held a license for three years or more, have no more than one point against their license, and have no DUI convictions or at-fault accidents on their record may save money on their insurance premiums.
  • Safety and anti-theft devices: You might save some money if you have safety devices, such as anti-lock breaks, backup cameras, or other safety features, installed in your vehicle. Additionally, anti-theft devices such as alarms, GPS locators, or steering wheel locks can help you save on car insurance.
  • Low mileage: If you drive fewer miles than the national average, you may qualify for an additional percentage off your insurance premium.
  • Passive restraint: Driving a car that came factory installed with automatic seatbelts and airbags might qualify you for an additional discount.
  • Multiple cars: Insuring more than one vehicle with the same insurance carrier will often help you save on your insurance premium.
  • Pay policy upfront: Paying your insurance premium in full before the policy term starts can earn you additional savings.
  • Multi-policy: Purchasing a home, renters, or RV policy through Cost-U-Less, along with your auto coverage, might qualify you for a percentage off your premium.

How to maximize savings

There are multiple factors that affect your car insurance rates, including your age, where you live, and your past driving history. To get the best rate possible, consider the following:

  • Compare rates. Insurance costs can vary from company to company, so it's worth shopping around. Before signing up, get quotes from multiple companies for the best price.
  • Raise your deductible. Increasing the amount of your deductible, or the amount you pay before insurance kicks in, can help you save money. But ensure you have your full deductible amount in savings to avoid financial issues after an accident.
  • Bundle multiple policies with one company. Having your insurance policies with one company can help you save additional money on your premium. If you have a home, renters, or other insurance policy, consider keeping it with the same insurance company for additional savings.
  • Ensure you get all the discounts you qualify for. As you compare quotes from various companies, look at the offers and which ones you may qualify for with each company. Not all discounts are available at all insurance companies, and the discount amount may vary.

Keep in mind that the more coverage you have, the higher your premiums, or monthly payments, will likely be. So if you opt for the minimum required amount of liability insurance in your state, your payments should be lower than if you also add on comprehensive insurance, collision insurance, and uninsured motorist coverage.

However, it’s worth taking the time to consider how much money you might have to pay if you get in an accident and don’t have some of the additional coverage. Medical bills and vehicle repair or replacement expenses can easily cost thousands of dollars, which is often a lot more than what your additional premium payments would be for more coverage.

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How to get an insurance quote from Cost-U-Less

If you’re wondering how to get car insurance with Cost-U-Less, getting a quote is pretty straightforward. You have the option to start the quote process online at costulessdirect.com, by visiting one of their California offices, or by calling the customer service line at 866-505-6767. 

If you choose to get a quote online, follow these simple steps:

1. Enter your personal details: Enter your details, including your zip code, name, phone number, email, address, birth date, gender, and marital status.

Starting page to get a quote with Cost-U-Less insurance

2. Enter driver information: Detail your driving history and disclose whether you need an SR-22 for a DUI conviction.

Cost U Less Insurance quote driving history page

3. Enter your vehicle information: Enter your car's year, make, and model. Confirm whether you own, finance, or lease your vehicle.

4. Add your vehicle usage details: Confirm if you primarily drive to work, for pleasure, for business, or a rideshare company, and enter how many days you commute and how many miles you drive weekly. 

5. Choose your level of coverage: Select whether you are looking for the state’s minimum coverage or if you want additional protections.

Coverage options at Cost u less insurance

6. Check for discounts and review your quote: Select which discounts you qualify for, then review your price quote and decide whether you want to purchase the quoted insurance through an agent.

Discount options at Cost-u-less insurance

FAQs about Cost-U-Less auto insurance

Is Cost-U-Less a good company?

Cost-U-Less advertises as an affordable insurance company that focuses on auto insurance. This includes standard policies and specialized policies if you need an SR-22 because of a suspended license.

Cost-U-Less Insurance has a B+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Its sister company, Freeway Insurance, has an A+ rating with the BBB. Both companies are part of the Confie group of companies.

How long does it take to get a policy with Cost-U-Less auto insurance?

Getting a Cost-U-Less auto insurance policy should be a few minutes or less, and then all that’s left is choosing a policy and paying for it. 

You have the option to get a quote over the phone or by filling out the online quote form on the Cost-U-Less website.

What types of coverage does Cost-U-Less auto insurance offer?

Cost-U-Less Insurance offers many types of car insurance coverages and other types of services, including these options:

  • Liability
  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist
  • Roadside assistance
  • Medical payments
  • Loan/lease payoff
  • Rental reimbursement
  • Custom parts

How do you contact Cost-U-Less Insurance?

To speak with a customer service representative at the Cost-U-Less Insurance center, call 866-505-6767. Or send an email to customercare@freewayinsurance.com.

Which insurance companies are associated with Cost-U-Less Insurance?

Cost-U-Less Insurance is part of the Confie group of companies, which also includes Freeway Insurance, InsureOne, Bluefire Insurance, OneSource, and USAgencies Insurance. Confie is a leading provider of personal lines insurance in the U.S.

Bottom line

Cost-U-Less Insurance is an option if you’re looking for different types of coverage, car insurance or otherwise, in California. It has the standard policies you need to meet minimum state requirements, and it can also help if you need a specialized policy.

But if you’re outside of California or you want to deal directly with insurance providers and skip an insurance broker, it makes sense to explore other options. If you want to switch providers, you can compare car insurance quotes quickly and easily using online resources. Find the best rates in your area using our guide to the best car insurance companies.

Methodology

FinanceBuzz researches a number of factors in each auto insurance provider to create our reviews. These factors include cost and discounts, complaints and customer satisfaction, coverage, and ease of use. We also gather information from sources such as J.D. Power, AM Best, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), and the Better Business Bureau to ensure we provide the most useful information to our readers.

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Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is a Senior Credit Cards Writer at FinanceBuzz. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.
Kate Daugherty Kate Daugherty is a professional writer with a passion for providing others the head start they deserve on their financial journeys. Largely self-taught, Kate relied on books, blogs, and trial-and-error to learn how to budget and save for the future, all while working to pay back about $15,000 in student loans.