There is no shortage of things to explore in the Golden State, from San Francisco to Los Angeles, with more than 370,000 total lane miles. But before you can legally hit the road, you need to make sure you have top-notch car insurance.
While getting California car insurance quotes may seem like a intimidating task, our review team breaks it down by looking at the state’s minimum insurance requirements, the cost of coverage, and our recommended providers in the Golden State.
As there are countless insurance providers to choose from, we encourage you to get quotes from several different providers and compare them to be sure you’re getting coverage for the best possible price. In addition to the insurance company you choose, factors such as your age, vehicle make and model, and driving history can affect your premium, so what’s best for your neighbor might not be best for you.
To give you an overview of car insurance providers, our review team evaluated 30 of the best auto insurance providers based on financial strength, availability, customer service, cost and discounts, coverage, and technology. Read our review of the best car insurance companies to learn more about our top picks, including providers like USAA, Geico, Progressive, and State Farm.
If you’re ready to reach out for a California car insurance quote now, enter your zip code in the form below or call our team at (844) 246-8209 to get free, personalized quotes seven days a week.
In this article:
- California Car Insurance Minimum Requirements
- Factors That Affect California Car Insurance Quotes
- What Is The Average Cost Of Car Insurance In California?
- How To Get The Cheapest California Car Insurance Coverage
- What If I Can’t Afford The Minimum Insurance In CA?
- Recommendations For California Car Insurance Quotes
California Car Insurance Minimum Requirements
Every state has different car insurance minimums that motorists are required to purchase. The state of California requires 15/30/5 car insurance, which means drivers are responsible to have at least:
- $15,000 in bodily injury liability per person
- $30,000 in bodily injury liability per incident
- $5,000 in property damage liability
Liability coverage protects your finances when you cause a collision. There are a number of other standard coverages you can purchase in addition to liability auto insurance. Although not required by law, it can be a good idea to have:
- Collision insurance
- Comprehensive car insurance
- Medical payments coverage
- Personal injury projection
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
Factors That Affect California Car Insurance Quotes
Interestingly, California is one of three states that has outlawed car insurance companies from using customer credit scores to determine the price of premiums. Some factors that will still affect the auto insurance quotes in California include:
- Personal information like your age, gender, and marital status
- Year, make, and model of your vehicle
- Vehicle mileage
- Your driving history
- Your exact location and where you park your car
What Is The Average Cost Of Car Insurance In California?
According to the NAIC, California drivers paid an average of $957.08 per year in 2017 on auto insurance, which is less than the national average expenditure of $1,004.68. Here's a breakdown:
|Type of Coverage||Average Annual Expenditure in 2017|
*To calculate average expenditures, NAIC assumed that all insured vehicles would carry liability coverage but not necessarily collision or comprehensive. Total cost per year measures what consumers actually spent.
It’s important to note that not all drivers purchase the same amount of coverage, and because there are so many factors that affect premiums, California car insurance quotes can vary widely for both minimum coverage and full coverage. The tool below will help you find a quote that is accurate for you. It is also easy to call (844) 246-8209 for personalized quotes.
How To Get The Cheapest California Car Insurance Coverage
Insurance can be affordable in California if you know how to get the best auto insurance rates. When searching for California car insurance quotes, make sure to take advantage of discount opportunities. You can get discounts for things like:
- Being a good driver
- Being a student
- Having multiple vehicles
- Having anti-theft devices
- Bundling insurance policies
- Taking a defensive driver course
You can also play around with your deductible during the quotes process. A higher deductible usually means a lower premium, but remember that you may need to pay that deductible if you ever file an at-fault claim.
What If I Can’t Afford The Minimum Insurance In CA?
If you’re caught driving without insurance in California, you could face serious charges.
As a first-time offender caught driving without insurance, you’ll face a fine between $100–$200. A second offense within three years carries a fine of $200–$500. The court could also order your vehicle to be impounded, and then you’d have to pay the cost of that on top of any court-ordered fines.
If you are caught in a car accident and cannot provide proof of insurance, the repercussions are worse. In this case, your driving privileges will be suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) even if you’re not a California resident.
Luckily, if you use some of the cost-saving techniques we discussed, it’s possible to find cheap car insurance.
Recommendations For California Car Insurance Quotes
Some specific providers that can help you save money in the Golden State are listed below. For more detail on each of the providers, check out our article on the California car insurance.
|Best Car Insurance In California||Motor1 Rating||Customer Service||Affordability||Coverage|
*You may notice that some car insurance companies are listed above those with higher star ratings. This is because our ratings take into account nationwide factors, while our ranking looks specifically at what insurance providers are best for car insurance in California.
Cheapest Car Insurance In California: Geico Insurance
California residents can find low rates with Geico auto insurance depending on their driving records, and Geico has high ratings across different areas. In our research, we found Geico to be the most available car insurance company.
Geico was named the eighth best insurance company in J.D. Power’s 2021 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study℠, which took a closer look at Geico's claim process. It also ranked highest among large carriers in the U.S. Insurance Shopping Study.
Geico also has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best, which is the highest rating given to any company. This means that Geico has the ability to handle the financial responsibility of insuring so many customers across the country. Geico wrote over $34 billion in auto premiums in 2019 alone, making it the second largest auto insurer in the U.S., according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Geico provides various discounts for things like:
- Being a good driver
- Having airbags
- Completing a defensive driving course
- Being a federal employee
If you bundle your auto insurance with another plan, like renters insurance, you can be eligible for multi-policy discounts. Because of these perks and qualities, we've named Geico to be the best choice for car insurance in California, especially if you want more comprehensive coverage.
Whether you are heading to San Jose, San Diego, or any of the other cities in California, when looking for CA car insurance quotes, it’s smart to get quotes from more than one car insurance company to ensure you’re getting a great deal. Enter your zip code in the tool below or call (844) 246-8209 to start comparing car insurance quotes:
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of auto insurance providers to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
- Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
- Cost and Discounts: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many car insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.
- Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like J.D. Power.
- Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.
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