If you’re looking for information about California auto insurance, you’ve come to the right place.
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 (855) 518-0148 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 Auto 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 (855) 518-0148 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 Auto Insurance Quotes
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 (855) 518-0148 to start comparing car insurance quotes:
Some specific providers that can help you save money in the Golden State are Geico and State Farm.
#1 Geico Insurance: Cheapest Car Insurance In California
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 fourth best insurance company in J.D. Power’s 2019 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study℠, which took a closer look at Geico's claim process.
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 $33 billion in auto premiums in 2018, making it the second largest auto insurer in the U.S., according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
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.
Average quote experience
Second largest company in the nation
Many choices for coverage
High level of customer satisfaction
Good for students and military
To learn more, read our full Geico review.
#2 State Farm Insurance: Best For Students And Teens
State Farm auto insurance stands out for the way it insures students and encourages safe driving for drivers under 25 years old through their Steer Clear Program. The provider also has a Drive Safe & Save program that monitors driving habits and helps customers save on car insurance. Data acquired from an app on your phone will determine how much you can save.
State Farm can protect you with coverage up to 500/500/500, which will cover most expenses in the event of an accident and meets California car insurance requirements.
Does not offer accident forgiveness
Comprehensive coverage offerings
Strong claims and customer service experiences
|Extensive selection of discounts||
Good for students and teens
To learn more about the car insurance provider, check out our review of State Farm auto insurance.
#3 Farmers Insurance: Best For Seniors
As one of the nation's oldest choices for insurance, Farmers is definitely one of the best. This provider offers coverage for drivers in every life stage, and in addition to standard coverage, offers supplemental California car insurance coverage for:
- New car replacement
- Accident forgiveness insurance
- Custom equipment protection
- Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts
- Loss of use coverage
- Guaranteed Value™
- Towing and roadside service
- Personal umbrella
- Glass and windshield coverage
You can improve your eligibility for Farmers discounts by changing your driving habits or depending on your car's features. While discounts with Farmers depend on where you live, some examples of ways you can save on car insurance in California include:
- Good driver discount
- Homeowner discount
- Discounts for adult drivers and students/teens with parents who have safe driving records
- Good student discount
- Occupational discounts (applicable to doctors, nurses, RNs, firefighters, police officers, etc.)
- Senior defensive driving discount for people age 55 or older after completing an online safety course provided by AARP
- Alternatively fueled vehicle discount (ie. electric cars)
- Airbags, anti-theft technology, and other safety features
- Discount for having policies for multiple vehicles
You can qualify for even more discounts with Signal, Farmers' app that monitors driving habits, such as how fast you drive, brake, accelerate, and more. You'll receive a 5-percent policy discount once you sign up for Signal and complete 10 trips. Once you renew your policy and depending on the score the app gives you, you could be eligible for up to a 15-percent discount.
|Good selection of coverage add-ons||
Customer complaints about high premiums, roadside assistance availability, and rental car options
|Discount opportunities for good drivers||
Average customer service
|Highly rated apps||
To learn more about the car insurance provider, check out our comprehensive review of Farmers Insurance.
#4 Liberty Mutual Insurance: Best For Military
Because of the various discounts offered for teens and military personnel in California, Liberty Mutual auto insurance is also a great choice. This provider also has strong ratings with industry experts, like the BBB and AM Best.
Liberty Mutual is able to offer discounts because it partners with 14,000 employers, alumni associations, and professional associations. You can also save money on California car insurance with Liberty Mutual's multi-car discount or if you have a car with specific safety features like air bags and anti-theft systems.
|Comprehensive coverage options||
Low J.D. Power scores
|Average amount of customer complains||
High premiums in some states
|Discounts, especially for teens and military personnel||
To learn more about the car insurance provider, check out our review of Liberty Mutual auto insurance.
#5 Allstate Insurance: Best For Classic Car Insurance
Serving more than 16 million American households, Allstate is one of the largest publicly held personal property and casualty insurance companies in the United States. Allstate car insurance works through a network of local agents to provide coverage, which is different from other national car insurance providers.
AM Best has given Allstate a Superior financial strength rating, and the provider also has an A+ rating with the BBB. Along with basic coverage, Allstate also offers
- Rideshare insurance
- Classic car insurance
- Travel insurance to and from Mexico
- Custom parts coverage
With Allstate car insurance in California, you can get discounted rates for bundling with other policies like home insurance, renters insurance, motorcycle insurance, and more. Other discounts include:
- New car discounts for the first owners of a vehicle
- Multi-car and multiple-policy discounts for customers who bundle home and auto insurance policies
- Student discounts for drivers under 25
- Anti-lock brake and anti-theft discounts for equipped cars
- Early signing discounts for policyholders who sign early
- EZ pay plan discounts for policyholders who use Allstate’s automatic withdrawal feature
- Allstate eSmart® discounts for policyholders who go paperless
- FullPay® discounts for customers who pay their full premium at one time
- Safe driving discounts for policyholders who meet safe driver requirements
|Accident forgiveness, new car replacement, and rideshare coverage||
Have to contact an insurance agent to get a quote or file a claim
|Extensive options for coverage||
|Network of local agents||
|Classic car insurance and custom parts coverage||
To learn more about the car insurance provider, check out our review of Allstate car insurance.
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