Auto Insurance in California: Finding Best Car Insurance Rates

Auto insurance is a necessity for anyone who drives in California. The auto insurance companies have different rates and coverage, so it is important to compare auto insurance quotes from multiple providers before signing up with one. Insneed ranked California’s top auto insurance companies based on price, customer service, and more. Whether you are looking for auto insurance as a new driver or want to find the best rates available, comparing car insurance costs from some of the most popular providers in California can save you up to $707 annually!

Auto Insurance in California

Cheapest Minimum Liability Car Insurance Companies and Quotes in California

A California liability-only coverage policy is the cheapest car insurance plan in CA but doesn’t offer any additional protection. With a minimum of $15k for bodily injury or death of one person and property damage up to $5k per accident, this type of package only meets state requirements with minimal benefits. The most affordable car insurance companies in California for basic coverage are:


These are only averages and should not be used to compare different insurers. These prices are only estimates for an average California driver and should not be used to compare rates.

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Drivers in California are lucky to be able to find the cheapest insurance available for bodily injury and property damage liability. For drivers who wish for a more comprehensive plan that covers damages they may cause, or their protection against the higher risk of costs due to accidents with people and other vehicles alike, full coverage is ideal.

Cheapest Coverage Auto Insurance in California

A full coverage car insurance policy in California will protect you against most road accidents, with comprehensive and collision insurance. This type of plan is more expensive than minimum coverage but it shields you from the cost to repair your vehicle or potentially even being sued for damages that were caused by the other driver’s negligence. Compare rates among multiple providers to find one at an affordable price! Looking for the most affordable car insurance in California? Listed below are some of the cheapest companies.:

  • Esurance: $1,055 per year
  • Progressive: $1,132 per year


Comprehensive and collision insurance with a $100,000 limit on coverage per person, 300k in bodily injury liability coverage per accident, and 100K for property damage.

The Best Car Insurance Companies in California for 2021

For drivers with a good driving record, the best car insurance companies in California will be ranked by prices and customer service.:

  • Best Overall: AAA
  • Runner-up: GEICO

USAA received the highest California company rating by MoneyGeek’s system. It is unavailable to the general public and cannot be listed as the best overall. Insneed combined J.D. Power’s U.S. Auto Insurance Study and AM Best’s financial strength ratings earlier this year with industry standards for insurance rates to rank the top auto insurers in California according to price, customer service, etc.

When choosing among California’s best car insurance companies, looking at customer satisfaction scores and inventory is a must. USAA is a military-only provider, so service is limited to those who belong to the armed forces.

List of the Largest Insurance Companies in California

The three major car insurance companies in California are State Farm (13.7%), Farmers (10.7%) and GEICO (9.7%). The market share is the proportion of policies written by a specific company divided by the number of total policies for that state, which means they all have an equal chance to dominate this industry with only a 3% difference from one another! These large car insurance companies are likely to stay in business and be able to reimburse you if something goes wrong, which makes them a more secure and reliable option.

How to Compare Cheap California Car Insurance Quotes Online

When you compare car insurance costs from the most reputable providers, your experience in shopping for auto coverage will be incomparable to anything you’ve experienced before.

  • For instance, if you get a quote from one provider for $100,000 in bodily injury liability insurance per accident. However, when comparing prices with another insurer they might only offer you the same amount of coverage as their minimum limit which is usually around $50k or less.
  • Three of California’s cheapest car insurance providers are USAA, CSAA, and Progressive.

What Is the Average Cost of Auto Insurance in California?

The cost of insurance can vary depending on your driving history and age. In California, the average premium for this type of car was $1,429 last year; however, a 40-year-old male with no tickets or accidents would pay anywhere from as little as $857 to more than six thousand dollars!

  • Average Driver: $1,429
  • DUI: $4,075
  • Speeding Ticket: $2,057
  • Seniors: $1,464
  • Students: $3,834

Cheapest Car Insurance for Drivers With a DUI in California

Drivers with a DUI in California generally pay an average of $4,075 for car insurance, while drivers without any infractions currently average only around $1,429 annually. Cheap California car insurance companies for a driver with a DUI are:

  • Mercury: $2,377 per year
  • Esurance: $2,626 per year


If you have a DUI on your driving record, car insurance rates could increase as a result. The CDC found that nine thousand two hundred eighty-eight people died in California from 2009 to 2018 due to an automobile crash involving a drunk driver. This represents one of every five deaths nationwide during that ten-year timeframe. In the same study, about 1% of respondents in California reported driving after drinking too much within the last 30 days.

Driving under the influence can have a long-term impact on your finances. Legal fees, court fees, alcohol education programs, and increased premiums are some of the expenses you might face. To that end, it’s important to shop for auto insurance coverage after getting a DUI to find better rates reflecting your improved driving record. Car insurance companies will often charge more for coverage if the driver has been convicted of a DUI. The higher rates are typically permanent, but lowering your rates through better driving habits and comparing car insurance plans is possible.

Cheapest Car Insurance for Drivers With Tickets in California

The average car insurance rate for California drivers with speeding tickets is $2,057 whereas the average driver with a clean record would pay $1,429 annually. On average, the cheapest car insurance companies for drivers with a speeding ticket in California are:

  • USAA: $1,280 annually (Only military members, veterans, and their families can use this.)
  • Esurance: $1,337 per year


Speeding or distracted driving can lead to car accidents and, in some cases, could also result in a ticket. In California last year alone, 3259 crashes occurred due to distracted driving. It’s important to note that California state laws prohibit all hand-held device use while driving for adults and minors. Drivers with tickets on their records should talk to insurance providers about rates before making plans for their next trip.

According to the Insurance Information Association, your auto insurance rates will most likely go up if you get a ticket for speeding or distracted driving. Your driving record determines the cost of your policy and can also change when you get a moving violation (i.e. a speeding ticket).

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in California for Drivers With Bad Credit

In California, car insurers are not allowed to take your credit score into consideration when determining your rates. However, it is generally advisable to try and improve your credit score if possible. Car insurance companies in many states use credit scores to determine premiums, but California is an exception. Insurers in California cannot use a driver’s credit score to influence the cost of car insurance rates. Credit scores can have other financial implications, so you must monitor and protect your credit rating at all times, which can be done by paying down existing debt and consistently making on-time bill payments.

Cheapest Car Insurance in California for Seniors

The average cost of car insurance in California for senior drivers is $1,464 annually, which is $35 more than the car insurance costs for a 40-year-old driver. The cheapest insurance companies for seniors in California are:

  • Esurance: $1,183 per year
  • State Farm: $1,220 per year


The aging population of California’s drivers means more senior ticket holders and a greater likelihood of increased premiums as you age. Looking for discounts for your specific needs and experience could help lower the cost of car insurance. In California, drivers who are 70 or older can renew their licenses in person every five years and take both vision and written tests while also undergoing a DMV investigation to determine whether they are still fit to drive. Furthermore, doctors must report if diagnosed with conditions that put them into the “unsafe driver” category.

Cheapest Car Insurance for Students in California

California students’ average car insurance rates are $3,834 per year, a significant increase from the state’s average of $1,429 per year. Students pay more because they’re considered inexperienced and riskier drivers. The best car insurance for students in California is:

  • Allstate: $2,228 per year
  • State Farm: $2,409 per year


Parenting a teen driver is always risky, but it can make your rates skyrocket. The difference in your car insurance premium based on whether or not you have had a traffic-related incident can be shocking. Insneed combed California’s data to show how many policies vary and compare the best options for those with driving-age kids.

If you have a child heading off to college soon, take time to talk with your insurance agent about changes in coverage. If your child doesn’t plan on driving at college, the terms of your policy could be different. You may even be able to save money if they’re commuting long distances or had a B average or higher in high school- talk with them about their plans and it can help you come up with the best coverage for them.

Always notify the company if you’ll be taking your car out of state for more than 30 days so they can change covers appropriately. According to the table, parents in California can expect to pay an average of $410 for their teen or college-aged student drivers.

Insurance Rate Information for Military Drivers and Veterans

California is home to 184,540 active-duty military personnel and 1.8 million veterans which ranks first in the country for more service members and vets than any other state. Some auto insurance companies offer their services exclusively to military or veterans while others provide discounted rates for those with a good driving record.

Though several car insurance companies operate in California, two are excellent parent’ options. USAA, which caters to veterans and enlisted personnel, offers discounts for people who maintain a clean driving record over the course of five years. Meanwhile, AFI (Armed Forces Insurance) is exclusively available to military personnel and their spouses or surviving spouses.

Car Insurance in California: What You Need to Know

California residents are required to have car insurance, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV). Every car driven or parked in a state roadway must be insured. Drivers who use their car infrequently may qualify for lower-cost, low-cost, or pay-as-you-drive auto insurance.

Proof of Insurance in California

All California drivers must have proof of financial responsibility on them at all times or an alternative. Your insurance company should provide you with a “Certificate of Insurance” card that tells you about your policy and your cars; you will use this when asked for ID by the police or when registering your vehicle.

Minimum Liability Insurance Requirements in California

Drivers in California must maintain the minimum liability insurance, which covers costs related to injuries or damages caused by traffic accidents. Minimum levels of coverage are $15,000 to cover injury/death of one person $30,000 coverage per accident of up to three total injured or killed people; plus an additional $5,000 for damage to property. As mentioned, this is the minimum coverage mandated by state law. Insurance experts often recommend consumers purchase 10 times the required level of liability insurance.

Low-Cost Auto Insurance Program in California

The California Low-Cost Automobile Insurance Program offers liability car insurance coverage, which may be affordable if you cannot afford the typical auto insurance price.

Alternatives to Insurance in California

Most drivers purchase auto insurance to cover their financial liability, but the DMV offers a few alternatives:

  • You need to put $35,000 in cash into a bank account for the DMV.
  • A DMV-issued self-insurance certificate is required for a bigger insurance reserve.
  • A surety bond is a type of insurance. It costs $35,000 and it protects the person who is paying for the job by making sure they will get their money back if you do not complete your work.

Auto insurance is still the most common, but these alternatives carry significant risks.

How Much Coverage Do You Need in California?

California law only requires liability insurance, but cheap car insurance isn’t always the best. When comparing car insurance costs from some of the most popular providers in California, you could also consider carrying coverage for uninsured motorists and collections up to $100k per person and $300K per incident. Some experts recommend even more coverage than that because it is not uncommon for lawsuits against drivers over 50 years old with ‘A’-ratings to reach into six digits.”

If you have a new car loan, check with your insurance company to determine if they require collision and comprehensive coverage. On the other hand, if your car is worth less than your deductible and a couple of years’ worth of premiums, you might want to forgo that coverage. Comparing auto insurance can help you find the best rates for your situation. The Insurance For Less Blog highlights car coverage that will allow you to protect yourself if you are at fault in an accident and a vehicle’s safety features.


Insneed is a great resource for auto insurance quotes in California. They ranked the top providers based on price, customer service, and more to help you find the best rates! Whether you are a new driver or want to compare car insurance cost options, they can save you up to $707 annually. Check out their website today for your next quote!

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