HomepageInsuranceCarThe Best Car Insurance in California of 2021

The Best Car Insurance in California

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com ​
Insurance Disclosure This advertising widget is powered by HomeInsurance.com, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 8781838) and a corporate affiliate of Reviews.com. HomeInsurance.com LLC services are only available in states where it is licensed and insurance coverage through HomeInsurance.com may not be available in all states. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way.

Save money on auto coverage with our simple comparison tool.

Please enter a valid zip code

Powered by HomeInsurance.com (NPN: 8781838)

Click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.

    Advertiser Disclosure

    Close icon.

    We are an independent publisher. Our reporters create honest, accurate, and objective content to help you make decisions. To support our work, we are paid for providing advertising services. Many, but not all, of the offers and clickable hyperlinks that appear on this site are from companies that compensate us. The compensation we receive and other factors, such as your location, may impact what ads and links appear on our site, and how, where, and in what order ads and links appear. While we strive to provide a wide range of offers, our site does not include information about every product or service that may be available to you. We strive to keep our information accurate and up-to-date, but some information may not be current. So, your actual offer terms from an advertiser may be different than the offer terms on this site. And the advertised offers may be subject to additional terms and conditions of the advertiser. All information is presented without any warranty or guarantee to you.

    • State Farm and Geico are the best car insurance companies in California, both earning a 4.4 out of 5 Reviews.com score.
    • The cheapest minimum coverage comes from CSAA Insurance Group with $523 average premiums.
    • The best car insurance companies in California offer plenty of discounts, have high customer satisfaction ratings, and are financially strong.

    Looking for the best car insurance rates that California has to offer? As an at-fault state, it is important to find the best car insurance in California. With the average cost of car insurance in California at $1,974 for full coverage and $611 for state minimums, finding the cheapest car insurance in the Golden State seems like a daunting task. 

    We reviewed the top auto insurance companies in California based on the following factors: average annual premiums, AM Best financial strength, J.D. Power customer satisfaction rating, coverage options, and available discounts. Our analysis reveals that CSAA Insurance Group has the lowest average premiums, while Wawanesa is home to the best customer satisfaction ratings.

    The 6 Best Auto Insurance Companies in California

    • State Farm: Best California Car Insurance for Safe Drivers
    • Geico: Best California Car Insurance for Discounts
    • Farmers: Best California Car Insurance for Coverage Add-ons
    • Wawanesa: Best California Car Insurance for Customer Satisfaction
    • CSAA Insurance: Best California Car Insurance for Low Premiums
    • Mercury: Best California Car Insurance for No-frills Coverage

    Compare the Best Car Insurance Companies in California

    State Minimum Annual Premium* Full Coverage Annual Premium* Reviews.com Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options. AM Best Financial Strength AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim. J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction** J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.
    Pin State Farm$867.46$2,808.444.4A++818
    Pin Geico$629.40$2,366.084.4A++830
    Pin Farmers$1,108.29$3,048.294A-811
    Pin Wawanesa$846.40$2,349.853.6A+853
    Pin CSAA Ins. Group$523.51$2,326.423.5A807
    Pin Mercury$679.68$2,086.273.6A816

    Information accurate as of July 2021
    * Data provided by Coverage.com
    **J.D. Power
    2021 Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study for the California region. Based on a 1,000-point scale.

    State Farm

    Best for Safe Drivers

    Why we chose it

    State Farm offers some of the best auto insurance in California, especially for drivers with clean driving records.
    • 4.4 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • $867.46* Average Premium Pricing data comes from our partners at Coverage.com.
    • A++ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 818 J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    State Farm offers some of the best auto insurance in California, especially for drivers with clean driving records.

    Pros

    • Strong financial rating
    • Impressive claims satisfaction record
    • Multiple discounts

    Cons

    • Limited add-on coverage
    • Drivers with record may have limited discounts available
    • Higher premiums than competitors
    Read More

    Add-on Coverage

    • Rental car and travel expenses 
    • Roadside assistance
    • Rideshare driver

    Discounts Available

    • Policy bundling
    • Accident free
    • Driving course
    • Good driver
    • Vehicle safety
    • Anti-theft device

    More State Farm Insurance Reviews

    Geico

    Best for Discounts

    Why we chose it

    Geico offers competitive premiums and California drivers can save even more when qualifying for one of the company’s many discount programs.
    • 4.4 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • $629.40* Average Premium Pricing data comes from our partners at Coverage.com.
    • A++ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 830** J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    Geico offers competitive premiums and California drivers can save even more when qualifying for one of the company’s many discount programs.

    Pros

    • Lower premiums than competitors
    • Wide variety of discounts
    • Strong financial ratings

    Cons

    • Limited coverage add-ons
    • No dedicated agents
    • No accident forgiveness coverage
    Read More

    Add-on Coverage

    • Personal injury protection
    • Roadside assistance
    • Rental car reimbursement
    • Mechanical breakdown

    Discounts Available

    • Vehicle safety features
    • New vehicle
    • Good student
    • Emergency deployment
    • Federal employee
    • Employee membership

    More Geico Insurance Reviews

    Farmers Insurance

    Best for Coverage Add-ons

    Why we chose it

    Farmers allows customers to create the most comprehensive auto insurance policy out there with tons of add-on coverage available.
    • 4 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • $1,108.29* Average Premium Pricing data comes from our partners at Coverage.com.
    • A- AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 811** J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    Farmers allows customers to create the most comprehensive auto insurance policy out there with tons of add-on coverage available.

    Pros

    • Extensive coverage options
    • Local California car insurance agents
    • Accident forgiveness available

    Cons

    • No gap insurance
    • Higher premiums than competitors
    • Six-month policies
    • Average customer satisfaction
    Read More

    Add-on Coverage

    • Glass deductible buyback
    • New car replacement
    • Spare parts coverage
    • OEM coverage
    • Full windshield and glass
    • Rideshare
    • Loss of use
    • Customized equipment
    • Rental car reimbursement
    • Roadside assistance

    Discounts Available

    • Older cars
    • Claims-free
    • Raising deductible
    • Ask for local discounts

    More Farmers Insurance Reviews

    Wawanesa Insurance

    Best for Customer Satisfaction

    Why we chose it

    Wawanesa is a regional insurance provider rated No. 1 in J.D. Power’s auto insurance satisfaction study for the California region.
    • 3.6 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • $846.40* Average Premium Pricing data comes from our partners at Coverage.com.
    • A+ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 853** J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    Wawanesa is a regional insurance provider rated No. 1 in J.D. Power’s auto insurance satisfaction study for the California region.

    Pros

    • Online quotes available
    • 24/7 claims submission online
    • Average premiums

    Cons

    • Limited discounts available
    • Limited coverage add-ons
    • Lower maximum liability limits compare to others
    Read More

    Add-on Coverage

    • Roadside assistance
    • Rental reimbursement
    • Uninsured/underinsured motorist
    • Vehicle manufacturer replacement parts

     

    Discounts Available

    • Good driver
    • Multi-car
    • Mature driver improvement course
    • Loyalty
    CSAA Auto

    Best for Low Premiums

    Why we chose it

    Affiliated with AAA, CSAA Insurance Group has the cheapest car insurance in California, at $523.51 average premiums for state minimum car insurance.
    • 3.5 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • $523.51* Average Premium Pricing data comes from our partners at Coverage.com.
    • A AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 807** J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    Affiliated with AAA, CSAA Insurance Group has the cheapest car insurance in California, at $523.51 average premiums for state minimum car insurance.

    Pros

    • Low premiums compared to competitors
    • Local AAA representatives
    • Quick claims process

    Cons

    • Average customer satisfaction ratings
    • AAA membership required
    • Lower financial ratings than competitors
    Read More

    Add-on Coverage

    • Replacement cost coverage
    • Rental car reimbursement
    • Gap insurance
    • Medical payments
    • Rideshare insurance

    Discounts Available

    Policy bundling

    Mercury

    Best for Basic Coverage

    Why we chose it

    Mercury offers basic California car insurance at prices lower than most of its competitors in the state.
    • 3.6 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • $679.68* Average Premium Pricing data comes from our partners at Coverage.com.
    • A AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 816** J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    Mercury offers basic California car insurance at prices lower than most of its competitors in the state.

    Pros

    • Local agents in California
    • Bundling discount available
    • RealDrive mileage tracking available

    Cons

    • Customer satisfaction below average
    • Limited supplemental coverage
    • Large amount of customer complaints
    Read More

    Add-on Coverage 

    • Rental car coverage
    • Rideshare
    • Roadside assistance

    Discounts Available

    • Anti-theft
    • Autopay
    • E-signatures
    • Good driver
    • Good student
    • Multi-car
    • Multi-policy
    • Pay in full
    • RealDrive

    More Mercury Insurance Reviews

    * Data provided by Coverage.com
    **J.D. Power
    2021 Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study for the California region. Based on a 1,000-point scale.

    The Average Cost of Car Insurance in California 

    The average cost of auto insurance in California is slightly higher than the national average. State minimum liability coverage has an average cost of $611, while full coverage will cost an average of $1,974. According to the Insurance Information Institute, California has more uninsured drivers than most other states. There are also a number of cities with a large population of drivers. These are just a few factors that explain why California auto insurance is generally more expensive than other states.

    Each driver’s cost of car insurance in California may vary though, as there are a number of different factors unique to everyone. ZIP code, age, car make and model, driving history, and primary use of the vehicle. New drivers are also likely to be subject to higher premiums.

    Top 3 Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in California

    CompanyAverage Annual Premium
    CSAA $524
    Geico$629
    Mercury Insurance$680

    * Data provided by Coverage.com, price based on the state minimum required policy.

    Top 3 Most Expensive Car Insurance Companies in California

    CompanyAverage Annual Premium
    Allstate $1,142
    21st Century Insurance$1,123
    Mid Century Insurance$1,108

    * Data provided by Coverage.com, price based on the state minimum required policy.

    Top 3 Cheapest Cities for Car Insurance in California 

    CityAverage Annual Premium*
    Calexico$591
    Crescent City$596
    McKinleyville$599

    * Data provided by Coverage.com, price based on the state minimum required policy.

    Top 3 Most Expensive Cities for Car Insurance in California 

    CityAverage Annual Premium*
    Beverly Hills$1,406
    Tarzana$1,349
    West Hollywood$1,324

    * Data provided by Coverage.com, price based on the state minimum required policy.

    California Car Insurance: What You Need to Know

    There are a lot of cars on the road in California, but the state has a range of traffic safety laws that have lessened traffic fatalities. For instance, minors may not drive between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. for the first year of being licensed. 

    Insurance requirements vary by state. California is an at-fault state, meaning drivers are responsible for coverage to financially protect themselves in the case of a driving incident. 

    The minimum liability required in the state of California is divided as follows:

    • $15,000 bodily injury/death coverage to one person.
    • $30,000 bodily injury/death coverage per accident.
    • $5,000 for property damage.

    Californias At-Fault Law

    As an at-fault state, the driver who is responsible for an accident is required to provide financial compensation for any damages inflicted on victims. If there is more than one driver found at fault, then the reimbursement for damages is split among them in percentages. California does require minimum liability insurance to ensure adequate coverage in the event of a collision.

    Additional Car Insurance Coverage in California

    While every driver in California must carry the minimum 15/30/5 insurance limits, it’s recommended to carry additional car insurance coverage or higher limits to protect the vehicle and assets in the case of an accident. 

    • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: If the other driver is at fault but doesn’t have any or enough California auto insurance, the driver is still protected. 
    • Medical payments: This pays medical bills for passengers within the driver’s vehicle, regardless of who is at fault. 
    • Comprehensive: Comprehensive car insurance — also known as full-coverage car insurance — covers all incidents not related to a car crash, including hitting animals, colliding with property, vandalism, and acts of nature. 
    • Towing and road service: California is ranked as having some of the worst roads in the country, so towing service offers protection in case of a flat tire or other issues.

    California Car Insurance FAQ 

    Methodology 

    Reviews.com scores products, services and companies using five quantifiable criteria to help readers choose the best one for them. For the best car insurance in California, our editorial team compared affordability, customer support, coverage options, customer satisfaction scores and online resources from each company and averaged the scores to produce our very own Reviews.com score. These scores were created with our readers in mind and are meant to be a helpful tool to simplify the process of choosing which car insurance company is best for you. 

    As for average pricing, we used Coverage.com’s data of car insurance in California, based on the profiles of a 30-year male and female. For full coverage, the details used were the following:

    • $100k bodily injury liability per person
    • $300k bodily injury liability coverage per crash
    • $100k property damage liability coverage per crash
    • $500 collision coverage deductible
    • $500 comprehensive coverage deductible

    Minimum coverages were applied to match state requirements. Both drivers used a new, financed 2018 Toyota Camry, commuting five days a week and driving 12,000 miles per year. Since auto insurance rates vary widely among different profiles, we encourage you to compare options that fit your specific needs.

    About the Authors

    Lauren Ward

    Lauren Ward Contributing Writer

    Lauren Ward is a personal finance writer who regularly covers consumer insurance products. Her work has appeared in a variety of online publications, including Bankrate and The Simple Dollar. She graduated from Georgetown University with a BA in Japanese.

    Table Of Contents