HomepageInsuranceCarBest Car Insurance in California

The Best Car Insurance in California

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com ​

Save money on auto coverage with our simple comparison tool.

Please enter a valid zip code

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.

    The state of California requires all drivers to carry some form of car insurance, but finding the best insurance company for you can be difficult because each provider has its pros and cons. Wawanesa, CSAA, Allstate, and Farmers insurance may not have made the list of the best car insurance companies in the U.S., but they did stand out as the best car insurance companies in California. These selections were based on customer satisfaction ratings, average prices, amount of online resources, and types of coverage offered. 

    The 4 Best Auto Insurance Companies in California

    • Allstate: Best for online resources
    • CSAA: Best for affordability
    • Farmers: Best for coverage options
    • Wawanesa: Best for customer satisfaction

    Compare the Best Car Insurance Companies in California

    Average Price for State Minimum* Average Price for Full Coverage* 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 Overall Customer Satisfaction J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.
    Pin Allstate$1,141.59$3,288.704.2/5A+819/1,000
    Pin CSAA$523.51$2,326.423.5/5A810/1,000
    Pin Farmers$1,108.29$3,048.293.8/5A-801/1,000
    Pin Wawanesa$846.40$2,349.853.6/5A853/1,000

    Information accurate as of: 11/23/2020

    * Data provided by Coverage.com

    Allstate 

    Allstate

    Best for online resources

    Why we chose it

    Allstate offers a ton of resources online to help you understand basic insurance terms and common scenarios.
    • 4.2 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • $1,141.59* 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.
    • 819** J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    Allstate offers a ton of resources online to help you understand basic insurance terms and common scenarios.

    Pros

    • Easy-to-use mobile app
    • Extra benefits like accident forgiveness and safe driving bonuses
    • Access to car buying service
    • Highly rated financial strength

    Cons

    • Average cost is higher than average
    • Customer satisfaction was below the regional average
    • Policy premiums are only locked in for 6 months at a time
    Read More

    Types of Coverage Offered

    • Collision
    • Comprehensive
    • Liability
    • Medical payments
    • Uninsured & underinsured motorist
    • Sound system
    • Roadside 
    • Personal injury protection
    • Personal umbrella
    • Rental reimbursement

    Discounts Available

    • New car
    • Multiple policy
    • Smart student
    • Anti-lock brake
    • Anti-theft device
    • Early signing
    • Responsible payer
    • Auto-pay
    • Paperless documents
    • Full pay
    • Safe driving club

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

    **J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study rating for California region. Based on a 1,000-point scale.

    Further Reading on Allstate:

    CSAA 

    CSAA Auto

    Best for affordability

    Why we chose it

    Whether you’re looking for state minimum or full coverage, CSAA has the lowest average cost in California. CSAA is an AAA-affiliated company.
    • 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.
    • 810** J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    Whether you’re looking for state minimum or full coverage, CSAA has the lowest average cost in California. CSAA is an AAA-affiliated company.

    Pros

    • Lowest average premiums
    • Dividend checks can be issued annually to policyholders
    • Discounts as a AAA member

    Cons

    • Below average customer satisfaction ratings
    • Not as many discounts offered
    • AAA membership is typically required to obtain auto insurance
    Read More

    Types of Coverage Offered

    • Collision
    • Bodily injury
    • Property damage
    • Uninsured/underinsured motorist
    • Medical payment
    • Gap insurance
    • Comprehensive
    • Personal injury protection
    • Rental reimbursement
    • New car

    Discounts Available

    • AAA membership savings
    • Good driver
    • Multi-car
    • New driver
    • Good student
    • Multi-policy

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

    **J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study rating for California region. Based on a 1,000-point scale.

    Further Reading on CSAA:

    Farmers Insurance

    Farmers Insurance

    Best for coverage options

    Why we chose it

    Farmers insurance has a wide variety of coverages so you can be protected in a number of different scenarios.
    • 3.8 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.
    • 801** J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    Farmers insurance has a wide variety of coverages so you can be protected in a number of different scenarios.

    Pros

    • Wide range of coverages offered
    • Discounts available for alternative fuel vehicles
    • Low $100 deductible available on glass repair and replacement

    Cons

    • Average premiums are more expensive
    • Policies are typically only issued in 6 month increments
    Read More

    Types of Coverage Offered

    • Liability
    • Collision
    • Comprehensive
    • Uninsured/underinsured motorist
    • Medical payments
    • Personal injury protection
    • Towing and roadside service
    • Rental car reimbursement
    • Rideshare
    • Loss of use
    • Guaranteed value
    • Customized equipment
    • Personal umbrella
    • Glass deductible buyback
    • Full windshield and glass
    • Spare parts
    • Original equipment manufacturer parts
    • New car replacement
    • Accident forgiveness

    Discounts Available

    • Multi-policy
    • Multi-car
    • Professional groups/associations
    • Military
    • Paperless billing
    • Safe driver
    • Distant student
    • Youthful driver
    • Good student
    • On your own
    • Mature driver
    • Homeowner
    • Alternative fuel
    • Auto-pay
    • Pay-in-full
    • Homing device

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

    **J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study rating for California region. Based on a 1,000-point scale.

    Further Reading on Farmers:

    Wawanesa

    Wawanesa Insurance

    Best for customer satisfaction

    Why we chose it

    Wawanesa offers reasonable rates for insurance, and also earned the highest rating for customer satisfaction in 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 offers reasonable rates for insurance, and also earned the highest rating for customer satisfaction in the California region.

    Pros

    • Highly rated customer satisfaction
    • Claims can be submitted online 24/7

    Cons

    • Not many discounts offered
    • Small range of coverages
    • Maximum liability limits are not as high as some companies
    Read More

    Types of Coverage Offered

    • Bodily injury
    • Property damage
    • Medical payments
    • Comprehensive
    • Collision
    • Roadside assistance
    • Rental reimbursement
    • Uninsured/underinsured motorist
    • Vehicle manufacturer replacement parts

    Discounts Available

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

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

    **J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study rating for 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 insurance in California is generally more expensive than other states. 

    Your own cost of insurance may vary though, as there are a number of different factors unique to everyone. The crime rate in your area, your age, and driving history are just a few factors that may affect how much you pay for car insurance. 

    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.

    Guide to California Car Insurance 

    Insurance requirements vary among each state, such as the type and amount of coverage you need. The California DMV and Department of Insurance are two resources you can use to determine what the minimum requirements are, as well as finding tools for how to compare car insurance quotes

    Car insurance in California may differ from other states in the following areas:

    • California is one of several states which prohibits the use of credit scores in determining how much you pay
    • If you need cheap car insurance because you’re not able to afford it, low cost insurance is available to those who qualify. Details on low cost insurance are available on the California DMV website
    • You must notify the California DMV before you cancel your insurance, even if you do not plan on operating your vehicle

    Car Insurance Add-Ons That Will Further Protect You 

    • Full glass: This coverage typically covers the cost of replacing a windshield with little to no out-of-pocket cost to you. 
    • Rideshare: If you use your car to earn some extra money with apps like Uber or Lyft, you’ll need ridesharing coverage to protect you when you’re logged in to their apps or have picked up a passenger. 
    • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: If you’re in an accident through no fault of your own, but the other driver does not have enough insurance to cover the damages, your own policy’s coverage will cover your expenses. 
    • Umbrella: This policy extends the amount of coverage on your auto insurance policy. If damages exceed your auto insurance policy limits, the umbrella policy will kick in and cover any excess amounts up to its policy limit. 

    California Minimum Insurance Requirements

    Like most other states, California requires all drivers to carry some form of acceptable insurance. The most common form is liability insurance, which covers damages to others. Requirements vary among each state, but California requires that liability insurance provide at least $15,000 of coverage for injury/death to one person, $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person per accident, and $5,000 for damage to property. 

    Lesser common forms of acceptable insurance for California include a $35,000 cash deposit with the DMV, a DMV-issued self-insurance certificate, and a surety bond for $35,000. 

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

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

    California Car Insurance FAQ 

    What is the minimum car insurance required in California?

    California considers several types of insurance to be acceptable. The most common is liability insurance with minimum coverage of $15,000 for bodily injury coverage per person, $30,000 bodily injury coverage per accident and $5,000 for property damage. Other forms include a cash deposit with the DMV, a DMV-issued self-insurance certificate, and a surety bond. 

    What is the average auto insurance cost in California?

    State minimum liability coverage will cost an average of $611, while full coverage runs an average of $1,974 per year. 

    What is the cheapest car insurance company in California?

    CSAA charges an average of $524 per year for state minimum coverage. However, keep in mind that the cost will vary based on your own unique circumstances, such as your location, driving history, age, type of car you drive, and how much you drive. 

    Are there any ways to get discounts on car insurance?

    Many companies offer a discount if you bundle your car insurance with your homeowner’s insurance. Be sure to ask if you’d be eligible for a lower rate if you decide to insure more than just your car with the same company. 

    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.

    Table Of Contents