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The Best Car Insurance in California

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    Reviews Report

    • 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 $524 average premiums.
    • The best car insurance companies in California offer plenty of discounts, have high customer satisfaction ratings, and are financially strong.

    California is one of the most populated states in the country, so it may cost you more than usual to insure your car when there are so many other drivers on the road. With the cost of car insurance in California averaging $2,715 per year for full coverage, it is much more than the national average of insurance that costs $1,348 per year.

    To find the best California car insurance, we consider more than just price. We also analyze critical rate factors, such as available coverage, discounts, customer satisfaction, and financial strength. Based on these factors and more, these are the California auto insurance.

    Average annual full coverageAverage annual minimum coverageAverage monthly full coverage
    $2,715  $860  $105 

    The 5 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

    Compare the Best Car Insurance Companies in California

    Minimum Coverage 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$2,8084.4A++818
    Pin Geico$629$2,3664.4A++830
    Pin Farmers$1,108$3,0484A-811
    Pin Wawanesa$846$2,3503.6A+853
    Pin CSAA Ins. Group$524$2,3263.5A807

    Information accurate as of September 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.
    • $2,808* 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.
    • $2,366* 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.
    • $3,048* 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.
    • $2,350* 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 $524 average premiums for annual minimum coverage car insurance.
    • 3.5 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • $2,326* 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 $524 average premiums for annual minimum coverage 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

    * 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, according to quoted premiums from Coverage.com. State-required minimum coverage has an average annual cost of $860 per year in California, while full coverage will cost an average of $2,715 annually. The Insurance Information Institute estimates California has more uninsured drivers than most other states. It also has quite a few cities with a large population of drivers. These are just a few factors that can impact why California auto insurance is generally more expensive than other states.

    Each driver’s cost of car insurance in California may vary though, based on things like 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 Minimum Coverage Premium
    CSAA $524
    Geico$629
    Wawanesa$846 

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

    Top 3 Most Expensive Car Insurance Companies in California

    CompanyAverage Annual Minimum Coverage 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.

    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.

    Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages must be offered but can be declined.

    California residents can also satisfy the law by providing a cash deposit of $35,000 to the DMV or showing a surety bond for $35,000 from a company licensed to issue bonds in California.

    It’s important to note; California bans the use of credit, gender and ZIP code as rating factors.

    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 — typically covers all damages 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

    Lena Borrelli

    Lena Borrelli Contributing Writer

    Lena Borrelli is a freelance writer for Reviews.com. Over the last year, she has covered insurance, finance, and more. She has been featured in TIME with NextAdvisor, Bankrate, The Simple Dollar, MYMOVE, Million Mile Secrets, Coverage.com and more. My favorite article is “How to Invest in Real Estate During COVID?” on Reviews.com.

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