What is the cheapest car insurance in California?

Finding the cheapest car insurance in California can be a daunting task due to the state’s diverse driving conditions and dense population. However, by comparing multiple providers, drivers can discover the most cost-effective options tailored to their needs.

Key takeaways

  • Mercury offers the cheapest full coverage car insurance in California at $85 a month.
  • Californians typically pay about $138 a month for full coverage.
  • To get the best deal in California, compare quotes from at least three insurance companies.

What’s the cheapest car insurance in California?

In California, if you have a car loan or drive a newer vehicle, it’s recommended to opt for full coverage. The state’s minimum coverage meets legal requirements with $15,000 for individual bodily injury, $30,000 per accident, and $5,000 for property damage. Full coverage, though pricier, expands on this by covering events like theft, vandalism, storms, and damages from collisions, no matter who’s responsible.

Typically, owners of cars less than 10 years old, or those with a car loan or lease, should think about higher liability limits and include comprehensive and collision coverage.

How Much Car Insurance Do I Need in California?

California drivers are required to have certain insurance coverages. First, there’s Bodily Injury Liability (BI), which covers medical expenses, lost wages, and even funeral costs for other drivers and passengers if you’re at fault in an accident. This also offers protection against lawsuits. The state mandates at least $15,000 in BI coverage for one individual and $30,000 for an entire accident. 

Additionally, there’s Property Damage Liability (PD) that covers damages to other people’s property, like cars or fences, if you’re responsible. The minimum in California is $5,000. Note, PD doesn’t cover your own vehicle’s damages. Lastly, if you’re financing or leasing a car, your lender might ask for comprehensive and collision coverage, though they aren’t required by state law.

How Much Is Minimum Coverage Car Insurance in California?

In California, drivers aiming for just the cheapest car insurance in California coverage spend about $1,597 annually. Wawanesa General stands out as the most affordable option, with an average yearly rate of $1,100. On the other end of the spectrum, Nationwide charges the highest for minimum coverage, averaging $2,357 annually.

How Much Is Minimum Coverage Car Insurance in California?

How Much Is High-Coverage Car Insurance in California?

For high-coverage car insurance in California, the average yearly rate stands at $1,883. Wawanesa General offers the most competitive rate at $1,324 annually, while Nationwide, at the higher end, averages $2,869 a year.

How Much Is High-Coverage Car Insurance in California?

California Insurance Rates by City

In California, where you live can significantly impact your car insurance costs. For instance, San Diego residents enjoy the lowest average rate, paying about $1,710 annually. In contrast, drivers in Los Angeles face the steepest average, shelling out approximately $2,576 each year.

California Insurance Rates by City

Cheapest Rates for Teen Drivers: Wawanesa General

Teen drivers in California often face higher auto insurance premiums because of their limited driving experience. On average, both male and female 17-year-olds can expect to pay around $4,896 annually. Wawanesa General offers the most affordable rate for teens, with both genders averaging $2,490 per year. Conversely, Nationwide presents the priciest option in our analysis, charging an average of $9,493 yearly for both male and female teen drivers.

Cheapest Rates for Teen Drivers: Wawanesa General

Cheapest Rates for Young Adults: Wawanesa General

In California, single 25-year-old drivers, regardless of gender, have an average annual car insurance cost of $2,149. Wawanesa General emerges as the most budget-friendly choice, offering rates around $1,505 yearly for both males and females. However, young adults opting for Nationwide should be prepared to pay a steeper price, with an average annual rate of $3,310 for both genders.

Cheapest Rates for Young Adults: Wawanesa General

Cheapest Rates for Adults: Wawanesa General

Married 35-year-olds in California typically pay an average car insurance rate of $1,652 a year, regardless of gender. Wawanesa General is the most affordable choice, offering an average yearly rate of $1,116 for both men and women. In contrast, Nationwide stands at the pricier end, with an annual rate of $2,552 for both genders.

Cheapest Rates for Adults: Wawanesa General

Cheapest Rates for California Seniors: Wawanesa General

In California, married 60-year-old drivers, both male and female, have an average car insurance rate of $1,546 annually. Wawanesa General provides the most budget-friendly option with an average yearly fee of $1,021. Conversely, Nationwide charges the highest in our research, with an annual rate of $2,185 for senior drivers of both genders.

Cheapest Rates for California Seniors: Wawanesa General

Cheapest Rates for Good Drivers: Wawanesa General

In California, drivers with a clean record can expect an average insurance cost of $1,782 annually. Wawanesa General offers the best deal at $1,214 per year, while Nationwide is on the higher end with an average of $2,683.

California Rates After a Speeding Ticket: USAA

In California, having a speeding ticket can raise your insurance premiums. However, USAA stands out by offering competitive rates of $1,658 annually for such drivers. Furthermore, USAA is ranked first among our top car insurance companies and is acclaimed for its exceptional customer service, as evidenced by a policyholder survey.

California Rates After a Speeding Ticket: USAA

California Rates After an Accident: USAA

In California, a single accident on your driving record can push the yearly car insurance premium up to an average of $2,910. Among the options, USAA presents the most affordable rate with an average of $2,086 annually, while Nationwide sits at the pricier end with an average of $4,187. For those who can’t access USAA’s coverage, Geico is a viable alternative, offering the next best average annual rate of $2,205 post-accident.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the average cost of car insurance in California?

In California, the monthly average for a minimum coverage car insurance policy is $49, while for a full coverage policy, it’s $145.

Is insurance expensive in California?

Compared to other states, California’s car insurance rates are relatively average. It stands at 22nd in terms of expense for minimum coverage and ranks 31st for full coverage costs.

Which company has the cheapest car insurance in California?

In California, Geico tends to be the most affordable car insurance for many drivers, with average rates of $31 per month for minimum coverage and $109 for full coverage. However, for drivers with a speeding ticket, accident, or DUI, Mercury offers the best rates.

Which car insurance company is the best-rated in California?

In California, State Farm tops the charts for customer satisfaction in car insurance. It consistently receives high marks for its customer service and variety of coverage choices. Additionally, it’s an excellent option for drivers looking to bundle multiple policies.

Is Geico insurance leaving California?

In California, Geico operates exclusively online, having closed its physical offices in the state. Despite this, Geico continues to offer and maintain policies for Californians. Considering its competitive rates, it’s worth getting an online quote from Geico. On average, they provide the state’s most affordable car insurance at just $31 per month for minimum coverage.

Methodology

We gathered insurance rates from various ZIP codes in California, focusing on the largest insurance providers. The data pertains to a 30-year-old man with good credit driving a 2015 Honda Civic EX. For the basic coverage policy, we stuck to California’s minimum requirements. 

Meanwhile, the full coverage policy had 50/100/25 liability and uninsured driver limits, $10,000 for medical payments, and collision and comprehensive coverage with a $500 deductible. It’s essential to note that AAA insurance in California comes from two separate entities: AAA SoCal and AAA NorCal. The rates differ between them, and residents can only choose based on their location. 

We also utilized information from J.D. Power and AM Best. The insurance data in our analysis came from Quadrant Information Services, which uses publicly available insurer filings. While this offers a comparative perspective, individual quotes might vary.

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