Largest Insurance Companies In California - To help you get the best cheap auto insurance in California, our editorial team compared quotes in every zip code from the best auto insurance companies in California. We've ranked the best companies in California based on customer service, convenience, and availability of coverage. We also rank the best companies based on accessibility for different drivers.
To find the cheapest companies, we averaged quotes for liability insurance, which meets the California state minimums of $15,000 in bodily injury liability per accident and $30,000 per accident plus $5,000 in property damage coverage. Full coverage policy quotes included liability limits above the state minimum along with collision and comprehensive coverage.
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Geico has the cheapest car insurance for most drivers in California. The company charges an average of $390 per year for a minimum liability policy. It is 35% cheaper than the state average.
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California drivers can also find affordable car insurance from AAA of Northern California (AAA NorCal) or Progressive. Both auto insurers offer cheap rates that are significantly cheaper than average, and AAA has some of the best customer service scores in the state.
AAA offers auto insurance to Northern California residents through AAA Northern California, also known as AAA NorCal or CSAA, while The Auto Club of Southern California (AAA SoCal) covers drivers in Southern California.
Mercury has the cheapest full coverage auto insurance quotes in California at $1,731 per year. Geico and Progressive also offer quotes under $2,000 a year.
Minimum coverage auto insurance quotes meet California's minimum legal requirements, which include $15,000 in bodily injury liability per accident and $30,000 per accident and $5,000 in property damage coverage.
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Unlike full coverage, minimum coverage does not include comprehensive and collision coverage, which protects you against damage to a vehicle after a collision, theft, vandalism or natural disaster, regardless of who is at fault.
Although comprehensive coverage costs more, purchasing higher liability limits and adding comprehensive and collision coverage is a good idea for most drivers and newer vehicle owners. It is also necessary if you have a loan or car rental.
A single accident and claim on your driving record can increase your car insurance quotes by hundreds of dollars. Drivers with incidents on their records, such as accidents, speeding tickets and DUIs, tend to pay more expensive premiums than other drivers.
Mercury has the best rates on comprehensive auto insurance for California drivers who have received a speeding ticket.
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Full coverage Mercury policies average $2,293 per year, which is 28% cheaper than the statewide average of $3,200 for drivers with a speeding ticket.
Drivers often pay more for car insurance after receiving a speeding ticket because they are statistically more likely to get into an accident. They found that a full coverage policy in California was $1,052 more expensive each year ($88 more expensive each month) after a speeding ticket. That's a 49% increase.
Mercury offers the cheapest full coverage car insurance quotes for California drivers with an accident on their driving record.
The company's average annual rate after an accident is $2,604 per year, or 40% cheaper than the California average of $4,330.
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California drivers with an accident history typically pay 102% more for auto insurance than drivers with no previous accidents.
If you have a DUI in California, you can get a good deal on Mercury auto insurance. Its typical rate of $2,867 per year is about half as expensive as the global average price.
A DUI conviction usually means a significant increase in your car insurance rates. The average cost of DUI insurance in California is $5,839 per year, a 172% jump compared to a driver with a clean record.
The cheapest auto insurance company for new drivers in California is Geico. Their typical rate of $1,167 for minimum coverage is 26% lower than average.
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For full coverage, State Farm is slightly cheaper than Geico at $3,949 per year, compared to Geico's average rate of $4,306.
Young drivers in California pay more than two and a half times more than older drivers for auto insurance. Insurers charge 18-year-old drivers an average of $1,577 a year, compared to just $604 for 30-year-olds, for a minimum insurance policy.
While high rates for young drivers may discourage them from purchasing comprehensive coverage, consider the added value of comprehensive coverage. Additional collision protection and comprehensive insurance are especially useful for young drivers, who are more likely to be involved in more accidents than more experienced drivers.
Geico rates average $1,312 per year for a minimum coverage policy, which is 38% cheaper than the California state average of $2,107 for new drivers with a speeding ticket.
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Overall, young driver rates in California increase 34% after a speeding ticket. That's an extra $44 a month.
Geico and Mercury offer the most affordable auto insurance for California young drivers after an at-fault accident. Both of these companies offered rates under $1,700 per year, much less than the usual price of $2,305 per year.
Teenagers pay more for car insurance after an accident because their lack of driving experience makes them statistically 46% more likely to have another accident. However, because teenagers are already more likely to crash than older drivers, the relative increase is smaller. Older drivers in California typically pay 102% more after an accident.
The best rate for married drivers in California is Progressive, which offers a typical rate of $1,448 per year, or 26% less than the average for all insurers. Progressive also has the biggest discount for married drivers at 27%.
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The average rates California insurers charge married drivers are 9% lower than the rates they charge single drivers. Most insurers offer slightly cheaper rates to married drivers because there is a correlation between being married and having fewer car accidents.
AAA is the best auto insurance company in California for its affordable rates and reliable coverage and support.
State Farm is another prime candidate for good insurance. State Farm also offers a wide variety of different types of coverage and is a great option to combine with other types of insurance, such as home or renter's insurance.
The most expensive city in California for car insurance is Beverly Hills, at $3,474 per year. The cheapest city, Mount Shasta, has an average rate of $1,579 per year.
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The average cost of a full coverage car insurance quote in California is $2,148 per year, or $179 per month. But the cost of car insurance varies depending on where you live. You may have a higher insurance rate if there is a lot of car theft in your area, poorly maintained roads, or, as is the case in Beverly Hills, the average price of a car is high. If all your neighbors drive Teslas, the liability claim will be higher because the cost of repairing the vehicle is higher.
Although this is the minimum amount of cover you can get, we recommend tailoring your cover limits to your driving habits and personal financial situation. We recommend adding collision and comprehensive coverage if your car is worth more than a few thousand dollars. You will probably need to have both if your car is being borrowed or leased.
On the other hand, if you're a college student with an older car that you don't drive often, you may want to consider lower liability limits.
If you own a home in one of California's most expensive zip codes and have significant savings and investment accounts, we encourage you to increase your liability limits and consider adding umbrella coverage to protect your assets.
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The California legislature has proposed, but appears unlikely to pass, a bill that would increase the minimum liability required for drivers in the state through 60/30/15.
California's current low (5/15/30) is among the lowest in the nation; only three other states have equal or lower minimum liability limits. The change would catapult California into one of the top-heavy insurance states in the country: Only eight states have such high or higher requirements.
If the bill passes, drivers with the minimum coverage will likely see their rates increase the next time they renew. Raising your limits from the current to the proposed minimum would result in an average price increase of 16%, or $96 per year, if you have a clean driving record. But the increases can vary because the additional coverage would be spread across all insured drivers.
The bill passed the state Senate and is in committee in the Assembly. If the project is approved, the increase will take effect on January 1, 2025.
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The California Department of Insurance recently proposed regulations to mitigate the effect of affinity group discounts on insurance prices. Policyholders in California and elsewhere often get discounts for being part of an affinity group. Affinity group discounts may apply to an insured's occupation, such as lawyers and teachers, or membership in an organized group, such as an alumni association.
Among the biggest affinity group discounts for some of California's biggest insurance companies, the biggest discount came from Farmers, which gave a 14% discount on policies for a variety of professionals.
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