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Best car insurance in California for 2022

Updated Dec 05, 2022
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Best car insurance companies in California

According to our research, California drivers pay an average car insurance premium of $2,190 per year for full coverage and $619 for minimum coverage. Bankrate’s insurance editorial team determined that Geico, State Farm, Progressive, Mercury and Wawanesa are among the best car insurance companies in California. We first analyzed average annual quoted premiums, provided by Quadrant Information Services, for the largest insurance companies by market share in the Golden State. We also considered customer satisfaction ratings and rankings in the 2022 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study.

Based on our research, you might want to get quotes from the following national and regional companies if you are looking for the best auto insurance in California:

Geico
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
4.7
Bankrate Score
Info Hover for more
J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Score (California region)
824
/1,000
Average monthly full coverage premium
$143
Average annual full coverage premium
$1,721
State Farm
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
4.7
Bankrate Score
Info Hover for more
J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Score (California region)
817
/1,000
Average monthly full coverage premium
$172
Average annual full coverage premium
$2,069
Progressive
Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5
4.1
Bankrate Score
Info Hover for more
J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Score (California region)
803
/1,000
Average monthly full coverage premium
$163
Average annual full coverage premium
$1,960
Mercury
Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5
4.1
Bankrate Score
Info Hover for more
J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Score (California region)
827
/1,000
Average monthly full coverage premium
$142
Average annual full coverage premium
$1,699
Wawanesa
Rating: 3.4 stars out of 5
3.4
Bankrate Score
Info Hover for more
J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Score (California region)
879
/1,000
Average monthly full coverage premium
$130
Average annual full coverage premium
$1,562
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Advertising Disclosure
This advertisement is powered by Coverage.com, LLC, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249) and a corporate affiliate of Bankrate. The offers and links that appear on this advertisement are from companies that compensate Coverage.com in different ways. The compensation received and other factors, such as your location, may impact what offers and links appear, and how, where and in what order they appear. While we seek to provide a wide range of offers, we do not include every product or service that may be available. Our goal is to keep information accurate and timely, but some information may not be current. Your actual offer from an advertiser may be different from the offer on this advertisement. All offers are subject to additional terms and conditions.

Coverage.com, LLC is a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249). Coverage.com services are only available in states where it is licensed. Coverage.com may not offer insurance coverage in all states or scenarios. 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.

Geico
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
4.7
Bankrate Score
Info Hover for more
J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Score (California region)
824
/1,000
Average monthly minimum coverage premium
$33
Average annual minimum coverage premium
$400
State Farm
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
4.7
Bankrate Score
Info Hover for more
J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Score (California region)
817
/1,000
Average monthly minimum coverage premium
$43
Average annual minimum coverage premium
$510
Progressive
Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5
4.1
Bankrate Score
Info Hover for more
J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Score (California region)
803
/1,000
Average monthly minimum coverage premium
$45
Average annual minimum coverage premium
$542
Mercury
Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5
4.1
Bankrate Score
Info Hover for more
J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Score (California region)
827
/1,000
Average monthly minimum coverage premium
$45
Average annual minimum coverage premium
$539
Wawanesa
Rating: 3.4 stars out of 5
3.4
Bankrate Score
Info Hover for more
J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Score (California region)
879
/1,000
Average monthly minimum coverage premium
$48
Average annual minimum coverage premium
$574
Powered by Coverage.com (NPN: 19966249)
Advertising Disclosure
This advertisement is powered by Coverage.com, LLC, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249) and a corporate affiliate of Bankrate. The offers and links that appear on this advertisement are from companies that compensate Coverage.com in different ways. The compensation received and other factors, such as your location, may impact what offers and links appear, and how, where and in what order they appear. While we seek to provide a wide range of offers, we do not include every product or service that may be available. Our goal is to keep information accurate and timely, but some information may not be current. Your actual offer from an advertiser may be different from the offer on this advertisement. All offers are subject to additional terms and conditions.

Coverage.com, LLC is a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249). Coverage.com services are only available in states where it is licensed. Coverage.com may not offer insurance coverage in all states or scenarios. 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.

Best car insurance company for digital policy management

J.D. Power:
824 /1,000
AM Best:
A ++
Avg. annual premium for minimum coverage:
$ 400
Avg annual premium for full coverage:
$ 1,721
Get a personalized quote

Answer a few questions to see personalized rates from top carriers.

Best car insurance company for local agencies

J.D. Power:
817 /1,000
AM Best:
A ++
Avg. annual premium for minimum coverage:
$ 510
Avg annual premium for full coverage:
$ 2,069
Get a personalized quote

Answer a few questions to see personalized rates from top carriers.

Best car insurance company for supporting a local company

J.D. Power:
827 /1,000
AM Best:
A
Avg. annual premium for minimum coverage:
$ 539
Avg annual premium for full coverage:
$ 1,699
Get a personalized quote

Answer a few questions to see personalized rates from top carriers.

Best car insurance company for discounts

J.D. Power:
803 /1,000
AM Best:
A +
Avg. annual premium for minimum coverage:
$ 542
Avg annual premium for full coverage:
$ 1,960
Get a personalized quote

Answer a few questions to see personalized rates from top carriers.

Best car insurance company for customer satisfaction

J.D. Power:
879 /1,000
AM Best:
A
Avg. annual premium for minimum coverage:
$ 574
Avg annual premium for full coverage:
$ 1,562
Get a personalized quote

Answer a few questions to see personalized rates from top carriers.

How Bankrate chose the best car insurance companies in California

To choose the best car insurance companies in California, Bankrate analyzed average rate data from Quadrant Information Services, along with third-party financial strength ratings from AM Best, customer service rankings from the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Auto Insurance Study for the California region, available coverage options, discounts and digital tools.

To determine the Bankrate Score (out of a possible 5.0 points), we evaluated each provider’s affordability, availability and customer service record and financial strength ratings. We also looked for insurers that offer digital tools to help policyholders more efficiently file claims and manage their policies.

How much is car insurance in California?

The average annual cost of car insurance in California is $2,190 for full coverage and $619 for minimum coverage, according to 2022 premium data obtained from Quadrant Information Services. This is 24% higher than the national average premium for full coverage, which is $1,771 per year. California drivers pay more on average than drivers in many other states, including neighboring states like Oregon and Washington, which may be due to the state’s heavily congested roadways, leading to denser traffic and a higher likelihood of accident claims.

Keep in mind that these rates are averages. There are many factors that influence car insurance rates, and your premium will likely vary based on your personal rating factors, like your motor vehicle record, claims history and the make and model car you drive. California regulations prohibit insurers from using credit, gender or ZIP code as factors to determine your auto insurance premium.

Average annual premium for minimum coverage in California Average annual premium for full coverage in California
$619 $2,190

How to find the best car insurance in California

While price is important to many people, you might also want to consider other factors when choosing an auto insurance company. The best car insurance policy looks different for everyone and will depend on your needs, lifestyle and financial responsibilities. To see which car insurance company might provide the best fit and options for you, here are some steps you can take.

Consider minimum insurance requirements in California

California requires drivers to carry at least minimum levels of liability insurance coverage on their vehicles to drive legally in the state. This includes the required minimum amounts of bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, all California motorists must carry at least:

  • $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person
  • $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident
  • $5,000 in property damage liability per accident

California also requires that insurance companies offer you uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage, along with uninsured motorist property damage, but you can decline in writing if you do not want to have them. Understanding California’s car insurance laws can help you understand if you need additional coverage or higher limits.

Consider lender requirements

If you finance or lease your vehicle, you may need to purchase a car insurance policy that complies with your financial institution’s requirements. For example, collision and comprehensive insurance are typically optional coverage types, but if your car is financed, most lenders will require you to purchase them. This is commonly known as a “full coverage” policy. Your financial institution may also require you to purchase higher liability limits, especially if you lease your vehicle. You might also want to consider gap insurance, which is designed to pay the difference between your vehicle’s actual cash value and the loan or lease amount if your car is totaled or stolen. According to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I), it is typically cheaper to purchase gap insurance from your insurer instead of from an auto dealer.

Consider your individual needs

Every driver has a different set of auto insurance considerations. You might live in an area where traffic and tourism are heavy, like Los Angeles or San Francisco, have a teen driver to insure or maybe have a few accidents or moving violations on your driving record. Based on your unique needs, it could make sense to have collision coverage and comprehensive coverage, uninsured motorist coverage or towing and rental reimbursement. Understanding your individual coverage needs might help you narrow down the companies you request quotes from. Households with teen drivers might look for companies with specialized young driver discounts, for example.

Industry news: California’s rate filing freeze starts to thaw

Until October 2022, California’s Department of Insurance had not approved any auto insurance rate filings since May 2020, despite over 75 percent of companies that sell car insurance in the state filing for a rate increase, according to APCIA. As Allstate, the first carrier to receive approval for a rate increase since the rate filing freeze took effect, gets ready to raise rates 6.9%, drivers in the state are wondering what’s going to happen next. Bankrate explored the rate filing freeze and what all this means for drivers and car insurance companies in the state.

Frequently asked questions

Written by
Cate Deventer
Insurance Writer & Editor
Cate Deventer is a writer, editor and insurance professional with over a decade of experience in the insurance industry as a licensed insurance agent.
Edited by Insurance Editor
Reviewed by Senior wealth manager, LourdMurray