California is one of the most desirable places to live, but it’s also one of the most expensive. If you own a car in the Golden State, be prepared to pay a hefty amount for your car insurance. The average cost of a car insurance policy in California is $1,792.67 per year.
Every car insurance company charges a slightly different rate, so you’ll need to do some research in order to find the best price. To help you get started, we put together a list of some of the cheapest car insurance companies in California.
The cheapest car insurance companies in California
When you’re shopping for car insurance, you’re looking for the best rate possible. We sourced pricing data from U.S. News and World Report to find the California car insurance companies that offer budget-friendly rates. These three made our list.
Geico is another popular choice for cheap car insurance in California. The average cost of a Geico car insurance policy in California is just $1,352.60 per year. According to its website, drivers who switch to Geico save an average of over $500 per year—that’s pretty significant.
In addition, Geico offers a long list of discounts that many types of drivers are able to take advantage of. Geico has a discount for safe drivers, good students, federal employees, and military members. You can also get a discount for having certain safety features installed in your vehicle, taking a defensive driving course, insuring multiple vehicles, and more.
Progressive is the third largest car insurance company in the nation, with 12.2 percent of the market share. Millions of drivers have chosen Progressive because of their affordable rates. U.S. News found that the average cost of a Progressive car insurance policy in California is $1,292.14.
However, it’s not just low rates that make Progressive a good choice for insurance. The company has tons of great online tools that can help you save money. With the Snapshot program, good drivers can save hundreds of dollars on their insurance. Using the Name Your Price Tool, you can see the best coverages for your budget. Progressive is all about saving drivers money, so it makes sense why it’s one of our top picks.
California drivers who are active-duty military members or veterans can get coverage from USAA. Although USAA coverage is only available to a small audience, it’s just about the best car insurance you can get. According to U.S. News, the average cost of a USAA policy in California is $1,455.11 per year. In addition to low rates, USAA also has amazing customer service, and great coverage options.
USAA customers get access to a wide variety of discounts. Some are military specific, like a discount for garaging your vehicle on base, while others are more general. Some examples of USAA car insurance discounts include being a safe driver, taking a driver training course, insuring a car that is less than three years old, and bundling your insurance policies.
Affordable coverage for California drivers
In California, drivers are required to carry a minimum amount of coverage. The minimum requirements are much lower than many other states, which is part of the reason why the cost of car insurance in California is cheaper than neighboring states. If you’re a driver in California, here is the amount of coverage you are legally required to have:
- $15,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $30,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident
- $5,000 property damage liability coverage per accident
If you choose to buy the minimum amount of coverage in California, you’ll pay the lowest rate. But settling for the minimum amount of coverage is not an effective way to save money on your insurance. Car accidents can be expensive, and it’s possible that the cost of vehicle damages and medical bills could be higher than your coverage limit.
How to get cheap car insurance in California
If you’re on a budget, there are several ways to get cheap car insurance in California. Here are a few ideas:
- Raise your credit score: Your credit score is one of the variables that impacts your rate. People with a low credit score pay more for their insurance because they are considered high-risk. If you can raise your credit score, you’ll get a cheaper premium.
- Choose a higher deductible: Your deductible is the amount of money you have to pay towards a loss before the insurance company will reimburse you. Choosing a higher deductible means paying a lower monthly rate. However, it’s important to make sure you can afford to pay a higher deductible before you change it.
- Take advantage of discounts: Most insurance companies offer discounts that can help drivers lower their premium. Every company offers different discounts, but some common ones are taking a defensive driving course, paying your premium in full, bundling your policies and insuring multiple vehicles.
- Get multiple quotes: To make sure you’re paying the lowest rate, shop around and get quotes from a few providers. If you find a lower rate, you might even get a discount for switching to a new company.
These techniques might be able to save money.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best car insurance in California?
There isn’t one car insurance company in California that is the best for every driver. Some drivers want the lowest rates, some want the best coverage, and others want great customer service. It’s important to find a car insurance company that meets your specific needs. You can check out our review of the best car insurance companies in California as a starting point.
How much does car insurance in California cost?
The average driver in California pays $1,792.67 per year for their car insurance. However, you might pay more or less than the state-wide average based on factors like your zip code, age and credit score.
What type of car insurance is required in California?
In California, drivers are required to carry bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage. However, many drivers choose to purchase additional coverage for more protection.