Best cheap car insurance in Fresno for 2021

1
Robert Holmes/Getty Images
Bankrate Logo

Why you can trust Bankrate

While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for . This content is powered by HomeInsurance.com (NPN: 8781838). For more information, please see our

California is home to the rudest drivers in the nation, according to our research. With Golden State road rage in mind, purchasing auto insurance may be especially important for Fresno drivers. The average cost of car insurance in Fresno comes in at $719 for minimum coverage and $2,006 for full coverage plans, according to Bankrate’s 2021 study of quoted annual premiums.

Car insurance in Fresno is pricier than the national average annual premiums of $1,674 for full coverage and $565 for minimum coverage car insurance. However, many of the best car insurance companies in Fresno offer competitive rates. If you are shopping for the cheapest car insurance in Fresno, Wawanesa offers one of the cheapest full coverage options at $1,501 annually and Geico offers one of the cheapest minimum coverage plans at $528 annually.

Best cheap car insurance companies in Fresno

Fresno drivers have plenty of cheap insurance companies at their fingertips, but finding the lowest price may not be their only consideration. To find the best car insurance companies in Fresno for your lifestyle, Bankrate uses a combination of techniques. Our team analyzes the latest average quoted premiums using data from Quadrant Information Services. We factor in elements like customer service accessibility, online app use and availability in your region. We also consult the 2021 J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study for customer satisfaction by geographic location to ensure customers are happy in your area of the country.

Insurance company J.D. Power Score
(California)
Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Geico 828 / 1,000 $528 $1,574
Grange Not rated $573 $2,156
Wawanesa 853 / 1,000 $615 $1,501
Travelers Not rated $642 $1,743

Geico

Of the providers on our list, Geico offers the cheapest average minimum coverage premium in Fresno and the second-cheapest full coverage premium. The company ranks fourth in the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study, earning a customer satisfaction rating of 828 out of 1,000. In addition to low car insurance rates and solid customer service, Geico provides a wide range of savings opportunities, including military, federal employee, safe driver, good student and new vehicle discounts.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

Grange

Grange makes the list of best cheap car insurance companies in Fresno for its top-notch customer service. While Grange was not rated in the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study for California, customers give the company a 4.7 out of 5 stars on the provider’s customer reviews page. Drivers applauded the knowledge of their insurance agents and the speed with which they processed claims. Grange offers discounts for doing well in school, insuring multiple vehicles or having multiple policies and paying in full.

Learn more: Grange Insurance review

Wawanesa

Wawanesa earned the highest ranking in the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study by exceeding customer expectations. Its online portal makes getting car insurance quotes in Fresno a quick and simple process. The company also offers competitive discounts for having multiple cars, being a good driver and maintaining Wawanesa insurance for a full year.

Learn more: Wawanesa Insurance review

Travelers

Travelers adds value by allowing policyholders to personalize their coverage. Some Fresno drivers may opt for accident forgiveness coverage, which prevents one accident from increasing your premium. Others may opt for Premier New Car Replacement coverage, which provides you with a brand new replacement of your same make and model if you total your car in the first five years of ownership. Travelers also offers other insurance types, such as homeowners insurance, umbrella insurance and even special events insurance.

Learn more: Travelers Insurance review

Cheapest car insurance in Fresno

Fresno’s average annual premiums are slightly lower than California’s average annual premiums of $733 for minimum coverage and $2,065 for full coverage. Fresno motorists pay annual rates of $719 and $2,006 for minimum and full coverage, respectively. Fresno’s slightly lower premiums may be attributed in part to the city having a lower population density than most California cities of comparable size. Drivers wanting the cheapest car insurance in Fresno have several options to consider.

Insurance company Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Geico $528 $1,574
AAA $564 $2,137
Mercury $616 $1,583
Travelers $642 $1,743
Progressive $666 $1,741

Geico, Travelers and Progressive offer car insurance to Fresno residents, with strong financial ratings of A+ (Superior) or higher from AM Best. While AAA requires membership to qualify for vehicle insurance, they offer competitive premiums. Mercury specializes in low-cost, no-frills car insurance for drivers with past accidents or DUIs who may have trouble finding coverage elsewhere.

Fresno insurance requirements

To legally drive in the state of California, you need to carry at least a minimum amount of liability insurance, including the following coverages and limits:

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

California insurers are also required to offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, but drivers have the option to decline it. Although these are the listed minimums, drivers of California-registered vehicles could forego these limits by way of making a $35,000 cash deposit to the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV), obtaining a self-insured certificate from the DMV or purchasing a $35,000 surety bond from a company licensed in California.

Minimum coverage car insurance rates vary state by state and may be cheaper than full coverage plans. However, not all drivers benefit from choosing the minimum amount of coverage. If you are in an at-fault accident and the damages exceed your insurance amount, you will have to pay the difference out of pocket. In addition, liability insurance only provides reimbursement for the damages you cause others. To include protection for your vehicle, you would need full coverage. In fact, if you plan on getting a car loan or leasing a vehicle, you will likely be required to purchase a full coverage car insurance policy.

With so many options at your fingertips, you may want to take time to find the best car insurance in California for your specific needs.

Car insurance discounts in Fresno

While every insurance company offers a different variety of discounts, there are some discounts that tend to be offered by most companies. These include:

  • Multi-car discounts: If you own and insure more than one vehicle with the same insurance company, you may qualify for a discount.
  • Multi-policy discounts: If you purchase more than one policy with the same company, such as an auto insurance policy and a home insurance policy, you may receive a discount on each.
  • Good student discounts: If you have a full-time student under the age of 25 on your policy, you may qualify for a discount if they maintain a high GPA.
  • Vehicle safety equipment discounts: Certain types of vehicle safety equipment, such as an alarm system and side curtain airbags, may qualify for a discount.
  • Defensive driving course discounts: Some companies offer discounts for completing an eligible defensive driving course.

Many discounts exist in addition to the ones mentioned above and you will find that savings vary by provider. While multi-policy discounts — also known as bundling discounts — tend to offer the most savings, you may qualify for other options. For example, there are often discounts for enabling automatic payments. Speaking with an agent may help you determine all the savings opportunities you qualify for.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

The best car insurance company in Fresno depends on your specific wishlist. Determine what factors matter most to you and then obtain quotes from a variety of insurance providers to find the option that best suits your needs.

How much does car insurance in Fresno cost?

The average car insurance premiums in Fresno are $719 per year for minimum coverage and $2,006 per year for full coverage. Although car insurance rates vary for each person, drivers may be able to add discounts to their policies to save money.

What is the difference between full coverage and minimum coverage?

Minimum coverage insurance is the amount of coverage that California requires and only includes liability insurance that pays for damages and injuries to others. It may be the cheapest coverage, but it does not provide reimbursement if your car is damaged or totaled and can lead to out-of-pocket expenses if damages from an accident exceed the amount of insurance. Full coverage insurance is generally more expensive, but includes more protection in the event of an accident.

Is California a no-fault state?

No. California is considered an at-fault, or tort state. That means when two drivers are involved in a collision, the at-fault driver is required to cover costs associated with the other driver’s injuries and damage.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Written by
Lizzie Nealon
Insurance Writer
Lizzie Nealon is an insurance writer for Bankrate. Her favorite part of the job is making home, auto and life insurance digestible for readers so they can prepare for the future.
Edited by
Insurance Editor
Reviewed by
Insurance Writer & Editor