Best cheap car insurance in Irvine for 2021

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Irvine, California, is a car-centric city with 70% of residents getting around by auto. The average cost of car insurance in Irvine is $762 annually for minimum coverage and $2,016 for full coverage insurance, just slightly less than the state annual average of $2,065 for full coverage. That is a lot of money for many people.

Bankrate looked at several major insurance companies writing auto policies in Irvine and examined rates, coverage, and customer satisfaction to find the city’s best cheap car insurance companies.

Best car insurance companies in Irvine

Each driver has individual needs for car insurance. If you lease or plan to finance a car, your lender will require full coverage car insurance. The following car insurance companies offer reasonable rates, have good coverage options and rated well for customer service with J.D. Power.

Insurance company J.D. Power 2021 Auto Insurance Study score Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Geico 828 / 1,000 $529 $1,541
Grange NR $545 $1,839
AAA 830 / 1,000 $589 $1,952
Wawanesa 853 / 1,000 $651 $1,554

Geico

Geico has the lowest rates in Irvine on our list for both minimum and full coverage car insurance. Another reason the company might appeal to Irvine drivers looking for cheap car insurance is the 16 discounts available to drivers. In addition, major companies based in Irvine, such as Western Digital, Taco Bell, Mazda and Asics, may offer employee discounts for Geico coverage through the carrier’s affiliation program. The company also scores well above the California average for customer satisfaction with J.D. Power.

Learn more: Geico Insurance Review

Grange

Grange’s offers the second-lowest rates on our list. Although J.D. Power does not rank them, it offers 16 discounts for drivers looking for additional savings. You will find the standard reductions for prepayments, good students and being accident-free, but the insurance provider also offers unique discounts for household adults who completed high school or drivers based on their occupation.

Learn more: Grange Insurance Review

AAA

AAA is a membership-based club for drivers in search of travel insurance services as well as roadside assistance. The average rate for minimum coverage through AAA is fairly cheap, and average full coverage rates for the area are the most expensive on our list but still well below the Irvine average. AAA took third place in J.D. Power’s study for the California region, so it may be a good option to consider if you are looking for great customer service.

Learn more: AAA Insurance Review

Wawanesa

Wawanesa Insurance tops J.D. Power’s list for customer satisfaction among car insurance companies in California, earning 853 out of 1,000 possible points. Customers appreciate Wawanesa’s fast response times — you can get help or file a claim online or by calling the Wawanesa hotline. In addition, Wawanesa offers relatively cheap average rates for full coverage insurance, which could save you almost $400 per year compared to AAA. Just keep in mind that your actual rates will vary and are based on several factors.

Learn more: Wawanesa Insurance Review

Cheapest car insurance in Irvine

The average annual cost of car insurance in California is $733 for minimum car insurance and $2,065 for full coverage, higher than the national average of $1,674 for full coverage annually. If you are willing to shop around a little, you may find better prices and save substantially, especially if you have a clean driving record. The following car insurance companies have the largest market share as well as the cheapest annual premiums in the Orange County city, according to Quadrant Information Services.

Insurance company Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Geico $529 $1,541
AAA $589 $1,952
State Farm $668 $1,931
Mercury $674 $1,612
Progressive $701 $1,896

Keep in mind that AAA requires membership — and a membership fee — before getting coverage. Mercury might be a good choice for high-risk drivers in need of affordable coverage. Geico and Progressive have low rates, although Geico has more discounts for the most significant savings potential. State Farm may have the most coverage options, but rates are not as cheap as the other insurance companies.

Irvine insurance requirements

Irvine does not have any specific municipal insurance requirements. To legally drive throughout the state of California, however, you will need liability coverage of:

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

Carriers in Irvine (and the state in general) must notify the DMV if there is an insurance lapse due to lack of payment. Your license could be suspended until you bring your policy back in force. Having the cheapest minimum car insurance could save you from future headaches. But keep in mind that minimum coverage does not provide any reimbursement if your car needs repairs or if the damages to others surpass the small required minimum amount of coverage.

Car insurance discounts in Irvine

Whether you are new in Irvine or an OC local, everyone appreciates saving money. The following common car insurance discounts could potentially lower your Irvine insurance premiums:

  • Bundling: Nearly half of Irvine residents are homeowners. But even if you rent, bundling home or renters coverage with auto insurance at the same insurance company could significantly lower your premiums.
  • Young driver: Young drivers do not have years of experience driving and pay for it with significantly higher premiums. Taking advantage of youth, student or teen discounts can save you money if you have a young driver to insure.
  • Telematics: Many carriers offer driver tracking programs through a mobile app that monitors your driving. Safe drivers could earn discounts based on safe behavior behind the wheel.
  • Loyalty: Staying with the same insurance company could simplify your life and earn you a loyalty discount based on the number of years you have been a policyholder. If you’re in the market for a new policy, switching carriers could also net you a discount with some companies.

For the biggest savings, consider bundling your policies with one insurance company. Your preferred insurance company may also offer discounts that are not on our list. Speak with a licensed agent at each company as you request quotes to maximize all the discounts you qualify for.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

There is not one specific car insurance company that is the best for all vehicle owners. To find the best company for you, try getting quotes from a handful and compare rates and policy offerings.

How much does car insurance in Irvine cost?

Car insurance rates in Irvine (and anywhere else) depend on many factors. Bankrate’s pricing study for Irvine found that premiums for minimum coverage vary between $529 and $1,270, depending on the insurance company. As for full car insurance, average rates range in price between $1,541 and $2,933. But your actual rates will be based on your specific situation and could vary greatly.

How much car insurance do I need in Irvine?

All vehicle owners in Irvine must have liability insurance of at least $15,000 in bodily injury per person and $30,000 per accident, plus $5,000 in property damage coverage. But that amount is just the state minimum required to drive legally. You may want to speak with a licensed agent to determine how much coverage is right for you and your financial situation.

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
Cynthia Paez Bowman
Personal Finance Contributor
Cynthia Paez Bowman is a finance and business journalist who has been featured in Bankrate, Business Jet Traveler, MSN, CheatSheet.com, Freshome.com and TheSimpleDollar.com. She regularly travels to Africa and the Middle East to consult with women’s NGOs about small business development and works with select startups and women-owned businesses to provide growth and visibility.
Edited by
Insurance Editor