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Best cheap car insurance in Modesto

Modesto, California
DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images
Modesto, California
DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images
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The best car insurance premiums in Modesto take a little work to uncover. The average cost of car insurance in Modesto, CA is $2,097 for full coverage insurance ($174 per month) and $765 for minimum coverage ($63 per month). However, opting for minimum coverage isn’t always the best option for drivers who want the cheapest rates. It provides limited coverage, which means you might have to pay out-of-pocket if you hit another driver.

However, it’s possible for many drivers to find low cost car insurance in Modesto without paying a huge premium or opting for a minimum coverage policy. Bankrate did some research to find the best car insurance companies in Modesto with the most affordable rates. The cheapest car insurance in Modesto for full coverage is Wawanesa, and for minimum coverage, the cheapest carrier is Grange, according to Bankrate’s 2021 study of quoted annual premiums.

Best cheap car insurance companies in Modesto

Based on rate data from Quadrant Information Services, the best and cheapest car insurance companies in Modesto are Wawanesa, Geico, Grange and AAA. After studying average rates, Bankrate evaluated each provider using our unique methodology, and assigned each carrier a Bankrate Score out of five points. Bankrate Scores reflect a company’s accessibility, affordability, online/mobile resources, claims handling, financial strength and other factors.

When comparing car insurance companies in California, however, it’s important to understand that the cheapest carrier might not be the best carrier for your personal insurance needs. For example, if you want a specific type of coverage, like accident forgiveness or new car replacement, you might need to pay a little more to get what you want.

Insurance company Bankrate Score J.D. Power customer satisfaction score
(California region)
Average annual premium for full coverage Average annual premium for minimum coverage
Wawanesa 2.0 853/1,000 $1,527 $658
Geico 4.7 828/1,000 $1,606 $549
Grange 3.8 N/A $1,990 $541
AAA 3.8 830/1,000 $2,102 $566

Wawanesa

Wawanesa offers the cheapest full coverage car insurance in Modesto, based on average 2021 rates pulled from Quadrant Information Services. It’s also the highest-rated car insurance company in California for overall customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power. In addition to its low rates, Wawanesa offers a handful of potential discounts, with savings opportunities for good drivers, drivers over 55 who complete an approved defensive driving course, loyal customers, affinity group members and more.

Learn more: Wawanesa Insurance review

Geico

Geico is often in the running for the best cheap car insurance companies in any region. It does not have the cheapest policies in Modesto on our list, but its average rates for full coverage and minimum coverage insurance are well below average. Geico also offers a long list of generous potential discounts and is rated above average by J.D. Power for overall customer satisfaction in the California region. However, Geico offers fewer add-on coverages than some other providers we reviewed.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

Grange

Sample rate data shows that Grange is the cheapest carrier in Modesto for drivers who want a minimum coverage insurance policy. There are more than a dozen discounts available, including savings for customer loyalty, students and getting a quote in advance. Besides the discounts, Grange also offers several add-on policies for more protection. However, the company is not rated by J.D. Power for overall customer satisfaction.

AAA

AAA offers below-average rates for minimum coverage insurance, but its average rates for full coverage are more expensive than what most Modesto drivers pay. AAA has a great rating for overall customer satisfaction from J.D. Power, good potential discounts and multiple add-on policies. However, you must be a AAA member to get coverage, which costs $56 to $119 per year.

Learn more: AAA Insurance review

How to get and keep the cheapest car insurance in Modesto

For many drivers, finding and keeping the cheapest car insurance rate takes some work. Your premium is not locked in forever, and every time your policy renews, your rate can increase or decrease, based on changes to your driving record, age and claim history. Below are a few tips for getting and maintaining an affordable car insurance rate for your circumstances:

  • Look for discounts. Most insurance providers in Modesto offer car insurance discounts. However, the exact discounts and savings potential will vary between providers. When comparing providers, pay attention to the discounts available that you can qualify for.
  • Re-shop for insurance before major life events. Certain life events, like adding a teen driver to your policy or buying a new car, can cause your car insurance rate to increase. Before major events, consider getting new car insurance quotes to see if you can find a cheaper rate elsewhere.

Frequently asked questions

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 coverage that meets 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.

Bankrate Score

Bankrate Scores primarily reflect a weighted rank of industry-standard ratings for financial strength and customer experience in addition to analysis of quoted annual premiums from Quadrant Information Services, spanning all 50 states and Washington, D.C. We know it is important for drivers to be confident their financial protection covers the likeliest risks, is priced competitively and is provided by a financially-sound company with a history of positive customer support.

To determine how well the best car insurance companies satisfy these priorities, third-party agency ratings from J.D. Power, AM Best, S&P, NAIC, and Moodys had the most impact on the companies’ Bankrate Scores. As price is a common consideration for drivers, we analyzed quoted premiums based on 40-year-old male and female drivers with a 2019 Toyota Camry. This profile, assessed across more than 35,000 ZIP codes in the U.S., provided a basis on which drivers may compare each provider.

While coverage options, insurer availability, affordability and customer experience are often the top priorities, Bankrate also analyzed each insurer’s online and mobile resources for policy management and claims handling. Insurance is rapidly evolving to keep pace with our digital world, so these aspects also carried weight in determining Bankrate Scores.

Written by
Elizabeth Rivelli
Insurance Contributor
Elizabeth Rivelli is a contributing insurance writer for Bankrate and has years of experience writing for insurance domains such as The Simple Dollar, Coverage.com and NextAdvisor, among others
Edited by
Insurance Editor