Considering the yearly cost of auto insurance, drivers in Orange County may want to think carefully before choosing an insurance company. Auto insurance in this area tends to be higher than elsewhere in the United States. The average annual cost for full coverage in Orange County is $2,042, which comes down to $170 per month. Local drivers who choose not to purchase beyond minimum coverage pay an annual average of $609.

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Finding the best cheap car insurance in Orange County can be difficult, but we’ve compiled a guide to help. Among those we researched, we’ve identified and reviewed four contenders for the best cheap car insurance in the area, including Wawanesa, Geico, Mercury and Travelers. When considering minimum coverage, the cheapest carrier can change. The impact your coverage selection has on your premium is one reason why finding the best auto insurance will depend on your situation and needs.

Best cheap car insurance companies in Orange

The top three cheapest car insurance providers on our list for full coverage are Wawanesa, Geico and Mercury. Bankrate utilizes data from Quadrant Information Services to compare average rates between insurers and compile these lists. We score each reviewed company on a five-point scale based on information from online third-party agencies such as J.D. Power, AM Best, S&P, NAIC and Moodys. Other variables that help inform these ratings include affordability, coverage options, customer experiences and access to online policy and claims management tools.

Insurance company Bankrate Score J.D. Power score (California) Average annual premium for full coverage Average annual premium for minimum coverage
Wawanesa 3.3 879/1,000 $1,456 $542
Geico 4.7 824/1,000 $1,599 $394
Mercury 4.2 827/1,000 $1,640 $546
Travelers 4.7 Not rated $1,719 $489


Wawanesa has been active in the California insurance market since 1975 and does not currently offer new policies outside of this state. Although limited in availability, this company has much to offer. It is the 2022 top J.D. Power scorer in the California area for customer satisfaction and has the cheapest annual average rates for full coverage on our list.

Learn more: Wawanesa Insurance review


Geico has earned a reputation for providing competitive rates for drivers, including high-risk drivers. Out of our final four companies, Geico has one of the lowest annual average rates for minimum coverage in Orange, California. It also provides extensive online tools for managing policies and claims. Options for policy add-ons can be relatively limited, but the company does offer discounts for bundling multiple separate policies.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review


Mercury has provided insurance products since 1961 and has a reputation for prioritizing a strong presence of local agents in those areas where it operates. While this area of operation only covers 11 states, Mercury has still been able to provide a robust suite of auto insurance options, with a focus on specialized coverages. Although the company does not have an online method for claims filing, they offer web portals and mobile apps for policy management.

Learn more: Mercury Insurance review


Travelers is one of the older and larger insurers in the country. While this company didn’t place within the top for customer satisfaction in the California area, it is known for competitive rates and extensive add-on coverage options. Of the companies on our list, Travelers has one of the highest annual average rates for full coverage, while it has one of lowest for minimum coverage in the Orange, California area.

Learn more: Travelers Insurance review

How to get and keep the cheapest car insurance in Orange

Besides only looking for the company with the cheapest average rates, it can also be helpful to utilize a few other tips. And remember, finding cheap car insurance in California is only half the battle. Afterward, it also helps to avoid instances that could raise those rates. One of the most important things to understand when considering auto insurance is that rates are heavily nuanced. Several personal variables are factored in California, including age, vehicle type, driving record and claims history.

  • Shop around between insurers. Finding the cheapest auto insurance for you may look different than for someone else. Because rates are so personalized, it can help to get quotes from several different companies at once. This allows you to see which company will offer you the most competitive rates for the coverage you choose.
  • Keep a clean driving record. Driving records are one of the most impactful variables when determining auto insurance rates. While it’s not a perfect ratio, the cleaner your driving record is over the previous three to five years, the lower your rates tend to be. If you already have a traffic or moving violation on your record from the last couple of years, you might be able to help reduce your rates in the interim by taking a defensive driving course. Whether a course leads to savings depends on your insurance provider.

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