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Auto insurance can be expensive, especially in the Golden State where average rates are higher than what is typical nationwide. That’s why finding the best cheap car insurance in Sacramento, California, is so important. The average cost of car insurance in Sacramento is $2,328 per year or $194 per month for full coverage. Minimum coverage costs an average of $660 per year. For comparison, the national average for full coverage is $2,014 a year — over $300 cheaper than in Sacramento. According to Bankrate’s research, Wawanesa and Geico may offer drivers here some of the cheapest average rates.
Best cheap car insurance companies in Sacramento
Per data from Quadrant Information Services, Wawanesa, Geico and Kemper offer some of the cheapest average car insurance rates in Sacramento. But the cost of coverage doesn’t tell the whole story, so Bankrate developed a five-point scoring system to help shoppers identify which car insurance companies may be best for them. Our proprietary Bankrate Scores go beyond average rates to incorporate financial strength ratings from AM Best, customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power, coverage availability, digital tools and more.
|Insurance company||Bankrate Score||J.D. Power score (California)||Average annual premium for full coverage||Average annual premium for minimum coverage|
Wawanesa started in Canada but has a large presence in California today. The company earned first place in the 2022 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study based on California customers’ opinions of its billing process, policy information, claims handling, customer interactions, policy offerings and price. In addition to its customer satisfaction ratings, Wawanesa is the cheapest provider of full coverage car insurance on our list. However, customer support may not be available 24/7.
Read more: Wawanesa insurance review
Geico’s average premiums are comparatively low in Sacramento. Plus, the company offers several discount opportunities that may help military members, federal employees, safe drivers, good students and other policyholders save money. Experts recommend verifying discount eligibility by contacting an agent. On the flip side, customers looking to personalize their policies may find Geico’s add-on coverage options to be limited.
Read more: Geico insurance review
Kemper advertises policies tailored to high-risk drivers, plus an array of standard coverages and a few endorsements. In addition to popular options like gap insurance, drivers can choose from customized options like Kemper Total, which may help new vehicle owners cover the cost of repairing or replacing a damaged car instead of paying out its actual cash value, which includes depreciation. However, Kemper has the most expensive average minimum coverage rate on our list and the third-most expensive average full coverage rate.
Learn more: Kemper insurance review
Mercury scored above the regional average in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction report. It is one of the relatively few companies to offer rideshare insurance, as well. Rideshare coverage may be ideal for drivers of app-based ride services like Lyft or Uber. Mercury’s digital tools may appeal to customers who prefer to do business online, or the company’s network of local agents is available to handle business in person. That said, Mercury’s average full coverage and minimum coverage rates in Sacramento are the second-most expensive on Bankrate’s list.
Learn more: Mercury insurance review
Progressive offers several ways to save on policies. One such way is to enroll in its Snapshot telematics program, which tracks your driving habits and may reward safe driving behaviors with a discount. A continuous insurance discount is also on offer and could mean earning a break on your premium for remaining loyal to Progressive (or another company) for a specified amount of time. However, J.D. Power awarded Progressive a lower-than-average claims satisfaction rating.
Read more: Progressive insurance review
How to get and keep the cheapest car insurance in Sacramento
Drivers seeking the best car insurance in California for the most affordable rate may want to consider the following.
- Shop around to find cheap car insurance: Experts recommend obtaining quotes from several companies to see which will offer you the lowest-cost premium for the coverage you need. It is important to specify the same coverage types and limits (or as close as possible) when requesting each quote, or the comparisons may not be valid.
- Ask about discounts to keep cheap car insurance: Most companies offer car insurance discount opportunities to eligible drivers. To start saving, contact your insurance agent or browse your insurer’s website to see which discounts you might be eligible for.
Frequently asked questions
Based on Bankrate’s research, some of the best car insurance companies for 2023 are Geico, Amica and USAA. However, every driver has different needs and circumstances. Rates vary among drivers based on several personal factors such as vehicle make and model, driver age, driving record, credit score, coverage limits and more. One of the best ways to find cheap rates without sacrificing quality coverage is to obtain insurance quotes from several different insurance providers and compare them.
In almost every state, drivers are legally required to carry car insurance. Mandatory coverage types and policy limits vary by state. California law requires all drivers to have at least $15,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $30,000 in bodily injury liability per accident and $5,000 in property damage liability per accident. Alternatively, drivers may elect to make a $35,000 cash deposit at the DMV or obtain an equivalent DMV-issued self-insurance certificate from a licensed company. Talking to an insurance agent may be the best way to determine how much coverage you need.
If your car is damaged or destroyed in a wildfire, your auto insurance may help cover it — but only if your insurance policy includes comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive is typically part of a full coverage car insurance policy, which includes both comprehensive and collision coverage. Comprehensive coverage is intended to help pay for a vehicle’s repair or replacement after a non-collision event, like theft or a natural disaster (i.e., a wildfire).
Driving without car insurance in California is illegal and will result in fines and other penalties if you are caught. First-time offenders face a fine of $100 to $200, while repeat offenders may see fines of $200 to $500. On top of these fines, there are penalty assessments that can significantly increase the cost of fees. Repeat offenders may also have their license suspended or their vehicle impounded.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2023 rates for ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. 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 2021 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.
Our 2023 Bankrate Score considers variables our insurance editorial team determined impacts policyholders’ experiences with an insurance company. These rating factors include a robust assessment of each company’s product availability, financial strength ratings, online capabilities and customer and claims support accessibility. Each factor was added to a category, and these categories were weighted in a tiered approach to analyze how companies perform in key customer-impacting categories.
Like our previous Bankrate Scores, each category was assigned a metric to determine performance, and the weighted sum adds up to a company’s total Bankrate Score — out of 5 points. This year, our 2023 scoring model provides a more comprehensive view, indicating when companies excel across several key areas and better highlighting where they fall short.
- Tier 1 (Cost & ratings): To determine how well auto and home insurance companies satisfy these priorities, 2023 quoted premiums from Quadrant Information Services (if available), as well as any of the latest third-party agency ratings from J.D. Power, AM Best and the NAIC, were analyzed.
- Tier 2 (Coverage & savings): We assessed companies’ coverage options and availability to help policyholders find a provider that balances cost with coverage. Additionally, we evaluated each company’s discount options listed on its website.
- Tier 3 (Support): To encompass the many ways an auto insurance company can support policyholders, we analyzed avenues of customer accessibility along with community support. This analysis incorporated additional financial strength ratings from S&P and Moody’s and factored a company’s corporate sustainability efforts.