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Best cheap car insurance in San Jose for 2024

Updated May 08, 2024
If you are looking for cheap car insurance in San Jose, California, you can find affordable rates with quality insurance carriers like Geico, National General and Mercury.
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The best car insurance companies in San Jose

Identifying the best car insurance carriers in San Jose requires evaluating more than just the average cost of insurance. Bankrate's insurance editorial team examines the range of coverage and endorsement options each company offers and analyzes the most recent proprietary data from Quadrant Information Services. In addition, we factor in any available discount or savings programs that help you save money. Lastly, we consult industry authorities for definitive ratings, such as J.D. Power’s 2023 Auto Insurance Study and AM Best regarding financial robustness. Combined with our Bankrate Score, we are able to pinpoint the best car insurance companies in San Jose that also tend to offer some of the cheapest car insurance rates.

Best for discounts

Bankrate Score

Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
4.4

Avg. min coverage premium

$370

Min. coverage

Avg. full coverage premium

$1,954

Full coverage

Why Geico made our list: Geico offers nationwide availability and a selection of online tools for San Jose drivers on the go. Besides a generous array of discounts, you can tailor your policy by adding endorsements such as emergency roadside help, rental car compensation, and mechanical breakdown coverage.

Why Geico may be the best for discounts: Geico is known for providing some of the more affordable car insurance rates in the insurance market and offers policies to drivers with varying levels of risk and driving history. In San Jose, Geico averages the lowest rates for both full and minimal coverage types and has plenty of unique discount opportunities to help drivers lower rates even more.

Scores and Ratings
Bankrate Score 4.4
J.D. Power 830/1,000
AM Best score A++
Read full review
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Best for digital tools

Bankrate Score

Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
4.4

Avg. min coverage premium

$424

Min. coverage

Avg. full coverage premium

$1,696

Full coverage

Why Progressive made our list: Progressive is a well-recognized insurance brand that offers a diverse range of insurance coverage options and policy discounts. It provides 24/7 claims and customer service and achieved a high Bankrate Score. Progressive has SR-22 filings available and will offer coverage to driving with more challenging driving histories.

Why Progressive may be the best for digital tools: Managing your auto policy should be easy and with Progressive's wide range of digital tools, it can be. The 'Name Your Price Tool' can help you select coverage types you need and avoid adding ones you don’t. Whether online or on Progressive mobile app, you can make policy changes, pay your bill and file your claim without speaking with an agent.

Scores and Ratings
Bankrate Score 4.4
J.D. Power 809/1,000
AM Best score A+
Read full review
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Best for local agents

Bankrate Score

Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5
4.2

Avg. min coverage premium

$613

Min. coverage

Avg. full coverage premium

$2,506

Full coverage

Why Travelers made our list: Travelers offers a variety of insurance plans and savings opportunities to their policyholders. Typically, the price for both full coverage and minimal coverage insurance policies with Travelers is generally slightly below the average state rate. For drivers in San Jose, additional features like gap insurance and new vehicle replacement could be appealing.

Why Travelers may be the best for local agents: If you're a driver who values a direct relationship with an agent, you'll be pleased to know that Travelers has 42 office locations in San Jose. With California being prone to extreme weather, working with a local agent familiar with regional hazards can help you avoid coverage gaps.

Scores and Ratings
Bankrate Score 4.2
AM Best score A++
Read full review
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Best for cheapest full and minimal car insurance

Bankrate Score

Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5
3.8

Avg. min coverage premium

$461

Min. coverage

Avg. full coverage premium

$1,876

Full coverage

Why Mercury made our list: Similar to our other top picks, Mercury provides rates significantly lower than the general average in San Jose. This company earned an A (Excellent) rating from AM Best and has a widespread network of agents scattered across California and within the Santa Clara Valley.

Why Mercury may be the best for basic coverage: Mercury offers car insurance options that are rather simple when compared to other carriers. However, sometimes simple is best and having basic coverage with a few easy-to-understand endorsement options can make buying car insurance easier. The extras that Mercury does have may be impactful to San Jose drivers, such as rideshare coverage and RealDrive — an insurance program for low-mileage drivers.

Scores and Ratings
Bankrate Score 3.8
J.D. Power 794/1,000
AM Best score A
Read full review
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Best for high-risk drivers

Bankrate Score

Rating: 3.3 stars out of 5
3.3

Avg. min coverage premium

$584

Min. coverage

Avg. full coverage premium

$2,924

Full coverage

Why National General made our list: National General, an affiliate of Allstate, is accessible across the country and boasts a robust financial stability ranking. It offers a variety of discount possibilities while maintaining rates below both state and city averages. National General's insurance coverage comes in structured packages and can provide unique perks not typically found with other providers, such as an emergency expense allowance, which covers food and lodging costs if you're stranded following a covered claim.

Why National General may be the best for high-risk drivers: Policyholders with spotty driving histories can have difficulty securing affordable car insurance. National General specializes in non-standard insurance and offers SR-22s and non-owner policies, which can be especially helpful to drivers with DUIs. Not all insurance companies can provide coverage for high-risk drivers. Still, National General can usually offer high-risk San Jose drivers lower rates while keeping some benefits that standard drivers enjoy.

Scores and Ratings
Bankrate Score 3.3
AM Best score A+
Read full review
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Bankrate's trusted insurance industry expertise

Read our full methodology

46

years of industry experience

122

carriers reviewed

34.5K

ZIP codes examined

1.2M

quotes analyzed

The cheapest car insurance companies in San Jose

Whether you are looking for full or minimal coverage car insurance, you probably want to stretch your hard-earned dollar as far as it can go. Our proprietary data shows that full coverage auto insurance in San Jose comes at a rate that's 6 percent more than the country's average. Below you will find the five cheapest car insurance carriers for minimal car insurance in San Jose.

Insurance company Average annual min coverage premium Average annual full coverage premium
$424
$1,696
$461
$1,876
$370
$1,954
$619
$2,257
$638
$2,260

How much is car insurance in San Jose, California?

In San Jose, the average rate for full coverage car insurance per year is $2,409, which is 6 percent less than the state’s average full coverage rate. For those San Jose motorists who opt for minimal insurance coverage, you're typically looking at an average annual cost of $585, which is 8 percent less than the average minimum in California. Keep in mind that car insurance is highly personalized. Factors such as your driving record, coverage selection and vehicle type, among others, will cause your insurance rate to be higher or lower than the city average.

San Jose rates for teens

Teen drivers, also referred to as “youthful operators” within the insurance industry, are typically seen as high-risk drivers in most states. Driving skills, like evading road obstacles and modifying driving techniques during varying weather conditions, requires time and practice to learn. Lack of driving experience and behaviors such as neglecting to use a seatbelt regularly or speeding increases the likelihood of more frequent and serious car crashes. This increased risk is why car insurance providers rate teen drivers higher. One way teenagers can cut down on these costs is by remaining on their parents' insurance policy for as long as feasible.

Coverage type
Insurance company 16-year-old* 18-year-old*
$951
$879
$985
$913
$1,059
$864
$1,065
$868
$1,178
$1,115
*Annual rates were determined by adding a 16- or 18-year-old teen to their 40-year-old married parents' policy. The rates displayed reflect the total cost of a driver this age added to their parents’ policy.
Insurance company 16-year-old* 18-year-old*
$3,869
$3,362
$3,901
$3,795
$4,225
$3,763
$4,428
$4,281
$4,512
$4,373
*Annual rates were determined by adding a 16- or 18-year-old teen to their 40-year-old married parents' policy. The rates displayed reflect the total cost of a driver this age added to their parents’ policy.

San Jose rates for young drivers

Car insurance rates for young drivers start to decline as they get older and gain more experience on the road. It's common for individuals around the age of 20 to leave their parents' house, purchase their own vehicle and secure their own insurance. Certain discounts, such as driver training and good student discounts, can usually follow you to your new auto policy until you're 25 years old.

Coverage type
Insurance company 20-year-old 25-year-old
$742
$436
$809
$619
$884
$673
$899
$686
$931
$725
Insurance company 20-year-old 25-year-old
$2,928
$2,500
$3,404
$2,225
$3,632
$2,718
$3,715
$3,169
$3,834
$3,294

San Jose rates for adults

Motorists are categorized into different risk groups with other drives who share similar traits. After the age of 25, most drivers who have maintained a good driving record are moved into standard or preferred risk groups. While age isn't as strong of a rating factor at this point, it's important to remember that car insurance is a shared risk. If there's a significant increase or decrease in car accidents within a specific age group in San Jose, it could potentially affect the rates for everyone in that group.

Coverage type
Insurance company 30-year-old 40-year-old 50-year-old
$378
$370
$365
$508
$461
$485
$531
$424
$490
$561
$556
$516
$601
$584
$590
Insurance company 30-year-old 40-year-old 50-year-old
$2,006
$1,954
$1,905
$2,100
$1,876
$1,853
$2,150
$2,257
$2,369
$2,153
$1,696
$1,964
$2,282
$2,276
$2,100

San Jose rates for senior drivers

With age, drivers can experience a decrease in depth perception and reaction time. These changes can increase the risk of causing a car crash, and insurance rates start to increase around the age of 60. Additionally, seniors can experience longer recovery times and complications related to car accident injuries, which is why the premiums associated with medical payments can also increase. Car insurance for seniors can still be affordable, especially if policyholders take advantage of senior defensive driving courses and other discounts geared towards older drivers.

Coverage type
Insurance company 60-year-old 70-year-old
$364
$388
$473
$436
$492
$605
$506
$548
$555
$631
Insurance company 60-year-old 70-year-old
$657
$2,090
$506
$2,030
$364
$1,949
$492
$2,306
$632
$2,004

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Advertising disclosure
This advertisement is powered by Coverage.com, LLC, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249) and a corporate affiliate of Bankrate. The offers and links that appear on this advertisement are from companies that compensate Coverage.com in different ways. The compensation received and other factors, such as your location, may impact what offers and links appear, and how, where and in what order they appear. While we seek to provide a wide range of offers, we do not include every product or service that may be available. Our goal is to keep information accurate and timely, but some information may not be current. Your actual offer from an advertiser may be different from the offer on this advertisement. All offers are subject to additional terms and conditions.

Coverage.com, LLC is a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249). Coverage.com services are only available in states where it is licensed. Coverage.com may not offer insurance coverage in all states or scenarios. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way.

The cheapest car insurance in San Jose by driving record

San Jose and the surrounding Bay area are seeing a rise in rush-hour traffic. Whether it's for commuting or driving to school, dense traffic patterns increase the risk of being involved in accidents, even for the most careful drivers. At-fault accidents, speeding tickets and DUIs can impact your car insurance rate through surcharges and loss of good driving discounts. Bankrate's editorial team analyzed exclusive data from Quadrant Information Services to help you find the most affordable car insurance in San Jose for a range of driving records.

Car insurance with a speeding ticket in San Jose

Speeding is closely linked to vehicle accidents, which is why policyholders with speeding tickets often experience an increase in their car insurance rates. A California speeding ticket could cost drivers as much as $1,000 in addition to the higher insurance rates. On average, drivers in San Jose who have received a speeding ticket pay $3,425 per year for full coverage car insurance premiums, which is 7 percent less the state's average rate for car insurance after a speeding ticket.

Insurance company Average min coverage rate Average full coverage rate
$537
$2,737
$619
$3,135
$632
$2,205
$670
$2,748
$677
$2,834

Car insurance after an accident in San Jose

In California, if you're found at fault in a car accident, your insurance company may increase your policy rates for up to three years. Although some drivers may have accident forgiveness included in their coverage, it is usually only available for one accident and takes years to earn back the policy. The average post-accident rate for full coverage auto insurance in San Jose is $4,106. This rate is 8 percent less California's average insurance cost after an accident.

Insurance company Average min coverage rate Average full coverage rate
$601
$2,879
$804
$3,952
$865
$3,779
$882
$4,440
$915
$3,639

Car insurance after a DUI in San Jose

Driving under the influence is considered a serious danger on the road, and not every insurance firm is willing to cover this risk. Drivers convicted of a DUI often require an SR-22 filing for a period of three to five years post-incident. This form proves to the state that you maintain the required levels of car insurance.

In the event of a DUI, it's crucial to make sure that your insurance provider can renew your insurance policy and provide the California Department of Motor Vehicles with your SR-22. If they're unable to, it may be necessary to search for a provider who can. The average cost of car insurance in San Jose is $6,131 per year for full coverage after a DUI infraction. This is 7 percent less then the state's average rate for full coverage car insurance post DUI.

Insurance company Average min coverage rate Average full coverage rate
$828
$4,255
$843
$4,319
$846
$2,960
$850
$3,570
$1,072
$4,446
Lightbulb

Minimum coverage requirements in San Jose

California car insurance law requires drivers to carry at least a minimum amount of liability insurance that includes the following coverages and limits:

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

Most car insurance professionals recommend that drivers carry higher levels of liability coverage for better financial protection. For San Jose drivers, extreme weather conditions and population density might be worth thinking about when looking for the best car insurance coverage. Wildfires, flooding, wind, hail, theft and vandalism are all covered by comprehensive coverage and are common losses in the Bay area.

Frequently asked questions

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze the latest rates in July 2024 for ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates include the most recent approved rate changes filed by insurance companies that affect our profile. These revised rates are then weighted based on the population density in each geographic region so that policyholders can see the impact rates have in their areas. 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 2022 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.

Incidents: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket and single DUI conviction.

Age: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the ages 20-70 (base: 40 years) applied. Depending on age, drivers may be a renter or homeowner. Age is not a contributing rating factor in Hawaii and Massachusetts due to state regulations.

Teens: Rates were determined by adding a 16- or 18-year-old teen to their 40-year-old married parents' policy. The rates displayed reflect the total cost of a driver this age added to their parents’ policy.

Bankrate Score

Our 2024 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.

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. Our scoring model provides a comprehensive view, indicating when companies excel across several key areas and highlighting where they fall short.

5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Overall Score
  • Cost & ratings 50%
  • Coverage & savings 30%
  • Support 20%
  • Tier 1 (Cost & ratings): To determine how well auto and home insurance companies satisfy these priorities, average 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, Demotech 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.
Written by
Shannon Martin
Writer, Insurance
Shannon Martin is a licensed insurance agent and Bankrate analyst with over 15 years of experience in the industry. She enjoys helping others navigate the insurance world by cutting through complex jargon and empowering readers to make strong financial decisions independently.
Edited by Editor, Insurance