Best cheap car insurance in San Jose

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San Jose, the third-largest city in California, is not only a coveted place to live in the U.S. but is also one of the most expensive in terms of insurance. Since driving uninsured is illegal here, San Jose motorists are required to carry the mandatory minimum insurance coverage, which costs an average of $712 a year. About 15% of California’s drivers are uninsured, so for better protection, you would want a more robust level of coverage in your policy (commonly referred to as full coverage), which averages $2,020 annually in San Jose. This is significantly higher than the national average of $1,738 annually for full coverage car insurance.

Where can you find affordable car insurance in San Jose? Shopping around for quotes is the best way to figure this out, but Bankrate makes the process easier for you by choosing the top five car insurance providers in San Jose based on the average rates, discounts, coverage options, customer satisfaction and support.

Best car insurance companies in San Jose

With several insurance providers in the city, knowing what makes each of them stand apart from the other is the first step in determining the best fit for your car insurance needs. Based on the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study ratings, average rates for coverage, and other unique variables applicable to local drivers, the following insurers were chosen as the best car insurance companies in San Jose.

Insurance company J.D. Power score Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Geico 828/ 1000 $471 $1,446
State Farm 836 / 1000 $633 $1,864
Allstate 819 / 1000 $761 $1,928
Progressive 823 / 1000 $679 $1,807
Nationwide 797 / 1000 $704 $2,154

Geico

If a truly state-of-the-art insurance company is what you want, then Geico is hard to beat. A suite of online tools makes buying and managing policies convenient for the busy San Jose driver. From claims filing to viewing policy documents and getting help from an agent, the mobile app gives drivers everything they need in an easily-accessible format.

Geico placed among the top five in the J.D. Power customer satisfaction study. Additionally, Geico offers some of the most competitive rates in the industry, a range of coverages, discounts and the option to bundle multiple policies for more savings.

State Farm

For a wide variety of discounts that help you save on your premium, State Farm is among the front-runners. You can pick from standard and additional coverage options, such as breakdown service, rental reimbursement, and have your safe driving habits lower your premium with the Drive Safe and Save program.

As the largest insurer in the country by market share, State Farm is nationally recognized and has multiple lines of insurance and discounts are available for combining auto and home insurance. The mobile app lets you file a claim, get in touch with your agent, make payments, view documents and ID and request roadside assistance.

Allstate

Some of the highest customer satisfaction ratings are scored by Allstate, thanks in part to the large number of local agents located in every ZIP code to offer personalized service to customers. In addition to having comparatively-low rates, Allstate offers policyholders additional benefits from its mobile app and savings opportunities.

Using the highly-rated mobile app, policyholders can file a claim, request assistance, make payments and more, while programs like Drivewise help you build good driving habits as you save money on premiums..

Progressive

A household name in insurance, Progressive earns its reputation by offering a multitude of standard and optional coverages, a long list of discounts for maximum savings and online tools for convenience and hassle-free service.

The add-ons offered are some of the most varied in the industry, from gap insurance to rideshare coverage, from custom parts and equipment coverage to a deductible savings bank. Use the Name Your Price® Tool to learn about the features you can get for your exact budget, customize a policy with only the options you need to avoid spending excess and get safe driving perks with the usage-based Snapshot program.

Nationwide

If you’re looking for a long-standing national insurer with above-average ratings and few customer complaints, Nationwide has been a trusted name since 1926. The company offers a large portfolio of features, including usage-based safe driver savings, low-mileage coverage and reasonable rates for those with poor credit.

Local agents are readily available to help customers manage their policies and resolve issues, and every year, you get a customized review of your policy called On Your Side. Besides standard auto insurance, Nationwide also offers insurance for vintage cars, watercrafts, motorcycles and snowmobiles, so all your vehicles can be covered by the same insurer.

Cheapest car insurance in San Jose

The best insurers may not always be the cheapest and vice versa. When hunting for cheap car insurance in San Jose, it is important to compare both the cost and the coverage options.

California has the highest population in the country, and combined with a steep rate of uninsured drivers, an overabundance of cars and a growing number of road deaths, it is too risky to drive in San Jose without adequate insurance coverage. Instead of skimping on the coverage you need, it is best to find an insurance provider that provides essential coverage at a cost that fits your budget.

When compared to San Jose’s annual average of $712, Geico has the cheapest average rates for minimum coverage, at only $471 a year. Although AAA comes a close second at $515 a year and has a greater number of discounts than Geico, it cannot match the latter in financial strength, customer service, technology or J.D. Power scores for claim satisfaction.

State Farm has an average cost of $633 in San Jose for minimum coverage, the discounts are plentiful and customer service has been lauded in J.D. Power studies over the years, making it another top cheap car insurance provider to consider.

San Jose insurance requirements

Driving without the minimum car insurance is illegal anywhere in California, including San Jose. California’s 15/30/5 minimum liability coverage rule applies in San Jose, so basic insurance policies must have at least the following limits:

  • Individual Bodily Injury Liability: $15,000
  • Total Bodily Injury Liability: $30,000
  • Property Damage Liability: $5,000

Since California is an at-fault state, the person responsible for a crash or collision must pay for the damages. If you cannot afford insurance in San Jose, there is a special program called California Low-Cost auto insurance for eligible drivers below the poverty level. For leased or financed vehicles, the minimum coverage may not be enough and additional coverages could be required.

Car insurance discounts in San Jose

Insurance is often expensive, particularly in coastal or highly-populous states, but one of the best ways to save on premiums is by using available discounts offered by insurers. Some of the discounts San Jose motorists may be eligible for are:

  • Military discount, for active and retired members of the Armed Forces
  • Safe driver discount, for those with a clean driving record and good habits
  • Safe vehicle discount, for having anti-collision and anti-theft systems installed in the car
  • Low mileage discount for those who drive less than the mileage limit
  • Multi policy discount for combining your car insurance with other policies from the same insurer
  • Loyalty discount for being a customer for a certain number of years
  • Electronic billing discount for opting out of paper bills
  • Early signup discount for renewing the policy weeks or months before it expires

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

The best car insurance companies are different for each driver, but often balance a combination of reasonable rates, a wide range of coverages and discounts, superior customer service and high third-party agency ratings. Comparing quotes and coverage options from multiple insurers is the most reliable way to find out what is right for you.

How much does car insurance in San Jose cost?

Minimum coverage car insurance in San Jose costs an average of $712 annually, while full coverage costs $2,020 a year. This price can be higher and lower depending on your age, type of vehicle, ZIP code, credit score and driving history.

How much car insurance do I need in San Jose?

The minimum liability coverage requirements in San Jose are the same as the rest of California: 15/30/5.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 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 sample drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.

About the author


Cynthia Widmayer

Cynthia Widmayerl
Cynthia Widmayer has over two years of experience as an insurance and personal finance writer. She covers home, car and life insurance products for Bankrate, the Simple Dollar, and Coverage.com, among others.