Best cheap car insurance in San Jose for 2021

Bankrate Logo

Why you can trust Bankrate

While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for . This content is powered by HomeInsurance.com (NPN: 8781838). For more information, please see our

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. Geico and State Farm offer some of the cheapest car insurance in San Jose on average. According to Bankrate’s 2021 study of quoted annual premiums, the average cost of car insurance in the U.S. is $1,674 per year for full coverage. However, for the average cost of car insurance in San Jose, drivers could pay as much as $2,020 per year on average for full coverage, with even a minimum liability policy averaging around $712 per year.

To find affordable car insurance in San Jose, Bankrate simplifies the process by rating the best car insurance companies in San Jose on things like average rates gathered from Quadrant Information Services, discounts, coverage options, customer satisfaction and support. Based on these factors and more, these are among the best cheap car insurance companies in San Jose for 2021.

Best cheap car insurance companies in San Jose

Determining the best cheap car insurance companies in San Jose depends on a number of factors. We look to see what kinds of coverage and endorsement options are available from each provider for an auto insurance policy. Using the latest proprietary data to compare and analyze rates, we also take into consideration any discounts and savings programs that are available to help you save money each year. Finally, we look to industry experts for conclusive ratings, including the 2021 J.D. Power’s Auto Insurance Study and AM Best for financial strength.

Insurance company J.D. Power score (California) Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Geico 828/1,000 $471 $1,446
State Farm 818/1,000 $633 $1,864
Progressive 819/1,000 $679 $1,807
Nationwide 786/1,000 $704 $2,154
Allstate 803/1,000 $761 $1,928

Geico

A suite of online tools makes buying and managing Geico 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.

In addition to a long list of discounts and savings, additional coverage is available for your San Jose car insurance, including emergency roadside assistance, rental reimbursement, and mechanical breakdown insurance. Geico places 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.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

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. Drivers in San Jose could choose from additional rental insurance and even rideshare insurance if you drive for services like Uber or Lyft.

As the largest insurer in the country by market share, State Farm is nationally recognized and has multiple lines of insurance and savings are available for bundling 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.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

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 and custom parts. There is even an option for a deductible savings bank. Its Name Your Price Tool could show you policy features within your budget, allowing you to personalize a policy with the options you need and avoid spending excess money. Additionally, you could get safe driving perks with the usage-based Snapshot program.

Learn more: Progressive Insurance review

Nationwide

Nationwide has been a trusted name since 1926. The company offers a large portfolio of features, including usage-based safe driver savings and low-mileage coverage. If you lease or finance your car, gap insurance is available to help reduce liability.

Local agents are readily available to help customers manage their policies and resolve issues, and every year, you get a free personal 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 could be covered by the same insurer.

Learn more: Nationwide Insurance review

Allstate

Allstate has a large number of local agents located in multiple ZIP codes 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. Other ways to save include discounts for a new car, good grades in school, multiple policies and even payment discounts.

Learn more: Allstate Insurance review

Cheapest car insurance in San Jose

The best insurers may not always be the cheapest and vice versa. WWhen 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 considerably risky to drive in San Jose without adequate insurance coverage. Instead of skimping on the coverage you need, it may be best to find an insurance provider that provides essential coverage at a cost that fits your budget.

Insurance Company Average Annual Premium for Minimum Coverage Average Annual Premium for Full Coverage
Geico $471 $1,446
AAA $515 $1,932
State Farm $633 $1,864
Mercury $644 $1,721
Travelers $651 $1,719

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 does match up the latter in financial strength, customer satisfaction or technology. State Farm has an average cost of $633 in San Jose for minimum coverage, with plentiful discounts and strong customer service according to J.D. Power studies over the years, making it another top cheap car insurance provider to consider for some of the cheapest carriers for California car insurance.

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:

  • Bodily injury liability per person: $15,000
  • Bodily injury liability per accident: $30,000
  • Property damage liability per accident: $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: Some insurance providers, like USAA, offer special discounts for active and retired members of the Armed Forces.
  • Safe driver: You could shave extra dollars off your policy with safe driving discounts, such as State Farm’s Drive Safe and Save program.
  • Low mileage: Occasionally, you may save money through discounts when you maintain a low annual mileage.
  • Vehicle: Many providers offer discounts when you drive a new car, have an electric vehicle or drive a vehicle equipped with safety devices, like anti-collision and anti-theft systems.

Nearly 17% of California’s drivers are uninsured. For better protection, a more robust level of coverage may be a good idea for your policy. This is commonly referred to as full coverage. While it is more expensive than minimum liability coverage, there are still many ways to lower the cost of your car insurance on even the cheapest car insurance in San Jose. Maintaining safe driving habits, successfully completing a defensive driver course, remaining claims-free, and maintaining a high credit score are all ways to potentially lower the cost of your car insurance in San Jose to help afford more well-rounded protection.

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.

What is required to purchase car insurance in San Jose?

After you find the cheapest car insurance in San Jose, you will need to provide certain information to complete your purchase. Your insurance provider will likely ask you to provide a copy of your driver’s license, your vehicle identification number (VIN) and banking information.

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 coverages that meet 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.

Written by
Cynthia Widmayer
Insurance Contributor
Cynthia Widmayer has over two years of experience as a personal finance writer. She covers home, car and life insurance products for Bankrate, the Simple Dollar, and Coverage.com, among others.
Edited by
Insurance Editor