Best Auto Insurance Rates in California

On average, your neighbors pay $70 a month.

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Compare Auto Insurance in California

California is called The Golden State. With our useful insurance information, you’ll spend a little less gold.

This page shows which types of coverage are legally required in California. It will cover the best insurance companies for different California drivers. It also has cost of driving data including average rates. Finally, it shares insights about insurance risk to protect you and your family.

Average California Car Insurance Rates

How much is car insurance in California? Depending on where you live, many California drivers pay less for car insurance than the national average. For others, car insurance rates can be expensive. On average, auto insurance in California costs $841.45 a year. The national average cost is $889.01.

Prices may vary depending on your zip code and the total number of claims filed.

California (CA) Average Annual Car Insurance Rates
Coverage Rates
Liability $489.66
Collision $396.55
Comprehensive $100.54
Total Cost Per Year $841.45
Price Per Month $70.12
Source: Facts + Statistics: Auto insurance

The graph below shows the most recent year rate data is available. According to the III, California's car insurance rates increased from $740 in 2011 to $841 in 2015, a jump of $101, or 13.66 percent.

California average car insurance rates

Shopping around and comparing auto insurance quotes is important. But who has the time and energy for it? Well, if you're a Californian driver and you use QuoteWizard, you won’t have to worry about time or energy.

QuoteWizard connects you to multiple companies so you can compare car insurance rates. Find coverage that fits your needs at a great price.

Last year, 239,583 people used QuoteWizard to get an auto insurance quotes comparison in California from multiple companies to get the cheapest rates.

Most Popular Auto Insurance Companies in California

Out of the 239,583 California drivers that looked for quotes through QuoteWizard last year, 32,754 were uninsured. According to those users, these are the most common insurance companies in California:

What company suits your needs best? You can study them side by side on our compare page. We've compiled guidelines for the 30 biggest insurance companies in America. Getting educated is the first step to getting the right policy. What better way to compare auto insurance quotes in California?

If you're looking for cheap California car insurance and you're on a budget, there's good news. California offers a low cost insurance program known as CLCA. This plan began in 1999 with a goal to help low-income drivers obtain legally required coverage. It's only available to drivers who meet certain income requirements.

Drivers with tickets or accidents may struggle to qualify for standard auto insurance plans. Fortunately, there are options for California drivers who need high-risk insurance. Many companies normally refuse to cover high-risk drivers, or they charge very high premiums. Because of this, California created the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP). CAARP stipulates that insurers must accept a certain percentage of non-standard drivers equal to their market share. This means high-risk drivers can find insurance when necessary.

Top 10 Vehicles

These are the most commonly owned cars of QuoteWizard users in California:

  1. Ford F150
  2. Dodge Ram 1500
  3. Chevrolet Silverado C1500
  4. Ford Mustang
  5. Nissan Altima 2.5
  6. Toyota Camry LE
  7. Honda Accord EX
  8. Chevrolet Impala
  9. Ford Ranger
  10. Chevrolet Tahoe
Get a quote for your vehicle. Request Quote Get a Quote For Your Vehicle
Most Expensive Cities in California for Car Insurance
City Monthly Rates Annual Rates
Glendale $127 $1,519
Los Angeles $119 $1,426
Burbank $117 $1,404
Inglewood $105 $1,263
Pasadena $98 $1,178
Palmdale $98 $1,174
Lancaster $96 $1,149
El Monte $96 $1,148
Santa Clarita $95 $1,137
Garden Grove $93 $1,120
Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary. 1
Cheapest Cities in California for Car Insurance
City Monthly Rates Annual Rates
Santa Maria $63 $758
Salinas $70 $834
Chula Vista $71 $855
Visalia $73 $882
Santa Rosa $75 $896
Sunnyvale $75 $900
Concord $76 $914
Fremont $76 $915
San Mateo $76 $917
Santa Clara $76 $917
Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary. 1

California Car Insurance Rate Factors

California has surprisingly cheaper auto insurance rates than other states. There are many regional factors that figure into your rates. They include driver quality, uninsured drivers, theft rates, and more.

Uninsured Drivers

15.2 percent of California drivers are uninsured. The national average is 13 percent. That gives California the 12th highest rate of uninsured drivers in the county. Areas with a high rate of uninsured drivers usually face increased insurance premiums.

Best and Worst Drivers

Our study on the best and worst drivers found that California ranks fourth for worst drivers in the nation. This ranking is compiled by state accident, citation, speeding ticket, and DUI data. Our similar study on the best and worst driving cities in America found many of the country’s worst driving cities are in California:

Areas with a history of bad driving tend to also see a hike in auto insurance rates.

Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles

California has the highest rate of auto theft in the country. A high rate of auto theft in your zip code can raise your rates a lot. Following is a list of the most frequently stolen cars in California. Check it and see if your car is high risk – driving a commonly stolen car can hurt your premiums.

Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau- 2017 Hot Wheels Report

  1. 1998 Honda Civic
  2. 1997 Honda Accord
  3. 2004 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
  4. 2006 Ford Pickup (Full Size)
  5. 1991 Toyota Camry
  6. 2016 Toyota Corolla
  7. 1999 Honda CR-V
  8. 1994 Acura Integra
  9. 2017 GMC Pickup
  10. 2016 Nissan Altima

Car Insurance Discounts

Insurers offer a wide array of discounts to help their policyholders save money. Here are a few that Californians might be able to use:

  1. The average California household has two cars. If this sounds like you, see if your insurance company has a multi-car discount.
  2. The high auto theft rate in California is a serious insurance issue. If you invest in an anti-theft system like Lojack, Allstar, or Teletrac it could help you save.
  3. If you have a home or life insurance policy, bundling an auto policy with them can save you money across the board.
  4. Retirees make up 15% of the state’s population. If you’re a retiree, your insurer probably has a discount for you.
  5. California is home to many colleges and universities. If you are a California student with good grades, see if you qualify for a good student discount.

California Car Insurance Laws

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in California

California state law requires you to carry a minimum coverage of 15/30/5. This means your policy must have these minimum coverages:

  • Bodily injury liability per person: $15,000
  • Bodily injury liability per incident: $30,000
  • Property damage liability per incident: $5,000

Recommended Coverage

According to III data, 15.2 percent of Californian drivers are uninsured.  This is above the national average of 13 percent, which will have a negative effect on auto rates.  On top of that, a high rate of uninsured drivers increases your chances of being in an accident where you’re left holding the bag for your own costs. Adding uninsured/underinsured insurance is a good solution. It pays your damages in the event of a crash with an uninsured driver.

You should also look into upping your liability insurance. An accident doesn’t have to be extreme to go over your basic liability limit. To prevent this, consider getting:

  • Individual Body Injury Liability: $100,000
  • Total bodily injury Liability: $300,000
  • Property Damage Liability: $100,000

Required Proof of Car Insurance

When driving in California, state law requires that you show proof of insurance to law enforcement if pulled over. You will also need to show proof when registering a vehicle or renewing registration.

Driving in California without insurance carries a fine between $100 to $200 for the first offense. Each additional offense within a three-year period carries an additional fine of $200 to $500.

SR-22

Should you have a suspended license, you will need to file an SR-22. An SR-22 acts as proof of having minimum legal insurance. Usually California requires you to maintain an SR-22 for three years for a first offense. Duration can be up to four years.

If you cancel your insurance or it lapses within the SR-22’s time period, the state will suspend your license again.

Totaled Cars with Salvage or Rebuilt Titles

If your car is damaged and the cost to repair is greater than the actual value of the car, your insurance company considers it totaled. Total loss vehicles receive a salvage title. If the car is then repaired, it gets a rebuilt title.

Each state has different insurance laws regarding a totaled car. California calculates total by a Total Loss Formula (TLF). TLF is the cost of repairs plus the scrap value of the car. If the TLF is equal to or greater than the actual cash value of the car before your accident, it is totaled.

Finding a policy for a rebuilt or salvage car in California is hard. You can expect to pay more than average at best. Some insurers don’t cover rebuilt or salvage cars at all.

California Traffic Safety Laws

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving laws in California are some of the most stringent in the country. California bans handheld devices while driving for all drivers, and all cellphone use for young drivers. The fine for the first violation is $20 with $50 for every violation after the first.

DUI Law

If you are found driving in California with a Blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or more, you’re guilty of driving under the influence (DUI). First offense DUIs carry penalties of:

  • A fine of $390 to $1,000
  • 48 hours to six months in jail
  • A six-month license suspension
  • A three to five-year probation period

On top of the penalties, your insurance rates will also go up with the first offense, and then even more with the next one. Our data shows that drivers with a DUI pay an average of $830 more a year in premiums. This assumes you can find an insurer to cover you.

Senior Drivers

When you turn 65, odds are your auto rates will increase. If your record is clean, the increase should not be much. However, as you get older the increase more and more. Elderly drivers pay some of the highest insurance rates of any age group.

California drivers over 70 are required to renew their license in person at a DMV office. There will also be a vision test and possibly a written test.

Cars Registered in Other States

If you’re driving in California in a car registered in another state, it must fulfill the insurance requirements of that state. You must also be able to provide proof of auto insurance.

Rate Methodology

1 Auto insurance rate data was provided by Quadrant Information Services. Rates are based on a driver profile of a 35-year-old, owning a 2015 Toyota Camry, drives less than 10,000 annual miles, good credit, clean record, and state minimum liability of 25/50/10. Rates are an average of the top 10 insurance companies in the state of California.

California Department of Insurance

Website:
http://www.insurance.ca.gov/
Insurance Commissioner:
Dave Jones
Consumer Hotline:
1-800-927-4357 (HELP)
Licensing Hotline:
1-800-967-9331
California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program:
1-800-602-8861

CDI Headquarters Offices

  • Sacramento Office
  • 300 Capitol Mall, Suite 1700
  • Sacramento, CA  95814
  • San Francisco Office
  • 45 Fremont Street, 23rd Floor
  • San Francisco, CA 94105
  • Los Angeles Office
  • 300 South Spring Street, South Tower
  • Los Angeles, CA 90013

Sources:

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