The Best Car Insurance Companies in California

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Finding the best car insurance in California is more than looking for the cheapest option. The best insurance for your needs will balance your budget with other factors, including the coverage options you need, quality customer service, discounts to help you save money, and more. Certain car insurance companies have earned a reputation for providing top-quality service, earning them customer loyalty and making them top options. 

Whether you’re looking to buy insurance for the first time or want to change insurance companies, we’ve highlighted some of the best car insurance companies to help you get started. 


Key Takeaways

  • Insuring a car in California costs nearly $500 more annually than the average national cost to insure a vehicle, but many insurance companies offer discounts to help you keep costs down. 
  • Certain car insurance companies have a reputation for providing fast claims processes, quality customer service, affordable pricing, and other benefits. 
  • When deciding which car insurance is best for you, you must consider multiple factors, including the type of coverage you need and a company’s reputation.
  • Using a comparison tool like Compare.com simplifies gathering quotes, so you can see which company offers the best deal. 

Best Car Insurance Companies in CA 

When deciding which car insurance company is the right choice, you must consider multiple factors, like the company’s reputation, available coverage options, and discounts. We’ve outlined that key information below to help you quickly narrow down the list to the companies that are best for you. 

GEICO

JD Power Score: 847/1,000

AM Best Score: A++

Overview: GEICO was founded in 1936 and has since grown to become a national insurance company. It has earned a reputation for offering low-cost, affordable car insurance policies and other types of insurance, including mobile home, condo, homeowner’s, flood, and renters insurance. While most drivers will enjoy affordably priced policies from GEICO, prices for high-risk drivers can be significantly higher. GEICO does not offer gap insurance. 

Pros: 

  • Affordable car insurance policies
  • Offers a wide variety of car insurance coverage options
  • Offers many discounts
  • Mobile app allows you to file claims, make payments, access your ID cards, and more

Cons:

  • No option to purchase gap insurance
  • Reaching a local agent can be difficult

Coverage Options: 

  • Liability coverage
  • Uninsured motorist coverage
  • Underinsured motorist coverage
  • Medical coverage
  • Personal injury protection coverage
  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Emergency road service
  • Rental reimbursement
  • Mechanical breakdown insurance

Discounts: 

  • Airbag
  • Anti-lock brakes
  • Anti-theft system
  • Daytime running lights
  • New vehicle
  • Five-year accident-free good driver
  • Seat belt use
  • Defensive driving
  • Driver’s education
  • Good student
  • Emergency deployment
  • Federal employee
  • Membership and employee
  • Military
  • Multi-vehicle
  • Multi-policy

State Farm

JD Power Score: 843/1,000

AM Best Score: A++

Overview: Founded in 1922, State Farm has become the world’s largest auto insurance company. Its “Like a Good Neighbor” slogan pairs well with the quality customer service it provides. That has resulted in highly satisfied customers, with 93% of drivers saying they will renew their policies. In addition to car insurance, State Farm offers home, property, small business, life, health, disability, liability, and pet medical insurance. The company also provides banking and investment services. 

Pros: 

  • Offers a wide variety of insurance products 
  • High customer satisfaction and customer loyalty
  • Many money-saving programs, like the Drive Safe & Save and Steer Clear programs
  • Discounts are available for teen drivers

Cons: 

Coverage Options: 

  • Collision coverage
  • Liability coverage
  • Uninsured motor vehicle coverage
  • Emergency road service coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Car rental and travel expenses coverage
  • Medical payments coverage

Discounts: 

  • Safe driver – Drive Safe & Save and Steer Clear programs
  • Accident-free and good driving savings
  • Defensive driving course discount
  • Good driver discount
  • Vehicle safety savings
  • Passive restraint discount
  • Anti-theft discount
  • Multiple vehicle savings
  • Bundled insurance products discounts

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Progressive

JD Power Score: 820/1,000

AM Best Score: A+

Overview: Founded in 1937, Progressive holds the distinction of implementing several “firsts” in the car insurance industry. It became the first insurance company in America to offer premium and claim installment payments and 24/7 claim reporting. Today, Progressive offers a wide variety of car insurance, including for RVs, motorcycles, and commercial vehicles. Progressive also provides a suite of home insurance and life insurance products. 

Pros: 

  • App allows you to view policy information, pay bills, report claims, and ask for roadside assistance
  • Offers small and large accident forgiveness options
  • Provides a variety of services, including home and life insurance
  • Low premium costs for California
  • Name Your Price tool simplifies shopping for a policy

Cons: 

  • High premiums for teen drivers
  • Snapshot program (usage-based insurance) might raise rates for some drivers

Coverage Options: 

  • Liability coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Collision coverage
  • Underinsured/uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage
  • Underinsured/uninsured motorist property damage coverage
  • Medical payments coverage
  • Loan/lease payoff coverage
  • Rental car reimbursement
  • Custom parts and equipment value coverage
  • Rideshare coverage
  • Roadside assistance
  • Deductible savings bank (every claim-free policy period reduces your deductible)

Discounts: 

  • Multi-policy
  • Multi-car
  • Continuous insurance
  • Snapshot safe driver discount (Telematics-based program)
  • Teen driver 
  • Good student 
  • Distance student 
  • Homeowner 
  • Online quote
  • Sign online 
  • Paperless
  • Pay in full
  • Automatic payment

Allstate

JD Power Score: 816/1,000

AM Best Score: A+

Overview: Allstate started as part of Sears, Roebuck, and Company in 1931, but it has since become one of the top insurance companies in the country. Today, Allstate offers auto insurance and home, renters, condo, motorcycle, ATV, and term life insurance policies. The company’s Drivewise Program is a usage-based program that can help you to save money on your insurance if you spend minimal time behind the wheel. With its wide selection of coverage options and discounts, Allstate is popular among many drivers. 

Pros: 

  • Offers a wide selection of car insurance options, plus other coverage options
  • Drivewise program can help low-mileage drivers to save money
  • Offers many discounts
  • App allows you to file and track claims
  • Claims Satisfaction Guarantee offers six-month credits toward your premiums if you are unhappy with the claims process

Cons: 

  • Premiums can be higher than those offered by other insurance companies

Coverage Options: 

  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Liability coverage
  • Medical payments coverage
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
  • Roadside coverage
  • Personal injury protection
  • Personal umbrella policy
  • Rental reimbursement coverage

Discounts: 

  • Anti-lock brake
  • Anti-theft device
  • Multiple policies
  • Early signing
  • Responsible payer
  • Smart student
  • New car
  • EZ pay plan (automatic payments)
  • FullPay (Save when you pay your policy in full)
  • Safe Driving Club 

Average Car Insurance Cost in CA

According to the U.S. News & World Report, car insurance in California costs an average of $1,940 per year. That rate is nearly $500 more than the national average car insurance cost, which is $1,442. The higher vehicle repair and medical costs make it more expensive to insure a vehicle in California. Other issues, like highly congested roads, increase the risk of vehicle accidents. Thus, insurance companies charge California drivers higher premiums. 

While the average rate in California offers a starting point, remember that other factors like your age, credit rating, driving record, and the value of your vehicle can also impact your insurance rates.


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How to Find the Best Car Insurance Companies in CA

california state flag

Before you start your search for a car insurance company in California, think about the qualities that make a company a good fit for your needs: 

  • What type of coverage do you need? 
  • What policy limits do you want? 
  • Do you need specialized insurance, like rideshare coverage or an SR-22 policy
  • What kinds of discounts do you want a company to offer? 
  • How do you prefer to interact with customer service – by phone, email, or text? 
  • Do you want to be able to purchase other types of insurance, like homeowner’s or life insurance, from the same company? 
  • Do you have any payment preferences, like the ability to choose the day of the month that your payment is due? 

Once you have an idea of the qualities you want your insurance provider to have, it’s time to shop around for insurance. Getting and comparing quotes from multiple companies will help you to determine which company gives you the best deal on insurance. 

With Compare.com, it’s easy to collect quotes and see how they stack up. Once you fill out a quote request form, which takes about five minutes, Compare.com will gather quotes from up to 65 insurance companies and give you the best options. You can quickly review those options and decide which insurance company and policy are best for you. Compare.com users save an average of $720 per year on their car insurance. 

What You Need to Know About CA Auto Insurance Coverage 

California is a “fault” state, so drivers become financially responsible for any car accident they cause. As a result, carrying adequate car insurance coverage is essential to protect yourself financially if you cause an accident. 

California requires all drivers to carry minimum liability coverage. Your insurance will need to meet the state’s minimum requirements.

Those requirements include that you have at least $15,000 in minimum bodily injury liability for the death or injury of one person. You will also need a bodily injury liability limit of at least $30,000 for the death or injury of more than one person. California also requires you to carry minimum property damage liability of at least $5,000 for damage that might occur to other people’s property. 

Car Insurance Discounts in CA

Low-income California drivers may qualify for California’s Low-Cost Automobile Program (CLCA), established in 1999. It helps income-eligible drivers access liability insurance at affordable rates to meet California’s minimum insurance requirements. To qualify for the program, you must: 

  • Have a valid California driver’s license
  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Own a vehicle valued at $25,000 or less
  • Have a good driving record
  • Meet the program’s income eligibility requirements

The program requires that participants have a maximum income of $33,975 for a household size of one and $45,775 for a household of two. 

Even if you don’t qualify for the CLCA program, you may still be eligible for many discounts through your car insurance company. Auto insurance companies often offer various discounts, including multi-vehicle, multi-policy, customer loyalty, good driver, and student discounts. 

You may also explore insurance companies that use telematics to help you save money. Many insurance providers offer pay-per-mile programs. With these programs, you will drive while an app on your smartphone tracks your mileage. Expect to pay a base monthly rate, which stays consistent. On top of that, you will pay a per-mile rate each month, which depends on how far you drive. These per-mile programs can save you lots of money, especially if you are retired, work from home, have a second vehicle, or otherwise spend minimal time on the road. 

Some insurance companies also use telematics to monitor your driving habits. A smartphone app will track your driving and look for risky behaviors like hard braking, swerving, speeding, and even driving late at night. Good drivers can save money by demonstrating safe driving techniques. 

FAQs About Car Insurance in CA

What is the recommended car insurance coverage in California?

While California requires drivers to carry minimum liability, having as much insurance coverage is always best. In addition to liability coverage, consider investing in comprehensivecollisionpersonal injury protection, and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to ensure that you’re fully protected. 

What is the best car insurance right now? 

The best car insurance will depend on your budget, the vehicle you want to insure, and how much risk you’re comfortable assuming. Since insurance rates can change, it’s a good idea to shop around for car insurance annually or after a significant life event, like getting married or graduating from college. Shopping around can help ensure that you still have the best rates and the policy that’s the right fit for your needs. 

Does California have high car insurance? 

California is one of the most expensive states to insure a vehicle. Many factors affect car insurance rates in the state, including California’s high healthcare costs, the high cost of vehicle repairs, the risks of severe weather like wildfires, the high amount of theft and vandalism, and the dense amount of traffic on the roads.

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