California Casualty vs. Sentry: Which Company is the Best Fit for You?

You've probably seen ads offering big savings on car insurance, but are California Casualty or Sentry right for you? Which company offers the cheapest premiums, or the most discounts? Read on to see how California Casualty and Sentry compare, and to find out which carrier is the best one for you, your vehicle, and your budget.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • Looking at the national averages for auto insurance, Sentry offers slightly more affordable rates than California Casualty
  • California Casualty offers more affordable prices for policyholders who have a clean record
  • Sentry tends to be a much cheaper option for policyholders who drive fewer than 12,000 miles each year

California Casualty vs. Sentry: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

Are you considering a new insurance policy? With so many ads from all sorts of companies offering large discounts, you're probably wondering exactly how much you might be able to save.

You've maybe even narrowed it down to California Casualty or Sentry as your top options, but which company will offer you less expensive rates?

California Casualty Sentry

As you can see, Sentry is about $6 per month cheaper than California Casualty when looking at the national average rates for car insurance.

That being said, that doesn't mean Sentry will necessarily be less expensive than California Casualty for every driver. Auto insurance companies use all sorts of complex algorithms to calculate prices, so depending on how clean your driving record is or where you live (among a range of other factors), you could see wildly different premiums from the ones above.

Wanting to know if California Casualty or Sentry is really the right company for you? Keep on reading to see how average prices can change based on all of the factors we've mentioned above.

California Casualty or Sentry: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State California Casualty Sentry

California Casualty and Sentry only compete against each other in one states, with California Casualty offering more affordable premiums to the average driver in all of them. Washington has the most noticable difference, where California Casualty rates are over 40% less expensive than insurance premiums at Sentry.

That being said, there are plenty of other factors that go into your car insurance bill than just the state you live in. Continue reading to see how other factors will affect your rates.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

California Casualty Sentry
18-year-old drivers$431$397
25-year-old drivers$181$186

Teen drivers will almost always have the most expensive auto insurance prices of any group out there on the road. The reason is that young, inexperienced drivers are statistically much more likely to get into an accident that results in a car insurance claim, making them much riskier to insure.

But still, even with seemingly sky-high rates, teen drivers can still find ways to save money. Just look at the table above -- where 18-year-old drivers who have Sentry for their insurance pay nearly $35 less than those who use California Casualty.

Even so, with both carriers, you'll see your premiums decrease significantly by the time drivers turn 25. For example, average rates for California Casualty policyholders reduce almost 60% and Sentry's prices drop nearly 55% over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

California Casualty Sentry
65+-year-old drivers$149$148

When it comes to auto insurance, patience and experience pay off, with drivers around retirement age paying some of the most affordable rates you'll ever find.

When looking at California Casualty and Sentry specifically, which carrier is best for retired drivers? Sentry gets the slight edge here, with average prices coming in at around $148 monthly compared to California Casualty's $149. However, that difference is less than 5%, which means it ultimately will come down to other variables, such as your driving record or where you live.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

California Casualty Sentry

Married drivers tend to get slightly more affordable car insurance premiums than those who are single. That's normally because married policyholders tend to own and insure more than one car, which can often earn you a discount.

If you're in the market for insurance, Sentry tends to have the lowest average prices regardless of relationship status, with prices about 3% cheaper for single drivers and around 3% more affordable for married couples.

California Casualty vs. Sentry: Average Rates by Gender

California Casualty Sentry

Men are statistically more likely than women to get into accidents and file an insurance claim. That means when it comes to car insurance men will typically end up paying a little more.

Typically, women see premiums more than $15 a month less expensive with California Casualty, and about $20 with Sentry.

Looking at the data for each company specifically, Sentry comes out on top for both men and women. On average, women save about $8 per month and men save around $4 with Sentry compared to the average California Casualty policyholder.

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California Casualty or Sentry: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

California Casualty Sentry
State Minimum*$122$104
Full Coverage**$281$286

*State minimum value indicates liability-only policies at each state's minimum bodily injury and property damage (BI/PD) limits

**Full coverage indicates state minimum BI/PD limits with collision and comprehensive coverages added to policy.

For most people, insurance can be pretty complicated. There are a bunch of different coverages that account for lots of different things. Some protect you and your vehicle, while others only provide coverage for other people's property and health if you cause an accident.

But most policies that many drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability only (that covers bodily injury and property damage for other drivers if you cause a collision) and full coverage (which includes two additional coverages -- comprehensive and collision -- in addition to what you get with liability coverage).

In this case, Sentry offers the most affordable average rates for state minimum liability limits, while California Casualty has the edge for full coverage policies with similar coverage limits. Drivers looking for basic state minimum coverage can save around $20 with Sentry Insurance, while full coverage comes out to be about $5 cheaper with California Casualty.

Is California Casualty or Sentry Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

It's no big secret that drivers who are accident-free get better deals on their auto insurance. But even if you have a spotty record, you can still find plenty of ways to save some cash on your monthly bill.

You'll probably end up paying more with at-fault collisions and tickets on your record, but which of these two companies offers the lowest prices to drivers with less-than-perfect records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

California Casualty Sentry
Clean Record$137$178
1 Speeding Ticket$170$203

California Casualty policyholders can expect their rates to go up an average of $33 a month if they get a ticket, while Sentry usually raises premiums around $25 per month, on average.

That being said, California Casualty tends to offer the best prices for drivers both with clean records and with a speeding ticket -- their rates are around 23% more affordable for drivers with clean records and 16% cheaper for those with a ticket.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

California Casualty Sentry
Clean Record$137$178
1 At-Fault Accident$198$221

California Casualty policyholders who get in an accident can expect to see their rates rise by over 30%, while those who have insurance through Sentry will see about a 20% increase.

Overall, drivers who use California Casualty end up with the cheaper prices after an accident, with monthly premiums averaging $198 compared to Sentry Insurance's $221.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

California Casualty Sentry
Clean Record$137$178
1 DUI$300$178

If you get a DUI charge on your record, it's probably going to cost you more than a simple ticket or even a collision. On average, California Casualty will climb your prices around 54% after a DUI, while Sentry's average rates increase by 0%.

If you have a DUI on your record and are looking for more affordable premiums, Sentry tends to be the much less expensive option with average prices of $178 per month compared to $300 from California Casualty.

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How does Credit Score Impact California Casualty and Sentry Rates?

Often times, your credit score can come into play when carriers determine your monthly bill. This isn't always the case (Michigan, for example, has banned the use of credit score as a rating factor) but it might come into play for lots of drivers.

The reasoning insurance companies use is that policyholders with good credit will be more likely to pay their bills on time; so they'll reward them with cheaper premiums, while those with poor credit will generally be forced to pay more.

Looking at California Casualty and Sentry specifically, which one has the cheapest rates for drivers at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

California Casualty Sentry
Excellent Credit Score$136$172
Good Credit Score$174$185

If you have a solid credit score, you'll usually find a better deal with California Casualty. Policyholders with "excellent" credit can save over 20% compared to Sentry, and those with "good" scores can also expect to see savings -- about $11 or 6% cheaper every month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

California Casualty Sentry
Fair Credit Score$210$198
Poor Credit Score$285$225

Sentry typically offers lower prices than California Casualty when it comes to drivers with bad credit. Drivers with "fair" credit pay around $12 a month less with Sentry compared to California Casualty, and those with "poor" scores typically save an average of about $60 a month.

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Is California Casualty or Sentry Better for Drivers who Work from Home or Have Short Commutes?

California Casualty Sentry
6,000 Annual Miles$189$195
12,000 Annual Miles$214$195

Did you know that the amount of time you spend in your car have a large impact on your monthly auto insurance cost? Generally, those who drive fewer miles will end up with less expensive rates since there's less of a chance of getting into an accident and causing an insurance claim.

As you can see in the table above, annual mileage doesn't have much of an impact on how much Sentry charges. However, there's a pretty significant difference in monthly prices for California Casualty, with policyholders who drive the least paying around $25 less each month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles annually.

California Casualty vs. Sentry: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where you call home can have a considerable impact on your monthly car insurance payment. Normally, drivers who live in heavily-populated urban areas will pay quite a bit more than rural policyholders because there are a lot more vehicles on the road in those areas, which increases the chances of an accident.

California Casualty Sentry
Urban Areas$218$224
Suburban Areas$221$218
Rural Areas$164$143

Looking at these carriers side-by-side, Sentry usually comes out as the more affordable option for drivers in rural and suburban areas, while California Casualty wins in urban areas.

For drivers in urban ZIP codes, California Casualty's average premiums are about $218 per month compared to Sentry's $224. Drivers in suburban ZIP codes pay around $218 with Sentry compared to California Casualty's $221 per month. Those in rural areas can expect to pay about $143 a month with Sentry and $164 with California Casualty.

California Casualty vs. Sentry Discounts

Regardless of why you might be in the market for a new auto insurance policy, you're always going to want to save as much money as possible, and the best way to do that is by taking advantage of as many insurance discounts as you can.

But with what seems like a million different discounts out there, it can be challenging to nail down the company that has the most discounts for your unique driver profile and to find all the discounts you can take advantage of.

Below, we've compared all of the different discounts offered by California Casualty and Sentry so that you can easily see which company offers the most discounts and, therefore, the biggest savings.

California Casualty Sentry
ABS Discount 
Advance Quote Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount 
Driver Training Discount 
Education Discount 
Full Coverage Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount 
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount 
Mature Driver Discount 
Multi-Car Discount
Multi-Policy Discount 
Paid In Full Discount 
Paperless Discount 
Passive Restraint Discount 
Renewal Discount 
Travelink Discount 

California Casualty blows Sentry away when it comes to the sheer amount of discounts available, offering nine more discounts than Sentry.

There are a couple discounts both companies offer, but California Casualty also offers ABS discounts, driver training discounts, education discounts, and more that Sentry does not.

On the flip side, Sentry has a couple unique discounts of its own -- advance quote discounts, discounts for being a defensive driver, discounts for being a homeowner, and more.

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Final Thoughts: Is California Casualty or Sentry Best for You?

You've seen the effect certain factors have on your car insurance and the different discounts carriers offer. That's all well and good, but when it comes down to it, which insurance carrier is the best carrier for you and your specific needs?

Sentry might be best for you if....

  • You're worried about the impact your credit score will have on your rates.
  • You want basic auto insurance coverage at the state minimum limits.
  • You're buying car insurance for a teen and looking for a wallet-friendly option.

California Casualty might be best for you if...

  • You don't have any speeding tickets, DUIs, or at-fault accidents on your record.
  • You're looking for more protection with "full coverage" insurance.
  • Your neighborhood is in a city.

We hope this guide has ben a valuable resource as you compare California Casualty and Sentry. We also hope we've given you the information you need to make the best decision when it comes to your car insurance.

But, at the end of the day, there's only one way to know for sure that you're getting the best possible deal on insurance -- comparing quotes from a handful of companies, not just California Casualty and Sentry. Luckily, sites like do all the hard work for you. Simply enter your ZIP code below and get free quotes from dozens of the top auto insurance carriers in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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California Casualty vs. Sentry FAQs

Is California Casualty or Sentry cheaper?

Looking just at the national average premiums, Sentry is the less expensive of the two companies, offering average rates of $195 a month compared to $201 for California Casualty. But Sentry won't necessarily be the cheapest company for every driver, since there are many different variables (things like driving record, age, gender, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, California Casualty or Sentry?

Sadly, the only answer we can give you is "it depends.". Neither carrier is necessarily "better" for each driver -- it all boils down to your unique insurance profile. For example, California Casualty offers more affordable prices for drivers with an at-fault accident on their record, while Sentry is cheaper for drivers who have less-than-stellar credit scores.

Why do California Casualty and Sentry offer me different rates?

Auto insurance carriers take a look at several different factors when calculating the rates they charge policyholders. Things like age, gender, where your home is, your driving record, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both California Casualty and Sentry calculate premiums differently, so each one will most likely offer different rates. The only real way to see which company is the lowest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a range of different companies.

How do I know if California Casualty or Sentry is right for me?

The only way to find the car insurance carrier that's right for you is by getting quotes from multiple carriers and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, makes it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your area information and you'll get free quotes from dozens of the best insurance companies in your area. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the cheapest premium. And who knows, the best company for you might not be California Casualty or Sentry at all!


All of the data referenced in this article has been gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. We analyzed more than 2.5 million rows of carrier-reported data to calculate the average rates referenced above. All rates are based on an insurance profile of a single-vehicle policy for a driver that owns a 2016 Honda Accord. For more information on how we calculate rates, please reference our data methodology.

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