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San Francisco car insurance rates

Car insurance in San Francisco can be pricey, but you can save 50 percent or more in some cases by shopping around, according to our California car insurance rate analysis. Drivers in San Francisco ZIP code 94134 pay the highest average car insurance rate in the city, $1,885 a year, according to a survey of rates from six major carriers. But the difference between the highest rate ($2,513) for those ZIPs and the lowest ($1,148) is $1,365.

Why comparing car insurance rates saves you money

Each car insurance company uses its own method when deciding what you pay for coverage, which is why prices for the same policy vary significantly. That’s why you can wind up overpaying for insurance if you don’t shop around. To see how car insurance rates compare, use our average rates tool below.

Enter your ZIP code, select an age group and coverage level to see the average premium for the location, as well as the highest and lowest rates from the six major carriers surveyed.


San Francisco Car Insurance Rates by ZIP Code

Enter ZIP for average rate. Then enter Age, Gender and Coverage Level for customized rate.

Invalid ZIP code or data not available
MOST & LEAST EXPENSIVE ZIP CODES in California
HIGHEST RATE:
  • 90010- LOS ANGELES: $2,552
  • 90038- LOS ANGELES: $2,507
  • 90020- LOS ANGELES: $2,494
  • 90029- LOS ANGELES: $2,488
LOWEST RATE:
  • 93441- LOS OLIVOS: $1,071
  • 93437- LOMPOC: $1,088
  • 93427- BUELLTON: $1,091
  • 93401- SAN LUIS OBISPO: $1,095

Below you'll see a list of San Francisco's priciest and cheapest ZIP codes for car insurance. The ZIP code for Portola, a neighborhood situated between Excelsior/McLaren Park and Bayview, tops the list. 

Most expensive San Francisco ZIP codesAverage annual rate
94134$1,885
94124$1,832
94121$1,788
94102$1,780
94103$1,779
94151$1,761
94153$1,761
94154$1,761
94156$1,761
94112$1,759
94133$1,759
94132$1,758
94130$1,749
94115$1,748
Least expensive San Francisco ZIP codesAverage annual rate
94177$1,644
94160$1,654
94161$1,654
94162$1,654
94163$1,654
94127$1,666
94123$1,667
94171$1,668
94114$1,669
94199$1,678
94107$1,681
94131$1,682
94117$1,689

*Methodology: CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to field rates for nearly every ZIP code in California from six major insurers for a 2016 Honda Accord. Driver profile: age 40, male, good credit, clean record. This data set is for $100,000 in personal injury liability/$300,000 per accident, with $300,000 in property damage; comprehensive and collision included with $500 deductible. 

 

San Francisco car insurance requirements

California state law requires the following minimum car insurance coverage:
Minimum bodily injury liability$15,000/$30,000
Minimum property damage liability$5,000

Cheapest car insurance in San Francisco

If you need just bare-bones coverage, you’ll want to shop for the lowest liability car insurance limits required by the state to drive legally. In California (written as 15/30/5), that means your liability car insurance would pay up to:

  • $15,000 for injuries you cause to others
  • $30,000 per accident
  • $5,000 for damage you cause to others’ cars and property

California drivers pay, on average, $491 a year for minimum coverage, assuming a driver profile of male, age 40 with good credit and clean driving record, according to our rate analysis. If you bumped up your liability coverage to 50/100/50, the average rate would increase by just $101 to $592. That’s less than $9 a month.

Cheapest San Francisco car insurance companies

You can see in the chart below that Geico offers coverage at the lowest price, among six major insurers compared in a CarInsurance.com rate analysis.

CompanyState minimum
Geico$286
Progressive$455
Allstate$565
State Farm$573
Nationwide$686
Farmers$688
Company100/50/100
Geico$349
Progressive$549
Allstate$620
State Farm$742
Farmers$824
Nationwide$828
Company100/300/100
Geico$1,034
Progressive$1,169
Allstate$1,596
Nationwide$2,095
State Farm$2,164
Farmers$2,320

Best car insurance in San Francisco

If you want to have enough car insurance coverage to protect your home and assets, you should buy liability insurance in the following amounts:

  • $100,000 to pay for others’ medical bills
  • $300,000 to pay for injuries to others in an accident you cause
  • $100,000 to pay for damage to others’ property

You should also consider buying these optional coverages:

  • Comprehensive, which replaces stolen cars and covers damage to your car from floods, fire, hail, vandalism.
  • Collision, which pays for damage to your car from accidents.

Comprehensive insurance and collision coverage are fairly affordable. They pay out up to the actual cash value of your car. In California, comprehensive costs $98 and collision costs $361, on average per year, according to the Insurance Information Institute. These two coverages, unlike liability insurance, come with a deductible. That’s the amount you pay for each claim before your insurer chips in. Deductibles of $1,000, $500 and $250 are the usual practice. The higher the deductible is, the lower your rate will be.

 

Driving in San Francisco

Traffic in San Francisco: The city and nearby areas came in third for the worst traffic in the country in a recent report by USA Today, which noted that drivers spend about 78 hours a year stuck in traffic.

Car crashes: Major accidents have resulted in an average of about 30 deaths a year in recent years (2012-2014).

Commuting: The average commute lasts 29.2 minutes.

High Occupancy Vehicle rules: The HOV lane, also known as the carpool or diamond lane, is designed to reduce traffic congestion and promote ride-sharing on freeways. In the San Francisco area, only vehicles with at least two people, mass transit vehicles like buses, and motorcycles are allowed to use the lanes. Use may be restricted during specified hours.

Public transportation: The U.S. Census Bureau says that the majority of riders in San Francisco who commute to work by public transportation are white (about 45 percent), Hispanic (about 17 percent) and black (about 5 percent). The bureau notes that commuting is the main reason people use mass transit.

Smog rules: All California residents much have their vehicles tested for emissions at a licensed smog testing center every two years to renew registration. Vehicles that are six years old or less are exempt from testing. New California residents must have an initial inspection to have their vehicle registered, even if they have a current smog certificate from their previous state.

Bad intersection: The intersection at Mission Street, 12th Street, Otis Street and S. Van Ness Avenue is considered one of the worst in the city - there were 92 vehicle accidents at the intersection from 2005 to 2012.

The information was gathered from various sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, state transportation departments and city police departments.

 

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