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Here you’ll learn everything you need to know to buy the best car insurance policy in San Francisco for your particular situation. You’ll see which carriers are rated as the best car insurance companies for customer satisfaction and what the average car insurance rates are for your neighborhood. You’ll also discover how much you can save from knowing how to make smart choices about coverage. And, find out how rates for San Francisco drivers are affected by tickets, accidents and adding teen drivers.

Best car insurance in San Francisco, CA

Deciding who has the best car insurance to suit your needs depends on what is most important to you. For some it may be price, while others may value customer service the most. Still others may be looking for the convenience of mobile apps, or a company that offers the most car insurance discounts. Below we list car insurance companies in San Francisco, and who they are the best at serving, based on’s customer satisfaction survey of current policy holders and rate data analysis.

Best forCompany
Customer ServiceGeico
Low Annual MileageFarmers Ins Exchange
Good StudentAMCO Insurance
BundleFarmers Ins Exchange
MarriedUnited Financial Casualty

Cheap Car Insurance in San Francisco, California

Geico Gen Ins Co and United Financial Cas Co have the cheapest car insurance rates in San Francisco, based on our rate analysis for three different coverage levels. The driver profile is for age 30, with good credit and a clean driving record. You can see how major insurers rank for price in the chart below

CompanyLiability Only - State Minimum BI/PDLiability Only - 50/100/50 BI/PDFull Coverage - 100/300/100 BI/PD - 500 Comp/Coll
Geico Gen Ins Co$351$455$1,493
United Financial Cas Co$531$710$1,931
State Farm Mut Auto Ins Co$687$890$2,432
Allstate Northbrook Ind Co$780$855$2,723
Amco Ins Co$832$1,048$2,983
Farmers Ins Exch$832$997$2,903

Car Insurance Coverage – How much car insurance do I need in San Francisco?

Below we’ll explain what coverage you need to drive legally, which is your state required minimum liability limits, and what types of car insurance you may need to be truly protected.

Minimum car insurance requirements in San Francisco

California car insurance laws require only that you insure yourself against bodily injury and property damage liability, so it’s your choice whether to add coverage for yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle.

If you have a newer model car, it makes sense to get comprehensive insurance and collision coverage. In California, comprehensive costs $172 and collision costs $1,172 , on an average per year, according to a rate data analysis done by These optional coverages come with a deductible. That’s the amount you pay before your insurance company pays. Typical deductibles amounts are $1,000, $500 and $250 – you choose which one you want. The higher the deductible is, the lower your rate will be.

The best car insurance coverage usually isn’t the cheapest. You may be used if you’re in an accident and your insurance doesn’t cover all of the damages. That means your home or savings could be in jeopardy. To protect your 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.

The average rate for San Francisco drivers for a year of minimum coverage is $669 according to our rate analysis. If you increased your coverage to 50/100/50, you would pay just about $13.08 more a month, or $157 more a year. You can get full coverage (100/300/100) by paying $145.17 more a month, or an additional $1,742 a year more than minimum-level coverage.

San Francisco average for:

  • Minimum coverage: $669
  • 50/100/50: $826
  • 100/300/100: $2,411

How Much is Car Insurance Near You in San Francisco

Many factors go into calculating car insurance rates, but a driver's location is typically used to kick off the process. That's not the case in San Francisco, where California car insurance companies determine what you pay primarily based on how long you've been driving, how much you drive and your driving history. Still, location does come into play after those factors are considered, as ZIP codes are judged to have different risk levels based on the number and severity of car insurance claims within the area.

Average car insurance rates in San Francisco analyzed car insurance rates from six car insurance companies for nearly every ZIP code in California. Here's how San Francisco's highest average rate $2,801 for ZIP 94124 compares to others, for a full coverage policy of 100/300/100 for a driver age 30:

  • $636 more than the least expensive average rate $2,165 in ZIP code 94117
  • $676 more than the state average $2,125
  • $1,042 more than the national average rate $1,759

Compare car insurance quotes in San Francisco – How to Save on insurance policy?

You can save an average of $1,569 annually on a full coverage policy in San Francisco by comparing car insurance quotes, according to's rate analysis. While savings will depend on your particular circumstances, this shows that there is a significant benefit to shopping your policy.

Why does comparing car insurance quotes save money?

No two insurance companies will charge the same amount of money for the same policy. So if you compare car insurance quotes and opt for the lowest, you won’t over pay. For example, the highest rate from any carrier surveyed for ZIP code 94124 , the priciest ZIP code San Francisco car insurance, was $3,550 . The lowest was $1,976 . The difference is $1,574 , which is how much you could overpay. That’s why car insurance comparisons are paramount to finding the best cheap car insurance for your situation.

San Francisco Car Insurance FAQ’s

How much does insurance go up after a speeding ticket in San Francisco?

A speeding ticket in San Francisco will hike your car insurance rates by an average of 47% , or about $1,014 yearly.’s rate analysis shows how much more drivers in San Francisco can expect to pay, on average, for speeding and other common violations. Minor traffic violations, such as speeding, typically stay on your record for about three years, and you can expect to see the rate increase upon your policy renewal date. More severe infractions, such as DUI, typically stay on your record much longer.

How much does insurance go up for tickets in San Francisco?

San Francisco drivers can expect to see a hike in their rates in the range of 49% for minor moving violations such as tailgating or blowing through a stop sign, 184% for more severe infractions such as DUI. Below you’ll see how much rates increase, on average, for common traffic violations. Remember, though, that because insurance companies assess risk differently, you can still save by comparison shopping, because one carrier may ding you a lot for a citation, while another may spike your rate by much less.

ViolationAverage rateRate after violation$ Increase% Increase
DUI/DWI third offense$2,169$11,162$8,993415%
DUI/DWI second offense$2,169$8,727$6,558302%
DUI/DWI first offense$2,169$6,159$3,990184%
Reckless driving$2,169$5,980$3,811176%
Operating a vehicle in a race (highway racing)$2,169$5,980$3,811176%
2 speeding tickets 11 mph or over$2,169$4,465$2,296106%
Driving without a license or permit$2,169$4,131$1,96290%
Distracted driving ticket$2,169$3,451$1,28259%
Careless driving$2,169$3,369$1,20055%
Texting ticket$2,169$3,368$1,19955%
Talking on cellphone ticket$2,169$3,368$1,19955%
Driving without insurance$2,169$3,368$1,19955%
Improper/illegal pass$2,169$3,314$1,14553%
Improper turn$2,169$3,237$1,06849%
Following too closely$2,169$3,237$1,06849%
Failure to yield$2,169$3,237$1,06849%
Failure to stop$2,169$3,237$1,06849%
Seatbelt infraction$2,169$2,169$00%

How much will an accident raise my insurance in San Francisco?

An accident will increase car insurance rates by 69% to 89%, on average, for drivers in San Francisco. When you file a claim for an accident that's your fault, typically your car insurance rates will increase. However, claims under your comprehensive coverage, if you have it as it’s optional, typically won’t trigger an increase. That’s because comprehensive claims are for damage insurers consider to be beyond your control, for instance due to hail, fire, flooding, falling objects or collisions with an animal. The table below shows how much for drivers in San Francisco can expect to pay for common car insurance claims.

AccidentAverage RateRate after claim$ Increase% Increase
2 At-fault property damage accident over $2k$2,169$5,723$3,554164%
At-fault bodily injury accident$2,169$4,110$1,94189%
1 At-fault property damage accident under $2K$2,169$3,668$1,49969%
1 At-fault property damage accident over $2K$2,169$3,668$1,49969%

How much does it cost to add a teen driver to your insurance?

In San Francisco, adding a 16-year-old daughter to your policy will hike your rates by $3,950 annually, or 182% It's more for boys. Insuring your 16-year-old son will increase your yearly rate by $5,467 , or 252% according to rate data. Teen drivers are inexperienced, and are involved in more accidents than older drivers, according to federal research, and insurance companies categorize them as high-risk drivers, so they cost more to insure. If you're insuring a teen driver of any age, you can get expert tips, more rate data by age and details from our “Parents guide to insuring a teen driver."

How much is SR-22 insurance in San Francisco? data show that for drivers in San Francisco, your rate will go up by an average of $4,015 or 185%. If you're convicted of a serious offense, such as DUI or reckless driving, you may be required to have your insurance company file an SR-22 form on your behalf. An SR-22 is a car insurance company’s guarantee to the state that you are carrying the legally mandated coverage. If you are required to have an SR-22 filed, your car insurance rates will increase.

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.