Here you will find out everything you need to know to buy car insurance in California , the golden state. We provide average California auto insurance rates for your neighborhood. You’ll also learn how much car insurance you need for your particular situation. That means you’ll know what to expect when shopping for auto insurance in California – and you won’t overpay for it. You'll also see rates for the following:

  • Low cost auto insurance coverage for drivers with tickets
  • Companies ranked from cheapest to most expensive for drivers with accidents
  • Ranking of the best car insurance companies for California drivers
  • Rates and savings by coverage level, ZIP code and company

How much is car insurance in California, CA ?

The average car insurance rate in California is $2,125 per year ($177 per month) for a driver age 30 for full coverage. That’s $367 more a year than the nationwide average annual rate of $1,758.

Coverage limitsAverage annual rate
Liability Only - state minimum$606
Liability Only - 50/100/50 BI/PD$752
Full Coverage - 100/300/100 BI/PD $500 Comp/Collision deductible$2,125
Key Highlights
  • Average rates for three coverage levels and six age groups by ZIP code
  • Rates and savings by coverage level, ZIP code and company
  • Average increase to rates for accidents, tickets, bad credit
  • Best California car insurance companies based on customer satisfaction survey
Average Car Insurance In California (CA)
Average monthly cost for California drivers for full coverage

Best Car Insurance in California

There’s no one best type of car insurance for everyone. Some drivers are willing to pay a bit more for outstanding customer service, some want the lowest rates, while others prefer carriers who can handle claims and payments through mobile apps. Here we highlight the best car insurance companies in California for various services, based on a survey of current policyholders. Scores are out of 100.

  • Best car insurance in CA for customer service: Allstate ranked as the best in this category, with a score of 91 out of 100. It was followed by USAA, which serves active military members and their immediate family members, with a score of 90. CSAA Insurance group placed third with a score of 88.
  • Best for claims handling: American family placed first in this category (95), followed by Mercury (94). Rounding out the top three was CSAA Insurance group, with a score of 93.
  • Best for mobile apps/website: Safeco was the top insurer when it came to ease-of-use and functionality of its website and apps, scoring 89. USAA placed second (87) and Farmers was third (86).

How to Get Cheap Car Insurance in California?

The most effective way to find low cost California insurance is to compare car insurance quotes from multiple carriers. Your age, your driving record, the model of car you have, the severity and frequency of claims in your neighborhood and other variables are used by insurance companies to figure out the cost of your policy. That’s why the price for the same coverage can vary significantly among insurance companies — and why you should compare rates. You should comparison shop upon renewal, but also if you move, add a vehicle or teen driver to your policy, get married or divorced or buy a home.

Other tips for garnering the most affordable California car insurance include:

  • Maximizing discounts, for instance bundling your home and auto with the same company can save up to 12% on your auto costs.
  • Dropping comprehensive and collision for cars that are worth less than $3,000
  • Hiking your deductible amount, for instance, from $500 to $1,000

Geico is the cheapest car insurance for drivers in California with a recent accident, coming in at about half the price of the most expensive, according to's rate analysis You'll see below what you can expect to pay, on average, for California car insurance after an accident claim. Even after a car wreck, you can save money by comparison shopping. The difference between the highest rate and lowest rate is over $2,000, so that's how much you can save

Company1 At-fault property damage accident over $2K2 At-fault property damage accident over $2kAt-fault bodily injury accident
Allied AMCO PPA$2,922$4,092$2,922
Allstate Northbrook Indemnity$4,110$6,883$5,138
Farmers Ins Exchange$3,650$4,159$3,650
GEICO General$2,089$3,262$2,611
State Farm Mutual Auto$2,403$4,682$3,004
United Financial Casualty$3,313$4,318$3,313

If you get a speeding ticket, chances are you'll see an increase in what you pay for car insurance, upon your policy renewal. Typically, you'll pay more for three years. But even with a traffic ticket, comparison shopping can save you money. For instance, you'll see that the difference between the highest rate and the lowest in the table below is $1,320, on average, according to's rate analysis. That's how much you can save by comparing car insurance companies.

CompanyAverage Rate
GEICO General$1,602
Farmers Ins Exchange$2,156
State Farm Mutual Auto$2,300
United Financial Casualty$2,589
Allstate Northbrook Indemnity$2,760
Allied AMCO PPA$2,922

It costs a lot of money to add a teen driver to your policy, no matter where you live. In California, it can be as much as $5,474 more a year, according to's analysis of rate data. Geico's cost after adding a driver age 16 to your policy is the lowest, at a bit more than $3,180 a year.

CompanyAverage RateAverage Rate after adding female teen$ Increase (female)Average Rate after adding male teen$ Increase (male)
Allied AMCO PPA$1,993$5,805$3,813$6,675$4,683
Allstate Northbrook Indemnity$1,909$6,184$4,275$7,725$5,816
Farmers Ins Exchange$2,156$5,845$3,689$9,414$7,258
GEICO General$1,193$3,099$1,906$3,264$2,071
State Farm Mutual Auto$1,836$4,077$2,241$5,272$3,436
United Financial Casualty$1,609$1,609$0$1,609$0

You’ll see in the chart below which car insurance companies have the lowest rates for young drivers buying a full coverage policy. Average car insurance rates by age data shows that drivers typically pay higher rates until age 26, when rates begin to drop as drivers gain more experience on the road. But even young drivers can save money by comparing car insurance rates to see which company has the lowest rates, by qualifying for student discounts and by staying on their parents’ policy as long as possible

Below you can see how average rates compare, by company, for drivers age 65 and over, buying a full coverage policy. Comparing car insurance quotes is always one of the best ways to save on coverage, regardless of age, but another way to trim costs for seniors is by qualifying for mature driver discounts.

Cheapest car insurance in California by company

Below you'll see how car insurance companies in California rank on price. Below are average annual rates for California, ranked cheapest to most expensive, for three coverage levels:

  • State minimum liability requirements
  • Liability limits of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident and $50,000 property damage
  • Liability of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident and $100,000 property damage, with comprehensive and collision at $500 deductible
CompanyState minimum average annual rate50/100/50 average annual rate100/300/100 average annual rate
Geico Gen Ins Co$358$470$1,490
United Financial Cas Co$499$667$1,795
Allstate Northbrook Ind Co$651$714$2,223
State Farm Mut Auto Ins Co$681$883$2,345
Farmers Ins Exch$717$859$2,387
Amco Ins Co$728$918$2,510

Geico has the cheapest car insurance in California, among the major carriers surveyed by experts at Gieco came in as the most affordable for all three coverage levels that are commonly bought by drivers. That means Geico has the cheapest liability car insurance in California, and is the cheapest full coverage car insurance company in the state.

Geico beat other major carriers on price for state minimum liability insurance as follows:

  • $140 less than United Financial
  • $290 less than Allstate
  • $320 less than State Farm
  • $360 less than Farmers
  • $370 less than Amco

Here is how much cheaper Geico is, on average, compared to other companies’ rates for full coverage:

  • $305 less than United Financial
  • $730 less than Allstate
  • $855 less than State Farm
  • $895 less than Farmers
  • $1,020 less than Amco

Scores are based on’s “Best Insurance Companies” customer review survey of 3,700 customers. Policyholders ranked insurers on claims handling, customer service, value, mobile apps/website usefulness and were asked if they would renew their coverage and if they would recommend the company. All scores are out of 100.

  1. CSAA Insurance Group 89.13
  2. Allstate 88.25
  3. USAA 87.63
  4. American Family 85.91
  5. Auto Club of Southern California * 85.72
  6. Safeco 84.82
  7. Liberty Mutual 84.21
  8. Travelers 83.92
  9. Geico 83.87
  10. State Farm 83.39
  11. Esurance 82.98
  12. Metlife 82.91
  13. Hartford 82.34
  14. Mercury 81.98
  15. Farmers 81.19
  16. Progressive 81.19
  17. Nationwide 75.21
  18. The General 69.81

*Auto Club of Southern California(Auto Club Enterprise Insurance Group)

Get car insurance quotes in California

When comparing car insurance quotes, you will typically need to provide fairly basic information:

  • ZIP code
  • Basic personal information – name, age, birthday
  • Driving history
  • Current insurance company
  • Information on other drivers in your household
  • Vehicle make and model
  • Desired coverage types, limits and deductibles

More detailed quotes may also require:

  • All vehicles VIN (vehicle identification number)
  • If you own, lease or financed your vehicle
  • Annual mileage
  • All household driver’s license numbers
  • Amount of time you’ve been insured

Once you provide the information, you will typically get a quote that is in many cases an estimate of what you will pay. Generally, you won’t get the actual rate until you lock in a policy. If the difference between the quote and your rate is significant, you can opt out of buying the policy, though generally the estimate will be fairly accurate.  Once you are ready to buy a policy you will for certain need to have handy specific information, such as your driver’s license number, VIN and so on.

California car insurance rates near you by ZIP Code

You can see average car insurance rates for nearly all ZIP codes in California by using the tool below. Unlike nearly all other states, in California your credit history isn't allowed to be factored into your car insurance rate, and where you live is considered, but not given as much weight as in other states. California insurance companies primarily factor in the number of years you've been driving, your driving record and how many miles you drive when deciding how much you pay. But every company uses its own method for assessing risk. That’s why the cost for the same policy can vary significantly among insurance companies – and why you should compare rates.

How do I use the calculator to get average car insurance rates in California?

Enter a ZIP code in the tool below to see the average premium for the location. You will also see the highest and lowest rates from the six major carriers surveyed. You can get a more customized rate by choosing from among six age groups and three coverage levels. This way you can tell if your quotes are too high and if you should keep shopping for a lower rate.


California Car Insurance Rates by ZIP Code

Coverage Types
*Please enter valid Zip
State Minimum: Required liability coverage to drive legally in your state; some states mandate additional coverage, such as personal injury protection, uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist. Liability Only 50/100/50: $50,000 per person/$100,000 maximum per accident for bodily injury; $50,000 for property damage. Liability pays for injuries/damage you cause others. Full Coverage 100/300/100: $100,000 per person/$300,000 maximum per accident for bodily injury; $100,000 for property damage; comprehensive and collision coverage with $500 deductible. Liability pays for injuries/damage you cause others. Comprehensive and collision pay for damage to your car.
90071, Los Angeles,  For 30 Year Old  Male  (Type:  Liability - Minimum )
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Compare personalized quotes from up to 20 companies in California now

Average cost of car insurance in California by city

Below you'll see how average annual rates for several of the largest cities in the state compare to state and national averages. Rates are for coverage of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident in liability and $50,000 of property damage coverage, with comprehensive and collision carrying a $500 deductible.

Average cost of car insurance in California by city

Show Tabular Data
CityAverage Premium
Chula Vista$1,944
Garden Grove$2,324
Huntington Beach$2,101
Long Beach$2,322
Los Angeles$3,142
San Bernardino$2,451
San Diego$1,996
San Francisco$2,411
San Jose$2,082
Santa Ana$2,250
Santa Clarita$2,312
Santa Rosa$1,977

California car insurance laws

Car insurance rates vary by state, as each state has its own laws that stipulate how much coverage you need to drive legally. Other state laws may or may not ban the use of credit or gender and other factors when rates are being set by insurance companies. For instance, California does not allow the use of credit, or gender. Here we’ll explain California insurance laws that impact your rates, as well as those that relate to moving violations.

Minimum CoverageMinimum Limit
Minimum bodily injury liability$15,000/$30,000
Minimum property damage liability$5,000

California laws mandate that you carry minimum liability coverage limits of 15/30/5 on your vehicle. While buying just minimum coverage means you are getting the cheapest car insurance in California, you are only covered for damage you do to other drivers’ cars and for others’ injuries. That means your insurer won’t pay for damage to your car or for your injuries if you cause an accident.

Keep in mind that a minor accident could easily exceed minimum liability coverage limits, leaving you responsible to pay for damages not covered by insurance. For example, if you have $30,000 in bodily injury liability insurance and you cause an accident that costs $50,000, you have to pay $20,000 out-of-pocket. If you don’t have the money on hand, your assets may be taken to cover the costs. California also has one of the lowest property damage liability limits in the country at just $5,000. If you hit a car and it costs more than $5,000 to fix it, you’re on the hook for the rest of the bill.

California joins five other states that have either banned the use of gender in pricing auto insurance or that require unisex pricing, says Senior Consumer Analyst Penny Gusner. Insurers have until July to submit gender-neutral auto rating plans to the state's Insurance Department for review.

Using gender is somewhat controversial as insurance companies maintain it’s a fair practice based on their actuarial research, while consumer advocates argue it is discriminatory. "The California ban comes on the heels of another law that went into effect there this year, which allows residents to choose ‘nonbinary’ rather than ‘male’ or ‘female’ on driver licenses. I wouldn’t be surprised if other states begin to consider prohibiting the use of gender when setting car insurance rates as more people and state legislators are challenging the notion of using just ‘male’ and ‘female’ on identity forms," says Gusner.

Novice female drivers will generally be impacted the most, by paying more, if gender is taken out of the rate calculation. Female drivers from age 16 to 24 pay, on average, around $500 less (15 percent) a year for car insurance compared to their male counterparts, according to’s rate analysis. Our rate data show from age 25 to 65 rates for males and females are within five percent of each other, with rates for males a tad cheaper from age 45 to 75. After age 75, females start again to pay less, but only around 7 percent, or $100, annually.

The use of gender in setting auto rates highlights how much state insurance laws can differ. Another example: there are three states (California, Hawaii and Massachusetts) that prevent credit history from being used to set car insurance premiums. There are also varying laws and rules on how rates, and rate hikes, are regulated.

Other states that ban use of gender in determining car insurance premium: Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. In Michigan the use of gender in setting rate is technically prohibited but reports suggest that a loophole in the law allows the practice.

Here are the highways and roads where the most fatal accidents happened in 2017, according to the most recent data available from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System research compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

RoadsNumber of Fatal Accidents

Under Prop 103, drivers who meet these conditions must receive rates at least 20 percent lower than a driver who does not meet these criteria at the same car insurance company:

  • Has been licensed for at least three consecutive years
  • Has no more than one point on his or her driving record for past three years
  • Has not been convicted of DUI in past seven years
  • Has not been in an at-fault accident for past three years

In California, if you cannot find a car insurance company that will insure you, you can get liability coverage through the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP). This plan is designed for high-risk drivers who are unsuccessful in obtaining insurance from companies that sell non-standard policies.

The plan works by taking your application and assigning it to an insurance company. All insurance companies licensed in the state must accept CAARP applicants. The number of CAARP assignments is based on insurance company market share. The more policies an insurance company issues, the larger the portion of CAARP assignments it is required to take.

The rates used by the plan are the same no matter what insurance company issues the policy. The plan also offers installment options. After three years with a clean driving record, you can get out of the CAARP program and buy a standard policy.

To buy a CAARP policy, you have to work with an agent who is certified by the state to assist in getting drivers these special policies. Start by calling the number below to be paired up with a “certified producer” in your area who will help find an insurer for you. Afterwards, you and your assigned certified producer will work with the insurance company’s agent to get you an appropriate policy.

To Find a CAARP Certified Producer, call 1-800-622–0954

If you are low-income, you may be eligible for the California Low Cost Auto Insurance program, which permits lower liability limits of:

  • Bodily injury liability - $10,000 person / $20,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability - $3,000 per accident

The low-cost program (rates range from about $241 to $556 a year; discounts are available for those who have had a clean driving record for three years) is available to drivers who meet the following criteria:

  • Have a valid California driver’s license
  • Own a vehicle valued at $25,000 or less
  • Be at least 19 years old and meet income eligibility guidelines

Income eligibility requirements per household effective February 2016 are:

  • 1 person - $29,700.00
  • 2 people - $40,050.00
  • 3 people - $50,400.00
  • 4 people - $60,750.00
  • 5 people - $71,100.00

California is among the 13 states that have a pure comparative fault rule. States with pure comparative negligence laws let all drivers recover some payment for their damages, even if they are mostly to blame. For example, a driver 70 percent at fault in an accident could make a claim for damages against the other driver's liability coverage but expect to receive only 30 percent of the claim amount.

You should file a claim promptly after an accident. Your policy should state what is required of you, which may say a reasonable time period or give a specific time-frame in which to make the claim. For instance, you typically must file a stolen car claim within 30 days of the theft.

California requires an acknowledgment of all claims within 15 days. Under California law, insurance companies are required to accept or deny the claim within 40 days after receiving proof of the claim. If the claim is accepted, payment must be made within 30 days from the date settlement was reached. 

You have up to three years to file a property damage lawsuit. 

California law requires that you file medical claims within two years of the incident. You have up to two years after the incident to file a personal injury lawsuit.

You shouldn’t assume there’s a grace period, and instead plan to have insurance in place. If you’re buying a new car, and don’t currently have insurance, you must have coverage before you drive the car off the lot. If you have insurance and are adding the new car to your existing policy, the time you have to add the car varies. Typically, you have five to 10 days to add the car to your policy. But other companies require you to do it immediately.

If you have insurance, your existing coverage amounts generally extend to the new car. That means in some cases you may want to add additional coverages, comprehensive and collision, or raise your liability limits, to ensure your new car is sufficiently covered.

When deciding how much car insurance to buy, you need to assess your particular situation. To drive legally, you must buy at least the minimum liability insurance required by your state. If you didn’t borrow money from a lender to buy your car and you don’t have a lot of money or assets to protect, that might be a wise choice. If, however, you don’t own your car outright, you will be required to get comprehensive and collision coverage. Additionally, if you have a home and savings to protect, it’s wise to buy more coverage.

The more money and assets you have, the more likely it is that you may be sued following a car accident. Unless you are determined to pay the lowest car insurance rate possible, we recommend you buy higher than minimum liability coverage. If your net worth is:

  • less than $50,000, choose at least 50/100/50
  • between $50,000 and $100,000, choose at least 100/300/100
  • more than $100,000, choose at least 250/500/100

If you're leasing or financing your car, you automatically need coverage of 100/300/100 or higher.

Collision coverage pays for damage to your car after an accident that you cause. Comprehensive insurance pays to replace stolen cars and for damages from vandalism, flooding, hail, fire and animal strikes. If your car is:

  • less than 10 years old, you should strongly consider buying collision and comprehensive.
  • more than 10 years old, only buy collision and comprehensive if your car is worth $3,000 or more, if you couldn’t afford to replace your car if it’s wrecked, or if you just want more protection on your policy. data show that comprehensive costs an average of $151 in California yearly; collision is $997. If you buy comp and collision, check our guide to choosing a deductible amount.

Uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage pays for damages if you’re hit by a driver with no insurance or a driver with coverage that’s insufficient to pay for your repairs and medical expenses. These should match the liability limits you choose. In most states, including California, these coverages are optional.

Medical payments coverage can help pay for the medical or funeral expenses of covered drivers and passengers after an accident, regardless of fault, up to $25,000. In most states, including California, it's an optional addition to your car insurance policy. MedPay does the following:

  • Covers you and your passengers’ medical expenses
  • Pays for expenses after health insurance limits are exceeded
  • Offers additional protection to insured drivers who are hit by a car while walking or biking

If you and your passengers:

  • Don’t have health insurance, or have a plan that doesn’t cover car accidents or has low limits, we recommend that you add medical coverage of at least $5,000 to your car insurance policy.
  • Do have health insurance, it’s still a good idea to have medical coverage if you want the best protection in your policy, as it can pay out after your health benefits are maxed out.

If you got a loan to pay for your car and have an accident, gap insurance pays the difference between the cash value of your car and the current outstanding balance on your loan or lease.

  • If you’re financing your car, your car is less than one year old and you’ve put less than 20 percent down on it, you should buy gap insurance. If not, you don’t need gap insurance.
  • If you’re leasing your car, it’s a good idea to buy gap insurance if you don't already have the coverage in your lease agreement.
  • If you own your car outright, you don’t need gap insurance.

SR-22 car insurance in California without a car

If you're required to carry an SR-22 but don't own a vehicle, you need to buy a non-owner car insurance policy. An SR-22 can only be filed by car insurance companies after you have obtained at least the state-mandated coverages as part of a car insurance policy. It can be required whether you own a car or not.

If you don’t own a car, and need an SR-22, it’s likely that a state regulatory entity is requiring you to have an insurer certify that you have the ability to pay future auto accident claims (up to the certain mandated limits). This is done by having an SR-22 form filed on your behalf by your insurance provider. You’ll likely need to buy a policy before your driving privileges are reinstated if you’re not currently insured.

You’ll need to contact your insurance company once a court or state entity lets you know that you need an SR-22. Not all insurance companies file SR-22 forms, so you’ll have to check to verify yours does. The SR-22 will be on file with your state DMV or traffic authority.

States can mandate certain non-car owners to obtain car insurance and carry an SR-22 to verify financial responsibility because state agencies are aware that it’s possible for these individuals to be negligent and harm other people and their property while driving, even if the car they’re operating isn’t owned by them.

Largest car insurance companies in California

RankCompanyPremiums WrittenMarket Share
1State Farm Group3,910,35114.34%
2Farmers Insurance Group3,158,81411.59%
3Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group2,502,8549.18%
4Allstate Insurance Group2,446,5648.97%
5USAA Group1,218,7924.47%
6Progressive Insurance Group1,147,1864.21%
7Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies929,0583.41%
8Nationwide Group649,4102.38%
9Travelers Group246,4160.90%
10American Family Insurance Group66,2960.24%

Source: A.M. Best; State/Line (P/C Lines) - P/C, US; Data as of:November 28, 2018