Auto Insurance Basics

Best Auto Insurance Rates in California (2017)

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Auto insurance rates in California tend to be among the more expensive half of the nation, but not all rates have to be high. Our team of analysts analyzed cost data to provide drivers in California with information in their search for car insurance quotes and the cheapest companies.

Our analysis found that depending on where you live, the cost of insuring a car can range quite widely from company to company. This is why to get low rates, consumers should shop around and compare quotes. Enter your zip code above now to start shopping for great auto insurance rates among top U.S. insurers in your area, or read more by jumping directly to each section in our study.

Cheapest Auto Insurance in California

We averaged rates for single 30 year old male, with a clean driving record across 142 cities in California to arrive at annual premiums by company. Here are the top ten car insurance companies with the best rates in the Golden State, in order from lowest to highest.

RankCompanyAnnual Rate
1 Nationwide $1,137
2 Century National $1,162
3 GEICO $1,211
4 Grange $1,357
5 State Farm $1,453
6 Allied $1,633
7 Progressive $1,674
8 Unitrin $1,753
9 Kemper Specialty $2,518
10 Bristol West $2,730

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Nationwide is consistently an affordable choice throughout California, followed by Century National and then GEICO. 

Cheapest Car Insurance in California: By City

We reviewed auto insurance quotes for thirty driver profiles and forty companies in the largest cities to report on the insurers with the lowest and most affordable rates. Even in some of the most expensive cities such as Glendale, Inglewood, and Los Angeles, cheap car insurance can be found if you know where to look. 

CityCompanyAnnual Rate
Alameda GEICO $1,042
Nationwide $1,176
Century National $1,332
Alhambra GEICO $1,385
Nationwide $1,488
Century National $1,500
Aliso Viejo Century National $840
Nationwide $1,008
State Farm $1,104
Anaheim GEICO $1,124
Nationwide $1,176
Century National $1,416
Antioch Nationwide $1,020
Century National $1,056
GEICO $1,156
Azusa Century National $1,188
Nationwide $1,224
GEICO $1,367
Bakersfield Nationwide $960
GEICO $1,040
Century National $1,056
Baldwin Park Nationwide $1,152
GEICO $1,309
Century National $1,356
Bell Gardens Nationwide $1,344
GEICO $1,361
Century National $1,440
Bellflower Century National $1,188
Nationwide $1,236
GEICO $1,364
Brentwood Nationwide $1,008
Century National $1,056
GEICO $1,134
Buena Park Century National $1,056
Nationwide $1,128
GEICO $1,218
Burlingame Century National $984
Nationwide $1,056
GEICO $1,071
Calexico Century National $900
Nationwide $912
GEICO $1,126
Campbell GEICO $936
Nationwide $984
Century National $1,068
Canoga Park Century National $1,272
GEICO $1,452
Grange $1,512
Carmichael Nationwide $1,152
GEICO $1,178
Grange $1,428
Carson Nationwide $1,116
GEICO $1,305
Century National $1,356
Castro Valley Nationwide $1,068
GEICO $1,120
Grange $1,260
Cerritos Century National $1,188
Nationwide $1,236
GEICO $1,251
Chino Century National $1,020
Nationwide $1,032
GEICO $1,282
Chino Hills Century National $1,020
Nationwide $1,140
GEICO $1,215
Chula Vista Century National $828
Nationwide $936
GEICO $1,086
Colton Century National $1,020
Nationwide $1,068
GEICO $1,222
Corona Century National $1,092
GEICO $1,104
Nationwide $1,104
Costa Mesa Century National $960
Nationwide $1,008
GEICO $1,215
Cupertino GEICO $851
Century National $972
Nationwide $996
Cypress Century National $1,056
Nationwide $1,080
Grange $1,260
Daly City Century National $1,272
Nationwide $1,296
GEICO $1,371
Diamond Bar Century National $1,188
Nationwide $1,272
State Farm $1,404
El Cajon Century National $792
Nationwide $1,008
GEICO $1,086
El Monte GEICO $1,403
Nationwide $1,440
Century National $1,500
Elk Grove GEICO $1,145
Nationwide $1,176
Grange $1,284
Encinitas Century National $792
Nationwide $948
GEICO $1,119
Escondido Century National $828
Nationwide $876
GEICO $1,030
Fair Oaks GEICO $1,150
Nationwide $1,164
Grange $1,404
Fairfield GEICO $1,012
Nationwide $1,056
Grange $1,236
Folsom GEICO $1,024
Nationwide $1,068
Grange $1,284
Fontana Century National $1,020
Nationwide $1,068
GEICO $1,275
Fountain Valley Nationwide $1,104
GEICO $1,109
Century National $1,140
Fremont GEICO $988
Nationwide $1,032
Century National $1,104
Fresno GEICO $976
Nationwide $1,008
State Farm $1,272
Fullerton GEICO $1,092
Century National $1,092
Nationwide $1,212
Garden Grove Nationwide $1,128
GEICO $1,232
Century National $1,416
Gardena GEICO $1,275
Nationwide $1,296
Century National $1,356
Gilroy Nationwide $936
GEICO $963
Century National $1,068
Granada Hills Century National $1,488
Grange $1,536
Nationwide $1,584
Hacienda Heights GEICO $1,318
Nationwide $1,320
Century National $1,356
Hanford Nationwide $912
GEICO $966
Grange $1,020
Hawthorne Century National $1,356
Nationwide $1,404
GEICO $1,471
Hayward Nationwide $1,104
GEICO $1,163
Century National $1,332
Hesperia Century National $972
Nationwide $1,008
Grange $1,152
Highland Century National $996
Nationwide $1,020
GEICO $1,282
Huntington Beach Century National $960
Nationwide $1,116
State Farm $1,176
Huntington Park Nationwide $1,284
GEICO $1,361
Indio Nationwide $972
Century National $1,092
Grange $1,128
La Habra Century National $924
Nationwide $1,140
Grange $1,248
La Mesa Century National $828
Nationwide $864
GEICO $1,086
La Mirada Century National $1,056
Nationwide $1,272
Grange $1,296
La Puente Nationwide $1,176
Century National $1,356
GEICO $1,371
Laguna Niguel Century National $840
Nationwide $1,020
State Farm $1,104
Lake Forest Century National $840
Nationwide $1,032
GEICO $1,126
Lancaster GEICO $1,116
Nationwide $1,176
Century National $1,236
Lincoln Nationwide $960
GEICO $1,008
Grange $1,212
Livermore GEICO $977
Nationwide $984
Grange $1,092
Lompoc Nationwide $792
Century National $876
GEICO $904
Long Beach Nationwide $1,176
Century National $1,188
GEICO $1,403
Los Angeles GEICO $1,533
Century National $1,668
Nationwide $1,704
Lynwood GEICO $1,381
Century National $1,440
Nationwide $1,452
Martinez Nationwide $1,020
GEICO $1,044
Century National $1,056
Milpitas GEICO $985
Nationwide $1,032
Century National $1,104
Mission Viejo Century National $840
Nationwide $936
GEICO $1,081
Modesto GEICO $1,094
Nationwide $1,188
Grange $1,368
Montebello Century National $1,188
GEICO $1,338
Nationwide $1,368
Moreno Valley Century National $1,092
Nationwide $1,128
GEICO $1,282
Murrieta Century National $948
Nationwide $1,020
Grange $1,092
Napa Nationwide $972
Century National $1,008
GEICO $1,080
National City Century National $828
Nationwide $1,104
GEICO $1,140
Newbury Park Century National $852
Nationwide $1,056
GEICO $1,102
North Hills Nationwide $1,440
Century National $1,488
Grange $1,596
North Hollywood Century National $1,488
Grange $1,644
GEICO $1,798
Norwalk Nationwide $1,164
Century National $1,188
GEICO $1,318
Oakland Century National $828
Nationwide $924
GEICO $1,077
Oceanside Century National $1,020
Nationwide $1,032
GEICO $1,182
Ontario GEICO $1,086
Century National $1,104
Nationwide $1,164
Oxnard Nationwide $1,344
Century National $1,356
Grange $1,548
Pacoima GEICO $1,109
Nationwide $1,236
Grange $1,296
Palmdale Century National $1,488
Grange $1,632
Nationwide $1,668
Panorama City Century National $1,188
Nationwide $1,272
GEICO $1,329
Paramount Century National $1,188
Nationwide $1,212
GEICO $1,338
Pico Rivera Century National $1,056
GEICO $1,110
Nationwide $1,116
Pittsburg Nationwide $1,080
Century National $1,092
GEICO $1,213
Placentia Nationwide $1,140
Century National $1,188
GEICO $1,363
Pomona GEICO $861
Nationwide $972
Century National $1,056
Porterville Century National $828
Nationwide $888
GEICO $1,077
Poway GEICO $1,012
Nationwide $1,200
Grange $1,416
Rancho Cordova Century National $1,020
Nationwide $1,092
State Farm $1,308
Rancho Cucamonga Century National $1,488
Nationwide $1,512
Grange $1,572
Reseda Century National $1,020
Nationwide $1,236
GEICO $1,282
Rialto Nationwide $1,020
Century National $1,020
GEICO $1,219
Riverside Nationwide $1,224
GEICO $1,293
Century National $1,500
Rosemead Nationwide $1,056
GEICO $1,150
Century National $1,284
Roseville Nationwide $1,188
Century National $1,356
GEICO $1,456
Rowland Heights GEICO $1,413
Century National $1,428
Nationwide $1,464
Sacramento Nationwide $912
Century National $984
GEICO $1,108
Salinas Century National $1,020
Nationwide $1,080
GEICO $1,084
San Bernardino GEICO $1,138
Nationwide $1,152
Century National $1,272
San Bruno Century National $888
GEICO $967
Nationwide $996
San Diego GEICO $1,252
Nationwide $1,272
State Farm $1,512
San Francisco Century National $1,104
GEICO $1,126
Nationwide $1,212
San Jose GEICO $1,076
Nationwide $1,080
Century National $1,332
San Leandro Century National $1,056
GEICO $1,237
Nationwide $1,272
San Pablo Century National $1,092
Nationwide $1,224
State Farm $1,440
San Pedro Nationwide $1,080
GEICO $1,155
Century National $1,188
San Rafael Nationwide $936
GEICO $1,012
Century National $1,056
San Ramon Century National $1,152
Nationwide $1,188
GEICO $1,271
Santa Ana Nationwide $1,020
Century National $1,068
GEICO $1,120
Santa Clara Century National $792
Nationwide $876
GEICO $973
Santee GEICO $1,081
Nationwide $1,188
Grange $1,260
Simi Valley Nationwide $1,308
Century National $1,440
GEICO $1,493
South Gate GEICO $1,062
Nationwide $1,140
Century National $1,272
South San Francisco Century National $828
Nationwide $912
GEICO $1,059
Spring Valley Nationwide $1,104
Century National $1,248
GEICO $1,396
Stockton Nationwide $972
Century National $1,068
GEICO $1,120
Sunnyvale Century National $1,356
Grange $1,404
Nationwide $1,428
Sylmar Nationwide $972
Century National $1,020
GEICO $1,087
Temecula Nationwide $1,068
Century National $1,104
State Farm $1,296
Torrance Nationwide $1,008
GEICO $1,120
Grange $1,152
Tracy Nationwide $936
Century National $1,056
GEICO $1,160
Tulare Nationwide $1,068
Century National $1,092
GEICO $1,146
Tustin GEICO $1,114
Nationwide $1,140
Century National $1,332
Union City Century National $1,020
Nationwide $1,056
GEICO $1,182
Upland Nationwide $924
GEICO $1,012
Grange $1,128
Vacaville GEICO $1,062
Nationwide $1,140
Century National $1,188
Vallejo Century National $1,488
Grange $1,548
GEICO $1,663
Van Nuys Nationwide $972
GEICO $974
Century National $1,092
Ventura Century National $1,188
Nationwide $1,200
GEICO $1,385
Walnut Century National $948
Nationwide $984
GEICO $1,015
Watsonville Century National $960
Nationwide $1,116
State Farm $1,380
Westminster GEICO $1,079
Century National $1,092
Nationwide $1,164
Yorba Linda Century National $936
Nationwide $1,020
GEICO $1,087
Yucaipa GEICO $1,476
Progressive $1,576
Bristol.West $3,996

Car Insurance in Los Angeles, CA

The cheapest car insurance rates in Los Angeles were found at GEICO, Century National and Nationwide. Car insurance in LA can cost on average $2,257 for a 30 year old male, making it the second most expensive city in our study. However, if you go with quotes from our five cheapest companies in LA, then rates are about 30% cheaper than the average. Here are rates for the top five.

This graph shows the five auto insurance companies with the lowest annual rates for our Los Angeles drivers

Within L.A. county rates can change dramatically. Even jumping one or two zip codes over within Los Angeles can make a difference for Angelenos. Moving the primary garage or parking spot from Long Beach to Walnut, for example, can reduce annual car insurance premiums by $259 for a 30 year old male. Overall the average rate of L.A. county is $1,780, with 25% of cities having rates under $1,700 for our sample driver. Overall, Walnut is the cheapest at $1,483 and Los Angeles proper the most expensive at $2,257.

Car Insurance in San Diego, CA

With 1.3 million residents, America’s Finest City is home to the University of California at San Diego system, as well as a number of naval bases. Cheap car insurance rates can be found at GEICO, Nationwide, State Farm, Grange Insurance Association and Progressive. Across these five insurers, annual rates cost as low as $1,446 on average, compared to $1,950 city-wide average.  Below are rates for the top five companies.

Our graph shows how the top five cheapest auto insurance companies in San Diego stack up to the citywide average.

Car Insurance in San Jose, CA

Drivers looking for low car insurance costs in San Jose should start with quotes from GEICO, Nationwide and Century National. The mean annual premium from these three insurers was $1,163 based on our data, which is about 49% cheaper than the overall average in San Jose. Citywide, the cost of car insurance is about $1,731 a year, which places the Capital of Silicon Valley at the 93rd cheapest spot in our survey of Californian cities.

We averaged quotes across multiple carriers and found that these car insurers had the five cheapest rates.

Car Insurance in San Francisco, CA

To get the cheapest car insurance rates in San Francisco, start with Century National, GEICO, Nationwide, Grange and State Farm. In aggregate, these companies charge an average of $1,288 a year to insure a car in San Francisco - about 32% less than the city average. Overall, the Golden Gate City was the 55th most expensive city in California. With over 963 miles of public roads and the beautiful 49-Mile Scenic Drive, there is a lot of territory for San Fran’s 805,000 residents to drive.

This graph highlights the five companies with the best car insurance rates in SF and compares them to the citywide mean.

Car Insurance in Fresno, CA

Fresno’s 495,000 residents are just a short day trip’s drive of less than 80 miles from Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. We found the most affordable car insurance rates in Fresno at GEICO, Nationwide and State Farm. Across those three insurers, the mean price was $1,085 for our sample 30 year old driver. This amount represents a 46% discount to the average Fresno rate. Rates for the top five cheap insurers are as follows:

This bar chart shows the five lowest auto insurance rates for our Fresno driver

Car Insurance in Long Beach, CA

If you’re looking for cheap auto insurance in Long Beach, we direct your attention to quotes at Nationwide, Century National and GEICO. These companies had the lowest rates for Long Beach in our data with an average rate of $1,256; a 39% difference from the citywide average of $1,742. The top five cheapest insurers in Long Beach are:

This image has the five least expensive car insurers in Long Beach based on our quote analysis.

Car Insurance in Sacramento, CA

Once the center of the California Gold Rush and the westernmost end of the Pony Express, Sacramento today is the capital of California, and its average cost of insurance reflects that. Within the city, Nationwide, Century National and GEICO had the lowest auto insurance costs. In aggregate, the three companies had an average quote of $1,001 ,or 30% cheaper than the Sactown average. The graph below has rates from Sactown's five cheapest companies:

Here are the five companies with the least expensive auto insurance rates in Sacramento, CA.

Car Insurance in Oakland, CA

With a population of 391,000, Oaktown is California’s eight largest city. With an average rate of $1,408 for our sample driver, Oakland was 12th cheapest city in the entire state. We found the cheapest car insurance rates in Oakland at Century National, Nationwide and GEICO. In total,annual premiums in Oakland at these three companies averaged $943 – 49% lower than the overall cost in the city. Here are the average rates for the five cheapest companies in Oakland:

The five most affordable auto insurance companies in Oakland are shown in this graph.

Car Insurance in Bakersfield, CA

The most affordable rates in Bakersfield, CA can be found at Nationwide, GEICO and Century National according to our data. With an overall city auto insurance average of $1,526, the city ranks as the 39th cheapest in California. However, going with the four cheapest insurers in the city gave our driver a better rate than the average in California's cheaper cities. The top five companies in Bakersfield are:

Here are the five Bakersfield companies that quoted the cheapest rates for our driver.

Car Insurance in Anaheim, CA

Home to Disneyland, the Anaheim Ducks hockey team, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, drivers in this L.A. neighbor city will find the least expensive rates at GEICO, Nationwide and Century National. These three insurers charge an average of $1,239 a year for auto insurance-- about 42% less than Anaheim’s citywide cost of $1,760. Here are rates from the top five auto insurers in Anaheim:

The companies in Anaheim with the best rates for insuring our Toyota Camry are displayed in this graph.

Best Car Insurance Companies in California

For Californians, the cheapest car insurance company may not be the best. Certain companies are better for certain types of drivers, so we discuss some insurance companies that may be better for you--depending on your circumstances.

Best For...Car Insurance Company
PriceNationwide
Customer SatisfactionAmeriprise
Low-Mileage DriversMetromile
Military MembersUSAA

As we mention above, Nationwide was the best company in California for cheap car insurance. The large auto insurer even bested typically cheap insurers like GEICO and Progressive. In most cities that we surveyed in the Golden State, Nationwide was the go-to company for low cost rates. In terms of the company's customer satisfaction however, Nationwide is only mediocre according to the 2016 J.D. Power auto insurance study of California. Nationwide scored mostly 3/5 stars in most categories including interaction with agents, and their method of billing. They did score 4/5 stars however when it came to the claims handling process

Ameriprise was the winner of the 2016 J.D. Power study, scoring a 5/5 stars overall. They got top marks in their billing practices and in the flexibility of policies they offer to customers. They had slightly lower marks in their claims handling process (4/5) as well as their agents' interaction with customers. We could not get pricing for Ameriprise but the company is generally known for offering affordable and competitive rates.

Metromile is a newcomer to auto insurance in California. The small car insurer bases its rates largely on how often its customers driver by charging them a rate per mile. The rate is usually in between $0.10 and $0.20. In addition to the rate they also charge a base premium. We found people who drive less than 7,500 miles a year would benefit the most from Metromile. Anything above 7,500 miles begins to cost just as much as regular insurance. The downside to Metromile is that they do not have a great record of customer satisfaction and claims handling. This likely stems from the company being mostly online and not having an agent network.

If you are or were in the military, or if your spouse or parents were, you are eligible for USAA car insurance. USAA scores five out five stars across the board for customer satisfaction in California. Customers of the military company are apparently very satisfied with how they handle claims, interact with customers and the number of policies they offer.

The Best Rated Auto Insurers in California

Using complaint and exposure data from the California Department of Insurance, we calculated the justified complaint ratio for auto insurance companies in California. We've listed them from the best (lowest complaint index) to the worst (highest complaint index). If a company has an index of 1.05, then that means it has a 5% higher share of complaints compared to its share of underwriting exposure.

Rank Company Index
1 California Automobile Insurance Company 0.00
2 Essentia Insurance Company 0.00
3 Garrison Prop & Cas Insurance Company 0.00
4 GEICO Ind Co 0.09
5 Allied Prop & Cas Insurance Company 0.23
6 Wawanesa Gen Insurance Company 0.29
7 USAA Cas Insurance Company 0.32
8 Progressive Direct Insurance Company 0.32
9 Foremost Insurance Company Grand Rapids Mi 0.39
10 United Serv Automobile Assn 0.39
11 Amco Insurance Company 0.49
12 Progressive Choice Insurance Company 0.50
13 California Cas Ind Exch 0.52
14 Interins Exch Of The Automobile Club 0.53
15 Mercury Insurance Company 0.54
16 Mercury Casualty Company 0.55
17 Government Employees Insurance Company 0.57
18 GEICO Gen Insurance Company 0.60
19 State Farm Mut Auto Insurance Company 0.69
20 Mid Century Insurance Company 0.69
21 CSAA Ins Exch 0.77
22 Allstate Insurance Company 0.79
23 Allstate Ind Company 0.80
24 Progressive West Insurance Company 0.85
25 Farmers Ins Exch 0.87
26 Esurance Prop & Cas Insurance Company 0.91
27 Standard Fire Insurance Company 1.01
28 Amica Mutual Insurance Company 1.06
29 Alliance United Insurance Company 1.21
30 Safeco Insurance Company Of Amer 1.22
31 Viking Insurance Company Of WI 1.25
32 IDS Prop Cas Insurance Company 1.29
33 GEICO Cas Company 1.31
34 Financial Ind Company 1.34
35 Infinity Insurance Company 1.35
36 Integon Natl Insurance Company 1.49
37 Loya Cas Insurance Company 1.51
38 California Capital Insurance Company 1.54
39 Coast Natl Insurance Company 1.70
40 Explorer Insurance Company 1.86
41 Access Insurance Company 2.01
42 Hartford Underwriters Insurance Company 2.02
43 Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company 2.04
44 National Gen Insurance Company 2.14
45 21St Century Insurance Company 2.18
46 Metropolitan Drt Prop & Cas Insurance Company 2.45
47 Companion Prop & Cas Insurance Company 2.93
48 Anchor Gen Insurance Company 3.05
49 Nationwide Insurance Company Of Amer 3.29
50 Commerce W Insurance Company 4.61
51 Victoria Fire & Casualty Company 5.22

Average Cost of Car Insurance in California

How much do people pay on average for car insurance in California? Based on our data, that figure is $1,665. This takes into account sample rates multiple companies in 142 cities throughout the state.  

RankCityAnnual Rate
1 Lompoc $1,266
2 Hanford $1,350
3 Encinitas $1,372
4 Chula Vista $1,374
5 La Mesa $1,375
6 Santa Clara $1,387
7 Calexico $1,388
8 Mission Viejo $1,392
9 South San Francisco $1,393
10 Porterville $1,394
11 Aliso Viejo $1,408
12 Oakland $1,408
13 El Cajon $1,410
14 Laguna Niguel $1,411
15 Pomona $1,411
16 Escondido $1,428
17 San Bruno $1,428
18 Tracy $1,429
19 Murrieta $1,440
20 National City $1,446
21 Indio $1,449
22 Sylmar $1,452
23 Van Nuys $1,454
24 Yorba Linda $1,461
25 Gilroy $1,465
26 Newbury Park $1,478
27 Walnut $1,483
28 Cupertino $1,484
29 Stockton $1,484
30 Sacramento $1,486
31 Lake Forest $1,490
32 Campbell $1,510
33 San Rafael $1,510
34 Livermore $1,516
35 Costa Mesa $1,521
36 Ontario $1,521
37 Tulare $1,522
38 Napa $1,523
39 Bakersfield $1,526
40 Union City $1,527
41 Huntington Beach $1,528
42 Hesperia $1,535
43 Upland $1,540
44 Santa Ana $1,551
45 Highland $1,561
46 Oceanside $1,563
47 Martinez $1,565
48 Rancho Cordova $1,568
49 Colton $1,571
50 Chino $1,576
51 Lincoln $1,576
52 Milpitas $1,578
53 Westminster $1,580
54 Salinas $1,581
55 Rialto $1,583
56 Watsonville $1,585
57 Burlingame $1,587
58 Pittsburg $1,589
59 Fresno $1,592
60 Fontana $1,594
61 Temecula $1,597
62 Torrance $1,597
63 Chino Hills $1,598
64 La Habra $1,602
65 Cypress $1,603
66 Placentia $1,603
67 Brentwood $1,608
68 Moreno Valley $1,609
69 Corona $1,614
70 Antioch $1,624
71 San Ramon $1,624
72 Fairfield $1,632
73 Azusa $1,634
74 Rosemead $1,642
75 Fremont $1,650
76 Pico Rivera $1,656
77 San Pedro $1,659
78 Folsom $1,662
79 State Average $1,665
80 Santee $1,678
81 Reseda $1,684
82 Buena Park $1,685
83 Vacaville $1,685
84 La Puente $1,688
85 Fountain Valley $1,690
86 La Mirada $1,695
87 Baldwin Park $1,699
88 San Francisco $1,700
89 Castro Valley $1,702
90 Elk Grove $1,718
91 Norwalk $1,724
92 Alameda $1,730
93 San Jose $1,731
94 Hayward $1,734
95 Fair Oaks $1,737
96 Poway $1,739
97 Garden Grove $1,741
98 Long Beach $1,742
99 Tustin $1,742
100 Diamond Bar $1,748
101 Bellflower $1,753
102 Hacienda Heights $1,756
103 Modesto $1,756
104 Paramount $1,757
105 San Pablo $1,757
106 San Bernardino $1,758
107 Anaheim $1,760
108 Carson $1,760
109 Panorama City $1,761
110 Ventura $1,765
111 Lancaster $1,766
112 South Gate $1,779
113 Riverside $1,783
114 Cerritos $1,796
115 Spring Valley $1,810
116 Bell Gardens $1,812
117 Carmichael $1,812
118 Fullerton $1,812
119 Pacoima $1,815
120 Gardena $1,818
121 Roseville $1,824
122 Montebello $1,831
123 El Monte $1,852
124 Simi Valley $1,869
125 Hawthorne $1,877
126 San Leandro $1,882
127 Sunnyvale $1,896
128 Daly City $1,912
129 Alhambra $1,926
130 Huntington Park $1,939
131 San Diego $1,950
132 Lynwood $1,969
133 Oxnard $1,970
134 Rowland Heights $1,974
135 North Hills $2,068
136 Granada Hills $2,084
137 Canoga Park $2,090
138 Rancho Cucamonga $2,159
139 Vallejo $2,222
140 Palmdale $2,240
141 Los Angeles $2,257
142 Yucaipa $2,349
143 North Hollywood $2,372

Auto Insurance in California: Minimum Coverage Requirements

California requires that car insurance policies have at least bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverages of the limits below:

  • Bodily Injury (BI): $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident
  • Property Damage (PD): $5,000 per accident

While the above is the lowest amount of insurance coverage you can have, you should consider adding more if you have more to lose. For example, we typically advise drivers to match their liability coverage to what they have in total assets. If you own a house in one of the most expensive zip codes in California, Atherton, and have bank accounts to match, we'd recommend you increase your liability limits to the max, and add umbrella coverage on top. If you're a student at UCLA, or just starting out in university, your limits may be closer to the minimum. In a serious traffic accident, your insurer will pay others up to the policy limits, and then any extra dollar of hospital care for injuries or auto body shop bills will be your responsibility.

How We Conducted This Study

We collected quotes from a variety of insurance companies across 142 towns and cities in California. Our sample driver was a 30 year old male who drove a Toyota Camry. To obtain quotes, we kept parameters for getting coverage the same, such as that he was single, had a good credit score and a clean driving record. The only parameter that changed was the zip code where he lived in California. The amount of coverage we opted for gave our driver bit more than what is required of state minimums. 

Coverage TypeCalifornia MinimumStudy Limits 
Bodily Liability  $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident   $50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident
Property Damage  $5,000 per accident  $50,000 per accident 
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist BI   $50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident 
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property 
 
$50,000 per accident 
Comprehensive & Collision $500 Deductible 

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