Who Has The Cheapest Auto Insurance Quotes in San Francisco, CA?

Despite being famous for its trolleys, San Franciscans also drive cars and need car insurance. Affordable and low cost auto insurance can be hard to find in a big city like San Francisco. With enough comparison shopping though, anyone can find the cheapest rate. We make it easier by analyzing 10 companies from San Francisco to see who has the cheapest car insurance rates.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in San Francisco, California

We found that Century National actually had the least expensive auto insurance rates in San Francisco. At Century National our profiled driver was quoted $1,104 per year for full coverage insurance. The average quote for the City by the Bay was $1,699 for the same driver, which was close to the state average of $1,662.

Who has the cheapest car insurance in San Francisco? The graph shows which companies offer most affordable auto insurance rates.

Find the Cheapest Auto Insurance Quotes in Your Area

Currently Insured?

Our rates are for full coverage insurance meaning liability plus collision and comprehensive insurance. The quotes are also reflective of a 30 year old driver of a Toyota Camry in San Francisco, so depending on your circumstances, your rates will likely be different. The only way to know if you are truly getting the best car insurance is to compare quotes from several companies. When you're ready put in your zip code in the box above to start. Below we list our findings for every company in our survey.

RankCar Insurance CompanyAverage Annual Rate
1Century National$1,104
2GEICO$1,126
3Nationwide$1,212
4Grange$1,428
5State Farm$1,572
6Progressive$1,637
7Unitrin$1,704
8Allied$1,824
9Kemper Specialty$2,436
10Bristol West$2,952

Cost of Car Insurance in San Francisco: by Neighborhood

Rates in San Francisco may fluctuate by over $100 depending on in which Bay area neighborhood you reside. Factors such as the number of car thefts and accidents from a particular area will influence how expensive a certain neighborhood is.

NeighborhoodAverage Annual Car Insurance Rate
South of Market$1,899
Mission District$1,910
Presidio Heights$1,915
Financial District$1,927
Portola Place$1,991
Excelsior$2,048

Neighborhoods from the more southern parts of SF like Excelsior and Portola were on the more expensive end for car insurance costs in San Fran. Just remember though, even if you live in an expensive area you can still reduce costs by comparison shopping, and getting car insurance discounts.

Best Car Insurance in San Francisco

Some people prioritize good customer service and are willing to pay extra while others value convenience and just want the cheapest insurance. So who has the best car insurance in San Francisco? It really depends on what you are looking for. Below we list a few companies based on what they excel at.

Auto Insurance CompanyBest For...
GEICOConvenience
AmeripriseClaims Handling
MetromileLow Mileage Drivers
Military MembersUSAA

Ameriprise, according to J.D. Power, was the best when it came to handling auto insurance claims. The survey was based on California residents with car insurance policies, most of who agreed that Ameriprise had the best car insurance in California. They were also given good marks for their billing practices and the flexibility of policies they offer.

Drivers who put in less than 7,500 miles per year would also benefit from Metromile, which charges customers mostly on how much they drive. San Franciscans who have reliable public transport for most places within the city, but need a car to occasionally leave would benefit greatly from Metromile. If you put in more miles than 7,500 however, Metromile will get expensive and will not be worth the price since it has a poor track record for claims handling and customer service. If you drive very infrequently and don't own a car, you should give non-owner car insurance a look.

GEICO is the fastest and easiest way to get auto insurance in San Fran. You can start and buy your policy online without ever needing to talk to an agent, so if you want the most painless buying experience, GEICO is likely the best company for you. If you are eligible for USAA, they may be the best auto insurance company for you. With discounts such as taking 15% off your comprehensive coverage when you garage your car at a military base, and taking 90% off when you safely store your vehicle while being deployed overseas, USAA is a valuable company for military personnel.

Auto Insurance Agents in San Francisco

You may not know this, but there are actually very few companies that actually allow you to buy your car insurance quote online. Most allow you to start the quote online but then require you speak to an agent either over the phone or in person to finalize everything. If you would rather start and complete the entire process offline, we include below a list of insurance agents from San Francisco.

Agent/AgencyAddress
1AIS | Auto Insurance Specialists | San Francisco851 Van Ness Avenue, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94109, United States
2Allstate Insurance: Dawn Prince655 14th St, San Francisco, CA 94114, United States
3Riskguard Insurance Solutions422 Presidio Ave, San Francisco, CA 94115, United States
4State Farm: David Chacon3425 25th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, United States
5State Farm: Debra O'Farrell870 Market St #440, San Francisco, CA 94102, United States
6Allstate Insurance: Jan B Hannah1385 Mission St Ste 220, San Francisco, CA 94103, United States
7Allstate Insurance: Yumi Hyomoto Sam2225 Taraval St, San Francisco, CA 94116, United States
8Allstate Insurance: Anderson & Schmidt Insurance Agency, Inc408 16th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118, United States
9Metromile690 Folsom St Suite 200, San Francisco, CA 94107, United States
10Alan Chan State Farm Insurance1820 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94109, United States
11AAA San Francisco Lakeshore Plaza1585 Sloat Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94132, United States
12AAA San Francisco Potrero Center2300 16th St #280, San Francisco, CA 94103, United States
13Sweet and Baker Insurance Brokers44 2nd St, San Francisco, CA 94105, United States
14State Farm: Janet Lin2190 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107, United States
15CoverHound Insurance1 California St #1100, San Francisco, CA 94111, United States
16Nationwide Insurance: Anita Daisy Lo Agency6037 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121, United States
17AAA San Francisco Richmond District599 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118, United States
18Allstate Insurance: Henry De Guzman Cruz1610 Post St Ste 210, San Francisco, CA 94115, United States
19Allstate Insurance: Steve Mahoney380 W Portal Ave D, San Francisco, CA 94127, United States
20Allstate Insurance: Faye Kong2555 San Bruno Ave Ste 200, San Francisco, CA 94134, United States

Fatal Accidents in San Francisco

Car accidents stemming from one particular area tend to raise that area's rates. As a big city, there are more fatal accidents that happen in San Fran than would in smaller cities and towns. In total, between 2011 and 2015 San Francisco had 163 fatal car accidents.

Most Dangerous Roads in San Francisco

There are certain highways in the "Fog City" that are more notorious for car crashes. Surprisingly it is not one of the major highways in the city, but rather a street that cuts through the heart of the city: Mission Street. The arterial road was the site of 13 of the 163 fatal car accidents. Below are the top five most dangerous roads.

RankHighwayNumber of Fatal Accidents (2011 - 2015)Percent That Involve Drunk Driver
1MISSION ST130%
2US-1011040.0%
3I-80 RAMP633.4%
4GEARY BLVD40%
5I-280425%

None of the accidents on Mission Street actually had a drunk driver involved. In fact, San Francisco had a fewer percentage of accidents involving a drunk driver, 19.1%, than other major California cities where at least 25% of fatal accidents involved a drunk driver.

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in San Francisco, CA

In order to legally drive in California you need to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. While it may make it easier to afford insurance, the limits in California are too low for most drivers to be adequately protected. We would recommend all drivers--unless they truly cannot afford it-- to get higher limits. We also strongly recommend adding collision and comprehensive coverage to your policy if your car is worth more than $2,000. Below are the limits required by the state of California.

  • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident minimum
  • Property Damage Liability Coverage: $5,000 minimum
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage: $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident minimum
  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage: $3,500 minimum

If you get comprehensive and collision insurance, you do not need to carry uninsured motorist property damage coverage.

How We Compared Quotes

We collected auto insurance quotes from 142 cities and towns, one of which was San Francisco. 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 

Sources:

Fatal car accident and DUI data: FARS 2011 to 2015.

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