The Average Cost of Car Insurance in California

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On average, Californians spend around $1,661 a year on car insurance, according to ValuePenguin. Where you live represents a big factor in determining how much you pay for car insurance in California. Other factors that play into how much you pay for car insurance include your age, the length of your commute, and your driving record.
The following sections talk about the least and most expensive cities to live in California when it comes to car insurance and which car insurance companies offer the cheapest premiums.

Worst and best cities to live in California for car insurance

Car insurance premiums in California vary according to where you live. The difference in price mainly comes about due to population levels and the crime rate in the area where you live. More populated areas tend to carry the biggest difference in insurance premiums. For instance, car owners who live in the Los Angeles metropolitan area pay 18% more on average per year than the California state average for car insurance.
The following two charts from ValuePenguin detail the least and most expensive cities in California when it comes to car insurance premiums each year:
CHARTS:
Least Expensive Cities in California for Annual Car Insurance Premiums
Least Expensive Cities in California for Annual Car Insurance Premiums
Rank City Annual Premium Percent Difference from State Average
1 Fullerton $1,266 -24%
2 Spring Valley $1,351 -19%
3 Fontana $1,372 -17%
4 Newbury Park $1,374 -17%
5 Buena Park $1,375 -17%
California Average $1,661 -
Most Expensive Cities in California for Annual Car Insurance Premiums
Rank City Annual Premium Percent Difference from State Average
1 Paramount $2,373 43%
2 Huntington Beach $2,257 36%
3 Mission Viejo $2,241 35%
4 Modesto $2,221 34%
5 Burlingame $2,159 30%
California Average $1,661 -

Cheapest car insurance by company

Even in areas that carry a higher car insurance premium, you can see differences among the premiums from different car insurance companies. The following list from ValuePenguin shows the cheapest car insurance premiums by company in California are from GEICO, CSAA, Progressive, and Mercury Insurance.
Other popular car insurance companies in California not on the list include Liberty Mutual, MetLife, Safeco, and Travelers.

Ways to save money on your car insurance premiums in California

In order to reduce your car insurance premiums, insurance companies in California offer a selection of discount programs. And while each company might offer slightly different discounts, a few remain the same regardless of the company where you buy a policy, including:
  • California Good Driver Discount program: Qualifying California residents can save up to 20% with the California Good Driver Discount program. The program rewards safe drivers who have no more than one point on their driving record from a traffic violation, have not attended a traffic school class because of a traffic violation more than once, and have not had an at-fault accident that resulted in injury or death.
  • Good Student Discount program: For younger drivers, the Good Student Discount program can save you from 5% to 15% on your car insurance premiums, depending on the company. To qualify, you must keep a grade average of B or higher, a grade point average of a 3.0, or make the Dean’s List or Honor Roll. To qualify for this discount, drivers must also have less than nine years of driving experience and be a full-time high school or college student.
  • Loyalty Discount programs: Various insurance companies offer loyalty programs, which give you a discount for staying with the company. The discount increases each year you keep a policy with the company for a certain number of years. In addition, insuring two or more vehicles at the same company could save you up to 20% on your premiums, while bundling your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance with a company could save you up to 17%.
As you can see, car insurance premiums vary across the state of California. Luckily, you can save big by taking advantage of various discounts.

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