Car Insurance in California

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
  • How Much is Car Insurance in California?
  • Real Quotes for Jerry.ai Customers in California
  • The Cheapest Car Insurance in California
  • Most Popular Insurance Companies in California
  • Cost to Insure Different Cars in California
  • Car Insurance Laws in California
  • Car Registration Information in California

Looking for car insurance in California? Here you’ll find all the information you need on driving a car in The Golden State, regardless of what kind of car you own, what your budget is, or what kind of driver you are. Whether you live in Los Angeles or San Diego, San Jose or San Francisco — you can read on for the cheapest car insurance, the best car insurance, and the laws you need to know for California car insurance.

How Much is Car Insurance in California?

Why do car insurance quotes differ by state? First of all, each state has different laws around what kind of coverage you need to legally drive. Insurance companies also look at the number of car accidents and thefts in an area, how much people are generally using their car, and how likely an area is to have a natural disaster, among other factors. But while you can’t always control where you live, you can get cheap car insurance by choosing an insurance policy that has the best rates for your needs. If you live in California, here’s what you should know about how much you’ll pay for insurance: On average, drivers in California pay $2,534.83 each year for car insurance. This means drivers in California pay 14% below the average for the rest of the country. But however much you pay, you can use our advice on this page to save money.

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What’s Your Rate?

But how do you know what policy is right for you in California? The truth is that insurance companies take many different factors into account when coming up with your quote. They create a profile based not only on where you live in California, but also on your credit score, marital status, the kind of car you own, and much more.

Not only does your profile change what kind of price you’ll get on car insurance, but it also might change the kind of coverage you want! Not all tiers are the same, and it’s important to know what you’re looking for. You could save money on your monthly or yearly insurance premiums by having a higher deductible. But if you do get into an accident or need to file a claim, that choice will cause you to pay more out of pocket.

The best way to make sure you’re always getting the best coverage for the right price is to let us do all the legwork for you. We can compare quotes from over 40 different insurance companies and find you the best rates in 45 seconds — no matter what kind of coverage you’re looking for.

Real Quotes for Jerry.ai Customers in California

CreatedCarsCustomerCarrierMonthly premiumAmount savedType of coverage
2021-02-24
  • Lexus Is 250
21 year old maleNationwide$100.83$69.17Basic
2021-01-16
  • Chevrolet Trailblazer Lt
46 year old femaleProgressive$102.48$37.52Preferred
2021-02-12
  • Volkswagen Beetle Turbo
50 year old femaleCLEARCOVER$76.33$14.67Standard
2020-12-28
  • GMC Acadia Sle
23 year old femaleCLEARCOVER$106.17$168.87Basic
2021-01-13
  • Nissan Sentra S
25 year old maleNational General$52.15$102.85Basic

The Cheapest Car Insurance in California

Which companies offer cheap car insurance in California? Below, we’ve ranked California car insurance companies based on which ones have, on average, the cheapest car insurance quotes for basic, standard, and preferred coverage levels for different profiles. These are averages to give you a sense of what drivers in your state are paying. But remember — it’s impossible to know what your quotes will be until you start comparing for yourself. That’s why we’re also showing you some real quotes we were able to find for our members recently. If you shop for insurance wisely, you can get a great deal without sacrificing your own safety and protection.

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Cheapest Car Insurance in California for Basic Coverage

There’s all kinds of auto insurance you can get in California, depending on what your priorities are. But if your priority is the least expensive premium payments, you’ll want to check out a basic plan. In most states you legally need car insurance to drive. Basic plans ensure that you have the minimum coverage required by California. These are also plans with liability-only coverage. We were able to look at the average price drivers are paying for basic insurance coverage in California, as well as real quotes from actual Jerry.ai customers. You can customize these charts to find rates depending on your driving record, your age, how many cars you drive, you gender, and whether or not you’re a homeowner — all huge factors real insurance companies use in determining rates.

Average Cheapest Car Insurance for Basic Coverage in California

Filters
RankCompany nameAvg. Annual Premium
1Aspire Advantage$788.04
2CLEARCOVER$788.78
3Safe Auto$846.35
4Infinity$857.43
5Mapfre$859.34
6National General$865.16
7Freedom$893.25

Real Jerry Quotes for Basic Coverage in California

Filters
CreatedCarsCustomerCarrierMonthly premiumAmount saved
2021-02-01
  • Honda Accord Lx
  • Honda Clarity
38 year old maleProgressive$53.96$16.04
2021-02-17
  • Ford Mustang
21 year old maleMapfre$85.48$334.52
2021-02-20
  • Volkswagen Jetta Se
28 year old maleCLEARCOVER$53.83$46.17
2021-02-13
  • Honda Accord Lx
  • Dodge Ram 3500
19 year old maleProgressive$154.63$117.37
2021-01-02
  • Kia Optima Ex
  • Nissan Sentra S
41 year old femaleAspire Advantage$61.96$271.37

Average Cheapest Car Insurance for Standard Plans in California

Most drivers will want more than the basic minimum coverage that California requires — but still don’t want to break the bank. Standard plans offer both collision insurance and comprehensive insurance which gives you more protection than a basic plan. These plans generally offer a $1,000 deductible.

Below you’ll find the average price drivers are paying for standard insurance coverage in California, as well as real quotes from actual Jerry.ai customers. You can customize these charts to find rates depending on your driving record, your age, how many cars you drive, you gender, and whether or not you’re a homeowner. All of these factors can impact premiums, so be sure to take a look at averages and quotes from drivers similar to you!

Average Cheapest Car Insurance for Standard Coverage in California

Filters
RankCompany nameAvg. Annual Premium
1Mapfre$1,378.44
2National General$1,522.63
3CLEARCOVER$1,732.95
4Safe Auto$1,773.52
5Kemper$1,808.37
6Progressive$1,826.07
7Travelers$1,961.64

Real Jerry Quotes for Standard Coverage in California

Filters
CreatedCarsCustomerCarrierMonthly premiumAmount saved
2021-01-10
  • Toyota Prius
  • Honda Cr-v Ex
38 year old maleCLEARCOVER$149$69.92
2021-02-13
  • Hyundai Elantra Sel
29 year old femaleSafe Auto$89$31
2021-01-28
  • Honda Civic Sport Touring
25 year old femaleProgressive$153.31$52.69
2021-02-07
  • Toyota Sienna Xle
  • Chevrolet Avalanche K1500
  • Dodge Challenger Srt-8
41 year old maleKemper$163.36$35.64
2020-12-01
  • Jeep Compass Trailhawk
32 year old maleProgressive$70.31$31.69

Cheapest Car Insurance in California for Preferred Coverage

Preferred coverage protects California drivers the most against any accidents or theft. Like basic plans, you’ll have collision insurance and comprehensive insurance. This is higher end full coverage, generally with $500 deductibles. That means you’ll be paying less out of pocket in the event of a claim. The downside? Your premiums are likely to be higher than what drivers with standard plans are paying. But if you comparison shop, you can still find the preferred insurance policy that’s less expensive.

We were able to look at the average price drivers are paying for preferred insurance coverage in California, as well as real quotes from actual Jerry.ai customers. You can customize these charts to find rates depending on your age, your driving record, whether you’re over or under 25 year old, the number of cars your drive, you gender, and if you own a home — all huge factors real insurance companies use in determining rates.

Average Cheapest Car Insurance for Preferred Coverage in California

Filters
RankCompany nameAvg. Annual Premium
1Mapfre$1,557.71
2National General$1,567.06
3Safe Auto$1,943.78
4CLEARCOVER$1,988.72
5Mercury$2,030.14
6Kemper$2,059.57
7Travelers$2,229.85

Real Jerry Quotes for Preferred Coverage in California

Filters
CreatedCarsCustomerCarrierMonthly premiumAmount saved
2021-02-21
  • Pontiac Grand Prix Gt
20 year old femaleNationwide$110.37$118.73
2021-02-25
  • Ford Taurus Gl
33 year old femaleProgressive$85.31$51.69
2021-01-29
  • Toyota Camry L
  • Chevrolet Cruze Lt
24 year old maleProgressive$373.63$18.17
2020-11-28
  • Nissan Rogue Select
  • Toyota Rav4 Prime Se
39 year old maleProgressive$172.29$127.71
2021-01-16
  • Toyota Yaris
24 year old maleProgressive$156.81$139.19
Insurance companyAverage annual premium in California
Allstate$1,785.89
Progressive$1,444.15
National General$880.07
CLEARCOVER$1,386.63
Travelers$2,229.49
Nationwide$1,992.54
Bristol West$2,026.71
Aspire Advantage$983.68
Aspire Advantage$1,200.48
Infinity$1,031.82

Cost to Insure Different Cars in California

Auto insurance companies look into several different factors when coming up with their rates. A big one is what state you’re in — which is why it’s so important for California drivers to compare their rates to people in the same state. The car you drive can be a big factor as well. No matter what town, city, or country you live in, certain cars are just going to cost you more in coverage than others. Check out our chart to find out how much different cars cost to insure in California. And you can use our table of real quotes from Jerry.ai customers to see what people just like you are paying.

Filters
CreatedCarsCustomerCarrierMonthly premiumAmount savedType of coverage
2021-01-29
  • Tesla Model X
40 year old maleSafeco$113.35$61.66Preferred
2021-01-07
  • Chevrolet Silverado C1500
20 year old maleSafe Auto$85.67$114.33Basic
2020-11-24
  • Toyota Rav4 Xle Premium
38 year old maleProgressive$164.48$32.52Preferred
2021-01-22
  • Hyundai Sonata Se
33 year old maleAllstate$52.49$76.51Basic
2021-01-13
  • Honda Civic Lx
25 year old femaleAllstate$215.04$54.96Preferred
2020-12-22
  • Toyota Scion Tc
21 year old maleAllstate$148.63$87.38Standard
2021-02-10
  • Lexus Es 330
30 year old maleProgressive$86.98$38.02Basic

Car Insurance Laws in California

If you live in California, you know how many people drive on the roads every day. This high volume of traffic leads to many car accidents and other incidents with motor vehicles across the state. To help defray the costs of these accidents, the state government requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of car insurance.

Insurance helps protect drivers and property, and it pays the costs often associated with fender benders and more serious accidents. For more on the California minimum requirements when it comes to auto insurance coverage, check out the information below.

What Car Insurance Is Required in California?

If you register and drive a motor vehicle in California, you must carry a certain amount of insurance, according to state law. You must also be able to provide proof of car insurance for your vehicle if requested by a law enforcement officer or when you’re involved in a car accident, regardless of whether or not you are at fault.

To drive a vehicle in California, you need to have Bodily Injury Liability (BIL), Property Damage Liability (PDL), and Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage for both bodily injury and property damage. Californians also have the option of purchasing separate Medical Payments Insurance, also known as MedPay, to help cover the cost of their own medical bills if they are at fault in an accident.

MedPay is used for this purpose, as opposed to Personal Injury Protection (PIP). PIP coverage is required in no-fault states across the U.S.; California, as an at-fault state state, does not give drivers the option of purchasing this type of coverage.

In addition to covering your medical expenses, MedPay also pays for funeral expenses and other medical costs associated with your recovery from injuries suffered in an accident that you caused. Unfortunately, MedPay in California does not cover lost wages resulting from a car accident that you are at fault for.

As in many states, your BIL coverage helps pay for the other driver’s injuries that resulted from an accident that you caused. When it comes to property damage to another vehicle in a car accident that you caused, PDL coverage takes care of this.

In addition, California requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of uninsured motorist coverage, including coverage for bodily injury and for property damage. This coverage is designed to protect you if for some reason the at-fault driver does not have insurance.

Can You Drive a Car Without Insurance in California?

While you do need insurance to legally drive in California, you also have some other options at your disposal. Instead of a standard insurance policy, drivers can opt to use one of the following methods.

  • Make a cash deposit of $35,000 with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
  • Get a self-insurance certificate from the California DMV
  • Purchase a $35,000 surety bond from a licensed issuer in the state of California

If you’re caught driving without car insurance, you can expect to be fined. This ranges from $100 to $200 for the first offense and between $200 and $500 for the second and each subsequent offense. You will also have to pay any associated penalties and fees.

Your vehicle could also be impounded until you can show proof of insurance and you will have to pay any towing or impoundment fees associated with that. Furthermore, if you have an accident while driving uninsured, your license could be suspended for up to four years, even if you are not the at-fault driver. You will also be required to file for an SR-22 certificate, which will result in you having to pay more for insurance for at least three years.

Finally, you will be on the hook for any medical costs and property damage from an accident that you cause. This includes damage to any structures or objects that were impacted by the accident, and this is even if the other driver has the required amount of uninsured motorist coverage. In that case, the other party’s insurance company will probably sue you for damages from an accident you caused while uninsured.

What Are the Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in California?

To help cover the many costs associated with having a car accident in the state of California, drivers are required to carry a certain amount of insurance coverage. This insurance is used to pay for any medical expenses and property damage that they cause in an accident.

Minimum Insurance Requirements in California

  • Bodily injury/per person/per accident: $15,000
  • Bodily injury/per accident: $30,000
  • Property damage liability: $5,000
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage/per person/per accident: $15,000
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage/per accident: $30,000
  • Uninsured motorist property damage coverage: $3,500

Car Registration Information in California

In addition to the required car insurance, you also need to properly register your vehicle before driving in California. This applies to anyone living in the state or any drivers who drive their vehicle within California for a majority of time, such as for travel or a job.

Non-residents who work in California must register the vehicle they use to drive in the state within 20 days of becoming employed in California. This is also the same amount of time you have to register your vehicle in California after moving there.

If you live in California and buy a car from a dealer, the dealership should take care of the car registration process the first time. If you’re buying a car from a private individual, you have 10 days to register the vehicle with the state.

When you do register your vehicle in California, you will receive two new license plates, one for the front and one for the rear of your vehicle. In addition, the license plate on the rear will have a decal on it with the month and year you need to renew your registration the following year.

The costs for registering a vehicle in California can vary according to the year, make, and model of the vehicle. There are also some basic fees that are required for all vehicles and include a $46 registration fee and a $23 California Highway Patrol fee. You will also have to pay a transportation improvement fee of $25 to $175, which can substantially increase the cost to register your vehicle.

As a part of the vehicle registration process in California, you will also need to get a smog check if this is the first time you’re registering the vehicle, or every two years for previously registered vehicles. If your car fails its smog check, you will need to get it repaired before you can get a smog certificate and register your vehicle.

Registering a vehicle in California can be done in one of four ways, including by visiting a California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) location, through the mail, online, or through the CA DMV app, which you can find on the Google Play store or the Apple App store.

In addition to the application for registration, you will also need the following when registering your vehicle in California:

  • California driver’s license
  • Vehicle registration (if previously registered)
  • Proof of car insurance
  • Current license plate (if replacing it)
  • Certificate of title (if you own the vehicle)
  • A record of the odometer mileage (for vehicles less than 10 years old)
  • Smog certificate
  • The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
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