Best Car Insurance In California For 2024

When it comes to selecting the best car insurance in California, State Farm stands out as the top choice for overall coverage.

min read -
Published:
Written by Bob Phillips
On this page Open

Whether you’re seeking minimum coverage, comprehensive protection for new vehicles, or specific needs for families or seniors, we have identified the best providers for car insurance in California.

State Farm is celebrated as the best overall auto insurer, thanks to its blend of affordable rates, comprehensive options, and high customer satisfaction. GEICO is preferred for minimum coverage, providing low-cost policies and easy management. Travelers shines in full coverage with extensive protection plans and accident forgiveness, ideal for comprehensive accident and repair coverage. Chubb is the top choice for new cars, offering agreed value coverage and superior options. AAA stands out for drivers with violations, offering forgiveness programs that can improve rates and driving records.

For exceptional customer service, State Farm leads again with a strong local agent network. Farmers is best for families with teens, offering specific discounts and programs that support safe teen driving. Allstate offers excellent value for seniors. Amica appeals to young adults through competitive rates and rewards for safe driving, while Wawanesa serves as the best budget option.

Poor choices can lead to insufficient coverage and unexpected out-of-pocket expenses in case of an accident. Drawing on my 15 years of experience in the industry (five in California), this guide will help you avoid common pitfalls and secure a policy that provides peace of mind and solid protection on the road.

Best Car Insurance Companies In California, 2024

Best Car Insurance, California, 2024

Compare The Best Car Insurance In California

Overall Rating Best For A.M Best Rating J.D Power Rating Local Sales Agent Presence Get A Quote
State Farm
4.9

Overall

A++

826

Yes

Instant Quote
Amica
4.8

Young Adults

A+

Not Rated

Yes

Instant Quote
Wawanesa
4.9

Budget Option

A+

843

Yes

Instant Quote
Chubb
4.7

New Cars

A++

Not Rated

Yes

Instant Quote
Allstate
4.7

Seniors

A++

816

Yes

Instant Quote
AAA
4.8

Driving Violations

A-

832

Yes

Instant Quote
GEICO
4.8

Minimum Coverage

A++

830

No

Instant Quote
Travelers
4.5

Full Coverage

A++

Not Rated

Yes

Instant Quote
Farmers
4.5

Families With Teens

A

813

Yes

Instant Quote
State Farm
4.9

Customer Service

A++

826

Yes

Instant Quote
Scroll to see comparisons

Our Methodology

In our pursuit of delivering the most accurate and reliable insurance company ratings, we employ a comprehensive methodology. We review dozens of insurance companies, leveraging insights from multiple established insurance review sites. We also consider critical metrics from trusted industry leaders like A.M. Best and J.D. Power.

Additionally, I bring my 15 years of experience as an insurance agent to the table (five in California), further enriching our analysis with first-hand knowledge and expertise. This rigorous approach, which includes data from reputable review sites, ensures our ratings are both informed and trustworthy, guiding you confidently in your insurance decision-making process.

324

Quotes Assessed

40+

Hours Of Research

15

Years Of Industry Experience

31

Brands Reviewed

Best Car Insurance Companies In California, 2024


Best Overall

Overall Rating
4.9

Key Statistics

8/10 Affordability
10/10 Customer Reviews
8/10 Claims
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

State Farm stands out as the premier car insurance provider in California for several compelling reasons. First, their balance of affordability and comprehensive coverage is unmatched in the industry, making them a top choice for a wide array of drivers.

State Farm’s ability to offer competitive rates is complemented by a variety of discounts, including safe driver bonuses, multiple vehicle discounts, and reductions for installing safety devices. This makes their policies financially accessible while providing robust protection.

State Farm consistently receives high marks for customer satisfaction, underscoring their commitment to serving their clients effectively. The personal touch of local agents, who are knowledgeable and readily available to assist with claims and policy inquiries, enhances the overall customer experience, fostering a sense of trust and security among policyholders.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Competitive pricing
  • Extensive coverage options
  • Excellent customer service
Drawbacks
  • Not the cheapest available
  • Limited digital tools
  • Rate increases after claims

Best For Minimum Coverage

Overall Rating
4.8

Key Statistics

8/10 Affordability
8/10 Customer Reviews
9/10 Claims
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

GEICO is widely recognized as the best option for minimum coverage car insurance in California due to its exceptionally competitive pricing and streamlined service. This insurer stands out by offering some of the lowest rates available, which is particularly advantageous for drivers looking to meet the state’s basic legal insurance requirements without overspending.

GEICO simplifies the insurance process with an easy-to-use online platform and mobile app, allowing customers to manage their policies, file claims, and even adjust coverage levels with unparalleled ease. These features make GEICO a top choice for Californians seeking straightforward, affordable car insurance with the reliability of a major insurer.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Low cost premiums
  • Efficient online services
  • Fast claim processing
Drawbacks
  • Basic coverage options
  • Impersonal customer service
  • No local agents

Best For Full Coverage

Overall Rating
4.5

Key Statistics

7/10 Affordability
7/10 Customer Reviews
8/10 Claims
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Travelers is highly regarded as the best car insurance company in California for full coverage due to its extensive protection options that cater comprehensively to the needs of drivers. Their full coverage policies go beyond standard liability to include collision and comprehensive insurance, which is essential for safeguarding against a wide range of incidents, from accidents to theft and natural disasters.

What also sets Travelers apart is their array of value-added features such as accident forgiveness, new car replacement, and gap coverage, which are particularly beneficial in a state with high vehicle values and repair costs. These offerings, combined with Travelers’ strong financial stability and proactive customer support, provide Californians with peace of mind and thorough protection on the road.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Comprehensive coverage options
  • Accident forgiveness available
  • New car replacement
Drawbacks
  • Higher premiums
  • Complex policy options
  • Slower claim resolution

Best For New Cars

Overall Rating
4.7

Key Statistics

7/10 Affordability
8/10 Customer Reviews
8/10 Claims
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Chubb is recognized as the best car insurance company for new car owners in California, largely due to its superior coverage offerings and unmatched services tailored specifically for high-value vehicles. Their policy features include agreed value coverage, which ensures that in the event of a total loss, policyholders are compensated the full insured amount without depreciation. This is particularly advantageous for new car owners who face immediate depreciation once they drive off the dealership lot.

Additionally, Chubb provides several high-end services such as high limits for rental reimbursement and key replacement, and access to a choice of repair shops, which is essential for maintaining a new car in pristine condition. These distinctive benefits, coupled with Chubb’s reputation for excellent customer service and hassle-free claims processing, make it an ideal choice for those seeking the best protection for their new investment.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Agreed value coverage
  • Superior claims service
  • High-end policy features
Drawbacks
  • Premium pricing
  • Coverage may be excessive
  • Fewer discount opportunities

Best For Seniors

Overall Rating
4.7

Key Statistics

8/10 Affordability
8/10 Customer Reviews
8/10 Claims
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Allstate stands out as the best car insurance company for seniors in California, offering features that cater specifically to the needs and preferences of older drivers. Their policies include benefits like senior discounts, accident forgiveness, and the option for new car replacement, all of which are particularly valuable for seniors seeking both affordability and robust protection. Allstate also emphasizes safety and stability, two key concerns for seniors, by providing incentives for safe driving and discounts for low-mileage drivers.

Additionally, Allstate’s user-friendly online tools and strong customer support system make policy management straightforward and accessible, easing the insurance experience for seniors who may prefer a mix of traditional and modern communication methods. With its combination of tailored discounts, comprehensive coverage options, and a focus on customer care, Allstate effectively secures the confidence and safety of senior drivers in California.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Tailored discounts for seniors
  • Accident forgiveness available
  • Comprehensive mobile app
Drawbacks
  • Higher premium rates
  • Variable customer service quality
  • Policy options can be complex

Best For Driving Violations

Overall Rating
4.8

Key Statistics

9/10 Affordability
8/10 Customer Reviews
8/10 Claims
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

AAA car insurance is highly recommended for drivers with violations in California due to its forgiving policies and programs designed to support and rehabilitate high-risk drivers. Understanding that maintaining affordable insurance can be challenging for drivers with past infractions, AAA offers specialized plans that help mitigate the cost implications and provide opportunities to improve driving records. Their forgiving approach includes accident forgiveness programs, which prevent your rates from increasing after your first at-fault accident.

Additionally, AAA offers discounts for taking approved defensive driving courses, further incentivizing safe driving habits and potentially reducing future premiums. This combination of supportive features and educational opportunities makes AAA a standout choice for Californians seeking insurance that accommodates a less-than-perfect driving history while actively helping to improve it.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Forgiveness for first accident
  • Defensive driving discounts
  • Tailored high-risk driver policies
Drawbacks
  • Higher rates for violations
  • Limited coverage options
  • Membership required

Best For Families With Teens

Overall Rating
4.5

Key Statistics

7/10 Affordability
7/10 Customer Reviews
8/10 Claims
8/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Farmers Insurance is widely regarded as the best choice for families with teenage drivers in California due to its specialized offerings that cater specifically to the unique needs of young drivers and their families. Recognizing the increased risks and costs associated with insuring teen drivers, Farmers provides a variety of discounts and programs designed to make car insurance more affordable for families. These include good student discounts, which reward academic excellence, and a safe driver program that helps teens learn safe driving habits while also reducing insurance costs.

Farmers’ flexible policy options allow parents to tailor coverage as their teen gains more driving experience, providing peace of mind with comprehensive protection that adapts to changing needs. This focus on affordability, education, and flexibility makes Farmers an excellent choice for families looking to secure the best possible insurance for their teen drivers.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Good student discounts
  • Customizable coverage options
  • Educational resources for teens
Drawbacks
  • Potentially higher premiums
  • Varying customer service quality
  • Complex policy structures

Best For Customer Service

Overall Rating
4.9

Key Statistics

8/10 Affordability
10/10 Customer Reviews
8/10 Claims
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

State Farm is renowned as the best car insurance company in California for customer service, thanks to its personalized approach and strong local presence. With a vast network of agents throughout the state, State Farm ensures that clients receive one-on-one assistance and tailored advice that aligns with their individual needs. This personalized service extends to their efficient claims process, where customers can expect prompt and attentive support, helping to alleviate the stress often associated with accident claims.

State Farm’s commitment to customer satisfaction is reflected in their numerous service awards and high customer loyalty rates. Their agents are not only knowledgeable about the nuances of California’s insurance regulations but also proactive in helping clients manage their policies and understand their coverage, making State Farm a leader in customer care.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Competitive pricing
  • Extensive coverage options
  • Excellent customer service
Drawbacks
  • Not the cheapest available
  • Limited digital tools
  • Rate increases after claims

Best For Young Adults

Overall Rating
4.8

Key Statistics

8/10 Affordability
9/10 Customer Reviews
8/10 Claims
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Amica stands out as the best car insurance company for young adults in California, offering a combination of affordability, customer service excellence, and tailored benefits that cater specifically to the younger demographic. Recognized for its competitive pricing, Amica makes car insurance more accessible for young drivers who are often facing higher premiums. They offer unique discounts that appeal to young adults, including those for good students and individuals who maintain a safe driving record, which can significantly reduce costs.

Amica’s top-tier customer service is evident in their quick claims processing and highly rated customer support, providing young drivers with the guidance and assurance they need. This focus on affordability, coupled with robust customer service and relevant discounts, makes Amica an ideal choice for young adults seeking comprehensive yet cost-effective car insurance in California.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Competitive pricing for young adults
  • Excellent customer service
  • Fast claims processing
Drawbacks
  • Limited physical locations
  • Fewer high-risk coverage options
  • No usage-based discounts

Best For Budget Option

Overall Rating
4.9

Key Statistics

10/10 Affordability
9/10 Customer Reviews
9/10 Claims
8/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Wawanesa is highly recommended as the best budget car insurance option in California due to its competitive rates that significantly undercut many of its competitors. This affordability does not come at the cost of service quality; Wawanesa maintains high customer satisfaction ratings, particularly noted for their straightforward claims process and transparent policy management.

For budget-conscious Californians, Wawanesa offers a reliable choice without the frills but with the essential coverage needed to drive legally and safely. Its commitment to providing low-cost, effective insurance solutions, combined with a customer-first approach, makes Wawanesa an ideal choice for drivers looking to balance cost with reliability and service in California’s competitive insurance environment.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Highly competitive rates
  • Strong customer satisfaction
  • Straightforward claims process
Drawbacks
  • Limited coverage options
  • Fewer discounts available
  • Regional availability constraints

Average Cost Of Car Insurance In California

According to estimates from Quadrant Information Services, a full-coverage car insurance policy in California costs $174 per month or $2,089 per year on average. The national average cost of a full-coverage policy is $144 per month or $1,730 per year.

COMPANY FULL COVERAGE
Wawanesa General $1,324
USAA $1,436
Geico $1,452
Progressive $1,455
Mercury $1,600

Average Car Insurance Rates In California – By City

City Average Premium
San Diego $1,710
Bakersfield $1,754
Fresno $1,756
San Jose $1,793
Anaheim $1,902
Sacramento $1,942
Long Beach $2,009
Oakland $2,112
San Francisco $2,166
Los Angeles $2,576

Average Car Insurance Rates In California – By Age

Age Average full coverage rate Average minimum coverage rate
20 $3,042 $939
30 $1,733 $524
35 $1,659 $506
40 $1,620 $499
50 $1,559 $489
60 $1,539 $491
70 $1,669 $540

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements In California

In California, the minimum car insurance requirements are designed to ensure that all drivers have basic financial protection in case of an accident. Every motorist must carry at least $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person and $30,000 per accident, along with $5,000 for property damage liability.

This basic coverage, often referred to as 15/30/5, helps cover the costs associated with injuries or damages that the insured driver is legally responsible for following an accident.

How To Buy Car Insurance In California

Follow these five steps to buy the right car insurance in California based on your needs:

Assess Your Coverage Needs

Begin by evaluating how much coverage you need based on your vehicle’s value, your driving habits, and your personal financial situation. Consider factors such as whether you need more than the minimum liability insurance, or if you should add collision and comprehensive coverage.

1

Research Potential Insurers

Look up various car insurance companies that operate in California, checking their reputation for customer service, claim handling, and financial stability. Use online reviews, ratings from independent agencies like J.D. Power, and feedback from current and former customers to gauge each insurer’s reliability.

2

Gather Necessary Information

Before requesting quotes, gather all necessary information including your driver’s license number, vehicle registration, driving history, and any relevant documentation that could influence your rates. Having this information ready will streamline the quote process and help ensure you receive accurate pricing.

3

Compare Quotes

Obtain quotes from several insurers through Insuranceopedia to compare prices and coverage options. Make sure to compare similar types of policies and coverage limits to get a true sense of which insurer offers the best value for your specific needs.

4

Purchase the Policy

Once you’ve selected the insurer that offers the best coverage for the best price, proceed to purchase the policy. Most insurers now allow you to do this online or over the phone, making it convenient to get coverage immediately. After purchasing, be sure to print out your insurance cards and any other necessary documentation.

5

How To Find The Best Car Insurance

Finding the best car insurance requires a careful consideration of several factors tailored to your personal and financial circumstances. Start by understanding your state’s minimum liability requirements to ensure legal compliance, but also consider whether these minimums will adequately cover potential losses in an accident.

If you’re financing or leasing your vehicle, check your lender’s insurance requirements, which typically include comprehensive and collision coverage. Evaluate your individual needs based on factors like your driving habits, the value of your car, and your risk tolerance.

It’s also wise to consider additional protections such as uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection, especially in areas with high rates of uninsured drivers. Comparing quotes from multiple insurers can help you find the best coverage at the most affordable price, ensuring you’re not only protected legally but also financially in the event of an accident.

FAQs

Who is the most trusted car insurance company?

According to our research, State Farm and Wawanesa are the most trusted car insurance companies in California.

How much car insurance do I need?

The amount of car insurance you need depends on factors like California’s minimum requirements, the value of your car, and your personal financial situation. Consider liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage for adequate protection.

Why is car insurance so expensive?

Car insurance can be expensive due to various factors, including the level of coverage, your driving record, the type of car you drive, your location, and even external factors like inflation and increasing repair costs.

Go back to top