Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes In Modesto, California

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Updated: 12 July 2024
Written by Bob Phillips
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Modesto is a city known for its distinct features, like McHenry Mansion, Gallo Center for the Arts, and Graceada Park. Unfortunately, this vibrant city also experiences relatively high car insurance rates. On average, drivers here pay about $1,900 annually for car insurance, surpassing California’s state average of $1,750 and the national average .

Navigating the quest for the most affordable and comprehensive car insurance in Modesto is a concern shared by local drivers. We’ve delved into the research to help you, and we’ve determined that Wawanesa offers the most economical rates in the city.

Furthermore, we’ll furnish you with insights into other crucial categories: the most budget-friendly options for full coverage (Mercury), the least expensive choice for minimum coverage (GEICO), the best for drivers with violations (CIG), the cheapest for young drivers (State Farm), and the most affordable for seniors (21st Century).

Cheapest And Best Car Insurance Companies In Modesto, California 2024

Best Car Insurance, Modesto 2024

Compare The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies In Modesto, California

Overall Rating Average Annual Cost J.D. Power Rating (California) Best For AM Best Rating Get A Quote



Cheapest Overall


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Cheapest Full


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Not Rated

Cheapest For Driving Violations


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Cheapest Minimum Coverage


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21st Century


Not Rated



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State Farm



Young Drivers


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Our Methodology

In the search for the most economical car insurance rates in Modesto, our evaluation drew from a range of car insurance review platforms. Several of these sources meticulously assessed rates derived from public filings provided by Quadrant Information Services. For this assessment, we've calculated an average from these rates. However, it's essential to note that the rates of each company are dynamic, subject to frequent changes, and dependent on your unique circumstances.

Additionally, our all-encompassing assessment takes into account my personal perspective, shaped by fifteen years of experience as a licensed insurance agent, a sixteen-year residency in California, and a span of over three decades of procuring car insurance.


Quotes Analyzed


Years Of Industry Experience


Brands Reviewed


Research Hours

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies In Modesto, California

Cheapest Overall

Overall Rating

Key Statistics

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

Why We Like Them

In our assessment of the most budget-friendly car insurance options in Modesto, California, Wawanesa emerged as a strong contender across various categories. Remarkably, their average rate, encompassing both minimum and full coverage, stood out as the most cost-effective.

Wawanesa, exclusive to California, extends standard coverage that includes essential bodily injury and property damage liability as required by the state. Beyond these basics, they provide supplementary features. Notably, their special vehicle equipment coverage ensures that any aftermarket customizations and added equipment on your vehicle are protected with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, distinct from standard or aftermarket components.

In our pursuit of the optimal choice, we evaluated more than just rates; the quality of the insurance provider was equally vital. Our perspective emphasizes that the lowest cost doesn’t inherently equate to the finest option in a specific category. In this instance, Wawanesa exhibited not only highly competitive rates but also exceptional coverage and an array of available choices.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Consistently receives high customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Powers.
  • Offers a wide range of additional options.
  • Available through a substantial network of independent agents in California.
  • Operates exclusively within California, which can be inconvenient if you relocate.
  • Assistance with claims and policy support is restricted to regular business hours.
  • The mobile app is solely accessible for Android users.

Cheapest Overall Rates In Modesto

Company Rate Per Year
Wawanesa $1,140
GEICO $1,272
USAA $1,468
Progressive $2,084
State Farm $2,221

Cheapest For Full Coverage

Overall Rating

Key Statistics

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

Why We Like Them

Mercury clinched the top spot for offering the most budget-friendly full coverage in Modesto. Mercury stands out with a generous selection of standard discounts akin to those offered by most car insurance companies. However, it also distinguishes itself with a couple of distinctive options: Mercury RealDrive and MercuryGO.

Mercury RealDrive operates by tracking your driven miles, favoring those with fewer miles by providing rates up to 5% lower. This particular advantage is especially appealing to individuals who work remotely or have short commutes.

Furthermore, MercuryGO extends potential savings of up to 40% (with a 10% reduction for teenagers) to drivers who consistently demonstrate safe driving behaviors. These behaviors encompass smooth driving, avoiding speeding, and refraining from phone use while behind the wheel.

While opting for minimum coverage secures the most economical rates, selecting full coverage ensures the highest level of financial safeguarding for your property and liability risks.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Presents competitive rates for individuals of all age groups.
  • Includes mechanical breakdown insurance among its offerings.
  • Has accumulated numerous negative online reviews regarding customer service.
  • Operates with a smaller agent network compared to several competitors.

Cheapest Full Coverage In Modesto

Company Rate Per Year
Mercury $1,370
Nationwide $1,620
State Farm $1,670
Travelers $2,065
Farmers $2,090

Cheapest For Driving Violations

Overall Rating

Key Statistics

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

Why We Like Them

Accumulating driving violations in California can swiftly elevate your rates, yet our exploration uncovered Capital Insurance Group (CIG) as the most economical option for drivers with violations within the Golden State.

CIG, a prominent West Coast property and casualty insurance provider, exclusively offers auto insurance across five states, including California. Their offerings are distributed through an extensive network of independent agents who represent various car insurance companies.

Interestingly, CIG’s mobile app boasts substantial features; however, it’s accessible solely via iTunes and Google Play, with no availability on Android. This, regrettably, curtails the service potential for numerous Modesto drivers.

Driving violations within the Bay Area lead to a significant rise in rates, underscoring the importance of identifying companies that aren’t excessively punitive to prevent car insurance from becoming unaffordable in Modesto for drivers with violations.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Offers round-the-clock availability for customer service.
  • Boasts a history of over 120 years of industry experience.
  • Maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Presents a limitation by being accessible in only five states, which may inconvenience California residents relocating out of state.
  • Lacks the option for obtaining online insurance quotes.

Cheapest For Driving Violations

Company Annual Increase
CIG $1,700
Nationwide $2,800
GEICO $1,880
State Farm $2,470
Allstate $1,960


Cheapest For Minimum Coverage

Overall Rating

Key Statistics

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

Why We Like Them

In Modesto, our findings reveal that GEICO delivers the most budget-friendly state minimum coverage on average. According to California law, drivers are obligated to maintain at least $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person and $30,000 per accident. Additionally, a minimum of $5,000 in property damage liability per accident is required.

If you’re content with minimal coverage, these rates might be appealing. However, it’s worth considering additional coverage if you drive extensively, possess a history of driving infractions, or seek heightened protection.

GEICO consistently garners high ratings in areas such as customer service, claims handling, policy renewals, and overall customer loyalty. As the second-largest auto insurance company in the U.S., GEICO is renowned for extending low rates to consumers via online and phone platforms.

Notably, GEICO offers a plethora of discounts, particularly benefiting Modesto drivers with older vehicles who wish to reduce expenses by adhering to California’s mandatory minimum auto insurance coverage. The convenience of managing your policy through the company’s user-friendly website and mobile app further adds to its appeal.

Opting for minimum coverage could be suitable if you possess an older model vehicle with substantial mileage and if you don’t require comprehensive and collision coverage. However, it’s important to recognize that this choice exposes you to heightened financial vulnerability in case of an accident.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Boasts an above-average customer satisfaction score according to J.D. Power.
  • Features a comprehensive and user-friendly website and mobile app.
  • Presents a variety of available discounts.
  • Lacks the provision of gap or rideshare insurance options.
  • Offers a limited number of local agents for customer support.

Cheapest For Minimum Coverage

Company Rate Per Year
GEICO $420
Nationwide $672
State Farm $670
Allstate $720
Farmers $690

Cheapest For Seniors

Overall Rating

Key Statistics

9/10 Affordability
6/10 Customer Reviews
8/10 Claims
8/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Among various age groups, senior drivers in Modesto generally enjoy some of the most affordable car insurance rates. In our analysis, 21st Century emerged as the provider with the most economical rates tailored for seniors.

Supported by Farmers Insurance, 21st Century holds an A (Excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best. It’s worth noting that the company doesn’t feature in the J.D. Powers rankings for customer service among California insurers. Online, you may encounter several negative reviews.

Notably, 21st Century includes roadside assistance as a standard feature within their policies. However, it’s important to acknowledge that the coverage options are somewhat limited. Additionally, prospective customers should be aware that 21st Century solely offers car insurance within California. This geographic constraint can be a drawback for those who plan to relocate outside the state, necessitating a switch to a different carrier.

Identifying affordable coverage holds significance for seniors, especially those relying on fixed incomes, as rates tend to escalate with age.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Supported by the backing of Farmers Insurance.
  • Presents the convenience of a dedicated mobile app.
  • Possesses a robust financial rating.
  • Elevated volume of online complaints reported.
  • Limited availability, confined to the state of California.

Cheapest Coverage For Seniors

Company Rate Per Year
21st Century $1,190
Nationwide $1,221
CIG $1,370
Travelers $1,492
Farmers $1,634

Cheapest For Young Drivers

Overall Rating

Key Statistics

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

Why We Like Them

Due to their increased likelihood of accidents and relative inexperience on the road, teen drivers incur the highest car insurance costs compared to other age groups. Notably, State Farm emerges as the provider with the most affordable rates for young drivers in Modesto.

State Farm’s appeal to young drivers doesn’t just stem from its affordability. Their coverage offerings are extensive, accompanied by a plethora of available discounts. One noteworthy discount catered to young drivers is the “Good Student” discount. This benefit translates to a rate reduction of up to 25% for students maintaining a “B” average or better.

Beyond cost-effectiveness, State Farm’s network of neighborhood offices provides both sales and service. Furthermore, the company’s numerous claims centers spread across the Bay Area bolster customer convenience. State Farm consistently secures high rankings in J.D. Powers’ annual customer service evaluations, and its A++ financial strength rating from AM Best, the highest attainable rating, attests to its financial stability.

No other group in Modesto faces higher car insurance rates than young drivers due to their lack of experience and elevated likelihood of accidents.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Diverse array of discounts provided, encompassing the good student discount.
  • Standard inclusion of substantial rental car coverage.
  • Earns commendable ratings for both customer satisfaction and financial stability.
  • Exclusively available through State Farm agents, excluding brokers.
  • Unavailability of gap insurance coverage.

Cheapest Coverage For Young Drivers

Company Rate Per Year
State Farm $1,546
Mercury $1,573
Nationwide $1,720
Travelers $1,865
Chubb $2,879

Average Cost Of Car Insurance In Modesto

Average Cost In Modesto– By Age

Age Group Average Yearly Rate
Teenagers $3,360
20s $2,160
30s $1,840
40s $1,791
50s $1,687
60s $1,662
70s $1,940

Average Cost In Modesto – By Gender

Gender Average Annual Rate
Male $1,898
Female $1,901

Average Cost In Modesto – By Marital Status

Marital Status Average Annual Rate
Single $1,814
Married $1,814

Largest Rate Increases In Modesto – By Violation

Violation Average % Increase
DUI 158%
Refusing Chemical Test 158%
Leaving Accident Scene 152%
Racing 151%
Reckless Driving 148%

Average Cost In Modesto – By Zip Code

ZIP Code Average Rate
95355 $1,448
95350 $1,450
95351 $1,470

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements In California

When searching for car insurance, remember the minimal coverage mandated in California:

  • Bodily injury liability: $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability: $5,000 per accident

These figures represent the state’s least coverage requirement. Depending on your vehicle and driving frequency, you might consider elevating these limits and including collision and comprehensive insurance.

How To Buy Car Insurance In Modesto

For those acquiring car insurance in Modesto, follow these five steps:

  1. Collect driver and vehicle data: Gather names, birthdates, driver’s license numbers, vehicle VIN, current mileage, insurance details, and registered owner’s name.
  2. Choose between online or agent purchase: Decide based on personal preference and confidence in understanding needed coverage.
  3. Obtain quotes from three companies: Ensure comparisons of similar coverage and deductibles.
  4. Seek available discounts: Numerous discounts can enhance affordability of Modesto car insurance.
  5. Terminate old policy: After selecting a carrier and activating new coverage, reach out to the prior insurer to cancel, avoiding duplicate payments.

Factors That Impact The Cost Of Your Car Insurance Policy In Modesto

Modesto’s high cost of living extends to car insurance rates. The city’s steep hills and intense storms contribute to accidents, driving rates higher. Your vehicle type and driving record also influence rates.

Consider three other reasons for expensive auto insurance in Modesto:

  1. Population density: As a major U.S. city with dense population, congestion leads to higher accident probability. Rates might differ in various ZIP codes based on population.
  2. Crime statistics: Areas with higher crime rates, including theft and vandalism, result in increased rates above the city average.
  3. Accident rates: Modesto’s daily traffic reports highlight the city’s frequent accidents, particularly during rush hour. Insurers raise rates to cover these accidents, especially for those with long commutes across the Bay or Golden Gate bridges.

California Car Insurance Laws To Know

  • As per the California Department of Insurance, you’re required to demonstrate financial responsibility for your vehicle to cover injuries or property damage to others. Many achieve this by purchasing auto liability insurance. California law mandates that all drivers and vehicle owners must be capable of establishing financial responsibility and must carry evidence of this responsibility in their vehicle at all times.
  • Failure to possess auto liability insurance could lead to fines, license suspension, and even vehicle impoundment.
  • In the state of California, insurance companies are barred from using an individual’s credit history or credit score to determine insurability and rates. This practice ensures insurance costs remain equitable for individuals across different economic backgrounds.

In The News

According to a CBS News report, prominent auto insurance companies are reducing their involvement in the California market due to their assessment that insuring the state’s drivers has become financially challenging.

Although Californians are maintaining their pre-pandemic driving habits, their driving behavior seems to have declined. Consequently, the occurrence of auto accidents has risen, leading some insurance companies to experience higher payouts compared to their income.

The American Property Casualty Insurance Association reveals that between 2020 and 2021, losses in the auto insurance sector surged by 25%, while premiums saw a more modest increase of 4.5%. This shift highlights an escalation in both the frequency and seriousness of auto accidents, subsequently increasing the expenses tied to covering these incidents.

Information About Modesto

If you’ve seen “Visit California” commercials and explored its website, you’ll know that it has a special focus on Modesto. It states, “Spanning around 44 square miles with a population of over 200,000, Modesto holds its own charm as a vibrant city in California. Famous for its tree-lined streets, classic American Graffiti history, a lively downtown area, and a strong sense of community, Modesto offers a unique Californian experience.”

From locally-owned eateries to cultural events; local theaters, music festivals, and farmers’ markets; along with various recreational opportunities, Modesto emerges as an inviting destination with its own distinctive appeal.

Car Insurance Discounts In Modesto

Scouting for discounts is crucial when aiming to reduce expenses on car insurance in Modesto. Here are some of the most prevalent discounts you can come across:

  • Being a “safe driver” with a good driving history
  • Installing vehicle safety features
  • Customer loyalty discount for staying with the insurer for a specified period
  • Being claims-free for a specified period
  • Driving fewer than average miles
  • Having a short commute to work
  • Being a student with at least a “B” average
  • Being in the military
  • Being age 55+ and retired


What is the cheapest car insurance in the State of California?  

GEICO offers the most affordable auto insurance in California, with rates as low as $420 per year for minimum liability coverage.

How much does car insurance cost in Modesto on average?  

For comprehensive coverage, the typical annual cost of car insurance in Modesto comes to around $1,900 on average.

Do I need car insurance in Modesto?  

Auto liability insurance is a legal requirement in California, which means that Modesto drivers are obligated to have it.

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