Cheapest Car Insurance In Orange County, CA For July, 2024

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Updated: 12 July 2024
Written by Bob Phillips
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On average, drivers within Orange County face an expenditure of around $1,018 every six months, exceeding California’s average of $964 and the national average of $742.

The quest for affordable car insurance remains a concern for Orange County’s drivers. After thorough exploration both on your part and ours, Wawanesa emerges as the provider offering the most budget-friendly rates in this county.

Further analysis delves into other categories, enriching your decision-making process. If comprehensive coverage is your objective, Mercury presents itself as the most economical choice. Opting for minimum coverage? In that scenario, GEICO emerges as the pocket-friendly solution.

For those grappling with driving violations, CIG extends the most affordable remedy. Young drivers seeking budget-conscious options will find State Farm as their top contender, while seniors can rely on 21st Century to deliver the most economically prudent coverage.

Cheapest And Best Car Insurance In Orange County, CA 2024

Car Insurance, Orange County 2024

Compare The Cheapest Car Insurance In Orange County, CA

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

Cheapest Minimum Coverage




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Cheapest Full Coverage




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Cheapest Overall




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Cheapest For Driving Violations

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State Farm

Young Drivers




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21st Century


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Our Methodology

To find the most affordable car insurance rates in Orange County, we analyzed information from various car insurance review websites. Some of these sources examined rates based on public records from Quadrant Information Services. We calculated an average from these rates for this review, but remember that each company's rates change frequently and depend on your situation.

We also took into account my own opinion, which comes from fifteen years of experience as a licensed insurance agent, sixteen years as a California resident, and over three decades of buying car insurance.


Quotes Analyzed


Years Of Industry Experience


Brands Reviewed


Research Hours

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies In Orange County, CA

Cheapest Overall

Overall Rating

Key Statistics

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

Why We Like Them

While on the lookout for the most economical car insurance in Orange County, California, Wawanesa emerged as a prominent contender in various aspects. Notably, their average rate, encompassing both minimum and full coverage, emerged as the most cost-effective overall.

Operating exclusively in California, Wawanesa extends standard coverage that includes the state’s requirements for bodily injury and property damage liability. However, they go the extra mile by offering additional benefits. For instance, they provide special vehicle equipment coverage, safeguarding any customized additions or equipment on your vehicle with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, rather than the typical standard or aftermarket components.

In our quest to identify the ultimate selection, we didn’t merely emphasize rates; we also took into account the insurer’s caliber. We firmly believe that the most affordable doesn’t inherently translate to the supreme choice within a given category. Concerning this specific category, Wawanesa shone with rates that stood out competitively, coupled with comprehensive coverage and an extensive range of available alternatives.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Maintains a consistent track record of high customer satisfaction ratings according to J.D. Power.
  • Provides an extensive selection of add-ons to enhance coverage.
  • Available through a substantial network of independent agents across California.
  • Operates exclusively within California, which could pose inconvenience if you relocate.
  • Offers claims assistance and policy support only during regular business hours.
  • The mobile app is compatible solely with Android devices, limiting accessibility for some users.

Cheapest Overall Rates In Orange County

Company Rate Per Year
Wawanesa $1,040
GEICO $1,271
USAA $1,463
Progressive $2,074
State Farm $2,218

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

If you’ve got driving violations in California, get ready for higher rates. However, in our research, we found Capital Insurance Group (CIG) to offer the most affordable rates for drivers with violations in the Golden State.

CIG is a major property and casualty insurer on the West Coast, exclusively providing auto insurance in five states, including California. They sell their products through a network of independent agents representing multiple car insurance companies.

Interestingly, CIG’s mobile app, which seems comprehensive, is only available on iTunes and Google Play, not for Android users. This limitation affects a significant number of Orange County drivers.

Experiencing driving violations in the Bay Area leads to a clear increase in rates. This underscores the importance of identifying companies that strike a fair balance, averting the escalation of car insurance costs to unaffordable levels for Orange County drivers facing violations.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Presents round-the-clock customer service availability
  • Showcases a heritage spanning more than a century
  • Holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau
  • Serves only five states, potentially inconveniencing Californian residents intending to relocate
  • Does not offer online quotes

Cheapest For Driving Violations

Company Annual Increase
CIG $1,560
Travelers $2,930
GEICO $1,770
State Farm $2,400
Allstate $1,900

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 secured the top position for the most budget-friendly full coverage in Orange County. Mercury offers a comprehensive array of standard discounts commonly seen among car insurance companies, along with a few unique ones: Mercury RealDrive and MercuryGO.

Through Mercury RealDrive, they monitor your mileage. Drivers with lower mileage can avail rates reduced by up to 5%. This proves particularly advantageous for those who work remotely or have shorter commutes.

Additionally, there’s MercuryGO, capable of reducing rates by as much as 40% (or 10% for teens) for individuals exhibiting safe driving behaviors. This encompasses factors such as maintaining smooth driving, adhering to speed limits, and refraining from phone use while driving.

Choosing minimum coverage guarantees the most economical rates, yet opting for full coverage provides maximum financial protection for your property and liability exposures.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Presents attractive rates that compete well across different age groups
  • Features coverage for mechanical breakdowns
  • Attracts unfavorable online reviews regarding customer service experiences
  • Utilizes a narrower network of agents in contrast to several of its competitors

Cheapest Full Coverage In Orange County

Company Rate Per Year
Mercury $1,218
Nationwide $1,610
CIG $1,360
Travelers $1.925
Chubb $1,968

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 Orange County, our findings reveal that GEICO offers the most economical state minimum coverage on average. California mandates drivers to possess at least $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person and $30,000 per accident, alongside a minimum of $5,000 in property damage liability per accident.

These rates are a sensible choice if you’re content with basic coverage. However, if you’re a frequent driver, have a history of driving incidents, or seek enhanced protection, you might consider more extensive coverage.

GEICO consistently earns commendable scores for customer service, claims handling, customer endorsements, policy renewals, and customer loyalty. As the second-largest auto insurance company in the U.S., it’s renowned for offering cost-effective rates through both online platforms and phone services.

GEICO boasts numerous discounts and emerges as the most budget-friendly option for Orange County drivers with older vehicles who wish to economize by acquiring California’s minimum mandatory auto insurance. Managing your policy is hassle-free through their user-friendly website and mobile app.

Choosing minimum coverage could be a logical decision if you possess an older vehicle with substantial mileage and aren’t seeking comprehensive or collision coverage. However, it’s crucial to recognize that this option heightens your exposure to financial losses in the event of an accident.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Receives an above-average customer satisfaction score according to J.D. Power
  • Possesses a comprehensive website and mobile app
  • Offers a diverse selection of available discounts
  • Doesn't include options for gap or rideshare insurance
  • Presents a restricted number of local agents

Cheapest For Minimum Coverage In Orange County

Company Rate Per Year
GEICO $421
Progressive $460
Mercury $504
Travelers $740
State Farm $680

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

In Orange County, seniors often get some of the cheapest car insurance rates. We found 21st Century to have the lowest rates for seniors.

Supported by Farmers Insurance, 21st Century has a strong A (Excellent) rating for financial strength from AM Best. While J.D. Power hasn’t ranked the company’s customer service for insurers in California, there are negative online reviews.

It’s important to note that 21st Century provides standard roadside assistance. However, their coverage options are a bit limited. They only offer car insurance in California, which might be inconvenient if you’re planning to move out of the state and need to switch to a different carrier.

Finding cost-effective coverage is a significant consideration for seniors, particularly those with fixed incomes, as rates tend to rise with age.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Backed by Farmers Insurance
  • Features a functional mobile app
  • Boasts a strong financial rating
  • Significant number of online complaints
  • Only available in California

Cheapest Coverage For Seniors In Orange County

Company Rate Per Year
21st Century $1,190
State Farm $1,197
Mercury $1,218
Allstate $1,227
CIG $1,260

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

Teen drivers, due to their increased accident risk and limited road experience, frequently encounter the highest car insurance expenses among all age groups. In Orange County, State Farm stands out with the most budget-friendly rates for young drivers.

State Farm not only presents cost-effective choices for young drivers, but their coverage is also comprehensive, complemented by a range of discounts. One such discount is the “Good Student” incentive, where student drivers maintaining a “B” average or better can avail a discount of up to 25% off the standard rate.

State Farm goes above and beyond with numerous local offices catering to sales and service, in addition to several claims centers situated across the Bay Area. The company consistently achieves strong scores in J.D. Power’s yearly customer service assessments and boasts the top A++ financial strength rating from AM Best.

In Orange County, young drivers contend with the highest car insurance rates, primarily because of their limited experience and higher chances of accidents.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Offers numerous discounts, including the good student discount
  • Includes comprehensive rental car coverage as a standard feature
  • Enjoys high customer satisfaction and financial strength ratings
  • Exclusively distributed by State Farm agents, without availability through brokers
  • Doesn't provide gap insurance as part of its offerings

Cheapest Coverage For Young Drivers In Orange County

Company Rate Per Year
State Farm $2,051
Nationwide $2,265
Farmers $2,480
CIG $2,522
Travelers $2,503

How To Buy Car Insurance In Orange County

If you’re in the process of getting car insurance in Orange County, here’s a straightforward five-step plan:

  1. Gather your driver and vehicle details: Collect names, birthdates, driver’s license numbers, vehicle VIN, current mileage, existing insurance info, and the registered owner’s name.
  2. Decide how to proceed: Choose between purchasing online or through an agent. Both methods are valid; it’s about your preference and comfort level with coverage types and amounts.
  3. Compare quotes from at least three companies: Ensure that coverage amounts and deductibles match for accurate comparison.
  4. Look for discounts: There are various available discounts that can help make Orange County car insurance more budget-friendly for you.
  5. Transition your policy: Once you’ve picked a provider and your new coverage is active, get in touch with your former insurer to cancel your policy and avoid overlapping payments.

Average Cost Of Car Insurance In Orange County

Average Cost In Orange County– By Age

Age Group Average Yearly Rate
Teenagers $6,702
20s $2,068
30s $1,986
40s $2,381
50s $2,401
60s $2,468
70s $2,540

Average Cost In Orange County – By Gender

Gender Average Annual Rate
Male $2,398
Female $2,398

Average Cost In Orange County – By Marital Status

Marital Status Average Monthly Rate
Single $91
Married $93

 Largest Rate Increases In Orange County – By Violation

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

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements In California

As you look for car insurance, keep in mind California’s minimum coverage requirements:

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

• Property damage liability: $5,000 per accident

These figures represent the state’s basic demands. Depending on your vehicle and driving patterns, you might contemplate higher limits or incorporating collision and comprehensive coverage.

Factors That Impact The Cost Of Your Car Insurance Policy In Orange County

In Orange County, the cost of living, including car insurance, tends to be on the higher side. The city’s renowned steep hills and intense storms contribute to accidents, thus increasing rates. Your vehicle type and driving history also play a role.

Here are three factors that contribute to the expense of auto insurance in Orange County:

  1. Population density: Being one of the largest U.S. cities with high density, traffic congestion is a common occurrence. More traffic means a higher likelihood of accidents. Certain ZIP codes with larger populations often have higher rates.
  2. Crime statistics: Certain areas of the city experience higher crime rates, which include theft and vandalism. Residing or working in these areas can result in rates above the city’s average.
  3. Frequency of accidents: Orange County’s daily traffic reports frequently highlight accidents due to the busy streets and freeways. To counteract this higher accident rate, insurance companies set higher rates, particularly for drivers with long commutes across the Bay or Golden Gate bridges.

Car Insurance Discounts In Orange County

Searching for cost-saving opportunities is essential if you want to lower your car insurance expenses in Orange County. Here are the common discounts you’ll encounter:

  • 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

California Car Insurance Laws To Know

  • According to the California Department of Insurance, you must demonstrate financial responsibility for any vehicle you own, in the event of injury to others or damage to their property. Many people satisfy this requirement by obtaining auto liability insurance. California law mandates that “All drivers and vehicle owners must be capable of establishing financial responsibility and must carry proof of it in the vehicle.”
    Failure to have auto liability insurance could result in fines, license suspension, and even the impoundment of your vehicle.
  • The state of California prohibits insurance companies from using an individual’s credit history or credit score to determine their insurability and rates. This regulation ensures that insurance costs remain fair across various economic circumstances.

In The News

As highlighted by CBS News, major auto insurance companies are reducing their presence in the California market due to concerns about the rising expenses of insuring the state’s drivers. Despite comparable driving activity to pre-pandemic times, shifts in driving behavior have become apparent. This change has contributed to a surge in auto accidents, causing some insurers to pay out more in claims than they are receiving in premiums.

From 2020 to 2021, there was a substantial 25% surge in auto insurance losses, while premiums experienced only a modest increase of 4.5%, as indicated by the American Property Casualty Insurance Association. This disparity points toward an increased frequency and greater seriousness of auto accidents, leading to heightened coverage costs.

Information About Orange County

If you’ve ventured into the realm of “Visit California” promotions and explored its website, you’ve likely encountered the special emphasis it places on Orange County. This region receives noteworthy attention: Orange County commands the spotlight with its unique charm and significance. Renowned for its stunning coastline, diverse cultural attractions, and vibrant arts scene, this county offers a multifaceted experience.

From innovative culinary experiences, ranging from upscale dining to eclectic food trucks, to world-class museums, galleries, theaters, and outdoor recreational opportunities, Orange County truly distinguishes itself as an indispensable destination for every traveler’s itinerary.


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

For individuals in search of the most budget-friendly car insurance in California, GEICO takes the lead with an annual expense of $421 for minimum liability coverage.

How much does car insurance cost in Orange County on average?  

For complete coverage, the average yearly expense for car insurance in Orange County is around $2,036.

Do I need car insurance in Orange County?  

California law requires auto liability insurance, meaning Orange County drivers must have this coverage.

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