Best Car Insurance Companies In California With Cheapest Quotes and Good Services
Best Car Insurance Companies In California With Cheapest Quotes and Good Services

California is a state in the Western United States. California borders Oregon to the north, Nevada and Arizona to the east, and the Mexican state of Baja California to the south. With over 39.5 million residents across a total area of approximately 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), it is the most populous and the third-largest U.S. state by area. It is also the most populated subnational entity in North America and the 34th most populous in the world.

Since car insurance is essential and required if you want to own a car in the state, we have compiled a list of the best car insurance companies with cheap prices and good service in the article below.

Car insurance required in California

Insurance (also referred to as financial responsibility) is required on all vehicles operated or parked on California roads.

You must carry evidence of insurance in your vehicle at all times and it must be provided when:

Requested by law enforcement.

You are renewing the vehicle registration.

The vehicle is involved in a traffic collision.

Minimum Liability Insurance Requirements for Private Passenger Vehicles

Here are the minimum liability insurance requirements (per California Insurance Code §11580.1b):

$15,000 for injury/death to one person.

$30,000 for injury/death to more than one person.

$5,000 for damage to property.

Liability insurance compensates a person other than the policy holder for personal injury or property damage.

Comprehensive or collision insurance does not meet vehicle financial responsibility requirements.

California Minimum Car Insurance Requirements

There are lots of different types of car insurance coverage, but only liability coverage is required in California. Liability car insurance protects you financially if you are found to be at fault for an accident. It helps pay for medical bills and property damage repairs for the people who were involved in an accident you caused. It’s important to remember that liability coverage doesn’t help pay for damage to your own car or medical bills.

Under California law, you are required to have two types of liability coverage with minimum coverage limits:

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage - The minimum limits for Bodily Injury coverage are $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident.

Property Damage Liability Coverage - The minimum limit for Property Damage coverage is $5,000 per accident.

The minimum liability insurance in California is often not enough coverage to fully protect you or your assets if you are found to be at fault in an accident.

Additional Types of Coverage

Liability insurance will protect you if you are at fault in a crash and would then be required to pay for another person's medical bills or car repairs. What if you are also injured in an accident you caused, or if you are hit by a driver who does not have sufficient insurance to pay for your injuries and damages? These situations call for additional insurance coverage, including:

Collision Coverage

This pays for damages to your vehicle if you are involved in an accident with another car or an object, regardless of who is at fault. For example, you accidentally back into a telephone pole. Your collision insurance should help pay for the repairs to your vehicle, after paying your deductible.

Comprehensive Coverage

This coverage pays for damage to your vehicle that is not caused by a collision. This includes fire, theft, or vandalism. If someone steals expensive parts from your car, comprehensive coverage helps cover the cost to replace them.

You may want to consider your deductible instead. Your deductible is the amount you would have to pay first before the Collision and Comprehensive coverage steps in to pay the rest. Deductibles typically range from $100 to upwards of $2,000. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium. While it may be tempting to choose a higher deductible to save a few bucks on your insurance bill, keep in mind that when an accident happens you'll have to pay that high deductible out-of-pocket.

Medical Payments Coverage

This type of coverage (commonly called MedPay) pays for your medical bills and the medical bills of any of your passengers, regardless of who is at fault.

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI)

This pays for injuries to yourself and others on your policy that result from an accident caused by an uninsured driver (someone without any Bodily Injury liability coverage), or an underinsured driver (someone who has Bodily Injury liability coverage, but they've chosen limits that are not enough to cover all of your injuries). In addition to covering medical bills, UMBI may also cover lost income or other general damages.

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD)

UMPD can pay for damage to your car caused by an uninsured driver only if the driver can be identified and confirmed as having no insurance whatsoever. This coverage can only pay up to a maximum of $3,500 towards the repair or replacement of your vehicle, regardless of how much the total repairs cost or what the car is worth.

Uninsured Motorist Collision Deductible Waiver (UMC)

UMC can waive your Collision deductible if the accident is caused by an identified and uninsured motorist. This is a great coverage to pair with your Collision coverage. Most people don't want to have to pay their deductible after being crashed into by someone else AND that person didn't have insurance!

Rental Expense Coverage

If you have an accident and your vehicle's in the shop, you'll still need a way to get around. Rental Expense coverage can pay for a replacement vehicle while yours is in the shop for a Collision or Comprehensive claim.

Roadside Assistance

This coverage can help pay for a jumpstart, lockout service or any number of other roadside services which will help you get back on the road quicker. If you wouldn't feel comfortable changing a flat tire on the side of the road or flagging down a stranger with jumper cables, Roadside Assistance coverage can give you that peace of mind.

List of 8 best car insurance companies in Texas with cheap price and good service

(According to Value Penguin)

1. Geico

2. Mercury

3. Progressive

4. AAA SoCal

5. AAA NorCal

6. State Farm

7. Allstate

8. Farmers

What are the best car insurance companies in California?

1. Geico

Photo:  Insurance Journal
Photo: Insurance Journal

Geico is a good insurance company that offers its customers satisfactory rates, positive customer service, and a convenient user experience. In particular, Geico's auto insurance rates for drivers with no recent accidents were consistently low. In many ways, the company's offerings are comparable to those of other large insurers. However, Geico sets itself apart by providing the most convenient online solutions for its customers to handle their insurance policies.

GEICO operates in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. GEICO consistently ranked #13 in J.D. Power's auto claims satisfaction. It's also our best affordable pick in Insider's guide to the best car insurance companies.

GEICO offers discounts for airbags, anti-theft system, military, good student, good driver, and multi-car discounts. Like most insurance companies, GEICO provides discounts for bundling your home and auto insurance.

There are four types of insurance coverage: liability insurance (required by most states), comprehensive, collision, and full car coverage. If you lease or finance your car, your lender may require comprehensive and collision coverage, according to Bussiness Insider.

GEICO's auto insurance features and discounts

Airbag discount — Receive up to 23% off for a vehicle with airbags.

Anti-lock brakes — Get up to 5% off for a vehicle with factory-installed anti-lock brakes.

Anti-theft system — Receive up to 23% off for a vehicle with a built-in anti-theft system.

New vehicle — Get up to 15% off for vehicles three models years or newer.

Good driver — Receive up to 22% off if you are five or more years accident-free.

Good student — Get up to 15% off for high school or college students who maintain a B or better average.

Military — Receive up to 15% off for military and up to 25% for emergency deployment.

Federal employees — Get up to 12% off for active or retired federal workers with GS-7 or above designation.

Partner groups — Discounts for alumni associations, fraternities and sororities, and professional organizations that have partnered with GEICO.

GEICO insurance pros and cons

Pros

Cons

  • Established insurance company
  • National presence
  • Low rates
  • Discounts for bundling insurance products
  • Ranked in J.D. Power's auto claims satisfaction survey, but failed to place for homeowners and life insurance

2. Mercury

Photo:  Inside P&C
Photo: Inside P&C

Mercury’s car insurance is relatively basic, offering mostly standard coverage options and a few helpful endorsements. Understanding Mercury’s car insurance coverages, average rates and discounts might help you decide if you should get a quote from the company.

Types of coverage

Mercury offers relatively standard car insurance coverage options, including:

Liability protection: Liability coverage pays for the injuries and damages you cause to others in an at-fault accident.

Collision protection: This covers damage to your vehicle incurred as a result of a covered collison, regardless of fault.

Comprehensive coverage: This covers damage to your vehicle incurred as a result of numerous scenarios, including hitting an animal, theft and storm damage.

Medical payments coverage: This coverage is designed to pay for medical expenses as a result of a covered accident, regardless of fault. Medical payments coverage is not available in all states.

Personal injury protection: Also known as PIP, this coverage is designed to pay for medical costs and other expenses as a result of a covered accident, regardless of fault. PIP is not available in all states.

Rental car coverage: Rental car coverage helps cover the cost of a rental car after a covered loss.

Ride-hailing insurance: Depending on the state you live in, this option can cover you when you have your ridesharing app on but have not yet accepted a customer.

Roadside assistance: This option covers towing, flat tire change, battery jump start, emergency fuel and fluid delivery and locksmith services.

Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist: These coverages cover bodily injury if you are hit by a driver with no coverage or without enough coverage to pay for your expenses. Depending on the state you live in, you may also be able to purchase uninsured motorist property damage coverage, which covers damage to your car and other property if it is damaged by an uninsured driver.

Cost of Mercury car insurance

When compared to the national average cost of car insurance, Mercury’s average rates are slightly lower. Minimum coverage with Mercury costs an average of $553 per year, compared to the national average annual premium of $565. Similarly, Mercury’s full coverage costs $1,558 per year, on average, whereas the national average full coverage premium is $1,674 per year.

However, auto insurance companies base rates on numerous factors. The price you pay could be more or less than these averages.

Average annual premium for minimum coverage

Average annual premium for full coverage

$553

$1,558

3. Progressive

Photo:  Cosmopolitan
Photo: Cosmopolitan

The Progressive Corporation is an American insurance company, the third largest insurance carrier and the No. 1 commercial auto insurer in the United States. The company was co-founded in 1937 by Jack Green and Joseph M. Lewis, and is headquartered in Mayfield Village, Ohio, USA. The company insures passenger vehicles, motorcycles, RVs, trailers, boats, PWC, and commercial vehicles. Progressive also provides home, life, pet, and other insurance solutions through select companies. Progressive has expanded internationally as well, offering auto insurance in Australia.

Progressive is among the more affordable providers on the market, though USAA, Erie, Auto-Owners, State Farm and Geico can be cheaper for some drivers. Here’s how Progressive ranks on cost against a variety of popular car insurance companies.

Car Insurance Provider

Average Annual Cost Estimate

USAA

$1,013

Erie

$1,113

Auto-Owners

$1,229

State Farm

$1,339

Geico

$1,352

Progressive

$1,397

Nationwide

$1,533

Travelers

$1,617

Farmers

$2,032

The Hartford

$2,166

Allstate

$2,430

Of course, your car insurance prices depend on a variety of factors, and you may find very different rates. If you have poor credit, you’ll pay more for car insurance unless you live in California, Hawaii or Massachusetts. And if you have a poor driving record or are a young driver, your insurance options will be more expensive. Here are a few more full coverage rate estimates for Progressive according to different driving profiles.

Progressive Average Annual Cost Estimate

National Average Annual Cost Estimate

35-year-old driver with good credit and driving history

$1,397

$1,732

24-year-old driver with good credit and driving history

$2,029

$2,363

35-year-old driver with poor credit

$2,514

$3,123

35-year-old driver with a recent accident

$2,471

$2,646

35-year-old driver with a DUI

$2,572

$3,188

4. AAA SoCal

Photo:  FAVPNG.com
Photo: FAVPNG.com

There are dozens of AAA Auto Clubs throughout the United States, and many of them offer several types of insurance, including auto, homeowners and life, among others.

AAA Auto Clubs are independently run organizations with varying degrees of connection with one another, and so are their insurance arms. This means that the discounts, benefits and coverage options can vary significantly by location, and the only way to be sure of what's available in your area is to contact your local office.

In some places, "Triple A" simply acts as a broker, where the company collects your information and refers you to another insurer, like Progressive or State Farm, to actually sell you insurance. When AAA acts as a broker, you still receive discounts for being a AAA member. This process is especially common for homeowners insurance.

However, AAA sells auto insurance directly in most places, and we found their policies to be better than average in terms of cost and benefits, with well-regarded customer service and a smooth claims process.

AAA auto insurance coverages and benefits

There are numerous AAA auto clubs throughout the U.S., and many of them sell and provide car insurance through different regional companies.

For example, drivers in Northern California, Arizona and parts of Pennsylvania, among others, can buy insurance from the California State Auto Association (CSAA) Insurance Group. But AAA members in Southern California, Texas and northern New England are covered by the Auto Club Enterprise Group.

This means that the exact coverages, benefits and discounts offered will vary based on your location. However, all AAA insurance agencies offer the most common coverages, which include:

Bodily injury and property damage liability: Liability coverage pays for the medical care and property damage of the other party when you are at fault in an accident.

Collision: Collision coverage pays for damage to your car in an accident.

Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage pays for noncollision damages to your car, as well as damages from a collision with an animal.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist: Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage compensates you for medical and car repair costs when the other driver is at fault and does not have adequate car insurance.

Medical payments/personal injury protection: Medical payments and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage cover the cost of medical care for people in your car in an accident, regardless of who is at fault.

AAA has a mobile app that provides some insurance-related features, like a digital proof of insurance in case you're in an accident or pulled over. In some locations, you can get an insurance quote and pay your bill through the app as well.

There are also several noteworthy auto insurance coverages and benefits limited to particular areas. Keep in mind that these are sometimes included in a standard policy or added on for an additional fee:

Gap insurance: Should your car be totaled, gap insurance covers the difference in cost between your car's replacement cost and the amount you owe on your lease or loan.

Rental car reimbursement coverage: Rental reimbursement coverage pays for a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired after an accident. Some providers also allow you to use rideshare credit instead of a rental car.

Rental car coverage: Rental car coverage covers you if you damage a car you've rented.

Nonowners insurance: Nonowners insurance provides liability coverage for people who don't own cars, if they do ever drive.

Pet coverage: Pet coverage pays for the costs of your pet's medical care if it is injured in a car accident.

Accident forgiveness: Accident forgiveness keeps an accident from bumping up your insurance premium if you're an otherwise safe driver.

5. AAA NorCal

Photo:  AAA
Photo: AAA

AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah (AAA NCNU), formerly known as the California State Automobile Association (CSAA), is one of the largest motor clubs in the American Automobile Association (AAA) National Federation. As the names states, it serves members in Northern California, Nevada, and Utah. It is headquartered in Walnut Creek, California.

AAA insurance discounts

Another advantage of choosing AAA for your car insurance is the wide range of discounts that you can qualify for. These include everything from auto and home bundle discounts for getting other types of insurance to incentives for customer loyalty and safe driving.

Insurance bundle discounts at AAA

Bundle

Max auto discount

Max other discount

Auto and home

15.7%

20% off home

Auto and condo

11.2%

20% off condo

Auto and renters

3.7%

10% off renters

Auto, home and life

19.4%

20% off home

As the discounts show, there are strong incentives to consolidate your insurance at AAA, and despite the car-centric name, the organization is also a reputable provider of these other types of insurance. For instance, we found that AAA's life insurance offers competitive coverage in its own right.

Even if you aren't interested in anything other than auto insurance from AAA, there are still many other discounts to consider:

  • Multi-vehicle discount: Save up to 27.3% when insuring two or more vehicles.
  • Select professionals/alumni associations: Save up to 7.4% for qualifying professions.
  • Loyalty discount: Save up to 5.6% with at least one year of continuous coverage.
  • Good driver discount: Save up to 20% on all coverages for safe habits.
  • Verified mileage discount: Save up to 19.1% (depending on vehicle’s annual mileage) for supplying current odometer readings when requested.
  • Student away discount: Save up to 46.7% on select coverage when your driver-age student is away at school 100-plus miles from home without a vehicle.
  • Driver training discount: Save up to 4.7% on select coverage upon completion of an approved course.
  • Car club discount: Save up to 5% if you belong to a qualifying car club.

Does AAA offer affordable auto insurance rates?

The cost of car insurance with AAA varies depending on which state you're in. Because AAA is actually a federation of automobile clubs from various states, the coverage that gets advertised as "AAA car insurance" is provided through a number of state-specific insurers.

Each of these state insurers has its own underwriting process and local market conditions that will impact your quote for auto insurance. For illustrative purposes, we chose to gather quotes from California. Keep in mind that if you live elsewhere, your rates will likely be somewhat different.

6. State Farm

Photo: WGLT
Photo: WGLT

State Farm dominates in the auto insurance space with a market share of 16%. The insurance company's coverage spans the U.S. Those who prefer a more personal experience can easily get in contact with State Farm's network of agents. This popular insurance company also boasts good ratings from reputable third parties, with positive assessments of its customer satisfaction and financial outlook.

Coverage options and discounts for State Farm car insurance are comparable with those offered by other large companies — but those looking for an impressive selection of add-ons and extras could be found wanting.

State Farm Auto Insurance Coverage

With State Farm car insurance, you can get all the standard types of car insurance offered by most companies. These include:

Liability auto insurance (bodily injury/property damage)

Collision insurance

Comprehensive car insurance

Medical payments (MedPay)

Personal injury protection (PIP)

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM)

It should be noted that BI/PD is required by almost all states. Some states also require medical coverage or UM/UIM. All no-fault states require PIP since it covers the driver no matter who is at fault.

Car Insurance Extras

You can get a number of add-ons with State Farm, which is one reason why State Farm insurance reviews so well. These add-ons include:

Rental and travel expense coverage: With Car Rental Expense, State Farm will cover a rental car while your car is being repaired after a covered claim (up to the limits you choose). With Travel Expenses, State Farm will pay for meals, lodging, and transportation (up to $500) if you get in an accident more than 50 miles from home and can’t get home. The insurance provider also covers a return trip to pick up your car. Finally, State Farm auto insurance can pay up to $500 toward a deductible after you have an accident in a rental car.

Rideshare insurance coverage: If you drive for Uber or Lyft, you should add this option to your policy. That’s because a standard auto insurance policy doesn’t cover commercial use of your vehicle. You are usually covered by the rideshare company when you are driving to pick up a person or drop them off, but you aren’t covered when you are waiting to accept a trip from the app.

State Farm roadside assistance: State Farm offers emergency road service that includes one hour of labor at the breakdown site, towing to the nearest repair shop, fluid delivery, jump-starts, spare tire installation, and lockout services.

7. Allstate

Photo: Allstate
Photo: Allstate

Allstate Insurance was founded in 1931 as an auto insurance company. The first policy, costing $41.60, was a 12-month policy for a 1930 Studebaker. Wondering about the name Allstate? The name came from a car tire in the Sears catalog. Today Allstate ranks at No. 4 for private passenger auto insurance, behind State Farm, Geico and Progressive.

Allstate Car Insurance

Allstate sells insurance for cars, RVs, ATVs, motorcycles and boats. For those who have classic cars and want to protect their antique cars, Allstate also sells classic car insurance. Optional coverage types include:

Roadside assistance

Medical payments

Uninsured and underinsured motorist

Sound system insurance

Rental reimbursement

Personal injury protection

For drivers worried about a rate increase after an accident, Allstate offers accident forgiveness insurance as another add-on to your policy. Ths coverage “forgives” an accident and it won’t result in a premium increase, even if the accident was your fault.

If you just bought a new car, you might want to consider new car replacement insurance. If your car is two model years old or less, this coverage replaces your car with a new car of the same make and model if it was totaled in an accident covered by your policy.

Other add-ons offered by Allstate include rideshare insurance and additional car insurance for drivers who are going south of the border to Mexico, according to Forbes.

Allstate Car Insurance Discounts

Allstate offers several discounts, especially for safe drivers. Parents of teen drivers can take advantage of discounts like the smart student discount and the teenSMART driver education program. You can also get discounts for car features like anti-lock brakes and anti-theft devices. Other Allstate auto insurance discounts include:

Multiple policy discount: If you have more than one Allstate policy, you could save money off your premiums.

Early signing discount: If you sign your policy seven or more days before it becomes effective, you could receive a discount.

Responsible payer discount: If you haven’t received a cancellation notice within the past year, you can get a discount.

Anti-lock brake discount. Driving a car with anti-lock brakes will save you money on your car insurance.

New car discount: If you are the first owner of a car that is the current model year or one year prior, you could save money on your premium payments.

Anti-theft discount. If you have an anti-theft device in your car, you’ll save money on your car insurance premium.

EZ plan pay discount: Get a discount by setting up an automatic payment plan.

Allstate eSmart discount: By signing up for an ePolicy and going paperless, you can get a discount.

FullPay discount: You can save by paying your annual premium in full.

Safe driving club discount: If you meet certain safe driving requirements, you could qualify for the safe driving club and earn a discount.

8. Farmers

Farmers’ strongest feature is its customer service, which translates into a speedy claim process and potentially discounted rates for customers. Farmers has a strong coverage network with more than 48,000 exclusive and independent agents and approximately 21,000 employees available across all 50 states, but not the District of Columbia.

Customer reviews of Farmers generally paint the company’s agents in a positive light, so policyholders are likely to have a good experience when interacting with the company’s employees.

In terms of price, Farmers offers rates far higher than what major competitors offer. For instance, we found that Farmers' rates for a 35-year-old driver with a clean record were 67% more expensive than what Geico offered. Similarly, home insurance rates from Farmers were 30% more expensive than Allstate's rates, according to Value Penguin.

Farmers Car Insurance Coverage Options

With Farmers you can get an insurance quote online, or you can contact an agent for personalized assistance. Farmers offers the following coverage options:

Accident Forgiveness

This is an option you can add to your policy. Farmers will forgive one at-fault accident for every three years you go without one, helping to keep your premiums from going up.

Collision

If you’re at fault in an accident, collision coverage pays for the repairs to your vehicle. It covers repairs after accidents with other vehicles, objects, and animals.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive coverage pays for repairs to your vehicle resulting from incidents other than accidents, such as storms or theft.

Customized Equipment

If you added after-market equipment to your vehicle, such as speakers or custom wheels, the customized equipment option will cover the cost to repair or replace those features. It’s available on any vehicle with comprehensive or collision coverage.

Full Windshield and Glass

With this coverage you’ll pay nothing out of pocket to replace your windshield or glass. It offers a $0 deductible on glass repair and replacement.

Glass Deductible Buyback

This also covers glass repair and replacement but has a $100 deductible.

Guaranteed Value

This option is popular for car collectors and antique vehicle owners. It pays you a defined, agreed-upon value if your car is a total loss.

Liability

Nearly all states require liability insurance, which covers you when you’re at fault in an accident. It pays for damage and the cost of injury to others.

Loss of Use

While your car is being repaired, this pays a flat sum for transportation. You can use it to pay for public transportation, car rentals, taxis, or rideshare services.

Medical Payments

No matter who is at fault in an accident, medical payments pays for medical care for you and your passengers.

New Car Replacement

New car replacement will pay to replace your vehicle with a new one of the same make and model if your car is totaled within the first two model years and 24,000 miles.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)

OEM coverage pays for the use of factory-original parts in repairs. It’s available on cars up to 10 years old.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

PIP covers the cost of your rehabilitation and lost wages after an accident, regardless of who is at fault.

Personal Umbrella

If you have personal umbrella coverage, you can have additional liability insurance above the limits of your auto policy. It helps protect your assets in case of a lawsuit.

Spare Parts

A popular option for car collectors, this will pay up to $750 to replace spare parts you keep on hand.

Towing and Roadside Assistance

If your car is disabled, this provides 24/7 aid. You can get help with towing, tire changes, or locksmith services.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist

Uninsured motorist coverage ameliorates your losses if you’re in an accident with a motorist who doesn’t have insurance. Underinsured motorist protection covers you if your accident partner has insufficient insurance. Both help pay for damages to your vehicle and any bodily injuries you or your passengers sustain.

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