Car Insurance in California

From San Diego to Sacramento, here's your guide to finding the most affordable coverage in California. 

By Editorial Team, Car Insurance Land | Updated 2021

Here's the scoop on California auto insurance

California is the largest state with 40 million residents. Each individual is very different across many factors including your driving habits and geography (i.e. the drivers around you and risks). This means that getting multiple quotes for your individual situation is the best approach to protect yourself and save. Don’t rely just on our research, use it as a starting point to find the best car insurance for you.

The Top 10 Largest Car Insurance Companies in California

Rank
Insurer
Market Share %

State Farm Group

Farmers Insurance Group

Berkshire Hathaway Group

AAA SoCal/Auto Club Group

Allstate Insurance Group

Mercury General Group

AAA NorCal/CSAA Group

Kemper Group

Progressive Group

United Services Automobile Association Group

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

12.8%

10.5%

10.4%

8.9%

8.8%

7.9%

7.0%

6.8%

5.1%

4.6%

These companies sell through a variety of channels with some focusing on online quotes and call centers while others selling their insurance through agents. 

 

We researched the marketplace comparing rates for a 30yr old male driving a 2020 Honda Civic, the most popular vehicle in California, living in Sacramento. 

Full Coverage: GEICO and Progressive are cheapest

Full coverage is the most popular coverage as it protects both you and your vehicle. We sampled top insurance companies both big and small with the most common liability limits of 50,000/100,000/50,000 and $1000 deductibles for both comprehensive and collision.

 

We found that GEICO and Progressive offer the cheapest car insurance. You can save more than $500 compared to many other carriers. Given their competitive rates, it is no surprise that they are also the fastest growing companies in California.

Best California Full Coverage Car Insurance

Rank
Insurer
6-Month Premium

Geico

Progressive

Metromile

21st Century

Mercury

Traverlers

Safeco

1
2
3
4
5
6
7

$750

$816

$900

$984

$1,008

$1,056

$1,116

Liability only coverage can save you around 40% versus full coverage, GEICO and Progressive are cheapest for liability only. 

 

Depending on your vehicle value, you may choose liability only coverage (meaning not electing comprehensive and collision insurance). The findings were similar with savings being about 45% based on our samples. Here is an estimated cost of liability only coverage. Geico and Progressive again provide the cheapest rates. Travelers and Safeco are agent based companies and most expensive. We would recommend shopping elsewhere. 

Coverage if you had an accident: Progressive is most affordable

Accidents happen, about 10% of drivers have an accident each year and your premium can be impacted. Our analysis shows an accident can raise your full coverage premium by several hundred dollars, making shopping for the cheapest insurance very important. 

Best California Full Coverage Car Insurance If You Have Accidents

Rank
Insurer
6-Month Premium

Progressive

Metromile

Kemper

Geico

Mercury

Safeco

Travelers

21st Century

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

$1,074

$1,098

$1,110

$1,188

$1,320

$1,554

$1,584

$1,746

Coverage if you had a violation: Progressive can save you hundreds of dollars

Progressive offers the cheapest insurance if you have a violation like a speeding ticket. 

 

Many of us have had a speeding ticket or another violation at one point. The increase to your premium likely won’t be as severe as an accident, but will still be costly. 

 

Progressive offers the best rates if you have a violation while many insurers are much more expensive. It is important to shop around and then make sure to get a new quote once the violation is three years old. Note: Most states allow insurers to charge for violations if within 3 years. 

Best California Full Coverage Car Insurance If You Have Violations

Rank
Insurer
6-Month Premium

Progressive

Metromile

Geico

Nationwide

Safeco

Travelers

1
2
3
4
5
6

$876

$999

$1,134

$1,230

$1,383

$1,426

Coverage for Teenagers: Progressive is most affordable

Insurance for teenagers can be very expensive as they aren’t always the safest drivers. Progressive provides the best savings, saving you over $1000 per 6 months versus other insurers. Several companies like GEICO are not offering rates online to customers under 18yrs old, so you will need to call an agent or a call center to learn about the best coverage for you or your son/daughter. 

Best California Full Coverage Car Insurance for Teenagers

Rank
Insurer
6-Month Premium

Progressive

Kemper

1
2

$1,236

$2,568