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8 Best Car Insurance Companies in California of 2022

Compare the best car insurance companies in CA. Our comprehensive guide has everything you need to know about rates, coverages, discounts and what type of insurance is best for you.
car-driver-CA

There are more licensed drivers in California than in any other state, with more than 26 million people on the road.

Whether you’re driving on the freeway or driving in the suburbs of Bel-Air, you are more likely to have an accident.

That’s one of the main reasons why CA residents should buy auto insurance.

But to do so, you not only have to search for what car insurance coverage you want but also what you’re required to buy.

And that means you need to figure out state law requirements for you to drive legally.

So how do you find the best car insurance in California that fits your needs and is relatively cheap?

We did the research for you. We’ve given you a list of the best car insurance companies in California that may help you find the one you want. We also broke down coverages to inform you about everything related to auto insurance.

Best Car Insurance Companies in California

  • GEICO: Best Car Insurance for Mechanical Breakdown
  • Liberty Mutual: Best Car Insurance for Teachers
  • Progressive: Best Car Insurance for Rideshare Coverage
  • Travelers: Best Car Insurance for Coverage
  • Allstate: Best Car Insurance for Optional Features
  • Amica Mutual: Best Car Insurance with the Most Discounts
  • State Farm: Best Car Insurance for the Cheapest Rates
  • Farmers: Best Car Insurance for Online Presence and Mobile App

GEICO: Best Car Insurance for Mechanical Breakdown

GEICO car insurance CA
Editors star rating review
4.0
Editor's Rating (4 Stars out of 5)

GEICO’s auto insurance is a favorite policy due to its low rates, unique coverage, and many discounts it offers.

Besides its standard policy, GEICO also covers roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and mechanical breakdown.

Roadside Assistance

This pays for the cost of towing, jump-starts, flat tires, and lockout services.

Rental Car Reimbursement

This pays for a rental car if you can’t drive your car for more than 24 hours after a covered accident.

Mechanical Breakdown

This is a unique coverage that pays for mechanical breakdown insurance.

If your car is less than 15 months old and has a mileage of fewer than 15,000, this coverage will pay for repairs, above all for new parts, to cover your new car.

However, GEICO does not provide new car replacement or better car replacement coverage that other leading insurance companies typically offer.

Also, GEICO will not cover you for maintenance issues such as tune-ups.

GEICO Auto Insurance Multi-Policy Discount

Automatically get 3% off when you bundle GEICO auto insurance with GEICO homeowners insurance.

GEICO Car Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Cheap policies for all types of drivers, including those who have a DUI.
  • Lowest rates for drivers with poor credit.
  • Above average customer service score.
  • Unique options and many discounts.
  • Online quote availability.
Cons
  • Doesn’t offer coverage for new car replacement or better car replacement.
  • Average complaint scores.
How Is GEICO Car Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)824
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA++
BBBA+

Liberty Mutual: Best Car Insurance for Teachers

Liberty Mutual car insurance CA
Editors star rating review
4.5
Editor's Rating (4.5 Stars out of 5)

Liberty Mutual has a wide breadth of coverage, which means that customers can customize their policies to fit their needs.

It’s also known for its Teachers’ Auto Insurance coverage, which is unique to Liberty.

With no extra charge for this coverage, the Teachers’ insurance includes the following:

Vandalism Loss Protection

There’s no deductible if your car is vandalized during school-related events or on school property.

Personal Property Coverage

You can get reimbursed up to $2,500 per incident if your teaching materials or school-owned property are stolen or damaged while in your car.

Collision Coverage

There’s also no deductible if your car is damaged in an accident while driving it for school-based or school-related businesses.

Liberty Mutual Car Insurance Discounts

Multi-Policy Discount

If you bundle your auto insurance with other policies like home, life, or umbrella coverage, you’ll get a discount. 

Multi-Car Discount

If you have multiple cars listed on your policy, you’ll get a discount.

Liberty Mutual Car Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Being affiliated with certain employers, alumni associations, or professional groups gets you a unique discount.
  • Accident and roadside support feature on mobile app let you capture information and photos at the scene of an accident.
  • Mobile app also allows you to request a rental car after an accident.
  • Lots of discounts.
  • Offers gap insurance.
Cons
  • Auto claims satisfaction rating is below average.
  • Higher policy rates based on credit and driving record.
How Is Liberty Mutual Car Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)818
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA
BBBA+

Progressive: Best Car Insurance for Rideshare Coverage

Progressive car insurance CA
Editors star rating review
4.0
Editor's Rating (4 Stars out of 5)

Rideshare coverage protects you and your car if you drive for a ridesharing service like Uber and Lyft.

Ridesharing companies are usually required by law to provide coverage for their drivers. But it’s incomplete.

Progressive has the most attractive rideshare insurance.

Standard insurance offered for rideshare drivers only covers the period between accepting a ride and dropping off a customer.

This add-on insurance expands your auto policy by offering coverage gaps, so you’re covered even between rides.

Progressive Auto Insurance Multi-Policy Discounts

Multi-Policy

Get a multi-policy discount when you pair your auto insurance with your homeowners insurance or condo insurance.

Progressive Car Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Low average premiums for California.
  • Competitive rates for drivers with a DUI.
  • Multiple ways to get initial quote.
  • High financial strength.
  • Pet injury insurance included in most states if you buy collision coverage.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
  • Roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and other coverages may apply.
Cons
  • Most expensive rates among insurers for teen drivers.
  • More expensive than similar insurers.
How Is Progressive Car Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)803
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA+
BBBF

Travelers: Best Car Insurance for Coverage

Travelers car insurance CA
Editors star rating review
4.0
Editor's Rating (4 Stars out of 5)

Travelers is known for its car insurance coverage options that are essential for any driver.

Your options to include in your auto coverage are:

  • Two levels of 24/7 roadside assistance.
  • If you have a covered accident, you can get a rental car.
  • Also, if your car is totaled within the first five years, you can get a rental car replacement while you are shopping for a new car.
  • Gap coverage covers what you owe on a loan or lease after your car is totaled.
  • Minor violation forgiveness.

Travelers Auto Insurance Multi-Policy Discounts

If you bundle auto with home insurance and three other insurance products, you’ll get a 12% discount.

Travelers Car Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Average premium below national average.
  • Good claims handling based on customer survey.
  • Has one of the highest financial ratings from AM Best.
  • New driver discounts.
  • Easy car insurance quotes process.
Cons
  • Below-average customer service.
  • Higher rates than average.
How is Travelers Car Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)824
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA++
BBBA
NAIC Complaint Index3.88

Allstate: Best Car Insurance for Optional Features

Allstate car insurance CA
Editors star rating review
5.0
Editor's Rating (5 Stars out of 5)

With its massive reach, wide range of products, and many local agents, Allstate is a great no-hassle choice for consumers who want additional features.

In addition to Allstate’s basic policy, the behemoth insurer also has some coverage features that any driver may want.

These features come at a cost and may not be available in every state.

Here are the features:

Safe driving Bonus

For every six months of accident-free driving with Allstate, you can receive your money back.

Deductible Rewards

For each year you keep your driving record clean, you can get $100 off your collision deductible, up to $500 off.

New Car Replacement

If you total a new car within the first two model years, you can get a check to buy a brand-new car without depreciation.

Roadside Assistance

Roadside has two options: pay-per-use or as an add-on to your insurance.

Rideshare Insurance

An add-on for drivers who use ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft.

Custom Equipment Coverage

If you’ve added aftermarket parts or certain equipment, such as a new radio/CD/speakers, to your car, your auto insurer will pay to replace any new parts and systems if they’re stolen or damaged.

Allstate Auto Insurance Discounts

Multi-Policy

If you bundle car insurance with life or homeowners insurance, you’ll get a discount.

Allstate Car Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Safe-driving bonus every six months.
  • Offers rideshare insurance in many states.
  • Easy to file claim on website.
  • Offers a few discounts for paying on time.
  • Signing up with automatic payments gets you a discount.
  • Unique add-ons.
Cons
  • Customer ratings are below average for auto insurance claims satisfaction compared with other companies.
How Is Allstate Car Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)826
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA+
BBBA-

Amica Mutual: Best Car Insurance with the Most Discounts

Amica car insurance CA
Editors star rating review
4.0
Editor's Rating (4 Stars out of 5)

Amica is one of the oldest auto insurers in the United States, owned entirely by its policyholders.

It is known primarily for its excellent customer service ratings and few complaints.

It’s also known for several discounts that the company currently offers.

Amica Car Insurance Discounts

Loyalty Discount

If you stay with Amica for at least two years.

Claims-Free

If you don’t make a claim in the past three years.

  1. Multi-line or bundling discount.
  2. Multiple auto discount.
  3. Paying your premium using autopay.
  4. E-discount

For receiving bills and policies electronically.

Legacy Discount

If your parents have had Amica auto for at least five years and if you’re younger than 30.

  1. Anti-theft system in the car.
  2. Has an electronic stability control feature in the car.
  3. If your car has automatic restraints, like airbags.
  4. The car has adaptive headlights
  5. Defensive Driver

Take and pass an approved course.

  1. If your car has a collision-avoidance feature.
  2. Being a good student
  3. Pay Upfront

If you pay the entire premium upfront and all at once.

Amica Mutual Car Insurance Multi-Policy/Multi-Car Discount

Bundling auto with home or renters insurance and other products gets you a 30% discount

Amica Car Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Generous discounts.
  • Best in class claims processing.
  • High customer satisfaction ratings and low consumer complaints.
  • Many policy perks.
  • Potential for earning dividends.
Cons
  • Long delays for claim payments.
How is Amica Car Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)891
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA+
BBBA+
NAIC Complaint Index1.32

State Farm: Best Car Insurance for the Cheapest Rates

State Farm car insurance CA
Editors star rating review
4.5
Editor's Rating (4.5 Stars out of 5)

State Farm is the largest auto insurance company in the market.

It’s also the cheapest overall because the insurance has more customers than any other insurer.

Its large market share allows State Farm to keep its prices competitive.

A minimum coverage plan from State Farm costs an average of $80 per month.

A full coverage plan costs $220.

To show you how affordable State Farm is, the average cost of car insurance in California is $1,430 per year or $120 per month.

As you can see, State Farm beat the California average.

Your State Farm policy also allows you to access discounts that you qualify for and which can bring down your already affordable premium rate.

State Farm Car Insurance Discounts

Passive Restraint Insurance Discount

For cars that have automatic seat belts or factory-installed vehicle airbags.

Anti-Theft Discount

Installing an alarm in your car. Thieves are less likely to break into your car if they hear large sirens.

State Farm Auto Insurance Multi-Policy Discount/Multi-Car Discounts

  • If you bundle auto with home, you can save up to $1,127 according to the State Farm auto insurance website.
  • Insuring more than one car can get you a discount.

State Farm Car Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Pays for rental car while your car is being repaired as a result of covered collision.
  • Pays for meal, lodgings, and transportation if stranded 50 miles or more from home.
  • Offers driver training refresher course.
  • Specializes in young drivers.
  • Special savings for young drivers, such as discounts for students who maintain at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • Customer satisfaction rating for purchasing auto insurance is better than average.
Cons
  • Coverage limits apply and vary by state.
  • Doesn't offer gap insurance.
How Is State Farm Car Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)817
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA++
BBBA+

Farmers: Best Car Insurance for Online Presence and Mobile App

Farmers car insurance CA
Editors star rating review
4.5
Editor's Rating (4.5 Stars out of 5)

Farmers is now popular for its website or app since its electronic presence was retooled. These days the company has added a variety of online tools to make its website and mobile app more useful and robust.

As a result, customers can access features like online price quotes, rate calculators through Farmers’ online calculator tool, bill pay, claims filing on the insurer’s website, connecting with an agent, and requesting roadside assistance, to name a few.

The most useful tool is that customers can file claims through their online account as well as report and track claims.

In addition, Farmers offers you helpful resources to assist with your claim online or through the mobile app. You’ll even find a checklist of what to do after you have a car accident.

Farmers Car Insurance Discounts

Multi-Car Discount

Discount if two or more vehicles are insured with Farmers.

Auto/Renters Discount

Discount if you bundle auto and renters policies.

Auto/Home Discount

Discount if you bundle auto with homeowners insurance or condo insurance.

Farmers Car Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Allows you to customize your coverage to suit your needs.
  • Fewer complaints than expected for a company of its size.
  • Lots of discounts available.
  • Over 48,000 exclusive and independent agents so you can reach an agent quickly.
  • High marks for customer service.
  • Handles claims promptly, according to customer feedback
Cons
  • Doesn’t offer car insurance in all states.
  • Premium rates are higher than the national average.
How Is Farmers Car Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)809
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA
BBBA-

How We Picked and Ranked the Best Car Insurance Companies in California

We researched auto insurers to find the best companies by category, using such factors as discounts, coverage, technology, and price.

Discounts

We looked at companies with the most discounts so you can save on your policy.

Coverage

Coverage is key when talking about auto insurance. It gives you more opportunities to choose from. And some seem necessary, and yet you must pay extra for them. We found many coverages that can be very useful to you.

Technology

We considered whether an insurer had a website and mobile app that could provide you with convenience and help you save time.

If you could easily get a quote, file a claim, keep track of your claim, check up on your policy, and more on the website and app of an insurer, then we put them high on our list.

Customer Reviews

Customer reviews are raw and pointed. They are also true (we only looked at vetted reviews), with customers putting up reviews any time they want. Customer reviews are necessary to read so you don’t make the mistake of purchasing a policy that ends up not being the one you really want.

Price

There are many auto insurers out there, so the cost of a policy helped us minimize our list when we chose only the most affordable.

How Car Insurance Companies Are Rated in California
CompanyPropertyNestJ.D. Power (out of 1,000)A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingBBB
Wawanesa5.0879A+A+
Allstate5.0826A+A-
CONNECT by American Family4.5834AA+
Mercury4.5827AA-
GEICO4.5824A++A+
Liberty Mutual4.5818AA+
State Farm4.5817A++A+
Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA)4.0844A+D-
CSAA Insurance Group (AAA)4.0814A+A-
Farmers4.0809AA-
Progressive4.0803A+F
Nationwide4.0787A+A+
Kemper4.0748A-A+

Is Auto Insurance Mandatory in California?

In California, all drivers must have auto insurance if they want to take their car out for a spin or if they just need to get to work.

And besides, if you lease or finance your car, your lender may require you to have car insurance.

Many think they may never get caught by authorities and so they skip auto insurance. But if you do, you will pay dearly, and you may have to surrender your driver’s license.

What Makes Up Auto Insurance?

There are two main components of an auto insurance policy: liability and physical damage coverage.

Your own liability pays for any bodily injury and property damage that you cause or for which you are responsible.

Regardless of fault, it can also include medical payments for you or anyone in your car if you and others are injured.

What Auto Insurance Coverage Do I Need in California?

California’s minimum car insurance requirements include:

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

$15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident minimum. 

This pays for the other party’s medical expenses if you have an accident and you’re at fault.

Property Damage Liability Coverage

$5,000 minimum. 

This coverage is used to repair the other party’s car if you are at fault.

Uninsured Motorist

$15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident minimum.

Uninsured Motorist (UMC) refunds you when another driver is at fault in an accident and has either no auto insurance coverage or does not have enough insurance to cover you.

California law requires auto insurers to offer UMC and underinsured motorist UIM coverage. Such coverages are not mandatory in California.

California law also requires car insurance companies to offer you $3,500 in uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage, but you can reject it.

When You Need More Coverage

The above minimum limits aren’t enough to cover expensive medical treatments or extensive damage to another car.

It’s a good idea then to purchase higher limits to protect you, your car, other passengers, as well as other drivers.

If you experience car accident injuries that need medical attention or extensive car damage and your policy limits are exhausted, you must pay the remaining costs out-of-pocket.

What Does My Liability Policy Cover?

If you get into an accident and it was your fault, your auto liability policy will pay for any medical expenses, property damages, and other losses (lost wages, for instance) to the other driver.

Optional Coverage

While the coverages above are required by law, the following forms of car insurance are optional but may be necessary to have on your auto policy:

Comprehensive

Comprehensive pays for things that happen to your car, such as vandalism, theft, or damage from a natural disaster.

Collision

Collision pays to repair your car or replace it when it’s damaged in a car accident.

Also, if your car collides with something else that is moving, such as another car, another person, a deer, or a dog, collision will pay for damage to your car.

Comprehensive and collision insurance are usually optional and are not required in the state of California. They are usually sold together in California.

But if your car is financed, the lender may require both comprehensive and collision.

This practice is also known as a “full coverage” policy.

When your dealership or bank wants you to carry full coverage, this means they are asking you if you can add comprehensive and collision coverage to your auto policy.

Comprehensive pays for car damage that is outside the driver’s scope.

These include:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Fire
  • Hail
  • Windstorm
  • Flood
  • Falling objects, such as rocks.

Collision and comprehensive coverage hinges on the value of your car.

If your car is old, beat up, or used, it’s not worth getting covered,

But if your car is new or expensive or rare, then it’s worth getting the coverage.

It’s important to note that California lenders usually require coverage when you finance or lease a car.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist

If a driver hits you and doesn’t have enough coverage or no coverage at all, this coverage pays for car repairs and your personal medical bills.

This also covers you if you are in an accident with a driver who does not have any liability insurance or is underinsured.

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI)

If you and your passengers get injured in an accident and the other driver is at fault and is uninsured, this pays for any sustained injuries.

Underinsured Motorist (UIM)

This covers limited costs for bodily injury as a result of you getting into an accident with a driver who does not have enough insurance to pay for damages.

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD)

If you get into an accident with an uninsured driver who is at fault, this pays for any damage to your car.

Medical payments (MedPay)

If you are the driver and have passengers in your car and you get into an accident regardless of who is at fault, your auto insurer will pay for necessary medical bills either to you or to your passengers.

Accident Forgiveness

Accident Forgiveness is not available in California according to state law. The 1988 law made it illegal for insurance companies to offer accident forgiveness because insurers used to charge “excessive rates.”

What is a “Fault?”

California is "fault.”

Liability for a car accident in California is a “fault” system, which means that drivers are financially responsible for any accidents or damages they may cause.

California is not a no-fault insurance state.

Thus. California drivers aren’t required by law to have personal injury protection coverage (PIP).

PIP covers the medical injury costs to a driver and their passengers after an accident.

Are There Any Endorsements or Riders to Take Advantage of?

You can purchase extra coverage as add-ons to your policy.

Examples include:

When expensive details in your car—from speakers to navigation systems—are stolen or damaged.

Towing and road service.

After your car is damaged due to an accident and is not drivable, you’ll get a rental car reimbursement.

Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP) when you pay off an auto loan or lease if your car is totaled and the market value of your car is less than the balance owed.

What Does Car Insurance Not Cover?

  • Any contents or personal effects inside your car (Example: If your car was robbed. You need to turn to your renters or homeowners insurance to have your belongings covered.)
  • Any damage you caused intentionally.
  • Normal wear and tear.
  • Mechanical failure unrelated to a covered event.

What Factors Determine the Cost of Car insurance in California?

Many factors affect your premium rate. The most important ones include:

Credit Score

If you have a poor credit score, insurers will believe that you are more likely to skip payments or not pay at all and you are also more likely to file claims. So, your premium will be higher.

Driving History

If you have a bad driving record, insurers will likely charge you more because insurers believe that your current driving history will be reflected in the future.

Age

Young people and teenagers are more at risk because online sources show that young people drive more recklessly and get into many accidents.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in California?

The cost of your auto policy varies depending on different factors, including the ones above.

An auto insurer will look at where you live, the type of car you drive, and more to give you a quote.

That said, the average cost of full coverage insurance in California is around $1,400 per year or around $117 per month.

How Do I Get the Cheapest Rate?

Get as many auto insurance quotes as you can. Now compare all the quotes before you purchase a policy. You’ll likely find a quote that is within your budget.

A quote is an estimate of your premium cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is car insurance per month in California?

The average cost of full coverage insurance in California is around $1,400 per year or around $117 per month.

What Factors Determine the Cost of Auto insurance in California?

Credit score, driving history, and age all determine the cost of insurance.

Is auto insurance mandatory in California?

In California, all drivers must have auto insurance.

Do you need full coverage in California?

California's minimum car insurance requirements include: bodily injury liability coverage, property damage liability coverage, and uninsured motorist.

What does auto insurance consist of?

There are two main components of an auto insurance policy: liability and physical damage coverage. Your own liability pays for any bodily injury and property damage that you cause or for which you are responsible. Regardless of fault, it can also include medical payments for you or anyone in your car if you and others are injured.