If you are a California driver, you might be wondering how much you are expected to pay for your auto insurance. There is no simple answer. It will depend on how well you do the research, what you drive, and how clean your license is. Below, you will find a few pointers that will help you find the cheapest car insurance in California, independent of your circumstances.
How to Get the Best Cheap Car Insurance in California
The first thing you will have to do is compare different prices. No matter if you are using a price comparison site or manually request quotes from companies, never stop at the first offer you get. The more prices you get the better chance you will have to find a great deal. Here are some additional tips that will help you locate the right insurance company for your circumstances:
- Keep your driving record clean.
- Determine the minimum level of coverage you need, and pay for only what you need.
- Set your deductibles according to your budget.
- Apply for a safe driving discount if you qualify.
Please note that car insurance companies in California don’t use your credit score to rate your risk.
California Insurance Companies with the Cheapest Rates
Based on recent research by WalletHub, GEICO offers the lowest average prices for drivers in California, at $433 per year. The second cheapest is CSAA, followed by Progressive, Mercury, Auto Club, and State Farm. Allstate is over $400 more expensive than GEICO, but your individual circumstances matter. If you’re looking for full coverage car insurance, GEICO is still the cheapest at $1432, and Mercury comes in at second place at $1487.
The Cheapest California Car Insurance for Younger Drivers
Generally, the younger a driver is, the more they will pay for their auto insurance. If you are 20 years old, you might want to try Wawanesa, offering coverage at $2080 per year, or Grange Insurance Association for $2325 annually. To further reduce the cost, you might opt for minimum coverage, which can reduce your premiums with Grange Insurance Association to $644 per year and $698 when you go with CSAA.
In case you’ve had a recent accident, you are expected to pay $780 per year with Grange Insurance Association and your cost jumps to $1046 when you sign with CSAA. A DUI will increase your price to $974 a year with Grange Insurance Association.
The Average Car Insurance Cost in California
The average car insurance in California costs about 20 percent more than the national average. The average cost of auto insurance in 2021 is $614 per year for the minimum coverage, which includes the following elements:
- Bodily injury liability of $15,000 per person
- $30,000 liability insurance for bodily injury per accident
- A property damage liability cover or $5000 per accident
For full coverage, you are likely to pay around $1817 a year in California. Full coverage generally includes additional insurance such as comprehensive, collision, or finance payoff.
Great Car Insurance Deals If You’ve Had an Accident or DUI
You can’t expect to get the best possible deal if you have had a DUI recently, but some companies are going to be better for your circumstances than others. On average, you will pay 144 percent more than someone with no convictions. With Mercury, your cost will increase by $967 a year, and GEICO will up your prices by over $2000.
Infinity offers a full coverage policy for a 30-year-old driver with a recent DUI conviction at a price of $2614 per year, and Grange Insurance Association covers you for $2802.
Which Gender Gets the Cheapest Car Insurance Deal in California?
Unlike in other states, your gender doesn’t influence your car insurance cost in California, as NerdWallet confirms. The new law was recently accepted to ensure that gender discrimination is not implemented in the pricing structure of insurance companies.
What Is the Best Age for Getting Cheap Insurance?
Similarly to national trends, drivers in their 40s get better rates on their car insurance, compared with younger customers at the same location who have the same driving history. Still, some older drivers with longer driving histories might be favored by insurance companies. However, the mileage you drive will influence your final price, too.
California car insurance companies offering the best rates for drivers who are 40 years old are GEICO at $385, CSAA at $398, and Grange insurance Association at $442 annually.
If you’ve had an accident recently, your price will increase to $1772 with CSAA and to $1998 a year with Esurance. Grange Insurance Association will charge you up to $2088 annually.
As you reach 65, your car insurance rates will get better, but as you get even older, your risk level will be considered higher, so your price might increase again.
Minimum or Full Coverage
The higher amount of coverage you take out, the more you will pay. Minimum coverage is probably sufficient if you are a low-risk driver and your car is not worth a great deal. Full coverage gives you the benefit of comprehensive and collision coverage, including natural disasters, accidental damage, theft, or vandalism. Full coverage is an extra layer of financial security for drivers who would like to be prepared for every possibility.
Special California Car Insurance Discounts
If you have been a safe driver for a while, you can apply for a safe driving discount in California and save 5-10 percent on your annual premium. Nationwide has a lower than average rate for safe drivers in California.
Low mileage discounts are also available from California car insurance companies for those who only use their vehicle now and then. You might even consider a pay-as-you-drive coverage if you don’t commute to work by car.
Further discounts available from different car insurance companies include those provided for veterans, homeowners, or students. Some companies reward loyal customers with a discount, too.
The California Good Driver Discount gives you 20 percent off your premium if you have had your license for at least three years and have under two points.
Low Cost Auto Insurance Program in California
California’s Low Cost Auto Insurance Program offers affordable coverage for drivers who cannot afford to pay full price. To qualify, you need to have a current license that is valid in the state, a car that is worth less than $25,000, and an income below 250 percent of the federal poverty level.
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