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November 21, 2020

Best Car Insurance Companies in California

Looking for car insurance in California is a difficult but necessary task. Since it is required by law for all drivers to have insurance, you are probably on the lookout for the best possible deal. However, with so many options, it can be overwhelming. That’s why we have put together a shortlist of the best car insurance companies in California to help you find the right fit.

Figure 1: Car insurance is one of the most important factors in owning a car in California. Source: BestCars.com.

The car insurance market in California is flooded with choices. Since there is a requirement for coverage, there is a need for the supply side of insurance to cover the nearly 26 million drivers in the state. Because of this, there are dozens of companies offering insurance and all of them have their own advantages and disadvantages.

The wealth of options is made even larger by the fact that insurance coverage will change based on your driving history and needs. This is why finding the best car insurance companies in California can be such a daunting task. Luckily, this article can help you sort through the options and find the company that will be able to give you the best deal.

Sources: Forbes.com; HedgesCompany.com.

What Makes a Great Car Insurance Company in California?

The best car insurance companies in California will be able to offer much more than coverage for your car. There are several factors that come into play when choosing one. These factors will all depend on what kind of driver you are, what kind of driving you do and how long you have been driving. Depending on how you answer these questions, your insurance company options will change.

Figure 2: Your own driving history can either save or cost you money on car insurance. Source: TheBalance.com.

One of the biggest factors at play when looking for the best car insurance companies in California will be your driving history. If you have any accidents on your record, your insurance premium will be much higher. If you have been involved in an accident that was determined to be your fault, you could end up paying 34% more per year for car insurance according to the national average. However, in California, it can go up as much as 73% more. If you have accidents on your record, you are going to want to find an insurance company that has the lowest premiums possible.


One of the other factors that should be taken into consideration when finding the best car insurance companies in California is the type of coverage you want. In California, you must have liability insurance. This means that if you get into an accident and end up damaging someone else’s property or causing an injury, your insurance will cover a portion of that. However, you can also get some additional protections that may not be required, but could be a very good idea.

Finding a car insurance company with these added protections is very important. For example, you may want to find a company that offers uninsured motorist insurance. This insurance will help pay for damages that might occur if you are involved in an accident with an at-fault uninsured driver. Even though insurance is required in California, not everyone obeys the law, so the best car insurance companies in California will offer this coverage.

Sources: Cover.com; DMV.ca.gov; AllState.com; Forbes.com.

How Did We Pick the Best Car Insurance Company in California?

We have scoured the market to find the best car insurance companies in California. While there are some that stand out from the crowd, your individual circumstances will do more to determine your plan than anything else.

We spoke to an Allstate insurance agent in California who told us “I can’t really tell someone how to get the best deal without knowing a lot of information about them. We base our policies on how much of a risk someone may or may not be and that’s going to be different for everyone. You can make some decisions as far as coverage goes, though, and that will really affect how much you pay every month.”

Figure 3: A good balance of coverage and price is one of the most important things to look for in a car insurance company. Source: SR22InsuranceCalifornia.com.

All of the car insurance companies on our shortlist have relatively high limits and low deductibles. The limit is the maximum amount that your insurance company will pay out in the event of an accident. The deductible is the maximum amount that you yourself will be liable for before the insurance company starts to contribute money. By finding a nice balance of these factors, you can find a company that will provide you the proper coverage without charging a huge monthly premium.


All of the below insurance companies also have highly rated customer service. This can be incredibly important should the unfortunate need arise to actually use your coverage. The best car insurance companies in California all have customer service representatives and agents that try to go above and beyond for their clients. This can be incredibly useful and comforting in a stressful situation like a car accident.

Sources: NerdWallet.com; Cars.com; Interview with Allstate insurance agent conducted 11/20/2020.

1.   Geico

Figure 4: Geico is a great all-around insurance company for all kinds of drivers. Source: CheapFullCoverageAutoInsurance.com.

Geico is a nationally recognized auto insurance company that has been covering drivers in California for years. They have many features that other insurance companies don’t offer and can be very helpful to almost any type of driver. One of their most important features is their renowned customer service. They have agents available 24 hours a day and a convenient app that allows you to adjust and access all of your insurance information from anywhere.

They also offer some of the lowest premium rates available. Their rates come in at about 19% lower than the national average for drivers who have no accidents or other moving violations on their record. This is a great money saver for careful drivers who want the best possible coverage.

They also offer a variety of incentives that can help lower rates even further. For example, if you take an accredited defensive driving course, you can take up to 20% off your premium costs. This is a great feature for people who may have a less than stellar driving record and want to offset some of those penalties. Conversely, they also offer huge driving history discounts. If you have not had an accident for more than five years, you could be eligible for up to 26% off your insurance.

Sources: Geico.com; ValuePenguin.com.

2.   Mercury

Figure 5: Mercury Insurance has many options for discounts and incentives that can lower your insurance premiums. Source: MercuryInsurance.com.

Mercury offers some of the cheapest insurance rates for drivers who want the most coverage possible. Even though the requirement in California is only minimum coverage, a full coverage plan will offer you complete protection on the road. The full coverage plan at Mercury is 58% less than the national average, at just over $700 for drivers with an ideal driving record.

One of the best features of Mercury’s insurance plan is their accident forgiveness. If you have been involved in one accident, their rates for full coverage stay the same. This is a fantastic feature for people who may not be able to get their ideal rate elsewhere due to a previous mistake. Many people find that this is a deciding factor when looking for the best car insurance companies in California.

They also offer discounts for specific things that can help you get a better deal on your premium. For example, if you insure multiple vehicles with them or have multiple coverage types such as home insurance and auto insurance, they will offer a discount. You can also save 5% by signing up with their RealDrive program. This program will track the amount of miles you typically drive and adjust your rate depending on your usage. This could be a great option for people who are not commuters or daily drivers.

Sources: ValuePenguin.com; MercuryInsurance.com.

3.   Progressive

Figure 6: For the most complete coverage, Progressive is a great option that won’t be a strain on your wallet. Source: Progressive.com.

Progressive is one of the best insurance companies in California if you are looking for complete coverage. While their rates are about average, their policies are comprehensive and will cover things you may not expect. However, if you are someone who has been driving for a long time, but have had accidents in the past, their rates are still fairly reasonable.

Progressive has coverage options that go above and beyond what other companies are offering. For example, their policies include things like pet injury coverage, coverage for custom parts and other equipment on your vehicle, and reimbursement for rental cars if you are involved in an accident and need a replacement vehicle while yours is being repaired. Not all insurance companies offer these choices, so if they apply to you, they could be a great choice.

They also offer an incentive program called Progressive Snapshot. With this program, you will install a mobile app that will record your driving habits and apply discounts to your premiums. If you are a habitually safe driver, this could end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.

Sources: ValuePenguin.com; Progressive.com.

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