Car insurance is mandatory in the State of California, but your choice of car insurance companies is a personal decision based on factors, such as coverage, deductibles, and cost.  

I'm sure you are tired of getting bombarded by companies claiming they offer the best cheap car insurance

Here is the list of our top picks, plus a guide to the best cheap car insurance in Texas.

Our #1 Pick

progressive logo

Progressive is our top pick of all the car insurance companies because they offer a complete package—excellent coverage, rates, and customer service. They also have superior customer service.

california car insurance

Who Made Our List Of The Best Car Insurance In California

Plus More Details On Each Company, Discounts Available, What Car Insurance Covers, And What's The Makeup Of A Car Insurance Policy.

best car insurance in california

Who Made Our List Of The Best Car Insurance In California

Plus More Details On Each Company, Discounts Available, What Car Insurance Covers, And What's The Makeup Of A Car Insurance Policy.

1. Progressive

4.9

progressive logo

Progressive is known as one of the most ethical insurance companies because they’ll help you shop around for providers.

They promise that if they find a rate that’s lower than theirs, then they’ll disclose that information so that you can find the best provider for your needs.

The company also has a tool called “Name Your Price,” which isn’t just lip service.

You can tell Progressive what you’re comfortable paying, and they’ll do their best to match you with a policy that fits your financial situation.

  • Discounts for extended periods of safe driving
  • Multi-vehicle and multi-policy discounts
  • Price breaks for paying your annual policy in full
  • Teen drivers are eligible for good grade discounts.
  • Discounts for purchasing policies online

2. Liberty Mutual

4.3

liberty mutual logo

While car insurance for young adults does tend to be higher, Liberty Mutual goes out of its way to structure policies that are friendly for teens and younger people.

Here are some ways that Liberty Mutual can help you save:

  • Alumni discounts for college grads from a variety of universities
  • Discounts for membership to one of 14,000 professional organizations or employers
  • Automobile safety features like lane anti lock breaks, can reduce the cost of a policy.
  • Discounts for students that live on campus 
  • Accident forgiveness, which keeps rates the same after one accident
  • The new car replacement clause for the first year gives your car full replacement value

3. Esurance

4.8

esurance logo

As one of the first companies to sell car insurance online, Esurance has been known from day one as a provider of low rates for drivers of all ages and the best insurance for new drivers.

Now that Allstate has acquired Esurance, they’re even better equipped to provide low-cost, benefit-rich coverage for drivers of all ages.

In fact, you can get a 5% discount just for applying online via their Fast 5 program.

Other ways that Esurance can help you save include:

  • DriveSense Mobile App – Teens and young drivers get discounts for safe driving.
  • Alumni discounts for graduates of a Pac-12 school
  • “Switch and Save,” gives you a discount for switching from another insurance provider.
  • Teen drivers are eligible for good grade discounts.
  • You can bundle renters and home insurance for even more savings.

4. MetroMile

4.5

metromile logo

Do you drive less than 12,000 miles per year? If so, you can save big bucks with MetroMile.

This company caters specifically to low-mileage drivers. This means that the less you drive, the less you pay. Sounds fair, right?

If you only drive a few thousand miles a year, your insurance premiums can rival what a 40-year-old female with a perfect driving record would be. 

To track your mileage, you do need to install a device in your vehicle that has a built-in GPS. As long as you’re not worried about sharing your driving habits with a third-party company, then you’ll be thrilled with your savings.

Cost-saving Features

  • Pay a low monthly rate and a few cents for each mile you drive.
  • Miles are calculated on a monthly average.
  • Their app has street sweeping alerts and save yourself from getting tickets.
  • No cancellation fees.
  • If your car is stolen, the tracker you’ve installed can help retrieve it.

5. Quote Wizard

4.4

quote wizard logo

It can be tedious to shop individual providers, so a tool called Quote Wizard can help take the headache out of getting the best deal.

With Quote Wizard, you can compare 30 companies side by side and choose the best-priced policy that has the coverage you need.

Given that not all companies provide insurance in all 50 states, checking Quote Wizard before getting excited about a policy can prevent heartache and FOMO (fear of missing out). 

Quote Wizard will also share a summary of all of the reviews written by real customers.

To get started with QuoteWizard all you have to do is click on the name of an insurance company and you’ll see the following information:

  • Stats about the company
  • How many complaints are filed each year.
  • Measures of financial strength for claims paying ability.
  • Best and worst features as reported by verified customers.
  • Metrics about pricing, overall purchase experience, and policy offerings
  • Whether there are mobile apps available to pay your bill or view your policy. 
  • Typical discounts that other customers have taken advantage of with this company

best car insurance in california

Guide To Car Insurance In California 

The minimum car insurance requirements in California 

In 1988, California voters passed Proposition 103, which determined that insurers could not use a customer’s zip code or location to calculate their premium.

It also bans insurance companies from considering someone’s credit score when determining premiums. 

California’s actions, such as the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP) and California’s Low-Cost Auto (CLCA) Insurance Program, demonstrate their commitment to ensuring all drivers carry insurance. 

Their minimum car insurance requirements also speak to this.

The bodily injury liability per person is $15,000, and bodily injury liability per accident is $30,000. Finally, property damage liability is $5,000 per accident. 

There are no requirements for collision or comprehensive coverage in California. However, this doesn’t mean you should go without this coverage.

Lower minimums keep premiums lower. Even though the minimums are low, it is always wise to carry more if you can.

Having more extensive coverage can protect you from uninsured and underinsured drivers. 

THE SIMPLY INSURANCE WAY

Car Insurance made easy.

Agents not required.

Get quotes and sign up online without talking to an agent. But, we are here if you need us. 

Unbiased, expert advice.

Get unbiased insurance education from licensed experts and also avoid dodgy sales calls.

Coverage in minutes.

You can get auto insurance coverage within minutes of getting your quotes and applying.

Best Car Insurance By Situation

Best car insurance in California for students

Both Geico and State Farm offer discounts to students who make good grades. State Farm requires you to be among the top 20% of your class to qualify. 

Best car insurance in California for young adults

Those who are under the age of 25 and complete a teenSMART® driver education program qualify for an extra discount with Allstate auto insurance.

Additionally, Allstate’s mobile app allows young adults to access all of their policy information quickly or speak with an agent if needed. 

Best car insurance in California for those with a DUI

If you have a DUI or other serious offenses on your driving record, you may want to reach out to CAARP, which can help you find a provider that will work with you. 

Best car insurance in California for seniors

Allstate has competitive savings for seniors with good driving records. 

Low-Income Car Insurance In California 

In California, all drivers must have car insurance. To assist low-income drivers, the California Department of Insurance sponsors the CLCA Insurance program.

This program provides coverage on a sliding scale. You can check out the program to see if you qualify. 

The eligibility questionnaire is in nine different languages, and the website has 11 language options, so it is accessible to a larger population.   

INSURANCE WHERE YOU LIVE

Car insurance by state.

What Is No-Fault Insurance? 

No-fault insurance is also known as personal injury protection (PIP), and it helps pay for medical bills for you and your passengers.

Some states require no-fault insurance, while others do not offer the option. 

In Texas, no-fault insurance is optional. If you do have no-fault insurance, it will be the first payer of medical bills. Once that runs out, other coverage will kick in. 

Your Insurance Credit Score Does Not Matter 

In California, it is illegal for insurance agencies to run a credit score check before offering you an insurance quote or approval.

That means that even with a low credit score, you can purchase car insurance in California. 

The Different Types Of Car Insurance Coverage

There are several different types of coverage you can get with your car insurance policy. It's essential to understand what these different parts of your policy will cover.

Liability: 

Except for New Hampshire and Virginia, liability insurance is required in all 50 states and covers your cost if you are held liable for an accident and have to pay a victim's expenses.

However, this is the absolute minimum insurance you can purchase and it is comprised of both property damage liability and bodily injury liability.

When you buy a policy it will cover you for three different limits under those above coverage.

These limits are known as the limits of liability which is essentially the insurer's max liability to cover you.  

You can find them on the declarations page and they usually look something like this (20/40/10) all expressing the different levels of coverage.

Comprehensive: 

This optional coverage (often called comp insurance) goes beyond basic liability, and is usually purchased with collision insurance.

This part of the policy will have its own deductible that can be raised or lowered based on what you can afford. 

Types of things covered by comprehensive insurance are: 

  • Missiles or explosions
  • Falling objects
  • Theft, vandalism, or larceny 
  • Miscellaneous mischief
  • Fire
  • Civil commotions and riots
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Earthquakes
  • Running into an animal
  • Water or flooding

Having comprehensive insurance will probably be required by any lender or lienholder if you decide to lease or buy your car with a loan.

Collision: 

This level of coverage is often required if you are leasing or financing a vehicle. and will pay out if your car hits another car or object and you need to repair or replace your car.

Your collision coverage will have it's own deductible and limits of liability.  Like with any policy, the lower the deductible, the higher the premiums.   

Collision insurance is optional in every states; however, your lender may require this coverage if you purchase a car with a loan.

Uninsured Motorist: 

Approximately 13% of Americans don’t have auto insurance, and in Florida, that number is close to 27%.

If you’re involved in a car accident, and the person at fault doesn’t have insurance, then an insurance policy with uninsured motorist will cover the costs to make you whole.

Also, if someone only buys the minimum amount of insurance it might not be enough to cover everything.

But with coverage for uninsured or under-insured motorists it would cover the excess of what you’re owed. 

Personal Injury Protection

Personal injury protection (PIP), is also called no-fault insurance, or medical payments coverage.

If an accident happens, regardless who is at fault, this part of the policy will cover you and your passengers medical bills.  

This part of the coverage will only activate for items not covered by your health insurance.

While many states make personal injury protection optional, you might not need it if you have good health insurance. However, you could leave your self open for more risk.

THE SIMPLY INSURANCE WAY

Car Insurance made easy.

Agents not required.

Get quotes and sign up online without talking to an agent. But, we are here if you need us. 

Unbiased, expert advice.

Get unbiased insurance education from licensed experts and also avoid dodgy sales calls.

Coverage in minutes.

You can get auto insurance coverage within minutes of getting your quotes and applying.

What Makes Up A Car Insurance Policy?

Your Deductible

Whenever you file a claim, you’ll have to pay a deductible, which is the amount you must pay before the insurance company starts assisting with payouts.

Deductibles vary, but the most common is $500. You can also get lower deductible policies, but the trade off is that your monthly premiums will rise. 

Another option is a higher deductible policy. Even though you’ll have to pay more out-of-pocket if there’s an incident, your premium will be lower.

The Monthly Premiums

The premium is the amount you pay for a car insurance policy. The amount of the premium varies by provider, and it takes into account the following:

  • Driving record
  • Where you live
  • Level of coverage
  • Discount eligibility
  • Age and experience of the driver
  • Make, model, and value of the vehicle
  • Safety features built-in or added to the vehicle
  • If you live near public transportation

Glass Coverage & Deductible

Coverage for your glass is probably the most underrated coverage in my opinion.  However, depending on the type of car you have it could be very well worth it.

Recently, our neighborhood was part of some type of mass vandalism and the windows on one of our cars were completely destroyed.  

Cost to replace both windows $3,500 - Our glass deductible was only $50.00 can you imagine if we didn't have glass coverage on our cars.

It can be wise to add glass coverage to your policy to protect you from these unexpected expenses and be sure to search for a policy with a separate glass deductible.

Take Action

Our choice for the best car insurance in California is Progressive because of its best overall experience. 

It offers different coverage options, alongside exceptional customer service and competitive prices.

Esurance is another excellent option and you will still receive the best customer service among California car insurers. 

Finding the best car insurance doesn't have to be difficult; in fact you can click here or on one of the above buttons to compare quotes


Aten-Re El

About the author

Aten-Re El is a Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Simply Insurance as well as a licensed life & health insurance agent with over 11 years of experience. Aten-Re is responsible for the daily operations of Simply Insurance and building and procuring strong client relationships with our insurance partners.

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