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Car Insurance in California (Updated May 2024)

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California Car Insurance Quotes

Car insurance costs are up 22% from a year ago, with some states seeing even higher increases than others. Looking at California specifically, drivers are paying 2% more for car insurance than the national average, with Full Coverage costing California drivers an average of $192 per month

Similar to other states, the rates in California can vary widely by specific cities and zip codes as accident rates, car-related crime, and even weather can have significant influence over a driver's risk profile. Of course, a driver's profile also impacts the total cost of coverage, with age, driving history, and even credit score being some of the major factors evaluated by insurance providers. 

We partner with insurance experts to analyze millions of data points and get you the best car insurance in California. Read on to learn more about properly insuring your car in California. 

If you're ready for personalized recommendations, submit your ZIP code above and compare options instantly - absolutely free. 

California Car Insurance Laws

California offers several insurance alternatives to meet the state’s minimum insurance criteria. You can purchase a motor vehicle liability insurance policy, make a cash deposit of $35,000 to the DMV, obtain a self-insurance certificate, or procure a surety bond of $35,000 from a licensed California company.

California’s car insurance minimums

Drivers who opt for liability coverage must obtain a policy that meets California’s minimum car insurance requirements, which include:

  • $15,000 for the injury or death of a single individual
  • $30,000 fort he injury or death of two or more people
  • $5,000 for property damage

California’s liability coverage requirements are less than those in other states. 

Proof of Insurance

Liability coverage applies only to others who sustain injuries or property damage due to the insured’s actions. You must buy comprehensive or collision insurance to insure yourself and your vehicle.  

All drivers are expected to have minimum coverage that meets California requirements. ” 

A first conviction of driving in California without insurance can result in a fine between $100 and $200, while subsequent convictions within the next three years may result in a $200 to $500 fine. A court may also order your vehicle to be impounded. 

California doesn’t specify a new car insurance grace period in its laws. All drivers are expected to have minimum coverage that meets California requirements. However, if you purchase a car using a loan or financing, the lender may stipulate additional coverage requirements, including collision or comprehensive policies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the quickest way to reduce my insurance premium in California?
The quickest and easiest way to reduce your insurance premium is to take advantage of discounts related to your account setup. Depending on the insurance provider, setting up Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), signing up for Paperless billing, and paying your policy in-full can reduce your cost by 4% to 9% instantly.
What is the most common insurance discount in California?
The most common insurance discount is signing up for Paperless billing. We have seen discounts range from 3% up to 11% depending on the policy. It is important to note that not all carriers offer this discount and those that do might have rules of when it can be applied (usually around the start of your policy term).
How much will I save switching insurance providers in California?
How much you can save by switching carriers can vary widely by location, time of year, and your driving record. While some carriers offer a median discount of 6 - 7% for policy renewals, recent research suggests that you can save anywhere between 10 - 20% by switching to a new carrier. The best way to secure the highest savings on your policy is by shopping often and connecting with a licensed agent.

🔍 Auto Insurance Methodology - Premiums are sourced from over 30,000 zip codes across 200 insurance companies. We estimate premiums based on policies seeking 50/100 in liability with $500 deductibles for collision and comprehensive coverage. Rates are based a 35-year-old single female with a good credit score and no history of accidents or violations driving a 2023 Toyota RAV4 LE. We assume no unique benefits or discounts are applied for these rates. Your own rates may be different.