Cheapest Basic Car Insurance In California
Basic car insurance is when a driver purchases only the California state-mandatory minimum amount of coverage. In California, drivers are required to carry liability insurance. As previously mentioned, there are certain coverage limits you must at least meet in order to be considered a legal driver in California.
While it is not recommended that drivers in California only carry liability insurance, it is still legal for them to do. The cheapest basic car insurance policy in California goes for around $400 annually. Still, basic auto policies can get as high as $1,000 per year, depending on your driving circumstances and how your provider prices coverage.
How To Compare Cheap California Car Insurance Quotes Online
You can easily get a car insurance quote online from most companies, making the process of shopping for auto coverage far more convenient than it used to be.
- Start by determining how much coverage you need so you can compare insurers with consistent limits. For instance, if you get a quote with one provider for $100,000 in bodily injury liability insurance per accident, you should make sure to use the same number when comparing prices with another insurer.
- If you want to get a quote estimate for the average driver, use MoneyGeeks car insurance calculator. For personalized quotes, youll have to provide more details.
- For the states minimum liability-only car insurance package, Progressive, USAA and CSAA offer the most reasonably priced plans, on average.
Auto Insurance Calculator
- Show more
Having a DUI on your record can increase your insurance rates because driving under the influence of alcohol can endanger yourself and others on the road. Drivers in California with a DUI might need to file an SR-22. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , there were 9,288 car crash deaths involving a drunk driver in California from 20092018. In the same study, 1.5% of respondents in California reported driving after drinking too much within the previous 30 days.
How Much Coverage Do You Need In California
California law only requires that you have liability insurance. However, cheap car insurance isn’t always the best car insurance. According to the Insurance Information Institute, insurance experts and consumer advocates recommend carrying liability coverage of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. Some experts recommend carrying uninsured motorist insurance as well.
If you have a new car loan, the insurer will require that you purchase collision and comprehensive insurance. You may also want to carry it if youve purchased a relatively new car for cash. On the other hand, if your car is worth less than your deductible and a couple of years’ worth of premiums, you might want to forgo that coverage.
Additional collision coverage beyond the state-required minimum will protect you if you are at fault in an accident. Comprehensive coverage helps repair or pay for the replacement value of a vehicle following a crash.
Don’t Miss: Insurance Companies For Home And Auto
What Is Californias Low Cost Auto Insurance
To combat the financial rise of auto insurance, California has developed a program that helps good, low-income drivers afford auto insurance. This program, Californiaâs Low Cost Auto Insurance program provides liability coverage for one primary driver and any other eligible individuals who will be frequently driving the vehicle.
To qualify for this program, drivers must:
- Have a valid California driverâs license
- Vehicleâs worth must be at or below $25,000
- Owners can insure up to two vehicles
- All household vehicles must be registered with the CLCA program
Does The California Low Cost Auto Insurance Program Offer Enough Coverage
Californias minimum liability requirements are:
$15,000 for bodily injury liability per person
$30,000 for bodily injury liability per accident
$5,000 for property damage liability
Typically, California drivers must carry at least this much liability coverage to avoid facing legal penalties, but the CLCA program offers an exception to this rule. Drivers who are insured through the CLCA program have:
$10,000 bodily injury liability per person
$20,000 bodily injury liability per accident
$3,000 property damage liability
The coverage limits on the CLCA program are lower than the state minimum requirements, but the state has decided to waive the minimum liability requirements for those people who enroll in the program in an attempt to reduce the number of uninsured drivers in the state of California.
While it makes sense to offer more affordable insurance as a way to keep more drivers insured, the reality of the situation is that the state minimum coverage really isnt enough to protect people in case of a serious accident, let alone the lower levels of coverage offered through the CLCA program. Drivers in California should carry the highest levels of liability coverage they can afford.
Also Check: Value Of My Used Car
Alternative Car Insurance In California
If you have a high number of accidents, DUIs or other factors making it hard to find auto coverage, you might qualify for insurance through the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan. This organization connects high-risk drivers to insurance companies that will cover them.
For more help finding the most competitive prices in California, try NerdWallets car insurance comparison tool.
How Aaa Car Insurance Works In California
AAA, the automobile club best known for its roadside assistance memberships, also sells insurance in many states. But just like the clubs themselves, AAA insurance companies are separate companies that operate independently. If you use a AAA webpage, it will ask for your ZIP code in order to ensure you’re looking at information for your local AAA club.
Also Check: Auto Insurance Companies In Virginia
Many Californians Dissatisfied With Fairness In Auto Insurance
Almost six in 10 California voters said they are dissatisfied with the fairness of car insurance rates, according to a November 2020 survey conducted by EMC Research and commissioned by Root Insurance. Just over half of survey respondents feel the current method to determine car insurance rates in California is discriminatory.
Ironically, Californias Prop 103 law, passed in 1988, was supposed to reduce these grievances. The law says auto insurers in California must base their rates on driving record, years of driving experience and annual mileage.
The level of dissatisfaction with California auto insurance rates was high among key demographic groups:
- 70% of lower-income voters said they are unsatisfied with fairness of rates, as well as 64% of Latino voters, 61% of Asian/Pacific Island voters, 59% of Black voters and 61% of Democrats
- Only 11% of Black voters and 17% of Latino voters are satisfied with the availability of affordable car insurance for low-income drivers
The survey also found that 58% of Latino and Black voters believe the current way car insurance rates are determined is discriminatory.
Black and Latino voters feel discriminated against and that wont change unless we make changes to give them more fair and equitable options, said Edwin Lombard, CEO of the California African-American Chamber of Commerce, in a statement.
Cheapest For Teen Drivers In California With An Accident History: Geico
Geico and Mercury offer the most affordable auto insurance coverage for young California drivers after an at-fault accident. These companies both offered rates below $1,700 per year, far less than the typical price of $2,305 annually.
Teenagers pay more for car insurance after an accident because their lack of driving experience indicates a statistical likelihood to get in another crash about 46% more. However, because teens are already more likely to get into a crash than older drivers, the relative increase is smaller. Older California drivers typically pay 102% more after a crash.
You May Like: Best Home And Auto Insurance Bundles 2020
Cheapest Full Coverage Car Insurance In California For 40
Drivers in California with clean driving records may want to think about the following companies, which had the lowest average rates:
Esurance: $1,289 per year, or about $107 per month.
Geico: $1,438 per year, or about $120 per month.
Wawanesa: $1,470 per year, or about $122 per month.
Infinity: $1,650 per year, or about $138 per month.
CIG: $1,677 per year, or about $140 per month.
Expert Advice On Finding Cheap Car Insurance In California
To help you find reliable and accurate insight on car insurance in California, MoneyGeek gathered expert advice from trusted professionals. The views and sentiments shared are those of the individual contributor.
You May Like: Car Rental In Colorado Springs
How Car Type Affects Your Auto Insurance Premiums
The type of car you have will impact your insurance premiums pretty significantly. A pricey, new vehicle will be more expensive to insure than your everyday sedan or minivan.
The make, model, and year of your vehicle will be taken into consideration when determining your car insurance rates in California. Just remember that the newer your vehicle is, the more it will cost to insure.
Some insurance companies also have concerns about drivers who own fast vehicles like sports cars. They believe a driver with a sports car is more likely to speed than someone driving a run-down sedan. Itâs best to keep this in mind if you are shopping for a new vehicle.
Cheapest Auto Insurance In California For 20
For drivers with a recent accident in California, here are the companies with the lowest average rates for minimum coverage:
Grange Insurance Association: $1,008 per year, or about $84 per month.
Geico: $1,025 per year, or about $85 per month.
CSAA: $1,044 per year, or about $87 per month.
Wawanesa: $1,226 per year, or about $102 per month.
Travelers: $1,236 per year, or about $103 per month.
Recommended Reading: Firestone Complete Auto Care Durham
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies In California For Drivers With Bad Credit
In California, car insurance companies cannot use your credit score to determine your premiums. However, as a good credit score can have many financial benefits, its still advisable to improve your score if possible.
While insurers in many states use to determine premium costs, California is an exception. Insurers in California cannot use a driver’s credit score to influence the cost of car insurance. Your credit score can impact your finances in other ways, however, so improving your score can help prepare for the future.
When Can California Car Insurance Be Canceled
State law defines reasons car insurance can be cancelled. In California the reasons are:
- You didnt pay your car insurance bill.
- You, your household members or anyone who regularly drives your car had their drivers license suspended or revoked during the policy period. Or if the policy is a renewal, during the policy period or the 180 days immediately preceding the policy effective date.
- You made a fraudulent car insurance claim.
- You misrepresented any of the following information about you, your household members or anyone who regularly drives your car 1) driving record 2) annual miles driven in past years 3) number of years of driving experience 4) past car insurance claims 5) any other factor found by the California insurance commissioner to cause a substantial risk of loss.
Don’t Miss: Used Car Dealerships Odessa Tx
How We Make Money
The offers that appear on this site are from companies that compensate us. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within the listing categories. But this compensation does not influence the information we publish, or the reviews that you see on this site. We do not include the universe of companies or financial offers that may be available to you.
Car Insurance Requirements In California
Every driver in California must carry car insurance in order to legally operate their vehicle on the road. Much like other states, California has a mandatory minimum amount of coverage you must meet.
Failure to carry at least the specified minimums can result in serious penalties. Outlined below are the mandatory minimum amount of car insurance every California driver must carry.
You May Like: Best Auto Loan Rates San Diego
Car Insurance Premium Factors
There are some factors that affect your car insurance premiums that you can change in order to get a better car insurance quote. For example, moving out of California may not be a reasonable option, but you can keep a clean driving record to help your insurance rates.
Making sure to stay on top of the payments for the insurance coverage you currently have is also crucial in keeping your rates low. Being aware of what affects your California car insurance rates will help you learn what areas can be adjusted in order to get a more appealing quote.
Is Your Car Financed Or Leased
If you still owe money on your car or have to return it in good condition when a lease expires, you’ll likely be required to insure the car for its full valueand even for any gap between what you owe and the car’s market value. Collision and comprehensive will cover damage to your car, and supplemental gap insurance will cover the rest.
SmartFinancial compares the policies of licensed insurance companies, from Los Angeles to San Francisco and everywhere else in the Golden State. Whether you’re good drivers or bad, whether below the federal poverty level or not, you may be eligible for low-cost auto insurance. Even if you live in an urban county, are a new or older driver, most consumers are eligible for a low-cost auto insurance program. Our network of licensed agents is just a click or phone call away. You can start comparing rates for free by entering your zip code below or call 855-214-2291.
About the Author
David Joy is a freelance writer and editor living in New York City. He has written on many topics related to the insurance industry including company overviews, product explainers and policy comparisons. He has worked in publishing for more than 25 years, editing books, newspapers, magazines and websites.
Don’t Miss: Applying For An Auto Loan
How Much Coverage Do I Need
Confused about how much coverage you need? Remember that every driver has different auto insurance needs, and the coverage you choose depends on your situation. Your insurance rate is determined by many different factors such as your driving record, the value of your vehicle, how much coverage you want, your deductible, etc. If your vehicle is financed, the company you have the loan through will most likely require you to purchase full coverage vs basic liability insurance. It is also important to evaluate the type of coverage you are purchasing. State minimum coverage, also known as liability insurance, is usually the cheapest, and many drivers that are looking dor the lowest monthly payment choose this option. It is important to do your research to make sure you have the right coverage for your needs.
How Car Insurance History Affects Your Auto Insurance Premiums
The minute you obtain your California driverâs license, youâll need car insurance coverage. This applies even if a driver doesnt own a vehicle. If California insurance companies find that you have a drivers license but no car insurance, they may assume you have been driving uninsured, which is illegal and incredibly dangerous. It is possible that they will consider them a high-risk driver, which will raise a drivers car insurance premiums.
California Insurance companies never want to see any gaps in your coverage history. Having unexplainable lapses in insurance can make drivers appear to be financially irresponsible. Insurers are less likely to want to offer drivers car insurance coverage if this is the case.
Recommended Reading: Car Rentals At San Diego International Airport
Californias Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program
California runs a program that makes auto insurance more affordable for drivers who meet income guidelines. You can find out whether your income level qualifies at MyLowCostAuto.com. To qualify you also must:
- Be at least 16 years old
- Have a valid California drivers license
- Have a vehicle worth $25,000 or less
- Have a good driving record
Cheapest Full Coverage Car Insurance In California For 30
Drivers in California with clean driving records may get the lowest rates from these companies:
Esurance: $1,367 per year, or about $114 per month.
Geico: $1,479 per year, or about $123 per month.
Wawanesa: $1,560 per year, or about $130 per month.
CSAA: $1,711 per year, or about $143 per month.
CIG: $1,738 per year, or about $145 per month.
Read Also: Salt Lake City Car Rental At Airport
Legal Liability Requirements For California Low Cost Car Insurance
All California residents are legally required to carry minimum liability of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident for bodily injury. Another $5,000 is mandatory for property damage. In order to satisfy Californias Compulsory Financial Responsibility Law, you must carry proof of financial responsibility in one of four ways. These methods of providing proof include a legal and current auto insurance policy, a $35,000 surety bond, $35,000 cash paid to the Department of Motor Vehicles as a deposit, or a DMV issued certificate of self-insurance.
There is one more proof of financial responsibility that is not addressed above, and that is proof of CLCA, the California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program. This program provides low cost automobile insurance coverage for less than $400 per year. The basic liability under this program is $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident for bodily injury, as well as $3,000 for property damage. Although the basic liability for CLCA is lower than the standard requirements, it legally satisfies the proof of responsibility law.
Summary: Required California Car Insurance
A good auto insurance policy starts with liability insurance thats higher than state requirements. State minimums are low and can leave you open to lawsuits when you dont have enough insurance. If you have assets to protect from a lawsuit, such as savings, youll want a higher level of coverage. As your income and assets get higher, you can become a lawsuit target and should consider generous auto insurance limits.
Other coverage types we recommend are:
Collision and comprehensive coverage:Collision and comprehensive pay for repairs to your car from a wide variety of problems, including hail, floods, fire, vandalism and crashes with other objects and animals. Comprehensive insurance also covers car theft.
Uninsured motorist coverage: If youre injured by a driver who has little or no liability insurance, uninsured motorist coverage can help. It pays your medical bills when someone else causes an accident and they have no insurance or not enough to cover your bills. UM can also pay for lost wages and pain and suffering due to the accident.
Umbrella insurance: This coverage provides an extra layer of liability insurance above your auto and homeowners insurance. In the event of a disastrous auto accident, umbrella coverage gives increased coverage from lawsuits.
Recommended Reading: Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting