The best car insurance companies in California for seniors are Geico, CSAA, and USAA. The best car insurance for seniors in California is affordable, yet provides enough coverage to keep up with the changing needs of older drivers. Seniors get into more car accidents than middle-aged drivers, for example. About 10% of fatal crashes in California involve a driver who is at least 65 years old. This is why older drivers may see their rates go up for the first time in decades.
The best car insurance companies in California provide a hassle-free claims process and top-notch customer service. They also have discounts for seniors who take a defensive driving course and low-mileage or usage-based coverage for retirees who are no longer commuting to work every day.
No, California is not a no-fault state for auto insurance. California is an “at-fault” or “tort” state, which means the person who is at fault for a car accident is responsible for paying for other people’s injuries and property damage resulting from the accident. Additionally, unlike in no-fault states, drivers in California can file lawsuits to seek compensation for even basic medical expenses after an accident.… read full answer
In typical no-fault states, drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to pay for their own medical expenses after a car accident, regardless of fault. In California, PIP is not required.
Key Things to Know About Insurance in California
When an accident occurs, the insurance company for each driver who was involved will assign an adjuster to determine who was at fault. To collect payment for their losses, victims must file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Depending on how long fault takes to be determined, drivers can file a claim with their own insurance company if they have coverage applicable to their own expenses, such as collision and comprehensive Their insurer can then recoup the cost from the at-fault driver’s insurer if the policyholder is not determined to be at fault.
California uses a pure comparative negligence system, meaning drivers can collect damages proportionate to their fault in causing the crash. For example, if they're 99% at fault, they can get 1% from the other driver.
Being an “at-fault” / “tort” state helps keep California’s insurance costs relatively low, compared to no-fault states.
California requires all drivers to carry liability insurance, a type of insurance that pays for others’ expenses after you cause an accident, such as damage to others’ vehicles and their medical expenses.
In addition to California’s minimum coverage requirements, you may want to purchase types of coverage that will pay for your own expenses after an accident. For example, collision and comprehensive insurance will cover damage to your vehicle, regardless of fault.
Car insurance in California costs roughly $3,900 per year ($325 per month), based on a 2019 study by WalletHub. The cheapest car insurance companies in California charge less than $2,500 per year ($208 monthly). Some of the most expensive car insurance in California costs more than $9,000 per year.
These estimates are based on quotes for at least 30 zip codes in California, using a variety of driver profiles from the California insurance regulator’s database. The specific dollar amounts may change a bit based on driving history, age, location of residence, coverage levels and other factors. But the overall hierarchy of California car insurance companies should stay pretty much the same.… read full answer
Companies with the Best California Car Insurance Rates:
If you’re looking for new car insurance, these are good companies to start with. But keep in mind that insurance rates are affected by a range of factors. Learn more about them in WalletHub’s 2019 Report on Cheap Car Insurance in California.
The car insurance coverage required by California law is a minimum of $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, a minimum of $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident, and a minimum of $5,000 for property damage liability.
Bodily injury liability coverage helps pay for another person’s injuries in a car accident when you are at fault. Property damage liability coverage helps pay for the other person’s car. Your insurance company pays up to the limit specified in your policy for each of these categories.… read full answer
Minimum Car Insurance Requirements Under California Law
Bodily injury liability per person: $15,000
Bodily injury liability per accident: $30,000
Property damage liability: $5,000
Drivers in California face multiple penalties if you’re caught driving without at least the minimum auto insurance required by state law. Possible outcomes include fines and your car being impounded. Another important California law to note is the grace period for new residents: When you move to California, you have 20 days to register your car. You’ll need to show proof that you’ve obtained California car insurance, with coverage in each of the categories listed below.
Why You Should Get More Than the Minimum Insurance Requirements in California
Just because you can drive legally with the minimum amount of car insurance coverage required by California law does not mean such coverage will provide adequate protection for you personally. Policies can go beyond California’s minimum coverage requirements in two ways: higher limits and more robust coverage.
Higher coverage limits mean that the insurance carrier will pay more for another person’s injury or property damage in the event of an accident. More robust coverage could include provisions that cover your own injuries, your vehicle, uninsured motorists and more.
If you can afford it, strongly consider paying for more robust coverage than the minimums required by California’s car insurance laws. People who do not have adequate medical and disability insurance, live in a densely populated area, drive often, or may be concerned about car theft or damage should be especially motivated to go above and beyond.
If you might otherwise drive without insurance, getting the minimum amount of car insurance coverage required in California is better than nothing.
When deciding whether to purchase more than California’s minimum coverage, it is a good idea to compare quotes from several insurance companies before selecting the policy that’s best for you.
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