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.
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.
Your car insurance is likely so high because your driving record is poor, your car is costly to insure, you live in a high-risk location, you’re carrying too much coverage, or you’re not taking full advantage of discounts. The average car insurance premium has also increased by more than 50% in the past 10 years.… read full answer
8 Reasons Why Your Car Insurance Is So Expensive
1. Poor Driving Record
Your driving record is probably the most important factor in determining your car insurance rates. If your record is poor, with accidents and driving violations, and you have a history of claims, your rates will be high. You will also pay more than average if you’re bad with credit, young (especially young and male), or unmarried.
2. Expensive-to-Insure Vehicle
Insurance companies like safe, boring cars that nobody wants to steal for joy-riding or parts. If you choose to drive something large, fast, luxurious, statistically unsafe on the road, or popular with thieves, you will pay more.
3. High-Risk Location
Where you live has a large impact on your premiums. Some areas of the country have much higher insurance costs than others. A number of factors go into this, such as the history of accidents in the area, population density, the number of uninsured drivers, crime statistics, bad weather patterns, etc. Also, if you live far from work and have a long daily commute, the high annual mileage could raise your rate.
4. High Coverage Amounts
If your coverage limits are high and your deductibles are low, you will be happy if you need to make a claim, but not as happy when you’re paying your premiums. If the insurance company risks having to pay out more in the future, you will have to pay more now.
5. Too Few Discounts
Insurers offer a very wide variety of discounts. Valued customer discounts offer savings for things like loyalty, multiple cars and policies, and paying online. Driver discounts may apply if you are a good driver, good student, belong to a certain profession or organization, are married, or more. Your car may also qualify for a discount if it has equipment that makes it safer to drive or harder to steal. Discounts are available to nearly everyone, and you may qualify for some that you aren’t getting credit for yet.
6. Too Young or Too Old
Teens are statistically more likely to cause car accidents than the average driver, so insurance companies charge them the highest premiums. Drivers who get their license at 16 years old usually see their premiums decrease with every year of experience, however, and age 25 is generally considered a turning point when premiums become considerably lower.
Experienced drivers in their 40s and 50s are often the cheapest to insure. But rates begin to rise again after age 65.
7. Low Insurance Score
Every major insurance company uses a credit-based insurance score to calculate premiums where allowed by law. Like credit scores, insurance scores are based on credit report information, only they are used to predict a driver’s likelihood of filing a claim. The rationale is that individuals who are careful with their money tend to be careful drivers, too. However, insurance scores are controversial, so they are banned in Massachusetts, Hawaii, and California. Most other states also have restrictions on their use, which can be found on the state insurance regulator’s website.
8. Costs Increasing Overall
Record-setting natural disasters, more phone-related car accidents, high rates of insurance fraud, and expensive-to-repair car technology have all increased costs for insurance companies. As a result, insurers have been raising their prices to cover their expenses.
From 2010 to 2019, the average cost of car insurance increased by more than 50%. Prices have gone up every year. This steady rise in insurance costs has outstripped other consumer costs. Even skyrocketing hospital costs lag slightly behind car insurance.
Overall Cost Increases from 2010 to 2019
Car Insurance: 52.2%
Hospital Services: 49.1%
Cost of Living: 17.2%
Physician’s Fees: 15.7%
You can’t reverse this industry-wide inflation. But if you want to lower your own insurance costs, address as many of your personal factors as you can. Then get quotes from multiple insurance companies and compare.
No, gap insurance will not cover a totaled car without insurance unless the gap policy specifically allows it, which is highly unlikely. In most cases, you cannot purchase gap insurance or file a gap insurance claim if you don’t have collision or comprehensive coverage.
If you purchased gap insurance from a dealer but have allowed your car insurance to lapse, you are likely violating your contract. Gap insurance is really insurance for your loan or lease, not your car, and any reputable lender or lessor will require you to maintain … read full answerfull coverage on a leased or financed vehicle.
For more information, check out WalletHub’s guide to gap insurance.
Car insurance for a 23-year-old costs around $2,100 per year on average – about 33% more than the average U.S. driver pays for coverage. Age is one of the main factors insurance companies consider in setting premiums. Insurance statistics show that drivers age 21-24 are more likely than older drivers to be involved in car accidents.… read full answer
There are other factors that impact pricing, of course, including gender. Although the differences decrease over time, young male drivers are typically rated as higher risks and are charged higher premiums than young female drivers. The average premium for a 23-year-old female is about $2,000 per year, while it’s more than $2,200 for a 23-year-old male.
Another major factor is the type and level of coverage you plan to buy. The average annual premium of $2,100 is based on a policy that includes comprehensive and collision coverage. If you only want to purchase the minimum liability insurance coverage that’s required by your state, the average cost for a 23-year-old driver is about $730 per year.
The state you live in and the insurer you choose will also affect the amount you pay for car insurance. USAA (military families only) and GEICO are two companies that offer lower rates for young drivers, including 23-year-olds. However, the best way to find the cheapest policy is to get 3 to 5 free quotes and compare.
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