California Car Insurance

What to Know about Buying California Car Insurance

(Find the right car insurance policy for you.)

The Golden State is the most populous state in the US. The largest city, Los Angeles, is known for incredibly dense traffic and a commuter culture. If you call California home, you need to know how much you’re going pay for car insurance. Whether you live in Ventura or San Francisco, you will have to hold at least a minimum amount of coverage to drive legally in California.

An independent insurance agent can compare California auto insurance quotes from multiple companies to help you find a competitive rate on your coverage. Your local agent can also provide professional advice, assistance with claims, and many other services. Find an agent in your area for help comparing California car insurance today.

California Car Insurance Costs

  • National average cost per year: $1,474
  • California average cost per year: $1,962
  • 8th most expensive premium in the US

While California’s average rates are higher than the national average, keep in mind that this data is only meant to give you a general idea of your California car insurance costs. Your costs will be based on your age, driving record, the value of your car, and the specific options you choose. You also may qualify for certain discounts, for example, if you have a claims-free record, or if you are a young driver with an excellent record and good grades.

To find out how much you’ll spend on a policy, you will need to get your own individual quotes. In fact, an independent insurance agent can help you compare several different quotes from various insurance companies.

California Car Insurance Requirements

  • Bodily injury liability: required
  • Property damage liability: required
  • Personal injury protection (PIP): not required
  • Uninsured motorist: not required
  • Minimum liability limits: 15/30/5
    • Coverage up to $30,000 for all persons injured in an accident, subject to a limit of $15,000 for one individual, and $5,000 coverage for property damage.
    • Low-cost policy limits for low-income drivers in the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan are 10/20/3

Unlike many states, California does have a lower cost option for low-income drivers.  Regardless of your income level, if you are going to hit the road in California, take note of the different liability limits you’ll need to meet in your insurance policy.

California law assigns fines for violating the required liability policy regulations:

  • A first-time offender may get a $100 - $200 fine.
  • Subsequent offenses within 36 months may earn $200 - $500 fines.
  • If the defendant cannot produce proof of insurance in court, the judge can impose higher fines in the allowed range.

California Uninsured Motorists

  • National uninsured motorists: 12.6%
  • California uninsured motorists: 15%
  • California average vehicle repair cost: $2,219

The state has a high percentage of drivers without required minimum coverage. Just because drivers don’t hold the proper coverage does not excuse their responsibility for damage and injuries when they cause accidents.

If you are worried about being in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist, consider adding uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. If another driver causes an accident with you and doesn’t have the proper insurance, your uninsured/underinsured policy will pay for your repairs and medical costs. Your insurance company may, in turn, pursue the at-fault driver for compensation.

Number of Thefts in California

  • National theft rate (per 1,000 registered vehicles): 2.28
  • California theft rate (per 1,000 registered vehicles): 3.92

As you can see, the car theft rate in California is significantly higher than the national average.  In fact, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that the Bay Area has been #1 for auto thefts in the US in the last few years. That same report listed seven California cities in the top 10 US cities with the highest rate of stolen cars.

Compare California Auto Insurance Quotes

An independent agent in the Trusted Choice network can help you compare California car insurance companies and choose the right coverage for your needs and budget. Find a local agent for assistance today.

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