Car Insurance in San Francisco, CA

Experts break down auto insurance costs, coverages, companies, and more for drivers in San Francisco, CA

San Francisco California car insurance

Vehicle owners in San Francisco are required to have car insurance. It doesn't matter whether you find yourself in the middle of a multi-vehicle collision on the James Lick Freeway or you cause a fender-bender on Marina Boulevard, a good auto insurance policy can shield you from facing significant financial losses.

Independent agents in San Francisco are available to answer your insurance-related questions and help you find the car insurance coverage you want at the most competitive price. Contact an independent insurance agent near you to start comparing customized quotes.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in San Francisco, CA?

The average cost of car insurance in California is higher than the national average. Premiums in San Francisco tend to be even higher. Shopping around for the best price can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

  • National average annual car insurance cost: $1,311
  • California's average annual car insurance cost: $1,643
  • San Francisco's average annual car insurance cost: $1,909

The price for coverage can vary significantly from one driver to the next because insurance companies calculate rates based on several factors such as:

  • The year, make, model, and value of the vehicle(s) you are insuring
  • Your age, occupation, driving record, claims history
  • Information about other licensed drivers in your household
  • The amount of liability insurance you want
  • The coverage options (if any) that you wish to include in your policy
  • The size of your deductible

Comparing rates lets you know you are getting your coverage at a competitive price. You may also be able to save money through car insurance discounts, such as if you bundle your car insurance with other policies like homeowners insurance or renters insurance.

Some other potential discounts you may see offered by car insurance companies include rate reductions for:

Independent insurance agents can help you find a good policy at a great price. These agents will also ensure that you are taking advantage of any discounts for which you may qualify.

Is Car Insurance Required in San Francisco, CA?

California law requires vehicle owners in San Francisco to have a car insurance policy that meets or exceeds the state's minimum coverage requirements.

All car insurance policies in California must include, at a minimum, liability insurance. Vehicle liability insurance covers any injuries and property damage you may cause to other people if you are responsible for an accident. Your liability insurance must include at least:

  • Bodily-injury liability coverage per person: $15,000
  • Bodily-injury liability coverage per accident: $30,000
  • Property damage liability coverage per accident: $5,000

A minimum coverage policy has a few limitations. It does not provide coverage for damage to your vehicle, and it may not be enough to fully cover your liabilities if you are at fault for a collision. If this happens, you will need to make up the difference. This can get very expensive.

That is why many drivers in San Francisco opt to purchase physical damage coverage, and more liability coverage than the state requires. Umbrella insurance can boost your liability coverage levels even higher.

What Else Does San Francisco, CA Car Insurance Cover?

In addition to the required liability insurance mentioned above, most insurance companies offer several coverage options. These include things like:

  • Physical damage coverage: This covers damage to your vehicle, even if it was your fault. It is not required by law, but it is usually required by lenders if you are financing your car and by dealerships if you are leasing it. Physical damage coverage includes:
    • Collision insurance: This covers the cost to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged or totaled in a collision, regardless of fault.
    • Comprehensive insurance: This covers the cost to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged or destroyed by a non-collision event such as a hailstorm or theft.
  • Uninsured motorist insurance: This covers medical treatments for you and your passengers if you suffer injuries in a collision caused by an uninsured, underinsured, or hit-and-run driver.
  • Medical payments insurance: This provides partial coverage for medical treatments if you or your passengers are injured in a collision, regardless of fault. It can supplement the coverage offered by your health insurance by covering things like ambulance rides and copays.
  • Towing and roadside assistance: This can cover the cost of assistance if your vehicle becomes disabled while you are out on the road like if you run out of gas or your engine is overheated.
  • Rental reimbursement coverage: This can cover the cost of renting a car while your vehicle is being repaired for damage sustained in a covered event.
  • Gap insurance: This is usually only a good idea in the first year or two of new car ownership. If your vehicle is totaled in a covered event, but you still owe more on your car loan than the car is worth, this insurance can bridge the gap and pay your loan off in full.

An independent agent can help you go over the details and costs of all offered coverage options. That way, you can decide which options are a good fit for you and your family.


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What Is the Penalty for Driving without Car Insurance in San Francisco, CA?

It is illegal to drive without insurance in California. Consequences increase in severity according to how many citations you have previously had for this violation. Penalties include:

  • Fines ranging from $100 to $500
  • Penalty assessments ranging from $260 to $1,300
  • Possible impoundment of your vehicle
  • Higher car insurance rates

If you cause an accident while uninsured, you can face the penalties listed above plus have your driving privileges suspended for one to four years. You will also be responsible for covering the cost of any property damage in injuries you may have caused to others in the collision.

Despite this, more than one in seven motorists in this state are driving uninsured vehicles.

  • Percentage of US drivers who are uninsured: 13.0%
  • Percentage of California drivers who are uninsured: 15.2%

If your car insurance policy includes uninsured motorist insurance, you can quickly receive coverage for medical treatments if you or your passengers are injured in a collision caused by an uninsured driver.

This saves you from the need to go through lengthy legal channels to collect the compensation you are due.

How High Is the Auto Theft Rate in San Francisco, CA?

The auto theft rate in California is higher than the national average, and in San Francisco, the rate is even higher. Residents of this city report more than 4,000 vehicle thefts a year.

  • National auto theft rate per 1,000 people: 2.29
  • California auto theft rate per 1,000 people: 3.92
  • San Francisco auto theft rate per 1,000 people: 4.80

As a vehicle owner in San Francisco, it is important to be aware that your car insurance company will only reimburse you for a stolen vehicle if your policy includes comprehensive coverage.

If you are leasing or financing your vehicle, chances are good you have comprehensive coverage already. If not, be sure to ask how much it would cost for you to add it to your auto policy. That way, you can best determine whether it is a good value for you and your family.

What Are the Best Car Insurance Companies in San Francisco, California?

Qualities that make insurance companies stand out above the rest include responsive customer service, reliable coverage, and competitive rates.

Independent insurance agents in San Francisco have teamed up with some of the best car insurance companies in California. Your agent can help you review policies and customized quotes from these top-rated providers.

How Can an Independent Agent in San Francisco, CA Help Me Find the Best Car Insurance?

Independent agents make it easy to find an ideal car insurance policy. These agents are available to explain your various coverage options, answer your insurance-related questions, and help you compare policies and rates from a selection of the area's top insurance providers.

It doesn't cost anything to get advice from one of these experienced insurance professionals. Arrange an obligation-free meeting with an independent insurance agent in San Francisco to get started.

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