Are Car Insurance Prices Increasing in California?

As many drivers can attest, car insurance rates commonly increase each year. But rate hikes aren't always the prevailing trend, and rate changes can be isolated to specific regions.

One of the primary rating factors insurance companies use to set rates is location. The state, city, and ZIP code in which a car is parked and driven factor into car insurance rates, depending on state law and the differing levels of risk associated with insuring cars in various areas of the country.

Because auto insurance pricing is so multi-faceted, yearly rate trends vary widely by state. Auto insurance prices might be on the rise year-over-year in one state while they decrease for drivers a single state over.

See below trending car insurance rates in California. If your policy isn't following your state's trend, consider shopping for a cheaper insurance option. The Zebra's auto insurance comparison tool gathers quotes based on your specific profile — enter your ZIP below to get started.

Auto insurance pricing trends in California

Average annual auto insurance premiums in California increased by $79 from 2017 to 2018. A normal driver in California faces an average rate of $1,815 each year.

The year-over-year trend in California leans toward pricier auto insurance costs. Between 2015 and 2018, rates increased by $338 per year. Meanwhile, insurance rates nationwide have risen in recent years, climbing from $1,280 in 2015 to $1,470 in 2018.

Year Avg. Annual Premium — California Yearly Change — California Avg. Annual Premium — USA Yearly Change — USA
2018 $1,815 $79 $1,470 $32
2017 $1,736 $288 $1,437 $69
2016 $1,448 -$29 $1,368 $88
2015 $1,477 $46 $1,280 $51
2014 $1,431 $176 $1,229 $34
2013 $1,255 $17 $1,195 -$80
2012 $1,238 $48 $1,276 $82

If your policy pricing trend doesn't align with the above, the best step to take is to shop around.

Compare policies today!

Location pin icon
glyph-shield-checkmark No junk mail. No spam calls. Free quotes.

How are car insurance rates trending in major cities in California?

Auto insurance policies are priced at a granular geographic level with many location-specific variables influencing premiums. That means drivers could see major differences in their insurance rates, based solely on their city or ZIP code. As an example, drivers in Los Angeles faced a bigger year-over-year rate increase (6.7%) than their intrastate neighbors in San Jose (6.6%) between 2018 and 2017.

See below annual rate changes in large California cities. If your city is expensive — and moving isn't on the table — consider shopping around for a more affordable rate.

City Avg. Rate Increase — 2018 vs. 2017
Los Angeles 6.7%
San Jose 6.6%
San Francisco 6.5%
San Diego 6.4%
Fresno 5.9%

Compare rates today!

Location pin icon
glyph-shield-checkmark No junk mail. No spam calls. Free quotes.
Renata Balasco photo
Renata BalascoAssociate Content Strategist

Renata is a licensed insurance professional and content strategist responsible for creating home and auto insurance guides for The Zebra.

Renata's background in technical writing and her experience working in the insurance industry informs her work. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications.

Renata's work has been cited by Car and Driver