California Car Insurance

Compare rates from 13 car insurance companies in California.

Your information is secure.

Here's what you need to know when driving in California

Across the Golden State, there are 386,604 miles of road just waiting to be driven. We’ll get you prepped, then you take the wheel.

Car Insurance Laws

State minimum insurance requirements in California

In California, the state minimum coverage requirement is liability with limits of:
  • Bodily Injury $15,000 per person
  • Bodily Injury $30,000 per accident
  • Property Damage $5,000 per accident
Optional coverage in California (varies by carrier):
  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Loan/Lease Payoff
  • Medical and Funeral Services
  • Rental Car Reimbursement
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury
  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage

Liability coverage is legally required in California and pays for injury and lost wages that you cause to another driver or their passengers as well as damage to the other driver’s vehicle in the event that you are considered “at fault” in an accident. The coverage limits are determined by each individual state and normally split into three categories. In California, the minimum is listed as 15/30/5 and explained below:

$15,000 bodily injury coverage per person. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for a single person that you injure in an auto accident.

$30,000 bodily injury coverage per accident. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for all injuries that you cause in an accident if more than one person is hurt.

$5,000 property damage per accident. This is the maximum dollar amount that pays for damage that you cause in an accident.

These numbers reflect the minimum limits required in California but higher coverage amounts are available with most companies.

Top California Car Insurance Companies

The Zebra compares over 200 companies & 1,800 products, so you can save way more than 15%.

Car Insurance FAQs

Are digital insurance cards accepted in California?

Yes

What does this mean for you?

If you happen to find yourself pulled over by a police officer in California you won't have to rifle through your glovebox wondering if you remembered to replace that expired insurance card last month. Instead, you can provide proof of coverage with your smartphone.

Do I need uninsured motorist coverage in California?

Uninsured Drivers in California
California

15%

Nationwide

12%

Did you know?

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you from damage caused by other drivers without insurance and hit-and-runs.

How much does car insurance cost in California cities?

Rank City Avg. Annual Premium
1 Los Angeles $2,125
2 Glendale $2,100
3 San Francisco $1,728
4 Oakland $1,721
5 Sacramento $1,686
6 San Bernardino $1,612
7 Long Beach $1,594
8 Stockton $1,572
9 Santa Clarita $1,564
10 Fontana $1,550
11 Garden Grove $1,539
12 Moreno Valley $1,521
13 Modesto $1,517
14 Riverside $1,512
15 Fresno $1,487
16 Santa Ana $1,468
17 Anaheim $1,459
18 San Jose $1,409
19 Huntington Beach $1,388
20 Fremont $1,375
21 Bakersfield $1,367
22 Irvine $1,357
23 San Diego $1,354
24 Oxnard $1,331
25 Chula Vista $1,324

More questions?

Check out other FAQs and ask your own California car insurance questions here.
Driving Laws

California Texting and Driving Laws

  1. Ban on hand-held cell phones
  2. Ban on all cell phones for school bus drivers and novice drivers <18 years
  3. Ban on text messaging for all drivers
Alcohol Related Fatalities

803

Per Year in California
Annual DUI Arrests
California
214,828
US Average
23,438
DUI Legal Limit

0.08%

Blood Alcohol Content
Average DUI Cost

10k

Nationally, For First Offenders
What does this mean for you?

Driving with a blood alcohol content higher than the number above will put you at risk of being arrested for driving under the influence. If arrested you’ll face harsh consequences and may face varying degrees of jail time, fines, driver’s license suspensions, and reinstatement requirements.

If convicted of a DUI, you can expect the financial obligations to extend beyond the DUI ticket to court costs, attorney fees, higher insurance rates, and potentially the installation of a Ignition Interlock Device to serve as a breathalyzer test each time you start your vehicle.
Cheap Car Insurance

It's expensive to get car insurance in California!

Dang! California is definitely not one of the cheapest states for car insurance. Dont worry, we got your back!
At The Zebra we're all about helping you save money on car insurance. Since California might have cheaper premiums that makes our job a breeze! It's easy to get started—we just need some basic information.
What's the cheapest car insurance in California?
Rank Company Name Avg. Annual Premium
1 USAA $1,132
2 Wawanesa $1,169
3 Century National $1,202
4 CSAA $1,210
5 Nationwide $1,238
6 21st Century $1,352
7 Grange $1,462
8 Mercury $1,518
9 Progressive $1,527
10 Allstate $1,528
11 GEICO $1,544
12 Allied $1,572
13 The Hartford $1,607
14 MetLife $1,622
15 State Farm $1,716
16 Unitrin $1,716
17 Esurance $1,722
18 Bristol West $1,813
19 Travelers $1,824
20 Farmers $1,986
21 California Capital $2,109
22 Liberty Mutual $2,241
23 Safeco $2,292
24 Auto Club $2,526
Additional Resources:

California Car Insurance

7 Spooky Halloween Road Trips to Creep You Out
7 Spooky Halloween Road Trips to Creep You Out
Sep 29, 2017

Forget pumpkin spice – bring on scary movie season! As the weather starts to cool and leaves begin to turn,...

How to Protect Yourself and Your Home Against Wildfires
How to Protect Yourself and Your Home Against Wildfires
Aug 21, 2017

Ever used the expression “spread like wildfire?” Fire is an incredible force of nature, and while it has its uses...

Ask the Experts: Credit Score vs. Credit Report (and More)
Ask the Experts: Credit Score vs. Credit Report (and More)
Jul 31, 2017

Credit is an important measurement of our overall financial health. It plays huge part in how much we pay in...

Smart Cities: How the Internet of Things is Changing Urban Areas
Smart Cities: How the Internet of Things is Changing Urban Areas
Jun 14, 2017

A trend is spreading in cities all across the world: every day, more and more people just keep moving in....

Drunk Driving vs. Distracted Driving: Which is More Dangerous?
Drunk Driving vs. Distracted Driving: Which is More Dangerous?
Jun 09, 2017

  Drunk driving has long been a major cause of accidents on the road. Having a few drinks impairs our...

Zipcar vs. car2go: Which Car Sharing Service is King?
Zipcar vs. car2go: Which Car Sharing Service is King?
May 09, 2017

Over the past few years, car sharing has taken the world by storm. Car sharing businesses are now operating in...

Driverless Car Report Card: Who Should Get Top Grades?
Driverless Car Report Card: Who Should Get Top Grades?
Apr 24, 2017

The big-name tech companies and auto manufacturers that we know are developing driverless cars have kept many details about their...

Driverless Car Laws by State
Driverless Car Laws by State
Mar 16, 2017

While many established automakers and technology companies are itching to win the autonomous vehicle race, legislators are simply trying to...

How Does the Government Affect What You Pay for Car Insurance?
How Does the Government Affect What You Pay for Car Insurance?
Mar 12, 2017

  With auto insurance rates on the rise over the last five years, I’m constantly asked who’s responsible for auto...

Buying a Vehicle with Your Tax Return? Here’s What You Need to Know
Buying a Vehicle with Your Tax Return? Here’s What You Need to Know
Feb 16, 2017

It’s officially tax season which of course means a lot of paperwork, searching for receipts, and trying not to toss...

The Death of the Taxi Driver (Profession)
The Death of the Taxi Driver (Profession)
Feb 13, 2017

There’s no doubt rideshare companies — Uber, Lyft, and the like — are impacting traditional taxi and car service companies. Even though...

Uber’s Latest: Should Driverless Cars Require Voter Approval?
Uber’s Latest: Should Driverless Cars Require Voter Approval?
Feb 09, 2017

Driverless vehicle technology isn’t ready for the mainstream public, but it’s getting there: automakers and technology giants across the world...

When Is It Worth It to Pay for More Liability Coverage?
When Is It Worth It to Pay for More Liability Coverage?
Nov 23, 2016

Every driver must carry his or her state’s minimum limit of liability coverage. This consists of coverage that protects other...

How Long Does a Ticket Stay on Your Driving Record?
How Long Does a Ticket Stay on Your Driving Record?
Nov 17, 2016

We’ll start with the bad news: your driving record is forever. Any conviction for a speeding ticket or other moving...

What’s the Most Expensive Traffic Ticket in Your State?
What’s the Most Expensive Traffic Ticket in Your State?
Nov 08, 2016

If a cop hands you a ticket for speeding, swerving in and out of lanes, or causing a crash, you’re...

Are School Buses Even Safe?
Are School Buses Even Safe?
Nov 04, 2016

Each day, parents of 25 million American children watch them board a big yellow school bus. That’s more than half...

Should the Government Require Regular Driving Tests?
Should the Government Require Regular Driving Tests?
Oct 03, 2016

 Most drivers in the U.S. seek their driver’s licenses at a young age. In teens’ minds, driving means freedom, so...

Driver’s License Points: Do They Matter?
Driver’s License Points: Do They Matter?
Sep 23, 2016

In the world of traffic law and auto insurance, points are universally a bad thing. Instead of helping you win...

50 Research-Based Tips to Save on Car Insurance
50 Research-Based Tips to Save on Car Insurance
Aug 08, 2016

Finding the right car insurance can be frustrating and complex — no thanks to varying state coverage requirements and overhyped...

Answering Every FAQ About Driverless Cars
Answering Every FAQ About Driverless Cars
Jul 27, 2016

Driverless cars—also called an autonomous vehicles—are all over the news. Although we keep hearing about them, there’s still tons of confusion over...

Green Car Shopping: Electric Vs. Fuel Cell Vehicles
Green Car Shopping: Electric Vs. Fuel Cell Vehicles
Mar 22, 2016

Already considering “going green” for your next car? Fist bump to you, friend. Now comes the part where you have...

Bow-OW! Do You Need Car Insurance for Your Pet?
Bow-OW! Do You Need Car Insurance for Your Pet?
Mar 14, 2016

Many pet owners frequently drive with their animals, and while we might know the safest ways for pets to travel...

Can Driverless Cars Handle the Elements?
Can Driverless Cars Handle the Elements?
Mar 07, 2016

Human drivers have enough trouble in bad weather: we need to look no further than the most recent massive winter...

The Wrath of El Niño
The Wrath of El Niño
Feb 19, 2016

The 2015-2016 El Niño has been dubbed “Godzilla El Niño” by weather experts—and with good reason. Just like the giant...

Love in the Lyft Line
Love in the Lyft Line
Feb 14, 2016

Dan Nainan met his current love, Amy, during a shared uberPOOL to the San Francisco airport this past summer when...

California Tour Guide Scholarship

At The Zebra, we know better than most just what a pain buying car insurance can be. We also know that students suffer from higher-than-average policy rates. Talk about a double-whammy. That’s why, this year, we’ve decided to continue The Zebra’s annual scholarship with the goal of helping to alleviate the financial pressures of college-bound students in the California area, while also getting an insider view of the Golden State.

Click here to learn more.

Prompt

So, California students, we want to see your favorite road trip destination(s) in your state— from your unique perspective. If it makes sense to hit the open road and be our virtual tour guide, that’s great! But there are no limits to what we’re looking for: a narrated animation, a slideshow of memorabilia, an illustrated map of the best roadside attractions on the way. This is a chance for you to showcase any place you love in as an original way as possible.

Please Note:

  • The length of the road trip to your feature destination is inconsequential. So if you have an awesome spot in mind that’s just two miles from home, we want to see it.
Qualifications:

Applicants must be currently enrolled at or planning to attend a four-year university, graduate program, community college, or trade school located in the continental United States. Upon notification, winner(s) must supply a current proof of enrollment or letter of acceptance.

How to Apply:
  • Entrants should create an original video not exceeding 2 minutes. Each video submission must be hosted on YouTube or Vimeo, and should be submitted by email to scholarships@thezebra.com.
  • With your submission, please include your name, address, and phone number.
Details
  • Selected winner(s) will be awarded a check for $1,000.
  • Applications must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. CST on December 31st, 2017.
  • Winner(s) will be selected and notified by e-mail by January 31st, 2018.
  • Submissions will be judged by The Zebra and the winner will be selected based on creativity in the content and presentation.
  • Upon notification, winner(s) must also supply a current proof of enrollment at a four-year university, graduate program, community college, or trade school located in the continental United States.

Fine Print

  • By participating, entrants represent that the video submitted is their sole and original work and does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any other party. In other words, no copyrighted music or images may be used.
  • Employees of The Zebra and their immediate family members are not eligible to participate in the contest.
  • Written credits for any technical or talent positions (e.g., editor, director, actors) should be included with your submission, along with any sources used to create the video.