Car Insurance Comparison: Michigan vs. California

Planning a move from Michigan to California? Remember to update your car insurance.

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Is car insurance cheaper in Michigan or California?

If you’re moving from Michigan to California, chances are you're assessing the major concerns and big expenses: contracting a reliable long-distance moving service, finding a house or apartment in your new state, and arranging your interstate move.

With so many moving parts, it can be easy to overlook the details. Car insurance is often just an afterthought, but it's important. To find a cheap rate and stay street legal, plan to reevaluate your policy — or purchase a new policy — when you move between states.

Read our guide to car insurance in Michigan and California to learn more about how to make your move as easy as possible. We'll cover the following topics:


  1. Insurance rate comparison
  2. Insurance rates by coverage level
  3. Cheap companies by state
  4. Rates in major cities
  5. Additional resources

Michigan vs. California car insurance — average rates

You should expect to pay less for auto coverage in your new state. The usual annual car insurance rate in California is $988 less expensive than the typical cost of car insurance in Michigan. The exact cost will depend on your coverage level, driving and insurance history, and your auto insurance company.


CAR INSURANCE RATES IN MICHIGAN VS. CALIFORNIA
StateAverage Annual Price
Michigan$2,694
California$1,707

Auto insurance rates by coverage tier

The amount you pay for car insurance coverage depends on how you use your vehicle and what level of coverage you desire.

If you elect your state's minimum liability auto insurance coverage, you’ll most likely carry bodily injury, medical payment, and property damage liability coverages, in addition to underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection in certain states.


AUTO INSURANCE PREMIUMS — STATE MINIMUM COVERAGE IN MICHIGAN vs. CALIFORNIA
StateTime PeriodPremium
MichiganAnnual$1,368
CaliforniaAnnual$573
Michigan6-Month$684
California6-Month$286
MichiganMonthly$114
CaliforniaMonthly$48

Choosing full-coverage auto insurance will cost more each month, but you’ll get the peace of mind that comes with comprehensive and collision coverages, plus perks like rental reimbursement and roadside assistance. The primary benefit of full coverage is that it covers your vehicle and you more comprehensively than does basic coverage. If you want to go the extra mile to protect your investment, consider full coverage.


CAR INSURANCE RATES — FULL COVERAGE IN MICHIGAN vs. CALIFORNIA
StateTime PeriodCost
MichiganAnnual$2,336
CaliforniaAnnual$1,626
Michigan6-Month$1,168
California6-Month$813
MichiganMonthly$195
CaliforniaMonthly$135

Affordable car insurance companies in Michigan and California

A major determinant of your auto insurance costs is your choice of insurer. Auto insurance companies set rates in a variety of ways, resulting in major price variations. Geography matters, too: some insurance companies sell policies only in certain places, while major insurance companies shift rates by state.

When moving, you should look to find the best cheap auto insurance company in your new state. Get started below by viewing the five most affordable car insurance companies in Michigan and California.


AFFORDABLE CAR INSURANCE COMPANIES IN MICHIGAN
Car Insurance CompanyAverage Annual Rate
SAFECO$368
USAA$968
GEICO$1,013
MetLife$1,337
Chubb$1,400

See additional affordable auto insurance companies in Michigan.


AFFORDABLE CAR INSURANCE COMPANIES IN CALIFORNIA
CompanyAverage Annual Rate
USAA$1,132
Wawanesa$1,169
Century National$1,202
CSAA$1,210
Nationwide$1,238

View other affordable auto insurance companies in California.


Car insurance rates by city in Michigan and California

Though car insurance is legislated by states, insurance companies assign rates by ZIP code to account for location-specific factors such as density and the likelihood of a crash. The exact location to which you relocate will play a major role in deciding your premiums.

Reference the below tables to see car insurance rates in major cities in California and Michigan.


CAR INSURANCE RATES BY CITY IN MICHIGAN
CityAverage Annual Rate
Detroit$4,911
Grand Rapids$2,230
Warren$3,356
Sterling Heights$2,984
Lansing$2,415

Check out a longer list of insurance rates in Michigan cities here.


AUTO INSURANCE RATES BY CITY IN CALIFORNIA
CityAverage Annual Rate
Los Angeles$2,125
San Diego$1,354
San Jose$1,409
San Francisco$1,728
Fresno$1,487

Looking for another city's data? View rates in other California cities here.


More resources:moving from Michigan to California

When you pack up and move from Michigan to California, you will face new driving laws, different FR-44 or SR-22 requirements, and more. Make sure your move runs smoothly with The Zebra's data on your new home: