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Cheapest Car Insurance California: By City explained 2016

Cheapest Car Insurance California: By City

We reviewed auto insurance quotes for thirty driver profiles and forty companies in the largest cities to report on the insurers with the lowest and most affordable rates. Even in some of the most expensive cities such as Glendale, Inglewood, and Los Angeles, cheap car insurance can be found if you know where to look.
Los Angeles, CA*USAA was the cheapest insurer we found in the top cities in Los Angeles, but as they only serve military families, we’ve excluded them from our rankings. Horace Mann caters to educators only.

The cheapest auto insurance rates in Los Angeles were found at USAA, Amica Mutual, Sterling Casualty, Western General, and Mercury. Car insurance in LA can cost on average $1,623 and $1,546 for single and married drivers, respectively, from the northernmost reaches of Sylmar down to San Pedro at its southernmost tip. That places LA as the second most expensive city in our study. However, if you go with quotes from our five cheapest companies in LA, then rates are about 28% cheaper than the average. Note that while USAA generally had the best rates in our study, they only serve military members and family. Here are rates for the top three excluding USAA:

Cheapest Car Insurance California

Within our LA city study sample, the greatest difference in rates was found between San Pedro, at the southernmost tip of LA, and East Hollywood, in Central LA (East Hollywood cost $581, or 44% more, vs. San Pedro). Even jumping one or two zip codes over within Los Angeles can make a difference for Angelenos. Moving the primary garage or parking spot from Historic South Central LA to East Los Angeles, for example, can reduce annual car insurance premiums by $349, or 20%. Changing addresses from Panorama City to Sylmar would also cut premiums by about 14%, or $240 a year. There are other cities that are just as expensive as certain pockets of LA. For example, insuring a car in San Pedro costs about the same as insuring a car in Canyon Country, 60 miles away; or Anaheim, 30 miles away. Rates in East Los Angeles are comparable to those in South Gate or Bell. Auto premiums in Mar Vista is almost the same as those in Burbank or Compton.

San Diego, CA

Cheap car insurance rates can be found at USAA, Amica Mutual, California Capital, Progressive West, and Horace Mann. Across these five insurers, annual rates cost as low as $747 on average, compared to $1,038 city-wide. With 1.3 million residents, America’s Finest City is home to the University of California at San Diego system, as well as a number of naval bases. A 19 year old single male or female driver can see rates in San Diego of $1,799 and $1,580, respectively. USAA, which caters exclusively to military members and their families, has annual premiums as low as $875 for a married couple in their late 20s. Below are rates for the top three (we’ve excluded USAA since they’re specialty insurers):

Cheapest Car Insurance California

San Jose, CA

Drivers looking for low car insurance costs in San Jose should start with quotes from USAA, Horace Mann, Amica Mutual, AAA, and Loya. The mean annual premium from these five insurers was $741 based on our data, which is about 30% cheaper than the overall average in San Jose. Citywide, the cost of car insurance is about $1,060 a year, which places the Capital of Silicon Valley at the 100th cheapest spot in our survey of Californian cities. It can cost single 43 year old men and women about $527 a year to insure their cars here. Given that USAA and Horace Mann are specialty insurers, we’ve excluded them from the graph below.

Cheapest Car Insurance California

San Francisco, CA

To get the cheapest car insurance rates in San Francisco, start with USAA, Amica Mutual, Loya, Horace Mann, and AAA. In aggregate, these companies charge an average of $852 a year to insure a car in San Francisco – about 36% less than the city composite. Car insurance premiums are about $1,322 in SF, which ranks the Golden Gate City as the 20th most expensive city in California. Citywide rates for 30 year old single men can cost about $953 a year, decreasing to $896 a year for 43 year olds. With over 963 miles of public roads and the beautiful 49-Mile Scenic Drive, there is a lot of territory for San Fran’s 805,000 residents to drive. Since USAA and Horace Mann only insure a subset of people, we’ve excluded them from our Top Three graph below:

Cheapest Car Insurance California

Fresno, CA

We found the most affordable car insurance rates in Fresno at USAA, Loya, Affirmative, Western General, and Amica Mutual. $779 was the mean annual cost across these five insurers for multiple driver profiles we surveyed. This amount represents a 29% discount to the market rate in Fresno of $1,102. Fresno’s 495,000 residents are just a short day trip’s drive of less than 80 miles from Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. Young married couples in their late 20s in Fresno can see annual premiums of $1,168, while older senior citizen couples see lower rates of $903. Rates for the top three cheap insurers are as follows (USAA excluded since they only insure military members and family):

Cheapest Car Insurance California

Long Beach, CA

If you’re looking for cheap auto insurance in Long Beach, we direct your attention to quotes at USAA, Amica Mutual, Progressive West, Sterling Casualty, and Mercury. These companies had the lowest rates for Long Beach in our data; their composite rate of $918 was a 27% reduction from the citywide average of $1,251. As the second largest campus in the California State University system, Long Beach has a large student population. Based on our research, sample rates for teenagers can cost $1,902 and $2,171 for young women and men, respectively. Excluding USAA, which only underwrites military members and their family, rates from the top three cheapest insurers in Long Beach are:

Cheapest Car Insurance California

Sacramento, CA

USAA, Loya, Horace Mann, Amica Mutual, and Affirmative Insurance Company had the lowest auto insurance costs in Sacramento. In aggregate, the five companies had an average quote of $880 in Sactown, or 30% cheaper than the citywide average. Once the center of the California Gold Rush and the westernmost end of the Pony Express, Sacramento today is the capital of California, and its average cost of insurance reflects that. It’s $1,252, about 14% higher than the state average, which ranks it as the 41st most expensive in California. Rates for a married couple in their late twenties run at $1,469 a year, dropping to $858 for a 65 year old married couple. For rates from Sactown’s three cheapest companies (ex USAA and Loya due to their specialty coverage):

Cheapest Car Insurance California

Oakland, CA

We found the cheapest car insurance rates in Oakland at USAA, Amica Mutual, Loya, AAA, and Sterling Casualty. In total, annual premiums in Oakland at these five companies averaged $797 – 33% lower than the overall cost in the city. With a population of 391,000, Oaktown is California’s eight largest city. The mean annual premium here is $1,195, about 8% higher than the state average. Rates for single 31 year old men and women cost about $869 a year. Here are the average rates for the three cheapest companies in Oakland (ex USAA since they only insure military members):

Cheapest Car Insurance California

Bakersfield, CA

The most affordable rates in Bakersfield, CA can be found at USAA, Workmen’s Auto, Loya, Affirmative, and California Capital according to our data. With an overall city auto insurance average of $998, the city ranks as the 60th cheapest in California. However, if you look at the subset of the five insurers in Bakersfield, whose annual costs average $707, then you’d be paying even less than residents in our cheapest city – Calexico, CA. A single 43 year old man or woman can see average rates in Bakersfield of $692. The top three companies in Bakersfield (excluding USAA, which only caters to military members) are:

Cheapest Car Insurance California

Anaheim, CA

The five companies with the most inexpensive auto insurance rates in Anaheim are USAA, Amica Mutual, Horace Mann, Affirmative, and Western General. These five insurers charge an average of $885 a year for auto insurance, which is a 29% reduction compared to Anaheim’s citywide cost of $1,244. 30 year old single males in Anaheim pay $905 a year for auto insurance, while married couples in their late 20s pay $1,312. Beyond auto insurance, the city is the hometown of Disneyland, the Anaheim Ducks hockey team, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Here are rates from the top three auto insurers in Anaheim (excluding specialty insurers such as USAA and Horace Mann):

Cheapest Car Insurance California

The Best Rated Auto Insurers in California

Using complaint and exposure data from the California Department of Insurance, we calculated the justified complaint ratio for auto insurance companies in California. We’ve listed them from the best (lowest complaint index) to the worst (highest complaint index). If a company has an index of 1.05, then that means it has a 5% higher share of complaints compared to its share of underwriting exposure.

RankCompanyIndex
1California Automobile Insurance Company0.00
2Essentia Insurance Company0.00
3Garrison Prop & Cas Insurance Company0.00
4GEICO Ind Co0.09
5Allied Prop & Cas Insurance Company0.23
6Wawanesa Gen Insurance Company0.29
7USAA Cas Insurance Company0.32
8Progressive Direct Insurance Company0.32
9Foremost Insurance Company Grand Rapids Mi0.39
10United Serv Automobile Assn0.39
11Amco Insurance Company0.49
12Progressive Choice Insurance Company0.50
13California Cas Ind Exch0.52
14Interins Exch Of The Automobile Club0.53
15Mercury Insurance Company0.54
16Mercury Casualty Company0.55
17Government Employees Insurance Company0.57
18GEICO Gen Insurance Company0.60
19State Farm Mut Auto Insurance Company0.69
20Mid Century Insurance Company0.69
21CSAA Ins Exch0.77
22Allstate Insurance Company0.79
23Allstate Ind Company0.80
24Progressive West Insurance Company0.85
25Farmers Ins Exch0.87
26Esurance Prop & Cas Insurance Company0.91
27Standard Fire Insurance Company1.01
28Amica Mutual Insurance Company1.06
29Alliance United Insurance Company1.21
30Safeco Insurance Company Of Amer1.22
31Viking Insurance Company Of WI1.25
32IDS Prop Cas Insurance Company1.29
33GEICO Cas Company1.31
34Financial Ind Company1.34
35Infinity Insurance Company1.35
36Integon Natl Insurance Company1.49
37Loya Cas Insurance Company1.51
38California Capital Insurance Company1.54
39Coast Natl Insurance Company1.70
40Explorer Insurance Company1.86
41Access Insurance Company2.01
42Hartford Underwriters Insurance Company2.02
43Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company2.04
44National Gen Insurance Company2.14
4521St Century Insurance Company2.18
46Metropolitan Drt Prop & Cas Insurance Company2.45
47Companion Prop & Cas Insurance Company2.93
48Anchor Gen Insurance Company3.05
49Nationwide Insurance Company Of Amer3.29
50Commerce W Insurance Company4.61
51Victoria Fire & Casualty Company5.22

Average Cost of Car Insurance in California

How much do people pay on average for car insurance in California? Based on our data, that figure is $1,147. This takes into account sample rates from forty major insurers in California, two hundred and ten cities, and thirty driver profiles with a variety of backgrounds ranging from clean driving records and good credit to poor credit and one accident and violation on their records.

RankCitySingles DriversMarried Drivers% Change vs. Avg
1Calexico$866$841-23%
2Lewiston871822-23%
3Yreka875816-23%
4Bishop875833-23%
5McKinleyville878824-22%
6Crescent City880832-22%
7Quincy881833-22%
8Paso Robles881844-22%
9Alturas883836-22%
10Santa Maria884845-22%
11Lompoc885844-22%
12San Luis Obispo892852-21%
13El Centro891867-21%
14Loyalton897847-21%
15Ukiah896852-21%
16Lakeport897851-21%
17Susanville905857-20%
18Willits906859-20%
19Mammoth Lakes910866-19%
20Red Bluff912866-19%
21Eureka918874-19%
22Orland922876-18%
23Ridgecrest937887-17%
24Colusa945900-16%
25Pioneer946900-16%
26Mariposa947896-16%
27Hanford949899-16%
28Markleeville949907-16%
29Monterey956900-16%
30Seaside956915-15%
31Watsonville958908-15%
32Hollister962908-15%
33Salinas961921-15%
34Grass Valley966909-15%
35Chico967912-15%
36Porterville964923-15%
37Santa Barbara971927-14%
38Redding974926-14%
39Santa Cruz978918-14%
40Valley Springs983939-13%
41Sonora988930-13%
42Jamestown988932-13%
43Woodland988933-13%
44Visalia987939-13%
45Wasco994954-12%
46South Lake Tahoe1,000952-11%
47Davis1,004939-11%
48Livermore1,005942-11%
49Madera1,006957-11%
50Indio1,004967-11%
51Napa1,009957-11%
52Placerville1,010959-11%
53Delano1,008971-11%
54Chula Vista1,011972-10%
55Banning1,013972-10%
56Vacaville1,017966-10%
57Merced1,017973-10%
58Marysville1,018990-10%
59Reedley1,026978-9%
60Bakersfield1,025984-9%
61Barstow1,026983-9%
62Encinitas1,035978-9%
63Cupertino1,040974-8%
64Redwood City1,041980-8%
65Twentynine Palms1,039993-8%
66Carlsbad1,042993-8%
67Campbell1,046982-8%
68Tracy1,043992-8%
69Lincoln1,047981-8%
70Yuba City1,043998-8%
71Poway1,047986-8%
72Santa Rosa1,050991-7%
73Del Mar1,051993-7%
74Walnut Creek1,052987-7%
75Fallbrook1,051998-7%
76San Marcos1,0501,004-7%
77Petaluma1,054989-7%
78San Mateo1,053996-7%
79Oceanside1,0521,003-7%
80Suisun City1,0531,004-7%
81Fairfield1,0541,005-7%
82Cathedral City1,0531,011-7%
83Sunnyvale1,058996-7%
84El Cajon1,0591,003-6%
85Palo Alto1,062999-6%
86Santa Clara1,0641,003-6%
87Fremont1,0661,012-6%
88Murrieta1,0691,009-5%
89San Diego1,0681,017-5%
90Ramona1,0711,017-5%
91Lakeside1,0711,019-5%
92Temecula1,0741,014-5%
93Spring Valley1,0731,028-5%
94Escondido1,0761,022-5%
95Desert Hot Springs1,0731,048-5%
96Camarillo1,0831,032-4%
97Yucaipa1,0841,033-4%
98National City1,0821,042-4%
99San Clemente1,0891,032-4%
100San Jose1,0901,035-4%
101Turlock1,0911,038-3%
102Vallejo1,0931,041-3%
103Mill Valley1,0991,035-3%
104Roseville1,1011,046-3%
105San Rafael1,1031,040-2%
106Oxnard1,1051,064-2%
107Folsom1,1111,046-2%
108Pacifica1,1111,047-2%
109Concord1,1111,054-2%
110Adelanto1,1141,074-1%
111Hemet1,1171,068-1%
112Hesperia1,1181,070-1%
113Big Bear Lake1,1211,060-1%
114Union City1,1241,064-1%
115Clovis1,1241,065-1%
116Antioch1,1271,0590%
117Laguna Niguel1,1241,0700%
118Redlands1,1241,0740%
119Fresno1,1311,0850%
120Corona1,1341,0790%
121Victorville1,1331,0890%
122Riverside1,1401,0841%
123Perris1,1401,0921%
124Lake Elsinore1,1431,0991%
125Colton1,1461,1032%
126Thousand Oaks1,1541,0902%
127Mission Viejo1,1601,1023%
128Hayward1,1641,1003%
129Lake Forest1,1641,1053%
130Stockton1,1621,1173%
131San Bernardino1,1661,1123%
132Laguna Beach1,1671,1143%
133Moreno Valley1,1661,1233%
134Chino1,1731,1154%
135Irvine1,1751,1154%
136Running Springs1,1761,1184%
137Modesto1,1771,1244%
138Yorba Linda1,1831,1175%
139Tustin1,1851,1285%
140Fontana1,1861,1365%
141Rancho Cucamonga1,1901,1305%
142Chino Hills1,1901,1315%
143Ontario1,1891,1395%
144Upland1,1931,1326%
145Richmond1,1931,1386%
146Orange1,2001,1296%
147Simi Valley1,1981,1366%
148Alameda1,1991,1386%
149Newport Beach1,1991,1406%
150Placentia1,2031,1346%
151Costa Mesa1,2201,1588%
152Oakland1,2211,1558%
153Glendora1,2241,1548%
154Daly City1,2291,1589%
155Huntington Beach1,2291,1719%
156Berkeley1,2361,1679%
157Fair Oaks1,2381,1689%
158El Segundo1,2461,17410%
159Pomona1,2511,19511%
160Rancho Palos Verdes1,2541,18411%
161Carmichael1,2581,17111%
162Lakewood1,2541,19311%
163Azusa1,2541,19711%
164Lancaster1,2561,19811%
165Monrovia1,2661,19112%
166La Habra1,2671,20512%
167Torrance1,2711,19512%
168Palos Verdes Peninsula1,2791,20013%
169Redondo Beach1,2861,21214%
170Sacramento1,2841,22114%
171Long Beach1,2851,21814%
172Santa Ana1,2831,22814%
173Pico Rivera1,2851,22414%
174Fullerton1,2891,22414%
175Santa Clarita1,2941,21214%
176Anaheim1,2891,24114%
177Palmdale1,2921,24115%
178Buena Park1,2991,23015%
179Norwalk1,3011,24315%
180Bellflower1,3061,25016%
181West Covina1,3111,24516%
182La Puente1,3101,25416%
183Fountain Valley1,3171,25317%
184Montebello1,3181,25717%
185Canyon Country1,3301,25818%
186Stanton1,3291,27718%
187Baldwin Park1,3351,27318%
188Cerritos1,3411,26919%
189Westminster1,3421,27519%
190Garden Grove1,3471,29019%
191San Francisco1,3551,27420%
192Pasadena1,3611,28220%
193Temple City1,3631,28820%
194South Gate1,3671,31221%
195Bell1,3681,31721%
196Altadena1,3791,30322%
197Carson1,3761,32022%
198Rosemead1,3951,33324%
199Gardena1,4021,32524%
200Huntington Park1,3961,35224%
201Monterey Park1,4151,34225%
202Hawthorne1,4551,38229%
203Alhambra1,4691,40330%
204Compton1,4761,41331%
205Burbank1,4811,40631%
206Santa Monica1,5371,44536%
207Culver City1,5561,49238%
208Inglewood1,5931,51241%
209Los Angeles1,6231,54644%
210Glendale1,8231,74062%

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