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With nearly 40 million people, it’s the most populous state in the US. Sharing the road with that many people means you’ll need car insurance you can rely on!

As it turns out, insurance rates in the Golden State are high, so it is always a good idea to shop around.

Cheap Insurance will help you find a car insurance provider and policy that gives you the coverage you need and the cheapest car insurance rate available.

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Quick California Car Insurance Facts

So what’s there to know about car insurance in California? Let’s take a look at some interesting facts: 

  • California is frequently among the top most expensive US states for car insurance costs. 
  • Around 16.6 percent of California motorists are uninsured.
  • California is one of the more dangerous states for motorists to drive in. There were over 3,700 auto accident-related deaths in 2020 alone.

When it comes to car insurance, you’re going to pay more in California. All the more reason to make the extra effort to find cheap car insurance in the state.

Minimum California Car Insurance Coverage

In California, as in most other states, the purpose of auto insurance is to help pay the other person’s medical bills, lost wages, and car repair bills if you are found responsible for an auto accident. California law states that all drivers and vehicle owners should be able to establish financial responsibility if they cause an accident and injure other people or their property. Moreover, they should always carry evidence of their financial responsibility when driving. You have four ways to be financially responsible in California: 

  1. Make a deposit with the DMV.
  2. Have a surety bond from a company that is licensed in California.
  3. Be self-insured (and certified by the DMV).
  4. Get covered by auto liability insurance. 

Much like in other states, many California motorists opt to purchase car insurance.

California’s Minimum Liability Coverage Includes:

  • Bodily Injury Liability: $15,000 for the death or injury of one other person
  • Total Bodily Injury Liability: $30,000 total for death or injury of all affected people
  • Property Damage Liability: $5,000 for property damage, including vehicles and stationary objects

These minimums are called “15/30/5.” California auto insurance must meet these standards, but policies can provide much more protection. The greater the coverage, the more likely all liabilities that arise from an accident will be covered.

A standard auto insurance policy does not provide protection for losses suffered by the at-fault driver or anyone in the driver’s vehicle. However, you can buy optional insurance that covers those costs.

Getting Cheap Car Insurance in California

With dozens of insurance companies and options to choose from, what’s the best way to find cheap car insurance California drivers appreciate? Take a methodical approach and find a deal on auto insurance that will help you maintain your budget. Use these tips in your search:

1. Shop Around for Insurance Companies First

There are many insurance companies to choose from in California, so it’s just a matter of filtering for the car insurance provider that offers the best rates for your coverage needs. You can get started on that here!

Cheap Insurance makes it easier than ever for you to check out tons of different insurance options in your area. Don’t stop with the first good deal you find—look at several providers to uncover the best bargain.

2. Start with 15/30/5 Coverage

“15/30/5” is the law in California, so it’s the best place to start looking for your new car insurance policy. Once you find the best prices on basic coverage, you can add further coverage to meet your needs.

3. Be a Defensive Driver

Any accident you get into may increase the cost of your car insurance.

But why is this the case? The more accidents you get into, the more the insurance company has to spend to cover your damages. As such, they typically require accident-prone drivers to pay higher rates to minimize the risk to the insurance provider.

Here in California, however, it also depends on whether you’re at fault for those accidents or not. If you aren’t liable at all for the collision, the car insurance company can’t increase your premium.

One of the best ways to keep your costs down is by following the rules of the road, driving defensively, and always being alert to potential hazards. Finding car insurance on Cheap Insurance is fast and easy. You can compare California auto insurance and choose the right policy for you. For advice or help, contact our team today.

4. Sign Up for California’s Low-Cost Insurance Program

Although California requires all drivers to have financial responsibility, many can’t afford to meet the minimums. To address this issue, the state established California’s Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program (CLCA). It lets motorists carry the basic liability requirements and optional coverages for medical payments and uninsured motorist injuries.

The requirements to be eligible for the CLCA program include:

  • Meeting the income eligibility threshold
  • Carrying a valid California driver’s license
  • Having a car with a value of $25,000 or lower
  • Maintaining a good driving record

California Car Insurance Discounts

Make your cheap car insurance even more affordable with a couple of discounts available for California drivers. Request a free quote with Cheap Insurance to see if you qualify for them.

Good Driver Discount

The Good Driver Discount policy is a special law that requires auto insurance companies to offer a 20 percent discount on premiums to motorists who drive exceptionally well. To be eligible, a Good Driver must be:

  • A valid license holder for at least three years
  • Licensed in the US or Canada in the past 18 months
  • Without more than one point received from the DMV in the last three years
  • Without offenses or felonies related to driving in the past 10 years

Good Student Discount

Young drivers in their teenage years or twenties can be eligible for a Good Student Discount with their coverage premiums here in California. The discount percentage varies per insurer, but it can be as low as 7% or up to 20%. Their requirements are as follows:

  • Have 8 years or less of driving experience. 
  • Be currently enrolled full-time in high school, college, university, or homeschooling.
  • Maintain an average of B, 3.0 GPA, top 20% in SATs, or other academic equivalents.

Other Available Insurance Discounts

Though it depends on what the provider offers, other California car insurance discounts you could qualify for include:

  • Multi-car coverage. This is for drivers who will insure more than one vehicle with the same insurer.
  • Defensive driver/mature driver discount. Drivers over 50 years old can get a small discount by finishing a certified defensive driving course.
  • Multiple Policy. You can be eligible for this by purchasing other insurance policies besides your auto coverage.

FAQs

What is the Average Car Insurance Cost in California?

In terms of car insurance, California is one of the most expensive states.

The cost of car insurance in California varies by zip code and by individual factors. But the average cost of full car insurance coverage in California can exceed $2,000. Minimum insurance coverage can be less expensive—less than $1,000.

The cheapest car insurance in California tends to be offered far from major metro areas.

When you’re worried about the affordable car insurance California drivers need, start your search online. Cheap insurance quotes online are accurate, and up to date, so you can get the best cheap car insurance in California.

How Much Is Car Insurance Per Month in California?

California car insurance is expensive!

The average yearly cost of full coverage car insurance in California is more than $1,800 in 2021. That means it is about $150 monthly. Monthly car insurance premiums in California tend to be higher around big cities like Los Angeles.

If moving is out of the question, it doesn’t mean you’re stuck paying too much for car insurance in California.

You can switch car insurance providers any time to enjoy the affordable car insurance California companies offer. A few hours spent looking for cheap car insurance in California can save you hundreds!

What Is the Penalty for Driving without Insurance in California?

Driving without insurance is against the law in California. You can’t register a vehicle with the Department of Motor Vehicles unless you have current insurance. If you’re found driving without insurance, you can be fined. You may also have points assessed against your license or have your vehicle impounded.

What Is Driving Like in California?

Driving in California is quite similar to driving in other states: fewer cars in smaller cities, more cars in bigger cities. Urban centers like Los Angeles are notorious for their traffic jams. 

California has a large motorist population, with over 27 million licensed drivers. With many people driving, you can expect a high number of dangerous accidents. The state had around 3,700 crash-related fatalities just last year. More than 16 percent of California drivers are also uninsured, which means you can’t file an insurance claim against them if they injure you in an accident.

How Can I Save Money on My Car Insurance Policy in California?

Here are a few tips to help you save more money on your cheap car insurance policy:

  • If you have two or more cars, ask the insurer if they offer multi-car discounts.
  • You can also inquire about the mature driver and good driver discounts if you’re over 50 years old or have a spotless driving record. 
  • You could raise deductibles in your policy contract to lower the premium cost. 
  • Some providers may offer low mileage discounts. You can consider this if you only drive short distances.

Other Types of Coverage

The required basic liability insurance may not be enough to cover you in case of accidents. Here are a few more coverages you might want to add to your policy:

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UMC)/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)

When faced with an at-fault driver that isn’t insured or doesn’t have enough coverage, UMC/UIM will help cover the expenses they were supposed to pay you. However, you can’t collect more than your policy’s limits.

Medical Payments Coverage

This coverage comes into play when you or your passengers are injured in a crash. It will help pay for medical expenses like hospitalizations, surgeries, and medical tests regardless of fault.

Physical Damage Coverage

Physical damage coverage covers your car repair or replacement costs. It comes in two types:

  • Collision: Besides damage from another car, it also covers crashes with other objects, such as trees or utility poles. 
  • Comprehensive: This covers expenses for damage not caused by collisions, such as fires or robberies.

Endorsements and Riders

Endorsements and riders are different ways California auto insurance providers can “extend” policies to cover unusual situations. They add value to your policy and ensure you are prepared for the unexpected. Some common California auto insurance endorsements include:

  • Coverage for theft or damage of luxury items like stereo, GPS, and custom wheels
  • Towing and road service
  • Reimbursement of fees if a rental car you drive is involved in a covered accident
  • GAP coverage to pay off an auto loan or lease if your covered vehicle is totaled
  • GAP insurance specifically for rideshare drivers involved in accidents at work

Cities We Cover in California

Looking for cheap car insurance in California? We have your area covered.

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