Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

  • Coverage for bodily damage and property damage liability are the only types of coverage required by the state of California
  • If you want to save money on your annual or monthly premiums, you may choose to have a higher deductible
  • In California, the law requires that every driver carry at least $5,000 to cover property damage liability

Car insurance is required in most states, and California requires all drivers to carry a minimum amount of insurance on their vehicles.

Although car insurance rates change on a monthly basis and prices vary based on each applying for the car insurance, this article will do its best to provide average costs of car insurance in the state of California.

Car insurance companies consider several factors when figuring out how much to charge for car insurance premiums. Car insurance rates can also vary according to where in California you live.

Enter your zip code above to get FREE car insurance quotes today!

What are the minimum insurance requirements in the state of California?

Most of the 50 states require every driver to have some car insurance. Each state outlines the minimum amount that is necessary to satisfy the insurance coverage requirements.

For bodily injury liability, each driver is required to carry at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 total for each accident.

There are other types of coverage you can add to your insurance policy to make it more comprehensive and cover more damages so that you don’t owe as much out of your pocket if you were in an accident.

The benefit of buying basic coverage from an insurance company is that it is the most affordable. You can get the coverage required by the state without spending a lot of money.

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What are other types of coverage recommended for California car insurance?

One type of insurance that is highly recommended is underinsured/uninsured motorist insurance.

This protects you in the event you are in an accident with a driver that does not have any insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to pay in entirety the damages to your vehicle or passengers.

If you have coverage for motorists who do not have insurance, you don’t have to worry about having to sue the other driver or paying for the damages with your own money.

Collision coverage will cover any damage to your vehicle if it hits another object or vehicle and comprehensive coverage will cover costs that are caused by anything other than an accident or collision.

This may include damage by:

  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Animals
  • If someone steals your car

Although both comprehensive and collision coverage are optional in California, if you lease your vehicle, you may be required by the lender to have collision and comprehensive insurance.

The benefit of having full coverage on your car is that you will owe a lot less out-of-pocket if you are in an accident or your vehicle is stolen.

What are other factors in determining my car insurance rates in California?

The types of coverage you choose to have on your vehicle are one factor involved with how much you will pay for car insurance in California.

Besides choosing between essential and full coverage, some insurance companies will also offer other options such as:

  • Road assistance
  • Rental insurance
  • Windshield coverage

This optional coverage can be very convenient and lessen the financial strain in certain circumstances. They also will cause your car insurance premiums to increase.

The deductible refers to the amount of money you pay out of your pocket before the insurance company starts paying.

If you choose to have a lower deductible, you will pay less if you are in an accident, but you will end up paying more for your car insurance premiums.

What is the average cost of car insurance in California?

As you can see, many things can affect the cost of car insurance rates each. The beautiful thing is that you can tailor your insurance policy to your needs and financial situation.

The limits that you have on your insurance will also affect how much you pay for your car insurance.

If you choose the minimum insurance requirements for the state of California, your premiums will be lower, but if you are in an accident, you may be required to pay for some of the damages yourself once the insurance money runs out.

If you choose to have higher limits, you will pay more for your car insurance, but you will be responsible for less in the event you have to file a claim with your insurance company.

Enter your zip code below to get FREE car insurance quotes today!