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 Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Apr 14, 2022

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In a nutshell...

  • A score of 790 is considered the industry average
  • Farmers Insurance was ranked 30th in the 2011 study
  • Insurance organizations, as financial service providers, are most often compared to the quality of their service

There are two correct answers to who is the largest car insurance company in California.

The largest individual auto insurance provider in California is State Farm. However, the largest insurance group operating in the state is the Zurich Group.

In the past few years, the Zurich Group has acquired or taken over the operations of some vast, previously independent insurance providers. These companies include 21st Century, Mid Century, and Farmers Insurance.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, by 2007 there were more than 32 million registered cars in California, making the Golden State land of opportunity for car insurance companies.

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The Top 10 Car Insurance Companies in California

The California Department of Insurance lists the following companies as the top ten:

In 2010, the Zurich Group, through its network of subsidiaries, wrote a combined total of $1.6 billion in premium business, a full 15 percent of the state total. State Farm alone, accounts for 13 percent of California’s auto business.

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Are these the best car insurance companies in California?

The largest doesn’t always mean the best, and the best company isn’t still the largest.

One of the most famous ad campaigns of the 1960s was designed for the Avis to Rent a Car company, at the time a distant second in business volume, behind industry leader Hertz.

Large can mean several things in the insurance industry. A company can be judged the largest, based on the number of policies in force, or the total dollar volume of premiums it collects each year.

Insurance organizations, as financial service providers, are most often compared to the quality of their service.

J.D. Power and Associates Rates and Ranks Auto Insurers Based on Service

In their 2011 the United States auto insurance study, J.D. Power, and Associates surveyed the customers of the top 35 U.S.-based auto insurance companies.

Based on the results of this study, J. D. Power then assigned a customer satisfaction score on a 1000 point index.

Only nine companies scored higher than the industry average. The top California insurer, State Farm, came in at number 6 in the 2011 study, Progressive finished 13th with Allstate right behind, 14th on the list.

AAA of Southern California was 15th, and California State AAA was 21st. Farmers Insurance was ranked 30th in the 2011 study. Finally, Mercury and 21st Century placed 33rd and 34th respectively.

While seven out of California’s top 10 were included on the J.D. Power list, only State Farm, 804, had a customer satisfaction rating higher than the industry average. Progressive finished just below the 790 average with a score of 785.

At the bottom of the list was Mercury with a rating of 754 and 21st Century with just 741 points. The highest rank in the survey belonged to Amica Mutual with a total point score of 843.

What car insurance company should I choose?

While viewing a list of the top car insurance companies in any state can certainly help narrow down your choice no one can say which provider is right for you.

Every driver has a unique profile with different needs and service expectations. California is home to a very competitive car insurance market, and most drivers have plenty of comparable options to choose from.

Spend some time and compare at least a handful of companies before settling on a provider. Enter your zip code below to get FREE car insurance quotes today!