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...

  • It’s always a good idea to compare at three different quotes before making a final decision
  • California law requires all drivers to have insurance coverage when operating a vehicle
  • Look for a company that has a strong financial rating

When comparing auto insurance, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) has a list of top car insurance companies in the state, according to market share.

However, just because a company has a large portion of the market does not mean that the company is financially stable or provides quality service to its customers.

A.M. Best is an independent rating company that tracks the financial health of an insurance company rather than its market share.

After analyzing information from both A.M. Best and the CDI’s list of insurance companies with great market shares, inferences can be drawn between the two criteria.

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Who are the top car insurance companies in California?

We will start with Allstate. According to A.M. Best, their financial strength and outlook is an “A+” rating, which is very positive. The company has been around since 1939, making it a stable company with years of experience.

Customers have given Allstate positive ratings online, giving it an average just shy of four out of five stars. While many customers are happy with Allstate, there are those who feel their sales tactics are deceptive by offering great prices to start and then raising them later on.

— State Farm Insurance

Another popular company to work in California is State Farm. Their catchy commercial phrase, “Like a good neighbor” has given State Farm an advantage of being well known.

In addition to this, A.M. Best has given them an “Outstanding” rating of “A++” making them not only financially stable but with a positive outlook.

— 21st Century

21st Century Insurance is another well-known company and a popular choice in California. A.M. Best gave 21st Century a positive rating of “A” and several reviews have labeled the company as inexpensive.

While the inexpensive part is a positive, many customers have also complained that the insurance available is too basic.

— Infinity Insurance Company

Infinity Insurance Company has a great rating from A.M. Best, rating them an “A” and the company is considered stable. While the rating is great for Infinity Insurance, the customer reviews are not as great.

While Infinity’s rates and premiums are given reasonable reviews from customers, many have one thing in common, poor customer service.

— Progressive Auto Insurance

Progressive is well known nowadays thanks to a friendly woman named Flo. With easy access online and several insurance types available, Progressive has been an online shopping fan’s dream come true. A.M.

Best has given Progressive Insurance a positive rating of “A+” and the reviews of Progressive have been 75 percent positive.

Most like the ease of shopping online and the ability to shop for discounts. Some of the negatives are slow roadside assistance and incompetent claims specialists.

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— CSAA

The California State Automobile Association (CSAA) is also a favorite among Californians. This is the northern Californian branch of AAA. While it is a member’s only insurance company, those who are members receive great discounts.

The rating from A.M. Best for CSAA is a “Superior” “A+” rating. Customers have positive feedback for CSAA, saying that the roadside assistance is helpful and punctual.

Some of the negative feedback for CSAA surrounds customer service. While the people are friendly, some customers feel they are not proficient.

— Mercury Insurance

Mercury Insurance Company received an “A+” rating from A.M. Best. The reviews for Mercury Insurance have been mixed with both negative and positive, with more customers leaning toward positive reviews.

One of the advantages of being insured by Mercury Insurance, according to customers is the great rates and the amount of coverage you get for these rates.

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Which car insurance is the best for Californians?

While there are several car insurance companies that are popular among California residents, one car insurance cannot meet everyone’s individual needs and criteria.

The car insurance companies that are top rated are so because they meet a substantial portion of customers’ needs and are financially stable.

However, when looking for car insurance, you shouldn’t just rely on which company is top rated.

The information on the financial stability of the company is important and it should be used as a starting point when researching car insurance rates.

Looking at the reviews of other customers is important when finding the best car insurance for you and your family. Some value great customer service over low rates, while others are happy with low rates and mediocre customer service.

Where can you research car insurance companies and their rates?

There are several ways to research car insurance company rates. First, you can do quite a bit of the legwork online.

With companies utilizing the ease of online usage such as Progressive, customers can compare and contrast different car insurance quotes.

For those who enjoy a more one-on-one approach, customer service representatives are available either by phone or at a local insurance agent.

Either of these choices will help you get the answers you are looking for when it comes to finding the best insurance rate for you and your family.

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