The Best Car Insurance in California for 2024

Travelers scored as the best car insurance company in California overall, according to NerdWallet’s 2024 analysis.
Drew Gula
By Drew Gula 
Updated
Edited by Ben Moore

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Finding the best car insurance can be time-consuming no matter where you live. But with some insurance companies closing shop in California because of increasing costs to insure drivers, it’s more challenging than ever to find the right auto insurance.

To make it easier for you, NerdWallet analyzed 21 car insurance companies in California to find the top picks for the following categories:

If you prefer to see a full list of the best car insurance companies in California, you can jump to the bottom of this page.

NerdWallet’s editorial team considered pricing, discounts, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and more to determine the best car insurance companies in California. Our “ease of use” category includes factors such as website transparency and how simple it is to file a claim. As we continue to evaluate more insurance providers and receive fresh market data, our list of best car insurance companies is likely to change over time. In our list of the best insurers in the state, we only include insurance companies that have achieved a minimum NerdWallet star rating of 4.5.

Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure fairness and accuracy in our coverage so you can choose the insurance company that works best for you. Our ratings are specific to auto insurance; a company's rating for other products may be different on our site. See our criteria for evaluating auto insurance companies.

Best car insurance in California overall: Travelers

Out of 21 eligible car insurance companies in California, Travelers earned the highest overall score. Our star ratings focus on some of the most common factors that could affect customer experience.

Read our Travelers auto insurance review to see why this insurer came out on top.

Best overall
insurance-product-card-logo

Travelers

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Travelers offers a broad range of coverage options and discounts to help you customize your car insurance policy.

Discounts

Great set of discounts

Ease of use

Above average

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected
Best overall
insurance-product-card-logo

Travelers

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Travelers offers a broad range of coverage options and discounts to help you customize your car insurance policy.

Discounts

Great set of discounts

Ease of use

Above average

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected

Best California car insurance for your budget: Auto Club of SoCal

Out of the 21 companies we looked at to find the best car insurance in California, Auto Club of SoCal is the cheapest top-rated company. Our analysis showed that the average rate for full coverage insurance from Auto Club of SoCal is $1,147 per year or $96 per month for California drivers. (However, your rate may be different.)

Auto Club of SoCal is affiliated with the American Automobile Association, or AAA. Read our AAA auto insurance review to learn more.

🤓Nerdy Tip

We don’t have data for every single company that offers coverage in California, so compare car insurance rates from several companies to make sure which company is cheapest for you.

Check out NerdWallet’s analysis of cheap car insurance in California for a detailed breakdown of the most affordable insurers in your state.

Best budget pick
insurance-product-card-logo

Auto Club of SoCal

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Auto Club of SoCal provides AAA-branded auto insurance in 20 states.

Discounts

Average set of discounts

Ease of use

Above average

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected
Best budget pick
insurance-product-card-logo

Auto Club of SoCal

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Auto Club of SoCal provides AAA-branded auto insurance in 20 states.

Discounts

Average set of discounts

Ease of use

Above average

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected

Best California car insurance for customer complaints: Amica

Amica is the best car insurance company for California drivers when it comes to customer satisfaction, based on the low number of complaints to state regulators for a company of its size. This is based on a comparison across auto insurers in California with a NerdWallet 5.0-star rating.

You can learn more in our Amica auto insurance review.

Best for customer complaints
insurance-product-card-logo

Amica

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
High marks for customer satisfaction and low consumer complaints make Amica a great choice for good drivers.

Discounts

Great set of discounts

Ease of use

Average

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected
Best for customer complaints
insurance-product-card-logo

Amica

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
High marks for customer satisfaction and low consumer complaints make Amica a great choice for good drivers.

Discounts

Great set of discounts

Ease of use

Average

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected

Best California car insurance for ease of use: State Farm

State Farm is the best car insurance company in California for ease of use. State Farm customers can manage their policy and submit claims online, and the mobile app has excellent user ratings for both iOS and Android devices.

You can learn about more features in our State Farm auto insurance review.

Best for ease of use
insurance-product-card-logo

State Farm

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
State Farm offers numerous discounts and extras including travel expense coverage, making it a good choice for most drivers.

Discounts

Average set of discounts

Ease of use

Above average

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected
Best for ease of use
insurance-product-card-logo

State Farm

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
State Farm offers numerous discounts and extras including travel expense coverage, making it a good choice for most drivers.

Discounts

Average set of discounts

Ease of use

Above average

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected

Full list of the best car insurance companies in California

Out of all 21 car insurers NerdWallet analyzed, here is the full list of the best car insurance companies in California, all with a NerdWallet star rating of 4.5 or higher.

Company

Star rating

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

*USAA is available only to active-duty military members, veterans and their families.

Learn more about California car insurance

Methodology

Auto insurance ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s auto insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints and discounts. Our “ease of use” category looks at factors such as website transparency and how easy it is to file a claim. Using our editorial discretion, we also consider customer satisfaction surveys. These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines and full ratings methodology for auto insurance.

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2020-2022. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. NerdWallet conducts its data analysis and reaches conclusions independently and without the endorsement of the NAIC. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

Average rates methodology

NerdWallet averaged rates based on public filings obtained by pricing analytics company Quadrant Information Services. We examined rates for men and women for all ZIP codes in any of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. Although it’s one of the largest insurers in the country, Liberty Mutual is not included in our rates analysis due to a lack of publicly available information.

In our analysis, “good drivers” had no moving violations on record; a “good driving” discount was included for this profile. Our “good” and “poor” credit rates are based on credit score approximations and do not account for proprietary scoring criteria used by insurance providers.

These are average rates, and your rate will vary based on your personal details, state and insurance provider.

Sample drivers had the following coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.

  • $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash.

  • $50,000 property damage liability coverage per crash.

  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person.

  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash.

  • Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible.

  • Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible.

We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • We changed the credit tier from “good” to “poor” as reported to the insurer to see rates for drivers with poor credit. In states where credit isn’t taken into account, we only used rates for “good credit.”

  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage.

  • For drivers with a DUI, we added a single drunken-driving violation.

We used a 2021 Toyota Camry LE in all cases and assumed 12,000 annual miles driven. We analyzed rates for a 35-year-old driver.

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