When shopping for the best car insurance in San Diego, it’s important to do a bit of research and obtain several quotes before making a decision.
Several auto insurance companies write policies for San Diego residents, so comparison shopping helps you get the best deal for your situation.
It’s important to remember that insurance companies don’t base rates solely on your location.
They also factor in personal information including your age, driving record, claims history, and the type of car you drive.
Learn more about insurance variables so you can find the best car insurance in San Diego.
Average Cost of Car Insurance in San Diego
You’re probably wondering, “How much is car insurance in San Diego?”
Although that’s an important question to ask, keep in mind that your rates will depend on several different factors.
To help you get a better idea of the rates you may qualify for, inform yourself about for the average person in your area.
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average car insurance premium for full-coverage insurance in California in 2015 was $986.75.
Even though the average car insurance premium in the state increased by an average of $26 per year between 2011 and 2015, the state’s average is still lower than the national average of $1,009.38.
Car insurance rates in California are very similar to those in nearby states.
While average premiums in California in 2015 were a bit higher than those in Oregon and Arizona, they were about $117 less than Nevada’s average.
|Average Cost of Car Insurance in California||$986.75|
|Average Cost of Car Insurance in Oregon||$904.83|
|Average Cost of Car Insurance in Nevada||$1,103.05|
|Average Cost of Car Insurance in Arizona||$972.85|
|Countrywide Average Cost of Car Insurance||$1009.38|
When searching for the best car insurance in San Diego, you should also consider some external elements.
In addition to factoring in your driving history, insurers will look at certain conditions in your local area when determining your rates, these may include:
According to the NAIC, the traffic density in California in 2014—which is calculated by the number of vehicle miles per highway mile—was 1,475,882.
This figure is well above the national average for traffic density, which is 724,348.
The NAIC’s comparison of vehicle miles per registered vehicle for 2014 in California was 11,942, lower than the national average of 12,010.
Of course, traffic conditions vary by city too.
In most cases, you can expect denser traffic in major cities, including San Diego, and lighter traffic in more rural areas.
Increased traffic density increases a driver’s chances of being involved in traffic accident or collision.
Therefore, if you live in San Diego proper or a similarly populated city center, the increased traffic could slightly increase your insurance rates.
Vehicle Theft Rates
According to the Insurance Information Institute, California had the highest number of vehicle thefts in 2016.
Five of the Top 10 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas for Motor Vehicle Theft were located in California—Redding, Bakersfield, Modesto, Stockton-Lodi and Yuba City —and auto theft in the state occurred at a rate of 450 vehicles per 100,000 residents.
This rate is almost double the national average of 236 vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents.
While San Diego wasn’t a city included in the Top 10 list, the fact that California tops the charts for vehicle theft in the nation could have a negative impact on your insurance premiums.
You can try to offset these added costs by choosing a vehicle that’s not considered one of the most commonly stolen vehicles in the nation.
According to the FBI’s Hot Wheels Report, Honda Civics and Honda Accords top the list of most frequently stolen vehicles in California.
Full-size pickups from Chevy and Ford also made the list, as well as Toyota Camrys, Toyota Corollas, Honda CR-Vs, Acura Integras, Nissan Sentras, and Nissan Altimas.
According to the NAIC, population density doesn’t directly affect your auto insurance rates.
However, areas with more vehicles tend to have higher accident and crime rates.
California is considered the nation’s most densely populated state.
In 2014, there were 248 residents per square mile, which is much higher than the national average of 90 people per square mile.
In California, 97.5 percent of the state’s population lives in a metropolitan area such as San Diego, so it’s not surprising that this city’s population density is a lot higher than the state average.
San Diego is home to a total of 1,374,812 people and has a population density of 4,233 people per square mile.
With a population density so high, there’s a good chance that vehicle theft rates and accident rates are higher within the city limits.
You might be able to obtain a lower insurance rate if you opt to live outside the city proper.
Disposable income also affects auto insurance rates indirectly.
Drivers with more disposable income, tend to drive higher-priced vehicles.
These types of vehicles require more insurance coverage, and because they cost more to replace and repair, their rates are also higher.
In California, the disposable income per person in 2014 was $43,978, which is higher than the national average of $40,859.
However, average incomes tend to vary slightly from city to city, and larger cities tend to have higher median incomes than rural areas.
For 2018, the median household income for San Diego is $68,117, which is higher than the national median household income of $55,322.
Companies with the Best Car Insurance in San Diego
When looking for the best car insurance in San Diego, it’s a good idea to get quotes from at least three different insurance companies.
Not only does this give you a good idea of what your rates will look like, but it can also help you determine what type of coverage is best for your needs.
Keep in mind there are other factors to consider besides price.
You should also read online insurance reviews for different companies, look into each lender’s, and consider the level of customer service they provide.
Progressive Car Insurance:
Founded in 1937, Progressive originally set up to offer a drive-in claims service.
It has since expanded to offer a wide range of services along with its auto policies, including 24/7 claims processing.
It also extends an upfront competitor rate processing that shows you how much your premium would be if you purchased a policy from its competitors.
Liberty Mutual Insurance:
Liberty Mutual offers auto, home, and renter’s insurance to consumers in 17 different countries.
When you get car insurance from Liberty Mutual, you get a 12-month rate guarantee that locks in your rates for the year.
Backed by Allstate, Esurance provides auto insurance to more than 5.2 million drivers across the United States.
The company focuses on using technology to make processing a claim simple for its policyholders.
With Esurance, you can manage your policy online, file a claim through a mobile app, and customize your policy limits with its Coverage Counselor®.
USAA provides auto insurance to military personnel and their family members.
The company started in 1922, and it insures all types of vehicles including cars, trucks, SUVs, boats, and recreational vehicles.
Allstate was founded in 1931.
The company’s financial outlook is strong, as it insures over 16 million U.S. households and owns about $1.5 billion in assets.
It offers standard auto insurance, but you have the option to add additional services to your policy and take advantage of various discounts such as the Safe Driving Bonus®.
American Family Insurance:
American Family Insurance was originally known as Farmers Mutual.
It was founded in 1927 and offers homeowners, personal, and auto insurance.
Its auto insurance policies include services like 24/7 claims processing and safe driver discounts.
MetLife Auto & Home:
MetLife offers auto and home insurance throughout the United States.
Policyholders can take advantage of the company’s discounts, which include a safe driver discount, a good student discount, and several vehicle-related discounts.
It also offers gap coverage to cover the difference between the value of your vehicle and the amount left on your loan.
What is Mandatory for Car Insurance in San Diego
In San Diego, you’re required to carry the minimum amount of car insurance mandated by the state of California.
According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, drivers are required to carry liability insurance with at least the following rates:
You are also required to carry proof of insurance in your vehicle at all times.
The state won’t let you renew your vehicle’s registration or register a new vehicle without providing proof of insurance.
California does provide the option of allowing drivers to forgo auto insurance as long as they submit a $35,000 cash deposit or surety bond to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
How to Reduce the Cost of Your Car Insurance in San Diego
While you’ll never be able to eliminate your auto insurance premium, most insurance companies offer a variety of discounts and opportunities for policyholders to reduce the cost of their policy.
When you obtain a quote from an agent, have the pertinent information on hand to make sure you get all the discounts for which you qualify.
In most cases, you need the following information:
You can also try to lower your car insurance premium by adjusting the type and level of coverage you have and modifying some of your driving habits.
To obtain the lowest possible insurance rates you should:
What Can Increase the Cost of Your Car Insurance in San Diego
Just as there are elements that can decrease your insurance rates, there are other elements besides your location that can increase them.
It’s important to be aware of these factors before you start looking for the best car insurance in San Diego.
This way you’ll have a good idea of what to expect.
Most people expect teen drivers to have increased auto insurance premiums because they don’t have a lot of experience behind the wheel, yet, drivers over the age of 70 also see rate increases.
To offset any added costs, consider taking a defensive driver’s course.
Some insurance companies provide discounts after receiving proof of course completion.
Poor Driving Record:
Traffic violations and accidents are a part of your driving record, and they affect insurance rates.
However, not all violations and accidents are treated the same.
For example, if you get a speeding ticket or a ticket for driving under the influence, it’s likely to raise your rates a lot more than a ticket for changing lanes without signaling.
Your best bet is to follow the traffic laws in San Diego to avoid tickets and collisions altogether.
If you do get a ticket, you should consider contesting it in court to keep it from appearing on your driving record.
The more expensive your car, the higher your insurance premiums will be, since it costs more to repair or replace high-end vehicles.
Other vehicle-related factors that affect your insurance premium include the likelihood of theft, the engine size, and the overall safety record for your car.
Finding the best car insurance in San Diego doesn’t have to be difficult.
As long as you obtain quotes from several different companies and have all of your information ready when talking to an agent, it’s easy to get an accurate, affordable quote.*While we make every effort to keep our site updated, please be aware that "timely" information on this page, such as quote estimates, or pertinent details about companies, may only be accurate as of its last edit day. Huntley Wealth & Insurance Services and its representatives do not give legal or tax advice. Please consult your own legal or tax adviser.