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The Top Car Insurance Companies in California

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MoneyGeek found Esurance is the overall best car insurance company in San Diego, California. The best provider for you, though, depends on your age, driving history and insurance requirements. MoneyGeek analyzed the top insurers for different types of drivers, such as young and elderly drivers, those with traffic violations and military backgrounds.

MoneyGeek also provides resources on the cheapest auto insurance in San Diego for customers looking to save money.

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2023

The Best Car Insurance in San Diego

Best Car Insurance Companies in San Diego: Overall

MoneyGeek analyzed claims ratings, customer satisfaction and average premium costs for different driver profiles to discover the top auto insurance companies in San Diego. The best car insurance providers in San Diego are:

  • Esurance: 92 out of 100
  • GEICO: 86 out of 100

MoneyGeek gave USAA a score of 83 out of 100; it ranks third in San Diego but is not included in our overall rankings because only military-affiliated drivers are eligible for a policy. But, it’s a great option for eligible current and former military personnel and their families.

The Top Car Insurance Companies in San Diego

1
EsuranceOverall
Score:92

4.8/5

Affordability

3.7/5

Claims

4.2/5

User Satisfaction

4.5/5

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

Esurance received the highest score for affordability and great stability and customer satisfaction scores. A full coverage policy from Esurance costs about $903 per year. Custom parts coverage is one of its unique add-on coverage options.

More About Esurance

Esurance’s custom parts add-on coverage, its most unique coverage, covers aftermarket upgrades to your car, like a sound system or custom wheels, should they be damaged because of an accident or other qualifying incident. You can also get gap insurance on an Esurance auto policy, which pays 25% more than the value of your car if it's totaled to help you pay off your loan or lease.

Read MoneyGeek's Esurance auto Insurance Review
2
GEICO
Score:86

4.2/5

Affordability

4/5

Claims

4.5/5

User Satisfaction

5/5

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

GEICO received a perfect score for stability and high customer satisfaction score. The average cost of a full coverage policy from GEICO is $1,052 per year. GEICO provides add-on mechanical breakdown insurance.

More About GEICO

Drivers of a car less than 15 months old and with fewer than 15,000 miles can purchase mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) from GEICO to cover every part of their vehicle; more than a dealer’s extended warranty at a lower price. GEICO also has add-on accident forgiveness coverage, where, following your first at-fault accident, you won't see an increase in your insurance premium.

Read MoneyGeek's GEICO auto Insurance Review
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RESOURCES ON CAR INSURANCE IN SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

MoneyGeek identified San Diego's lowest-priced car insurance for drivers who want to save money. We have resources to help you find the best and cheapest auto insurance in California for your driving needs.

Best Cheap Car Insurance for Minimum Coverage in San Diego

If you only want a minimum coverage policy in San Diego because it is the cheapest option, MoneyGeek’s data shows that the best car insurance companies for a policy meeting the California minimum auto insurance requirements are:

  • GEICO: 94 out of 100
  • Progressive: 90 out of 100

To get these scores, MoneyGeek used different driver backgrounds, including young and senior drivers and those with a violation.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: GEICO

GEICO

pros

A minimum coverage policy costs around $442 per year

MoneyGeek claims rating of 4 out of 5

MoneyGeek customer satisfaction rating of 4.5 out of 5

Offers bundling, defensive driving and federal employee discounts

cons

Doesn’t offer a pay-in-full or paperless discount

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

GEICO provides savings on car insurance with discounts like bundling, multiple car and safe driving. Homeowners or renters who have GEICO insurance might save money by bundling their vehicle policy. If you insure more than one vehicle, you may be eligible for a multi-car discount, and not having an accident for five years also equals savings.

The new car discount is also available through GEICO for policyholders with a new vehicle. You may also save money by always wearing your seatbelt. Other insurers don't usually provide these discounts.

Read MoneyGeek's GEICO Auto Insurance Review

Best Car Insurance for Young Drivers in San Diego

MoneyGeek found the best car insurance providers for young drivers in San Diego are:

  • State Farm: 86 out of 100
  • Progressive: 80 out of 100

MoneyGeek calculated scores by analyzing several insurance coverages and driving records of 18-year-old drivers.

Keep in mind that auto insurance for teens and student auto insurance is often more costly because of their inexperience.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: State Farm

State Farm

pros

A full coverage policy for responsible teen drivers costs around $2,639 per year

MoneyGeek claims ratings of 4 out of 5

MoneyGeek customer satisfaction rating of 4.5 out of 5

Offers good student, distant student and driver’s education course discounts

cons

No accident forgiveness add-on coverage

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

Adding a young driver to your insurance might be costly, but State Farm provides an affordable rate in San Diego and quality service. That’s important since teens/students have less experience on the road and may get into an accident, requiring a claim.

State Farm also provides discounts to young drivers to help them save on auto insurance. For example, students under the age of 25 who live at school but leave their car at home are eligible for the distant student discount. Also, drivers under the age of 21 who complete an authorized driver's education course are eligible for a discount, as are students who maintain good grades.

State Farm has add-on roadside assistance coverage, too, which covers flat tires, towing, jumpstarts and lockout services, which benefits young drivers.

Read MoneyGeek's State Farm Auto Insurance Review

Best Car Insurance for Senior Drivers in San Diego

The top-rated car insurance companies in San Diego for senior drivers are:

  • Esurance: 90 out of 100
  • State Farm: 90 out of 100

Esurance and State Farm scored the same MoneyGeek rating, but Esurance's modest advantage in affordability led it to be the best company for senior drivers.

We based our scores on the analysis of different policy coverages and driving records for 70-year-old drivers in San Diego.

Auto insurance for seniors is often more costly than for middle-aged drivers.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: Esurance

Esurance

pros

A full coverage policy for responsible senior drivers costs approximately $1,011 per year

MoneyGeek customer satisfaction rating of 4.17 out of 5

Offers discounts for homeownership and bundling

cons

MoneyGeek claims rating of 3.67 out of 5

No senior driver or defensive driving discount

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

Several insurers charge older drivers more for car insurance than middle-aged drivers, even though the policies are the same. However, Esurance continues to provide low-cost coverage and incentives to senior drivers.

For example, Esurance senior policyholders who own a house get a discount, which is distinct from the bundling discount. But, if they also bundle policies, they can save more money. Esurance also provides add-on coverages that appeal to senior drivers, such as roadside assistance and rental car and/or travel reimbursement.

Read MoneyGeek's Esurance Auto Insurance Review

Best Car Insurance With a Driving Violation in San Diego

MoneyGeek identified the best insurance companies for drivers with a violation in San Diego. The top-ranked companies for San Diego drivers with an at-fault accident are:

  • Esurance: 89 out of 100
  • State Farm: 81 out of 100

A variety of factors, including age and insurance coverage, were taken into consideration by MoneyGeek to arrive at these results.

Individuals with a bad driving record pay more for car insurance since they are regarded as high-risk.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: Esurance

Esurance

pros

An affordable full coverage policy for a 40-year-old driver with an accident on their record costs around $1,403 per year

MoneyGeek customer satisfaction rating of 4.17 out of 5

Offers add-on gap insurance

cons

MoneyGeek claims rating of 3.67 out of 5

Offers two out of nine standard discounts

No better/new car replacement add-on coverage

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

Because of its low rates and add-on coverage options, Esurance is a good option for high-risk drivers in San Diego. For example, Esurance has add-on gap insurance, so if you’re in an accident that results in a totaled car, it pays 25% more than the actual cash value of the car to help you pay off the loan or lease.

Also, even with an accident on your record, you can save with discounts from Esurance. One option is bundling your auto policy with homeowners or renters to lower your premium.

Read MoneyGeek's Esurance Auto Insurance Review

Best Car Insurance With a Military Background in San Diego

When it comes to car insurance for military personnel in San Diego, USAA offers the best balance of affordability and customer satisfaction. It only insures military members and their families, customizing its policies to their needs.

USAA received a MoneyGeek rating of 83 out of 100. This is based on an analysis of various coverage levels and driver profiles, such as young drivers, older drivers and those with violations.

MoneyGeek’s Pick: USAA

USAA

pros

A full coverage policy costs around $1,116 per year for a 40-year-old driver

Offers five of the most common discounts, including bundling, multiple car, safe driving and defensive driving

MoneyGeek claims rating of 5 out of 5

MoneyGeek customer satisfaction rating of 5 out of 5

cons

Only has three of the seven commonly available add-on coverages; missing new car replacement and gap insurance, for example

USAA is exclusive to military personnel, veterans and their family members

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

USAA is frequently ranked as one of the best car insurance carriers, having good prices and high service scores. Roadside assistance, rental car and/or travel reimbursement and accident forgiveness are its add-on coverage options. However, USAA does not provide additional coverages, except rideshare insurance.

USAA offers five of the nine most common discounts: bundling, multiple car, good student, safe driving and defensive driving. For military personnel, it has discounts tailored to them, such as a vehicle storage discount and garaging a car on base.

Read MoneyGeek's USAA Auto Insurance Review

Methodology

MoneyGeek evaluated the top auto insurers in San Diego, California, based on estimates and information from credible research firms, such as AM Best, J.D. Power and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

Our overall MoneyGeek score is calculated using a five-point scale for each category and a 100-point scale for the overall score. For San Diego and all other cities where we analyze the best car insurance, we adjusted the weightings for each category as follows:

  • Affordability (70%): San Diego-based insurers were ranked based on average premiums. The cheapest auto insurance provider in the city could receive a perfect score of five.
  • Customer and claims satisfaction (20%): MoneyGeek examined J.D. Power surveys to find how satisfied customers were with the service and claims processing of various insurance companies. The research gave a 10% weighting to each of the sub-categories.
  • Financial stability (10%): MoneyGeek used AM Best ratings to assess an insurance company's ability to pay its financial commitments regardless of economic conditions.

MoneyGeek applied a five- and 100-point scale to each category and total score, respectively. Many parameters, including age, driving record and insurance coverage amounts, were modified to target certain driver profiles to obtain the overall affordability score.

The average price for a full coverage policy includes these limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $100,000 property damage liability
  • Comprehensive and collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible

MoneyGeek's car insurance methodology provides additional information about our data collection, comparison and rating procedures.

About Mark Fitzpatrick


Mark Fitzpatrick headshot

Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content director at MoneyGeek with over five years of experience analyzing the insurance market, conducting original research and creating content that can be personalized for every buyer. He has been quoted on insurance topics in several publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Mark earned a master’s degree in Economics and International Relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his economics and insurance knowledge to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.


sources
  • Esurance. "About Us." Accessed May 12, 2022.