Cheapest and Best Car Insurance in Berkeley, CA (2023)
Compare Rates and Save on Car Insurance
By, Content Director
The cheapest auto insurer for you may vary based on your profile and needs. GEICO is the cheapest for minimum coverage. GEICO also offers the best full coverage policies. National General offers the cheapest full coverage policies. It is also the cheapest for drivers with violations. State Farm is the cheapest provider for teens, while USAA is the cheapest option for drivers with a military background. Chubb is the best for customer service.
Cheapest and Best Car Insurance in Berkeley
Cheapest Minimum Liability Car Insurance in Berkeley
The cheapest auto insurance companies for a minimum coverage policy in Berkeley are:
- GEICO: $322 per year
- CSAA: $387 per year
Chubb is the least affordable company for minimum coverage at $738 per year. Car insurance rates can vary based on location.
A minimum coverage policy only provides coverage for bodily injury liability and property damage liability as required by California law. The minimum liability limits mandated by law in California are:
- $15,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $30,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $5,000 property damage liability per accident
Liability coverage helps to cover the cost of injuries caused to others or their property in an accident. In California, a minimum coverage policy will pay a maximum of $15,000 per victim up to $30,000 per accident. Damages to property will only be covered up to a maximum of $5,000. The driver will bear the responsibility for additional costs exceeding these limits.
Cheapest Full Coverage Car Insurance in Berkeley
The following insurers offer the cheapest full coverage car insurance in Berkeley:
- National General: $935 per year
- GEICO: $955 per year
Chubb is the most expensive provider at $1,851 per year.
A full coverage policy includes comprehensive and collision insurance.
- Collision Insurance: Covers damages to your vehicle following a collision or accident with an object or another vehicle
- Comprehensive Insurance: Covers non-collision loss or damages to your vehicle such as theft or vandalism.
A full coverage policy may not be worth the extra cost for drivers with older vehicles, since the added cost may exceed the value of the car.
Cheapest Car Insurance in Berkeley After a Driving Offense
In Berkeley, the following insurers offer the cheapest full coverage policies for drivers with traffic violations:
- Speeding ticket: National General ($980 per year)
- At-fault accident: National General ($1,383 per year)
- DUI: National General ($980 per year)
The most expensive insurers are Nationwide ($2,439 per year), Kemper ($3,366 per year) and Hartford ($5,161 per year) for drivers with a speeding ticket, at-fault accident or DUI offense, respectively.
Driving violations can significantly impact the cost of your insurance. Even the cheapest rates for a driver with a poor record will be more expensive than average-priced rates for drivers with clean records.
Typically, insurance rates increase in proportion to the severity of the driver offense. For instance, drivers with a DUI offense will pay approximately $1,334 more per year than those with a speeding ticket in Berkeley. Although you may pay more, drivers can still find cheap car insurance with a bad driving record.
Cheapest Car Insurance in Berkeley for Teens and Their Families
The following insurers offer the most affordable car insurance in Berkeley for a 16-year-old teen on a family policy:
- State Farm: $2,761 per year for male and female teens
- GEICO: $2,717 per year for female teens and $2,865 for male teens
Nationwide is the most expensive provider for teens on a family policy at $5,128 per year for male and female teens. GEICO’s rates are higher for male teens than female teens. This happens because male teens are riskier to insure than female teens. However, this cost difference drops off in early adulthood.
Car insurance rates for teens are significantly more expensive when they purchase an individual car insurance policy instead of joining a family policy. In Berkeley, a 16-year-old male teen could save up to $673 per year by joining a family policy instead of purchasing an individual policy. To save more, families can compare insurers to get the cheapest car insurance for teenagers.
Cheapest Car Insurance in Berkeley for Military Drivers
In Berkeley, military drivers will get the cheapest full coverage policies from these insurers:
- USAA: $879 per year
- National General: $935 per year
GEICO is the cheapest option for minimum coverage at $322 per year, and USAA is the second cheapest at $376 per year. USAA offers cheap military car insurance for both minimum and full coverage policies, but National General is only cheap for full coverage and is relatively expensive for minimum coverage at $529 per year.
How to Compare Cheap Berkeley Car Insurance Quotes Online
Car insurance quotes are obtainable online, but inputting the personal information required for a single quote can take up to 15 minutes. When comparing multiple providers, this time adds up. You can quickly get an estimate using MoneyGeek’s car insurance calculator by simply inputting your age, vehicle type, coverage level and driving record.
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Best Car Insurance in Berkeley: Summary
The best car insurance provider for you will depend on how you prioritize factors like cost, service and coverage. The best car insurance companies in Berkeley, CA, are:
- Best overall: GEICO (MoneyGeek score of 75 out of 100)
- Best for service: Chubb (MoneyGeek score of 76 out of 100)
- Best cheap: GEICO (MoneyGeek score of 78 out of 100)
A company’s overall MoneyGeek score may vary based on the factors weighted in that category. Although GEICO is the best company overall in Berkeley, it is not the best auto insurance company in California — CSAA earned the top spot in the state with a MoneyGeek score of 63 out of 100. USAA received a MoneyGeek score of 85 out of 100 and is the top car insurance provider in Berkeley for eligible drivers.
Best Overall Car Insurance in Berkeley
The following insurers offer the best full coverage policies in Berkeley:
- GEICO: MoneyGeek score of 75 out of 100 ($955 per year)
- National General: MoneyGeek score of 68 out of 100 ($935 per year)
GEICO received high scores in affordability and customer satisfaction. This means that policyholders can expect good service at an affordable rate. USAA, with a MoneyGeek score of 85 out of 100, is the best insurer in Berkeley for drivers with a military background.
Has high affordability and customer satisfaction ratings
Offers mechanical breakdown insurance
Offers classic car insurance
Has a below-average claims management rating
GEICO offers the second-cheapest rates in Berkeley and provides top-notch customer service. It offers a broad set of coverage options, so this provider is a good option if you’re looking for a mix of quality service, coverage and affordability.
Policyholders can get GEICO's Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI) to cover all parts and systems in their vehicle, including those not covered by a dealer warranty. MBI offers more coverage at cheaper rates, but your car needs to be new — vehicles must be less than 15 months old or have fewer than 15,000 miles.
Drivers with antique or classic cars can also opt for the classic car insurance policy. This provides coverages similar to a standard policy, such as liability and medical coverage. Basic coverages like roadside assistance, rental car and/or travel reimbursement are also available. These cover costs incurred when your car breaks down.
Best Car Insurance in Berkeley for Customer Service
Excluding cost as a factor, the best car insurance companies for customer service in Berkeley are:
- Chubb: MoneyGeek score of 76 out of 100 ($1,851 per year)
- Capital Insurance Group: MoneyGeek score of 68 out of 100 ($1,370 per year)
Of the 14 providers we ranked, Chubb has the highest claims management and customer satisfaction rating. However, Chubb’s full coverage policy is the most expensive.
Has the highest claims management rating
Has the highest customer satisfaction score
Offers original equipment manufacturer (OEM) coverage
Does not provide roadside assistance coverage
Chubb’s excellent claims experience and customer service track record make it the best option for Berkeley drivers who prioritize coverage over cost.
Chubb offers optional original equipment manufacturer (OEM) coverage. This protects your investment by ensuring that if your vehicle is damaged, only original manufacturer parts will be used to replace the damaged parts. Diminished value coverage is also available for drivers that want to be reimbursed for loss or damages based on the value of their car that was determined when they took out a policy.
If you have a classic or an antique car, Chubb’s classic car insurance is a good option since it offers coverage for limited edition vehicles and those vehicles older than 30 years. Chubb does not offer roadside assistance as an add-on option, but you can get rental car and/or travel reimbursement coverage.
Best Cheap Car Insurance Companies in Berkeley
The following are the best cheap car insurance companies in Berkeley based on affordability and service quality for policies that only meet California’s minimum coverage requirements are:
- GEICO: MoneyGeek score of 78 out of 100 ($322 per year)
- CSAA: MoneyGeek score of 62 out of 100 ($387 per year)
Minimum coverage policies are the least expensive, but they also offer the lowest amount of coverage and won’t pay for damages to your own car.
Cheapest minimum coverage at $322 per year
Offers multiple car, safe driving and vehicle equipment discounts
Has a high customer satisfaction rating
Has a below-average claims rating
If you are on a budget, GEICO offers the most affordable minimum coverage policy without compromising service quality. It ranks first for affordability and has a high customer satisfaction score.
GEICO’s discount opportunities makes it easy to save even more on your premiums. Policyholders can take advantage of common discounts such as its multiple car and safe driving discounts. By insuring multiple cars through GEICO, you can receive a discount. Savings are also available if you remain accident-free for five or more years. Students who maintain a good academic record are eligible for a good student discount.
GEICO also offers unique discounts for installing safety equipment in your car, such as daytime running lights, anti-lock brakes or an anti-theft system. Members of certain organizations also qualify for discounts including teachers, federal employees and those in the military.
Average Cost of Car Insurance in Berkeley
The average cost of car insurance in Berkeley is $1,342 per year as of October 2022. Compared to average car insurance rates in California, Berkeley drivers pay $45 less for car insurance. However, rates in the city are still up to $122 higher than the national average cost of car insurance at $1,265 per year. This shows how location can impact the cost of your insurance.
The rates included above are for a full coverage policy with $100,000 bodily injury liability per person, $300,000 in bodily injury liability per accident and $100,000 property damage liability per accident.
About Mark Fitzpatrick