Car Insurance in California vs. Connecticut: Costs, Laws and Resources

Car insurance laws and companies differ between California and Connecticut, and so do their costs and criteria. For example, Progressive offers California's cheapest minimal coverage costing around $481, while GEICO is the cheapest for Connecticut at $470 per year on average.

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Last Updated: 11/2/2022
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Individuals relocating from California to Connecticut should know that the insurance requirements of the two states are different. While Connecticut mandates uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, California doesn't. Connecticut drivers must also carry more liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage than drivers in California.

MoneyGeek's review evaluates the laws and requirements for car insurance in California and Connecticut, compares insurance premiums and recommends the cheapest carriers for your needs.

Car Insurance Laws in California vs. Connecticut

California's car insurance laws require 15/30/5 coverage limits for bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage liability. Connecticut's auto insurance statutes require liability limits of 25/50/25, in addition to uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. The higher limits and additional coverage requirements make Connecticut's minimum liability insurance more expensive than California's. That’s why there’s a difference of more than $200 between California's annual average rate of $665 and Connecticut's yearly average quote of $884.

MINIMUM CAR INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS IN CALIFORNIA AND CONNECTICUT

California Requirements

  • $15,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $30,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $5,000 property damage liability per accident

Connecticut Requirements

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $25,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person
  • $50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident
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How Are Car Insurance Laws Enforced in California and Connecticut?

Both California and Connecticut are tort states. This means that if you cause the accident, you are responsible for paying for the damages that you created. To elaborate, drivers in tort states must carry liability auto insurance so they can cover the cost of injuries and property damage they cause to others in an accident.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in California vs. Connecticut

MoneyGeek's analysis found the following to be the cheapest auto insurance firms in California vs. Connecticut for minimum coverage policies:

  • Cheapest in California: Progressive ($481 per year)
  • Cheapest in Connecticut: GEICO ($470 per year)

USAA is the most affordable alternative in Connecticut, with car insurance costing $425 per year on average. However, this is only available for qualifying military service members and their families.

Note that, in Connecticut, Progressive's quote is nearly twice as expensive as it is in California. However, GEICO, the most affordable insurer in Connecticut, is around $50 more expensive in California. This discrepancy confirms that rates vary by state and insurer.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in California

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Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Connecticut

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THE CHEAPEST COMPANY FOR YOU MAY DIFFER

Progressive's average annual quote of $481 and GEICO's yearly average of $470 are the cheapest in California and Connecticut, respectively. These are rates for minimum coverage insurance. Your age, location, coverage level, driving history and other factors determine your actual rate. MoneyGeek's guides can help you find the best possible deals in each state.

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Average Cost of Car Insurance in California vs. Connecticut

One of the main factors that will affect how much your insurance costs is the coverage level. For example, a minimum coverage policy in California costs around $665, while similar coverage in Connecticut costs around $884 per year. On the other hand, Californians pay $1,429 for full coverage, while Connecticut residents pay $1,442 for full coverage policies, on average.

California's average rates for both minimum and full coverage plans are cheaper than Connecticut's, although this difference is much greater for minimum plans than for full coverage. This disparity highlights how average car insurance premiums may vary depending on a number of variables.

Average Cost of Car Insurance in XXXX

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  • Driver
    California Annual Premium
    Connecticut Annual Premium
  • Minimum Coverage
    $665
    $884
  • Full Coverage
    $1,429
    $1,442
  • Adding a Young Driver
    $4,187
    $3,471
  • Drivers With a Violation
    $2,057
    $1,809
  • Drivers With Poor Credit
    $2,511

Why Are Car Insurance Rates More Expensive in CA vs. CT?

Identifying a single factor that raises car insurance costs in some jurisdictions but not in others is nearly impossible. For example, California has higher rates of vehicle thefts and natural disasters than Connecticut, which may seem like it would make the state’s auto insurance more expensive. However, California has a lower average rate than Connecticut.

Our rates are based on typical quotes for our sample driver, which means that your exact rate may still be higher in California than in Connecticut, depending on your driver profile and other location-related considerations.

Car Insurance Costs by City in California vs. Connecticut

The cost of car insurance also varies greatly within each state. Santa Maria has the lowest state minimum insurance premiums in California, with an average of $509, while Glendale has the highest, with an average of $1,066 per year. Meanwhile, Stamford drivers pay the lowest rates in Connecticut at around $690 per year, while Hartford residents pay the most at roughly $909 per year.

The uniformity of state requirements for auto insurance does provide pricing consistency within a state, to a point. However, your city does affect your rate as well. The more densely populated your city is, the higher your insurance premiums will likely be.

Car Insurance Costs by City in California

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Car Insurance Costs by City in Connecticut

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Moving Between California and Connecticut? What to Know

You must transfer your driver's license and registration while moving from California to Connecticut or vice versa. It is possible to keep your current insurance company if they operate in your new state and can provide you with suitable coverage. However, your rates may alter depending on the risks in your new location and the state's coverage requirements.

If you're looking for a new insurance carrier, MoneyGeek provides the right tools to help you find the best one for your needs.

FAQs About California and Connecticut Car Insurance

Auto insurance requirements and costs vary widely from state to state. To help you distinguish between the two, MoneyGeek answers a few commonly asked questions concerning auto insurance in California vs. Connecticut.

Methodology

To calculate average car insurance rates by company across California and Connecticut, MoneyGeek collaborated with Quadrant Information Services to collect auto insurance quotes from both states. We used a sample profile for a 40-year-old driver with a clean driving record and minimum coverage unless modified by criteria like coverage level, age, driving offenses and credit score. Learn more about how costs are calculated in our MoneyGeek car insurance methodology.

Minimum car insurance requirements by state were sourced from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of the respective state.

About the Author


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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.