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

California and Oregon have different car insurance laws and car insurance companies, so it makes sense that the costs and requirements are also different. Progressive, for example, offers the lowest auto insurance policy in California at an annual premium of $481. GEICO, on the other hand, has premiums averaging $566 per year in Oregon.

Last Updated: 6/17/2022
Advertising & Editorial Disclosure
By     |  

If you're thinking of moving from California to Oregon, you'll need to be aware of the differences between the two states in terms of car insurance. California mandates $30,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident, while Oregon requires $50,000.

A major difference, too, is that Oregon requires uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage per accident of $50,000, whereas this is not a requirement in California.

In our research, MoneyGeek analyzed costs, discovered the cheapest providers and broke down the differences in the requirements and laws for auto insurance in California vs. Oregon.

Car Insurance Laws in California vs. Oregon

Oregon’s car insurance laws require more types of coverage than California, such as uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection. California's car insurance laws also demand liability limits of 15/30/5, while Oregon's laws require limits of 25/50/20. This is one of the reasons why your insurance premiums may fluctuate between the two states.

The average cost of state minimum coverage auto insurance in California is $665 per year. In Oregon, on the other hand, the same policy costs $802. The higher coverage limits of the latter may contribute to its higher rates.

MINIMUM CAR INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS IN CALIFORNIA AND OREGON

California Requirements

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

Oregon Requirements

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $20,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person
  • $50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident
  • $15,000 personal injury protection per person
Loading...

How Are Car Insurance Laws Enforced in California and Oregon?

Both California and Oregon are tort states, which means that drivers who cause an accident are responsible for the damages. The at-fault driver's liability insurance is used to cover the costs of the other driver's property damage, lost wages, medical and other expenses.

When you’re in a tort or fault-based system, you don’t need to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) because medical bills are paid for by the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in California vs. Oregon

You can shop around for a policy that meets your demands and your budget. In California and Oregon, MoneyGeek discovered the best affordable providers for minimum coverage car insurance are the following:

  • Cheapest in California: Progressive ($481 per year)
  • Cheapest in Oregon: GEICO ($566 per year)

While USAA has the lowest annual premiums in Oregon at $465, its car insurance policies are exclusively offered to current and past military personnel and their families.

Even among the same insurers, rates can differ by state. State minimum coverage from GEICO in California, for example, costs $521 per year, which is $45 less than the same GEICO policy in Oregon.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in California

Scroll for more

swipe icon
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Oregon

Scroll for more

swipe icon
tip icon
THE CHEAPEST COMPANY FOR YOU MAY DIFFER

Progressive and GEICO are the least expensive auto insurance companies in California and Oregon, respectively. These quotes, however, are only for policies with minimum coverage. Your actual premium will be determined by your level of coverage, age, driving history, location and other factors. MoneyGeek looked into the most cost-effective options in both states, which are:

Insurance Rates

Compare Insurance Rates

Ensure you are getting the best rate for your insurance. Compare quotes from the top insurance companies.

widget-location-pin

Average Cost of Car Insurance in California vs. Oregon

The cost of car insurance in California vs. Oregon is also affected by the level of coverage. In this situation, California's average premium for minimum coverage is less expensive than Oregon but is higher when it comes to full coverage.

The annual cost of minimum coverage in California and Oregon is $665 and $802, respectively. In California, a full coverage policy costs on average $1,429 per year, whereas, in Oregon, it costs $1,181. This difference shows how average car insurance rates can change based on many factors.

Average Cost of Car Insurance in California vs. Oregon

Scroll for more

swipe icon
  • Driver
    California Annual Premium
    Oregon Annual Premium
  • Minimum Coverage
    $665
    $802
  • Full Coverage
    $1,429
    $1,181
  • Adding a Young Driver
    $4,187
    $2,663
  • Drivers With a Violation
    $2,057
    $1,541
  • Drivers With Poor Credit
    $1,699

Why Are Car Insurance Rates More Expensive in California vs. Oregon?

There are several reasons why California is sometimes more expensive than Oregon in terms of car insurance, and it is impossible to pinpoint just a single cause. Although the rates of theft in California and Oregon are similar, California may have higher rates due to more congested highways, more uninsured motorists and denser population centers.

Car Insurance Costs by City in California vs. Oregon

The cost of auto insurance varies by city. MoneyGeek discovered the cities in each state that offer the most affordable and most costly premiums for state minimum liability insurance:

California

  • Cheapest city: Santa Maria ($509 per year)
  • Most expensive city: Glendale ($1,066 per year)

Oregon

  • Cheapest city: Eugene ($551 per year)
  • Most expensive city: Gresham ($829 per year)

Because car insurance requirements are the same throughout a state, other factors (especially population density) contribute to price differences between cities.

Car Insurance Costs by City in California

Scroll for more

swipe icon
Car Insurance Costs by City in Oregon

Scroll for more

swipe icon

Moving Between California and Oregon? What to Know

You'll need to transfer your driver's license, registration and auto insurance coverage after relocating from Oregon to California or vice versa.

If your current insurance provider is available in the state where you're moving, you can maintain it, but your rate may alter to reflect any increased coverage needs and risks. If you need to look for a new insurer, MoneyGeek offers numerous resources to assist you in finding coverage that best meets your needs.

  • This is an icon

    Use MoneyGeek’s car insurance calculators for California and Oregon

    Because auto insurance costs differ by person, calculating ahead of time can help you develop your budget. By entering your age, driving record, credit score, vehicle type and other information into MoneyGeek's California car insurance calculator or Oregon auto insurance calculator, you can get a personalized quote.

  • This is an icon

    Learn about car insurance for high-risk drivers in California and Oregon

    Car insurance is typically more expensive for high-risk drivers. Some insurance companies refuse to insure high-risk drivers. Drivers with serious traffic offenses may have to file an SR-22 in California or an SR-22 in Oregon, depending on where they live.

  • This is an icon

    Figure out your options for temporary car insurance in California and Oregon

    You can get temporary auto insurance if you're just going to be in California or Oregon for a short time. Although most policies require coverage for at least six months, MoneyGeek discovered additional options for temporary car insurance in California and temporary auto insurance in Oregon.

  • This is an icon

    If you’re a low-income driver, see if California or Oregon offer car insurance programs

    Low-income drivers in California can apply for assistance through the state's low-income program. Meanwhile, low-income drivers in Oregon can use MoneyGeek's resources to find alternative ways to save.

FAQs About California and Oregon Car Insurance

The laws and pricing for auto insurance in California and Oregon are different. MoneyGeek answers some frequently asked questions about car insurance in both states to assist you in finding the best policy.

Methodology

To calculate average car insurance rates by company and across California and Oregon, MoneyGeek collaborated with Quadrant Information Services to collect auto insurance quotes from both locations. We used a sample profile for a 40-year-old driver with a clean driving record and minimum coverage unless modified by criteria including 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


expert-profile

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.