The Cheapest Car Insurance in California (January 2024)


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Updated: May 20, 2024

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Although CSAA offers the cheapest car insurance overall for many different types of drivers, the cheapest for you will depend on your personal characteristics. MoneyGeek also found that Progressive and National General had the cheapest rates in California for certain types of drivers.

Drivers looking to balance cost with quality service should look for the best car insurance in California.

Why Trust MoneyGeek? MoneyGeek used information from the California Department of Insurance and Quadrant Information Services to obtain data on insurance rates, discounts and more.

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These rates reflect the cheapest car insurance quotes in California as of January 2024.

352,910Quotes Analyzed
 
19Companies Compared
 
596ZIP Codes

How to Compare Cheap California Car Insurance Quotes Online

Insurance companies provide online quotes for their customers, but it can take up to 15 minutes to input the required personal data for each company. If you're comparing multiple companies, this time could add up.

MoneyGeek’s car insurance calculator helps you find the cheapest car insurance without having to provide personal information. This gives you an idea of what you can expect to pay for car insurance before beginning your search.

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Rates updated:

Jul 12, 2024

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Cheapest Minimum Liability Car Insurance in California (January 2024)

The cheapest car insurance companies for a minimum coverage policy in California are:

  • CSAA: $125 per year
  • AAA California: $385 per year

Chubb is the most expensive insurance provider, with a minimum coverage policy costing an average of $791 per year.

These rates are for a policy that only includes the state’s minimum car insurance requirements for bodily injury liability and property damage liability.

Data filtered by:Results filtered by:
Age Range:
Age Range:30-59
Coverage Level:
Coverage Level:Minimum Coverage
CSAAAnnual Premium$125Monthly Premium$10
AAAAnnual Premium$385Monthly Premium$32
GEICOAnnual Premium$474Monthly Premium$40
ProgressiveAnnual Premium$480Monthly Premium$40
MercuryAnnual Premium$505Monthly Premium$42
FarmersAnnual Premium$509Monthly Premium$42
State FarmAnnual Premium$525Monthly Premium$44
KemperAnnual Premium$561Monthly Premium$47
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MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

Insurance professionals recommend drivers carry higher limits than the state minimums for greater financial protection. — Mark Friedlander, Director, Corporate Communications, Insurance Information Institute

A minimum coverage policy covers damages or injuries to others — not damages to your car or injuries to yourself. To avoid paying high out-of-pocket costs for damages to your own car, you should purchase a full coverage policy that includes comprehensive and collision insurance.

Find the Best Car Insurance in California for You

 

Your needs and coverage preferences will determine the best auto insurance in California for you. The table above may help you narrow down your search for the cheapest minimum coverage in California.

Learn more about how much car insurance you need.

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MoneyGeek analyzed California’s best car insurance for drivers looking for a balance of quality and affordability.

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We also looked at the average car insurance cost in California for different driver profiles and other factors.

Cheapest Full Coverage Car Insurance in California (January 2024)

The following insurers offer the cheapest full coverage auto insurance in California:

  • CSAA: $369 per year
  • AAA California: $858 per year

Chubb offers the most expensive full coverage policies in the state at $1,868 per year. The cheapest insurer, CSAA, charges $244 more for a full coverage policy than a minimum coverage policy. Although more expensive, full coverage policies cover more costs in the event you have a car accident.

Data filtered by:Results filtered by:
Age Range:
Age Range:30-59
Coverage Level:
Coverage Level:Full Coverage
CSAAAnnual Premium$369Monthly Premium$31
AAAAnnual Premium$858Monthly Premium$72
ProgressiveAnnual Premium$1,086Monthly Premium$90
National GeneralAnnual Premium$1,218Monthly Premium$101
GEICOAnnual Premium$1,274Monthly Premium$106
MercuryAnnual Premium$1,324Monthly Premium$110
State FarmAnnual Premium$1,356Monthly Premium$113
AllstateAnnual Premium$1,403Monthly Premium$117
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MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

Because of California's strict regulatory environment, auto insurers are not allowed to offer highly popular accident forgiveness and usage-based insurance (telematics) programs like most states. — Mark Friedlander, Director, Corporate Communications, Insurance Information Institute

The amount of car insurance you need will significantly affect your premium. MoneyGeek’s sample full coverage policy includes liability protection of $100,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $300,000 in bodily injury liability per accident and $100,000 in property damage liability per accident. These are levels recommended by most insurance professionals.

You can buy lower liability limits, remove comprehensive and collision insurance or raise your deductible to save money, but this could mean paying more out of pocket if you get into an accident that causes significant injuries or damages.

Cheapest Car Insurance in California by Age (January 2024)

Age is one of the biggest factors affecting car insurance rates in California. MoneyGeek found that State Farm or CSAA offer the cheapest options on average, depending on what age group you and your family belong to.

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CHEAPEST CAR INSURANCE COMPANIES BY AGE

Cheapest for teens: State Farm
Cheapest for young adults: CSAA
Cheapest for seniors: CSAA

Cheapest Car Insurance in California for Teens and Their Families (January 2024)

The following companies offer families with teens the most affordable car insurance:

  • State Farm: $2,943 per year for males and $2,943 per year for female teens
  • GEICO: $3,117 per year for males and $2,978 per year for female teens

Car insurance rates differ big time between 16- and 19-year-old drivers, with the latter paying the lowest premiums. GEICO ($2,082 per year) offers the most affordable rate for 19-year-old drivers in California.

At $5,378 per year, Kemper is the most expensive insurer for teenage drivers in California. Teens who are added as additional drivers to their family’s plan pay approximately $673 less than if they buy an individual policy. And teens under 18 cannot legally purchase car insurance without a parent or guardian as a co-signer.

Data filtered by:Results filtered by:
Gender:
Gender:Female
Age:
Age:16
State FarmFamily Plan Annual Premium$2,943Individual Plan Annual Premium$3,327
GEICOFamily Plan Annual Premium$2,978Individual Plan Annual Premium$3,678
FarmersFamily Plan Annual Premium$3,285Individual Plan Annual Premium$4,606
Capital Insurance GroupFamily Plan Annual Premium$3,395Individual Plan Annual Premium$3,280
AllstateFamily Plan Annual Premium$3,436Individual Plan Annual Premium$3,782
ProgressiveFamily Plan Annual Premium$3,621Individual Plan Annual Premium$3,845
TravelersFamily Plan Annual Premium$4,022Individual Plan Annual Premium$3,678
NationwideFamily Plan Annual Premium$5,231Individual Plan Annual Premium$7,477
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MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

In most states, car insurance rates for male teens tend to be significantly more expensive than for female teens. But in California, gender is not considered when calculating car insurance rates at any age. — Mark Friedlander, Director, Corporate Communications, Insurance Information Institute

Due to their lack of driving experience, providers typically charge teen drivers more for insurance as they have a high level of accident frequency and moving violations. However, you may be able to reduce the cost of your annual premium through good student or distant student discounts commonly offered by insurers.

Cheapest Car Insurance in California for Young Adults (January 2024)

Drivers in their 20s will find the most affordable rates from the following companies:

  • CSAA: $408 per year
  • AAA California: $1,126 per year

Chubb has the most expensive annual premium at $2,752 for a full coverage policy.

Those in their 20s will likely be charged more for car insurance than middle-aged drivers since they’re more likely to file insurance claims, based on actuarial data. For a full coverage policy, CSAA charges $39 more to drivers in their 20s than middle-aged drivers.

Data filtered by:Results filtered by:
Age Range:
Age Range:22-29
Coverage Level:
Coverage Level:Full Coverage
CSAAAnnual Premium$408Monthly Premium$34
AAAAnnual Premium$1,126Monthly Premium$94
ProgressiveAnnual Premium$1,307Monthly Premium$109
GEICOAnnual Premium$1,460Monthly Premium$122
National GeneralAnnual Premium$1,482Monthly Premium$124
AllstateAnnual Premium$1,549Monthly Premium$129
Capital Insurance GroupAnnual Premium$1,583Monthly Premium$132
State FarmAnnual Premium$1,591Monthly Premium$133
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MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

California car insurance rates are very moderate compared to other large population states due to the state's restrictive regulatory environment for approving insurer rate changes. — Mark Friedlander, Director, Corporate Communications, Insurance Information Institute

Cheapest Car Insurance in California for Seniors (January 2024)

The following companies offer the cheapest full coverage car insurance in California for seniors:

  • CSAA: $367 per year
  • AAA California: $853 per year

Chubb offers the most expensive auto insurance policy for seniors in California at $1,929.

Seniors in California pay $2 less for car insurance than middle-aged drivers. However, as drivers reach their 70s and 80s, the cost of car insurance increases.

Data filtered by:Results filtered by:
Age Range:
Age Range:60 +
Coverage Level:
Coverage Level:Full Coverage
CSAAAnnual Premium$367Monthly Premium$31
AAAAnnual Premium$853Monthly Premium$71
State FarmAnnual Premium$1,063Monthly Premium$89
ProgressiveAnnual Premium$1,087Monthly Premium$91
GEICOAnnual Premium$1,222Monthly Premium$102
National GeneralAnnual Premium$1,238Monthly Premium$103
MercuryAnnual Premium$1,295Monthly Premium$108
Capital Insurance GroupAnnual Premium$1,329Monthly Premium$111

Senior drivers may be able to save on car insurance by comparing rates from carriers and getting discounts. Companies, like State Farm and GEICO, offer discounts to seniors who have completed an approved defensive driving course.

Cheapest Car Insurance for Higher Risk Drivers (January 2024)

Drivers with violations on their record will pay more car insurance than those with clean driving records. Those with a ticket or an accident will get the cheapest car insurance from CSAA, whereas drivers with a DUI should consider National General.

Insurance companies also consider drivers with a sports car to be higher risk. MoneyGeek found that Progressive is the cheapest option for those drivers.

CHEAPEST CAR INSURANCE COMPANIES FOR HIGHER RISK DRIVERS

Cheapest after a ticket: CSAA ($466 per year)
Cheapest after an accident: CSAA ($466 per year)
Cheapest after a DUI: National General ($1,280 per year)
Cheapest for sports cars: Progressive ($1,277 per year)

Cheapest Car Insurance in California After a Ticket

We found that the cheapest car insurance companies in California for drivers with a speeding ticket are:

  • CSAA: $466 per year
  • AAA California: $1,112 per year

Farmers offers the priciest insurance, with an average annual premium of $2,534.

In comparison to drivers with a clean driving history, those with a speeding ticket pay an average of $566 more for car insurance.

Data filtered by:Results filtered by:
Age Range:
Age Range:30-59
Coverage Level:
Coverage Level:Full Coverage
CSAAAnnual Premium$466Monthly Premium$39
AAAAnnual Premium$1,112Monthly Premium$93
National GeneralAnnual Premium$1,280Monthly Premium$107
Capital Insurance GroupAnnual Premium$1,611Monthly Premium$134
MercuryAnnual Premium$1,748Monthly Premium$146
GEICOAnnual Premium$1,894Monthly Premium$158
State FarmAnnual Premium$2,009Monthly Premium$167
KemperAnnual Premium$2,022Monthly Premium$168

Cheapest Car Insurance in California After an Accident

We found that the cheapest car insurance companies for drivers with an at-fault accident are:

  • CSAA: $466 per year
  • AAA California: $1,306 per year

The most expensive insurance is provided by Kemper at $3,345. Insurance companies charge at-fault drivers more due to the increased risk of accidents. Expect to pay an average of $832 more for car insurance if you have an at-fault accident on your record.

Data filtered by:Results filtered by:
Age Range:
Age Range:30-59
Coverage Level:
Coverage Level:Full Coverage
CSAAAnnual Premium$466Monthly Premium$39
AAAAnnual Premium$1,306Monthly Premium$109
Capital Insurance GroupAnnual Premium$1,652Monthly Premium$138
National GeneralAnnual Premium$1,812Monthly Premium$151
State FarmAnnual Premium$2,104Monthly Premium$175
GEICOAnnual Premium$2,114Monthly Premium$176
State NationalAnnual Premium$2,141Monthly Premium$178
ProgressiveAnnual Premium$2,231Monthly Premium$186

Cheapest Car Insurance in California After a DUI

We found that the cheapest car insurance companies in California for drivers with a DUI are:

  • National General: $1,280 per year
  • CSAA: $1,315 per year

Allstate offers the most expensive full coverage insurance at $5,759.

If you get a DUI, you may struggle to find an insurer or be subject to an extremely high car insurance cost. Drivers with a DUI pay $1,890 more for car insurance, on average, than those with a clean driving history. And in California, a DUI stays on your motor vehicle record for 10 years.

Data filtered by:Results filtered by:
Age Range:
Age Range:30-59
Coverage Level:
Coverage Level:Full Coverage
National GeneralAnnual Premium$1,280Monthly Premium$107
CSAAAnnual Premium$1,315Monthly Premium$110
MercuryAnnual Premium$2,186Monthly Premium$182
Capital Insurance GroupAnnual Premium$2,520Monthly Premium$210
ProgressiveAnnual Premium$2,543Monthly Premium$212
AAAAnnual Premium$2,680Monthly Premium$223
GEICOAnnual Premium$3,019Monthly Premium$252
FarmersAnnual Premium$3,167Monthly Premium$264

Cheapest Car Insurance in California for Sports Cars (January 2024)

We found that the cheapest car insurance companies in California for drivers with sports cars are:

  • Progressive: $1,277 per year
  • Capital Insurance: $1,554 per year

Chubb offers the most expensive insurance for luxury cars with an average premium of $2,198 per year. If you have a sports car, expect to pay around $344 more than the lowest premium for a 2012 Toyota Camry LE.

Data filtered by:Results filtered by:
Age Range:
Age Range:30-59
Coverage Level:
Coverage Level:Full Coverage
ProgressiveAnnual Premium$1,277Monthly Premium$106
Capital Insurance GroupAnnual Premium$1,554Monthly Premium$130
TravelersAnnual Premium$1,566Monthly Premium$131
GEICOAnnual Premium$1,584Monthly Premium$132
State FarmAnnual Premium$1,638Monthly Premium$136
NationwideAnnual Premium$1,697Monthly Premium$141
AllstateAnnual Premium$1,764Monthly Premium$147
KemperAnnual Premium$1,774Monthly Premium$148

MoneyGeek used a Ford Mustang as its sample sports car in its analysis. The costs can differ greatly depending on your car model and other factors. For example, luxury, electric and sports cars are charged higher premiums. Their models are not major determinants of premiums.

Cheapest Car Insurance in California for Military Drivers (January 2024)

We found that the cheapest car insurance company in California for active-duty or military veterans is CSAA, with an average premium of $369.

CSAA isn’t the only insurer that offers affordable and quality coverage to military members in the state. USAA provides coverage exclusively to military members and their families and has an average annual premium cost of $1,201. And GEICO has many discounts available to military-affiliated drivers that can lower their auto insurance premium.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
CSAA
  • $369 per year
  • Ranks first out of 17 insurance providers
  • Offers discounts for safe drivers, bundling, good students and more

Cheapest Car Insurance in California by City

The cost of car insurance varies by state and city. Depending on which city or area you live in, you could pay more or less for car insurance.

Car insurance typically costs more in larger cities, since they’re considered riskier to live than rural areas. This is typically because the incidence of accidents or theft is higher in cities than in rural areas.

Santa Maria has the cheapest premium in the state offered by National General at $775. Meanwhile, Burbank has the most expensive rates at $1,617, also from National General.

AnaheimCheapest CompanyProgressiveAnnual Premium$1,153
AntiochCheapest CompanyNational GeneralAnnual Premium$1,015
Arden-ArcadeCheapest CompanyProgressiveAnnual Premium$1,265
BakersfieldCheapest CompanyNational GeneralAnnual Premium$968
BerkeleyCheapest CompanyNational GeneralAnnual Premium$1,015
BurbankCheapest CompanyNational GeneralAnnual Premium$1,617
CarlsbadCheapest CompanyNational GeneralAnnual Premium$972
Chula VistaCheapest CompanyProgressiveAnnual Premium$1,011

Car Insurance in California: What You Need to Know

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires that all drivers have at least liability insurance. Our guide below offers key information on auto insurance in the state.

California is among the many states that require coverage for both bodily injury and property damage liability. Learn more about its requirements below.

California Car Insurance Requirements

California drivers must carry at least basic liability insurance on their vehicles. At a minimum, your insurance must include bodily injury liability per person, bodily injury liability per accident and property damage liability per accident.

The required coverage also increases for drivers with a history of violations, as SR-22 insurance is required for repeat driving offenders in the state.

To save money, you can purchase the minimum amount of coverage required. However, this may not fully cover all your expenses if you get into an accident. Because of this, MoneyGeek recommends purchasing as much liability coverage as you can reasonably afford for added security in case of accidents.

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SR-22: EXPLAINED

SR-22 is not insurance, even though it is common for people to use the term "SR-22 insurance." An SR-22 is a certificate of financial responsibility that proves you meet the state's established insurance requirements for high-risk drivers and must be filed with the DMV by your auto insurer. — Mark Friedlander, Director, Corporate Communications, Insurance Information Institute

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    Bodily Injury Liability

    This helps cover the costs if you are responsible for a car accident that injured another person. In California, insurance must cover up to $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. Opting for the minimum may leave you financially vulnerable if someone is seriously injured in an accident where you were at fault.

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    Property Damage Liability

    By California law, a $5,000 property damage liability per accident is required. This helps pay for repair damages to another person's property, where you are found at fault. This could also be used to pay for other tasks, such as debris removal and cleanup. However, the minimum coverage may not be enough to cover all expenses related to the accident.

MoneyGeek recommends getting $100,000 in bodily injury liability insurance per person, $300,000 in bodily injury liability insurance per accident and $100,000 in property damage insurance per accident. This will provide more coverage in the event another person or their property is harmed from an accident involving your vehicle.

Collision coverage pays for repairs to your vehicle from collisions with other vehicles or objects like a light pole or a tree.

Comprehensive coverage pays to repair your car when it’s damaged by something other than a collision, including fire, vandalism, fallen branches and natural disasters.

These insurance policies are ideal for drivers who have new or expensive vehicles.

Car Insurance Alternatives in California

Though car insurance is required in the state of California, there are a few alternative options, depending on your situation.

These options require cash upfront, which can be challenging to obtain. However, they can present advantages for people with particular requirements and preferences.

The alternatives are as follows:

  • Cash deposit of $35,000 with DMV: The department helps drivers without insurance to fulfill financial responsibility by accepting a deposit of $35,000.
  • DMV-issued self-insurance certificate: This is applicable to individuals who own over 25 vehicles. This type of protection requires a predetermined amount of security cash per number of vehicles registered or 130% of average annual claims paid by the self-insurer in the preceding three-year period.
  • Surety bond: A surety bond is a contract that requires the driver to pay a specific amount of money if they cause an accident. The fund will cover the driver's expenses in an accident equal to its value. However, the driver has to pay back the funds paid out of the surety bond. Drivers must opt for $35,000 from a licensed company in California.

FAQs About Car Insurance in California

Choosing the right car insurance policy can be overwhelming, particularly if you don’t know where to start. MoneyGeek answered some of the most commonly asked questions to make the process less stressful for you.

Which company offers the cheapest car insurance in California?
Should you buy the cheapest car insurance available in California?
Is uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist coverage required in California?

Expert Advice on Finding Cheap Car Insurance in California

To help you find credible and accurate insight on car insurance in California, MoneyGeek received expert advice from trusted professionals. The perspectives and opinions expressed are those of the individual contributor.

  1. What are the key factors drivers in California should look for when searching for the best auto insurance coverage?
  2. What steps can drivers in California take to find affordable car insurance?
  3. How do regulations and rules in California impact insurance pricing and how consumers might shop for coverage?
Michael Zeiger
Michael ZeigerInvestment Advisor Representative at Telesis Tax & Financial
Andrew Hoffarth, CFP®
Andrew Hoffarth, CFP®Wealth Advisor at Financial Alternatives, Inc.
Kristoffer Fu
Kristoffer FuCEO and Wealth Manager at Maven Bridge Capital
Steven J. Lee, Ph.D., D.C.J.
Steven J. Lee, Ph.D., D.C.J.Lecturer at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Kurt Jackson, CFP®, C(K)P®, AIF®, CRPS®
Kurt Jackson, CFP®, C(K)P®, AIF®, CRPS®CEO/Founder at Central Coast Wealth Management
Kevin Gotts
Kevin GottsCertified Financial Planner
Kalvin Sid
Kalvin SidCFP® MBA, CKA®
Danielle Miura
Danielle MiuraFounder of Spark Financials
Sam Dogen
Sam DogenFounder of Financial Samurai
Tolen Teigen
Tolen TeigenChief Investment Officer at FinDec
Scott Stanley
Scott StanleyFounder of Pharos Wealth Management
Alex Okugawa CFP, CKA, CEPA
Alex Okugawa CFP, CKA, CEPAFinancial Advisor at One Degree Advisors
Delia Fernandez
Delia FernandezFounder and President at Fernandez Financial Advisory, LLC
Steven Shagrin
Steven ShagrinJD, Certified Money Coach/Master Money Coach & Trainer, Certified Professional Retirement Coach, Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, Registered Life Planner, Former CFP®
Frank Paiano
Frank PaianoProfessor Emeritus at Southwestern Community College, Registered Representative
Xin Che, Ph.D.
Xin Che, Ph.D.Assistant Professor of Finance at California State University, Fullerton
Suzy Taherian
Suzy TaherianAdjunct Professor, UC Davis Graduate School of Management; CFO, Wrightspeed
(Heidi) Luo Yilan
(Heidi) Luo YilanEducator and Comedian, Adjunct Associate Professor in Economics at Cerritos College
Juan Gutierrez
Juan GutierrezAssistant Professor of Finance at California State University, Bakersfield
Andreas Rauterkus
Andreas RauterkusAssociate Professor of Finance and Chair of the Department of Finance at California State University San Marcos
Sean Flynn
Sean FlynnChairman of the Economics Department at Scripps College
Daniel Roccato
Daniel RoccatoClinical Professor of Finance at the University of San Diego School of Business
Kai  Ding
Kai DingAssistant Professor Department of Economics at California State University - East Bay
Kaycea Campbell
Kaycea CampbellAssociate Professor of Economics at Chapman University
Christopher W. Bauman
Christopher W. BaumanAssociate Professor at The Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine
Cassie Pipp
Cassie PippPersonal Finance Mastermind
Michael Rainey
Michael RaineyPractitioner Lecturer of Business Law at Pepperdine Graziadio Business School
Thomas Francl
Thomas FranclAssociate Faculty Professor at National University
Audrey Guo
Audrey GuoAssistant Professor of Economics at Santa Clara University

About Mark Fitzpatrick


Mark Fitzpatrick headshot

Mark Fitzpatrick has analyzed the property and casualty insurance market for over five years, conducting original research and creating personalized content for every kind of buyer. Currently, he leads P&C insurance content production at MoneyGeek. Fitzpatrick has been quoted in several insurance-related publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Fitzpatrick 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 knowledge of economics and insurance to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.


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