Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Apr 13, 2022

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Key Takeaways

  • Most major car insurance companies have offices in California
  • California law requires car insurance companies to provide free quotes of the lowest price policy
  • Add 3 to 5 overview bullet points

California is home to almost all car insurance companies ranging from well known brands such as GEICO and Allstate to boutique firms specializing just on the California car insurance market or simply certain types of vehicles like antique and classic cars. Drivers range from those driving just a few miles to work to those that drive across the state, or even the country. California auto insurance companies have to cover the whole range of drivers.

Drivers need options just like they do in other states. Some have to adjust for crime while others adjust for snowy weather in the winter. Insurance brokers quote coverage based on whether drivers want liability insurance only or physical damage coverage for their car.

Enter your ZIP code above to find affordable car insurance quotes from multiple California insurance companies near you.

What are California’s car insurance laws?

Back in 2005, a state law was passed by the California legislature requiring all car insurance companies to provide consumers with free quotes of the providers lowest price personal car insurance policy detailing:

(a) Policy limits requested by the consumer and

(b) Those which he/she is eligible for.

In addition, the law also states California licensed car insurance companies must also provide these quotes by way of a toll free number or access to a company website where a consumer can be referred to a company agent or broker who can and will provide an estimate.

What is interesting about this California law is that it also requires CA licensed car insurance companies to provide a toll free number and/or website address and the Department of Insurance actually published a near complete list on the Department’s website. These laws are all about protecting consumer interests. Insurance companies can and do still make significant profits. They just have to meet set standards to do business in California.

As of 2010, below is a near complete list of car insurance companies in California licensed to provide auto insurance policies. Please note this list may not be current or complete as updates are done regularly. So always check with the California Department of Insurance for the most current information.

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What car insurance companies operate in California?

Here is a list of California car insurance companies.

  • 21st Century Insurance
  • 21st Century Superior
  • AAA
  • Aca Insurance
  • Access Insurance
  • Alliance United
  • Allied Property And Casualty
  • Allstate
  • Allstate Indemnity
  • Amco Insurance
  • Anchor General Insurance
  • California Automobile Insurance Company
  • California Casualty Indemnity Exchange
  • California State Automobile Association Inter-Insurance Bureau
  • Coast National Insurance
  • Commerce West
  • Esurance
  • Explorer Insurance
  • Farmers
  • Financial Indemnity Company
  • Geico Casualty
  • Geico General Insurance
  • Geico Indemnity
  • Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO)
  • Granite State Insurance
  • Hartford Casualty
  • Hartford Underwriters
  • Ids Property Casualty
  • Infinity Insurance Company
  • Kemper Independence
  • Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company
  • Mercury Casualty
  • Mercury Insurance
  • Metropolitan Direct
  • Mid-Century Insurance
  • National General
  • Nationwide
  • Permanent General Assurance
  • Progressive Casualty
  • Progressive Choice
  • Progressive West
  • Safeco
  • State Farm Mutual
  • The Standard Fire Insurance Company
  • USAA – United Services Automobile Association
  • USAA Casualty
  • Victoria Fire & Casualty
  • Viking Insurance Company Of Wisconsin
  • Wawanesa General
  • Western United

That’s an impressive list. As you can see most of the big car insurance companies, and many independent once, operate in California.

So how do you choose which company is best for you? Let’s take a look.

Who are the top 10 California Car Insurance Companies by Market Share?

According to the California Department of Insurance the top 10 personal auto insurance companies offering policy coverage in California are:

  • State Farm
  • AAA
  • California State Automobile Association Inter-Insurance Bureau
  • Mercury Insurance Company
  • Allstate
  • Mid-Century Insurance
  • 21st Century Insurance
  • Farmers Insurance Exchange
  • Infinity Insurance Company
  • Progressive

Who Is The Best Auto Insurer in California?

Whether or not a company is listed on any top 10 list the question of who is the best car insurance California company for any given market is even harder to define as the word’s best and can mean different things to different people. The best insurance carrier for a driver in San Diego isn’t necessarily the same as it would be for a driver in San Jose or Emeryville. Even if you’re just going by price, the results are unique to the driver.

If you’re looking for the best service, strongest coverage, or something else, it can become more complicated. Things like custom auto parts create a mix unique to the driver.

Choosing a car insurance company needs to be based on your own personal needs and any top 10 list or company ratings should be used just as a single factor in your final choice for a provider.

Does California offer Low Income Car Insurance Assistance?

Yes, California has an auto insurance program designed to help low income drivers obtain car insurance coverage below the minimum required. The program is called the California Low Cost Auto Insurance Program (CLCA).

How Do I Get A California Car Insurance Quote?

Hopefully the list above helps identify potential auto insurance companies for your new policy. However, this is only a partial list and California is home to the largest auto insurance market with over 100 providers in the state.

Your best option to find the most affordable car insurance coverage in California is to always start an auto insurance quote comparison search online.

Each insurance shopper needs to get a California car insurance quote or read car insurance company reviews. You may be surprised at the outcome.

Search our site for information on ways to save money on car insurance, common auto insurance discounts, what types of coverage are available, how to file a car insurance claim and more. Educate yourself about auto insurance now to save money for life.

Just enter your ZIP code below to get FREE auto insurance quotes today.