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As a resident of Fresno, California — a city with high car theft rates and low state minimum car insurance requirements — it’s important to choose a solid car insurance company with the right amount of coverage. We’ve gathered best picks for various walks of life to help you narrow down your search for car insurance in Fresno.

Best car insurance companies for Fresno drivers

  • USAA: Best for military drivers
  • Geico: Best for minimum coverage
  • Mercury: Best for high-risk drivers
  • Wawanesa: Best for customer service
  • Clearcover: Best for tech-savvy drivers

USAA is best for military drivers

USAA

Finder rating 4 / 5 ★★★★★

USAA is in our Finder 2021 best brand picks and for good reason. If you're in the military, USAA could offer rock-bottom prices on car insurance for you and your family.

Only need California's mandated minimum coverage? If you're single and in your 30s, you could get a rate as low as $30 a month.

In addition to low rates, USAA has a long list of discounts to check out. Just to name a few: bundling, new vehicle, safe driver, telematics and good student.

Discounts on rates don't stop there, either. If you're a USAA member, you could get discounts on flights, rentals, hotels and more. If you choose to enroll in USAA's telematics program, called SafePilot, you could earn an extra 10% discount.

Geico is best for minimum coverage

Geico

Finder rating 4 / 5 ★★★★★

If you're only looking to meet California's minimum insurance requirements, and nothing more, then Geico can be a solid choice. Geico is known for affordable monthly premiums if you purchase minimum coverage.

We looked at rates in California for single, good credit drivers and found that drivers in their 30s to 40s have an average monthly rate of around $40 with Geico. They also offer a decent discount list which could increase your savings.

Geico has an A++ rating with AM Best which shows they have the funds to back claims. They're not accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but they hold an A+ rating, so it does its best to resolve issues.

Customer service review platform Trustpilot shows a 1.5 star rating for Geico. It's low, but we often see this rating in the industry.

Mercury is best for high-risk drivers

Mercury

Finder rating 4 / 5 ★★★★★

Need SR-22 car insurance in Fresno? Mercury Insurance may be your answer. It works with high-risk drivers and people who need SR-22 support. Mercury is known for its personalized service with independent agents.

If you're a high-risk driver, you should expect higher rates no matter where you shop for car insurance, and this includes Mercury. However, Mercury offers a hefty list of potential discounts including good student, telematics, multicar and multipolicy, antitheft and more. Additionally, roadside assistance is included with your coverage.

Wawanesa is best for customer service

Wawanesa Mutual

Finder rating 3.5 / 5 ★★★★★

If you value good customer service, Wawanesa is a good bet. Wawanesa Insurance is a smaller insurer that only serves California and Oregon. In 2021 and 2020, they earned 'Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Auto Insurers in California' in the J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study.

Aside from customer service accolades, Wawanesa has accident forgiveness and a variety of available discounts. If you want add-ons, roadside assistance, rental expenses and manufacturer parts replacement can also be purchased.

However, it prefers safe drivers. If you have multiple tickets on your record, you may have to get coverage somewhere else. But if you're a safe driver, you could enjoy affordable rates with Wawanesa.

Clearcover is best for tech-savvy drivers

Clearcover

Finder rating 3 / 5 ★★★★★

Prefer to do things online? Clearcover may be your answer. This start-up insurer has no physical locations because everything is handled online. Clearcover offers modest, functional coverage with low rates. It states that because its business is online-only and more cost-effective, it's able to pass on savings to its customers, so discounts are automatically included in your monthly premiums.

If you're in need of gap coverage, looking for accident forgiveness or new car protection, look elsewhere. Clearcover only offers the basics: liability, collision, comprehensive, uninsured motorist and medical payments coverage. With this minimalist approach, it's likely how it keeps rates so low.

Customer reviews for Clearcover are rather high – especially in the insurance industry. Over 250 users rated Clearcover on Trustpilot and it has 4.0 stars. Most insurance companies float around the 1.5 to 3.5 range on Trustpilot, so this is impressive. Users have reported how easy it is to get quotes and make claims, tout savings and praise its good customer service.

How we chose these insurers

We based these top picks on customer service reviews, available discounts, coverage options, add-ons, average monthly premiums, online accessibility, Better Business Bureau ratings, Trustpilot reviews and years in the industry.

State minimum car insurance requirements in California

Most states require drivers to carry some level of liability insurance. In California, you’re required to have 15/30/5 in minimum liability coverage. Translated, this means you need:

  • $15,000 for bodily injuries to one person
  • $30,000 for injuries to two or more people per accident
  • $5,000 for property damage liability

Keep in mind this is the bare minimum required by state law. If you’re financing, you also have to meet your lender’s insurance requirements. In nearly every case, this means having comprehensive and collision insurance included in your policy.

We recommend full-coverage for Fresno drivers

Full coverage offers more protection for you. Minimum liability requirements are typically only for other drivers and bodily injuries, and don’t cover things like theft, animal strikes, fire or storm damage.

If you can’t afford to replace your vehicle in an accident or unexpected event, then full coverage could cover everything. Fresno has a high theft rate and heavy traffic so full coverage might be a saving grace.

Fresno car theft is well-above average

If you live in an area with a high risk of theft, your rates could increase. Insurance is all about risks, and if your car is at a higher risk of being stolen, it can mean paying higher premiums to compensate for it.

A theft rate is expressed by how many thefts there are among 100,000 residents. The national average car theft rate stands at 246 — meaning 246 thefts per 100,000 individuals — according to Statista.

2018 Fresno theft rate2019 Fresno theft rate2020 theft rate
456.26419.88440.00

Fresno’s theft rate has been steadily above 400 for the last few years, which is well above the national average. It may ebb and flow, but it’s high regardless.

Accident stats in Fresno

Similar to theft rates, accident rates can affect your insurance rates. In dense cities and counties, you may face higher premiums if your area sees a lot of fatal/injury vehicle accidents.

Compared to other counties like Los Angeles and Sacramento, accidents rates are much lower in Fresno, as reported by NCIB.

County# of fatal and injury car accidents in 2017
Fresno4,579
Sacramento11,391
Riverside16,201
Orange19,890
Los Angeles93,582

How to save on car insurance in Fresno

One of the easiest ways to save money on car insurance is by getting basic coverage without the frills. However, there’s a balance between getting the right amount of coverage for your lifestyle and having a rate you can realistically afford. If you don’t want to skimp on your coverage, check out these tips:

  • Bundle your home and auto.
  • Consider telematics if you’re a safe driver.
  • Get multiple quotes before choosing an insurer.
  • Look into local insurers.
  • Pay in full instead of monthly installments.
  • Reduce your mileage.
  • Check for paperless billing and e-statement discounts.
  • If you’re a low-mileage driver, pay-as-you-go insurance coverage could be cheaper

Many drivers are told to boost their credit scores to save money on car insurance, but California is one of the seven states that doesn’t allow credit ratings to influence insurance rates.

Bonus California discounts

  • State-wide good driver discount. If you live in California, you could save 20% on car insurance if you qualify for its state-mandated good driver discount. To qualify, you’ll need to have an active license for three years, no more than one point on your driving record in the past three years, and not been found at-fault for a car accident that caused a death or more than $1,000 in property damage over the past three years.
  • California’s green car rebate. If you have an ecofriendly vehicle, then you may be able to qualify for California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project. Depending on the model of your green car, you could earn a rebate up to $7,000.

Compare cheap car insurance in California

1 - 6 of 6
Name Product Gap insurance Homeowner discount Telematics Has an app? Available states
The Zebra
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
All 50 states
Pretected
Yes
Depends on provider
No
No
All 50 states
Get your most compatible insurance options via a "smart matching" method aimed at finding you value.
USAA
No
Yes
SafePilot
Yes
All 50 states & DC
Affordable car insurance with highly rated customer service. Only available to military members and veterans and their family.
Quinstreet - Insure.com
Quinstreet - Insure.com
Yes
Depends on provider
Depends on provider
Depends on provider
All 50 states
Liberty Mutual
Yes
Yes
RightTrack
Yes
All 50 states & DC
Earn free accident forgiveness after five years claims-free and customize your policy anytime.
Bankrate
Bankrate
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
All 50 states
Compare personalized rates from multiple insurance companies in one go. Plus, access a live agent for any questions along the way.
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Bottom line

Comparing rates and insurers is a great way to ensure you’re getting a good deal. And what’s best for one driver isn’t always the best for you.

Living in Fresno, California could mean high insurance premiums due to it’s high theft rate, but looking into discounts and shopping around could land you an affordable rate. Choose the right insurer for your situation when you compare insurance companies.

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