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Compare car insurance in San Jose

Shop our 5 best car insurers for San Jose drivers

San Jose is a hub for technology and universities. In large cities with abundant public transportation, you may not drive that often, but California still requires auto insurance. Simply meeting the state minimums may be enough for some people, but regular commuters may want extra coverage — especially in high theft cities like San Jose. We’ll break down the 5 best car insurers for San Jose drivers.

Best car insurance companies for San Jose drivers

  • Best for low-mileage drivers: Metromile
  • Best for bundling home and auto: Allstate
  • Best for safe drivers: Wawanesa
  • Best for available discounts: Progressive
  • Best for college students: Geico

Metromile is best for low-mileage drivers

Metromile

Finder rating 4 / 5 ★★★★★

Get quotes
on Metromile's secure site

If your car is mainly used for leisure versus daily commutes, then going with a pay-per-mile insurer may save you some dough. Metromile is a startup that's been in the business for 10 years, and it mainly bases your monthly rates on how much you drive. Pay-as-you-go insurance can be a great move for drivers who tack on less than 30 miles daily or less than 12,000 miles annually.

Metromile uses telematics to track your driving habits. Its app also has extra features that can check your engine lights and track your vehicle's location. Additionally, if you drive more than 250 miles in a day, miles over the 250 mark are free — so the occasional road trip won't gouge you.

Pay-per-mile insurance is relatively new, but based on Metromile's customer ratings, low-mileage drivers are pleased. Metromile has a 3.8-star rating on Trustpilot, which is considered high in the insurance industry. Users report low rates and good customer service. Metromile is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with an A+ rating, showing that it resolves customer complaints quickly.

Allstate is best for bundling home and auto

Allstate

Finder rating 4 / 5 ★★★★★

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on Allstate's secure site

Bundling is when you buy multiple policies with the same insurer. If you're on the prowl for home and car insurance, bundling is a smart move for savings and overall convenience. Nationwide and Farmers have a 20% bundle discount, and Progressive comes in with up to 15% for bundling home and auto. However, Allstate advertises it'll offer up to 25% off for bundling your home and car insurance.

Allstate offers other transparent discounts as well. This includes a 15% new car discount, a 10% discount if you go paperless and a 10% discount for signing up for a policy at least seven days before it goes active. Many other insurance companies don't disclose the actual amount you can save with its discounts, so we appreciate Allstate's transparency. However, Allstate doesn't give specifics on how much you can save with their telematics program, Drivewise, which rewards you with cash every six months if you're a safe driver.

Allstate has 90 years in the industry, an A+ BBB rating and a 1.5-star rating on Trustpilot. It does its due diligence to resolve customer issues and has years of experience but earns less-than-ideal customer ratings overall. Most customers report poor customer service and issues with claims.

Wawanesa is best for safe drivers

Wawanesa Mutual

Finder rating 3.5 / 5 ★★★★★

If you're a safe driver, then Wawanesa could mean low monthly rates. Wawanesa prefers safe drivers with limited marks on their driving records. It's a smaller insurer that serves California and Oregon. But if you lose your safe driver status, it may drop your coverage, and some customers report a slow claim process.

However, Wawanesa did earn two J.D. Power awards two years running: No. 1 in Customer Satisfaction and Best in Price in California in 2020 and 2021. They have a 2.6-star rating on Trustpilot, which isn't fantastic but also isn't rare in the insurance industry. The BBB gave Wawanesa an A+ rating and is accredited, showing it does its due diligence to resolve customer complaints.

Progressive is best for available discounts

Progressive

Finder rating 4 / 5 ★★★★★

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on Progressive's secure site

Progressive may not offer the highest home and auto bundle discount, but it does have a large variety of other discounts. Just to name a few — average 31% discount if you're claim-free, homeowner, college degree, average 4% discount for getting an online quote, paid-in full, teen driver and multi-car. And we barely scratched the surface with that list. However, Progressive doesn't offer gap insurance or a military discount, which is common among competitors.

Progressive offers its trail-blazing Snapshot telematics program. There's a 10% discount for signing up, and after six months, you start earning rewards. However, if you don't drive 'safe' according to the app, then your premiums could go up. The Snapshot app has a 3.9-star rating on Google Play and 4.6-star rating on the Apple store.

When it comes to customer ratings, Progressive is a mixed bag. It has a bad rating on Trustpilot — a 1.4-star rating. Many users report poor customer service, slow claim process and issues with renewing policies. However, these complaints are common in the insurance industry. Others cite great rates, fast service and praise Progressive's apps. The BBB and AM Best both give Progressive an A+ rating, showing that Progessive attempts to resolve customer complaints and has the funds to back claims.

Geico is best for college students

Geico

Finder rating 4 / 5 ★★★★★

If you're between 18 and 25, you're likely to pay more for car insurance because insurers prefer more experienced drivers. If you're a college student looking for cheap rates, Geico is a good bet. It's known for its historically low premiums for minimum coverage. If you're a single person between the ages of 18 and 24, rates may be around $212 to $222 a month for California's minimum coverage with Geico.

Aside from the lower rates for younger drivers, Geico offers discounts for good students — a 15% discount if you have a B average or higher. Geico also offers a low-mileage discount and up to a 40% discount for having a safe car.

Geico has a 1.5-star rating on Trustpilot, which isn't rare in the insurance world, but it could be better. Most complaints have to do with claim issues, but other users report good customer service, low rates and knowledgeable agents. The BBB gives Geico an A+ rating, and it earned the highest rating with AM Best, an A++. These high ratings show Geico attempts to resolve customer complaints and has the money to back claims.

How we chose these insurers

To compile our best picks, we compared available rates, discounts, coverage available, Trustpilot customer ratings, AM Best financial ratings, BBB complaints and ratings, years in the industry, telematics programs and mobile app ratings.

State minimum car insurance requirements in San Jose

Most states have minimum insurance requirements. The state of California requires:

  • $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

Driving in California without meeting these requirements is illegal, and you must have insurance to register your vehicle according to California’s DMV site. Getting caught driving without insurance could result in getting your vehicle’s registration suspended.

Finder tip: We recommend full coverage for San Jose drivers

If you’re a regular commuter, we recommend full coverage. Full coverage means having liability insurance with collision and comprehensive coverage. This is almost always required if you’re financing, but even if you own your car, it’s still a good idea.

Comprehensive coverage can help you recover financially if your vehicle is stolen or if your car is damaged from a storm, wildfire or animal strikes. Collision coverage is heavily recommended to drivers that commute daily in high-traffic areas. If you don’t have the funds to replace or repair your vehicle after an unexpected event, then full coverage is worth looking into.

San Jose car theft stats

Insurers don’t just consider your driving record, age and vehicle when determining your rates. Your area also has a significant sway in how much you pay for car insurance. Theft rate is one of the biggest factors, and unfortunately, San Jose has a high theft rate — over double the national average.

A theft rate is expressed as the number of thefts per 100,000 residents. The US overall theft rate stands at 246, according to Statista, which means there’s an average of 246 car thefts among 100,000 people.

2018 San Jose theft rate2019 San Jose theft rate2020 San Jose theft rate
565.80448.04551.30

San Jose’s theft rate dipped a little in 2019 but shot back up to 551.30 in 2020, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). With this high theft rate, investing in comprehensive coverage to help protect you financially is worth considering.

Accident stats in San Jose

Like theft rate, the accident rate in your zip code can impact your insurance costs. Living in an area with frequent fatal and injury accidents can mean paying more each month for coverage.

San Jose’s accident rates aren’t the highest we’ve seen, but it’s the highest in the county of Santa Clara, as reported by the NICB.

City in Santa Clara County# of fatal and injury car accidents in 2017
San Jose3,379
Sunnyvale1,014
Cupertino591
Mountain View557

How to save on car insurance in San Jose

California doesn’t allow insurance companies to base your rates on gender or credit rating, so women don’t get better rates than men, and boosting your credit score doesn’t help you get better car insurance rates either.

Some money-saving tactics you can use in San Jose include:

  • Get online quotes for potential discounts
  • Check out local insurers
  • Go green and go paperless for discounts
  • Pay ahead and in full when possible
  • Take a defensive driving course
  • Choose a vehicle with anti-theft devices
  • Reduce your mileage
  • Consider pay-as-you-go coverage if you drive less than 12,000 miles a year
  • Consider telematics if you’re a safe driver
  • Put all vehicles under the same insurer for a multi-car discount
  • Bundle your coverage (rental, car, home, RV, etc.)

Another way to save money on car insurance each month is by increasing your deductible. But be sure you have the funds to cover the deductible you choose in the event of an accident.

Compare cheap car insurance in California

Name Product Gap insurance Homeowner discount Telematics Has an app? Available states
Allstate
Yes
Yes
Drivewise
Yes
All 50 states
Your dedicated agent can help you find the best savings with multiple discounts and rewards programs.

Speak to an agent: 877-526-1527

Progressive
loan/lease coverage
Yes
Snapshot
Yes
All 50 states & DC
Discover coverage that’s broader than competitors, valuable discounts up to 30% off and perks like shrinking deductibles that reward no claims.
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.
Root
No
Yes
Telematics only
Yes
Available in 31 states
Track your driving to receive a low rate that reflects your driving skills, and enjoy a fully app-based policy experience.
The AARP Auto Insurance Program from the Hartford
Yes
Yes
TrueLane®
No
All 50 states
Enjoy low rates for mature drivers, plus perks like new car replacement and lifetime repair guarantees. Only for drivers over age 50.
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.
Metromile
No
No
Telematics only
Yes
AZ, CA, IL, NJ, OR, PA, VA, WA
Pay only for the miles you drive, plus enjoy app services you won’t find everywhere like claims and car health updates.
Liberty Mutual
Yes
Yes
RightTrack
Yes
All 50 states & DC
Earn free accident forgiveness after five years claims-free and customize your policy anytime.

Speak to an agent: 877-336-0538

Nationwide
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
All states except AK, HI, LA, MA
Nationwide is among the nation’s top ten car insurance providers, offering the full range of service and a promise to be “on your side” with stellar service.
Savvy
Yes
Depends on provider
No
Yes
All states & DC
Get quotes in 30-seconds from 100+ companies, and save an average of $800 or more per year. Requires online login to your existing insurance.
AAA
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
AK, AZ, CA, MT, NV, UT and WY
Member benefits extend beyond car insurance to offer discounts, bike coverage and more. For drivers in AK, AZ, CA, MT, NV, UT and WY.
State Farm
No
Yes
Drive Safe and Save
Yes
All 50 states
Work with a dedicated agent to find the right coverage for you, including bundling other policies for the best value.

Speak to an agent: 877-745-0232

Allied
Yes
Yes
Nationwide SmartRide
No
AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MD, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI& WY
Finding the right auto insurance doesn’t have to be confusing. Allied Insurance has a network of independent agents to help you get customized coverage for your unique needs.
Assurance
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
All states except AK & HI
This broker shines with over 600 positive customer reviews, more top ratings than any broker we've compared.
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Bottom line

Insurance isn’t optional in San Jose, California. Start with our best picks and compare car insurance companies to find the best level of coverage and company for your situation.

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