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Car insurance in San Diego

Narrow down your car insurance options with our experts’ top picks in the City of Motion.

Get the cheapest quotes for your car

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Whether you frequent beach parties or business meetings, make sure you have plenty of protection to cover all your drives around the city and its surrounding areas. As you shop for a policy, narrow down your choices with our best car insurance picks in San Diego.

4 best car insurance companies for San Diego drivers

  • Best for low-mileage drivers: Allstate Drivewise
  • Best overall: Progressive
  • Best regional company: AAA of Southern California
  • Best customer service and lowest rates: Wawanesa

Best car insurance companies for San Diego drivers

Our car insurance experts chose insurers that balance well-rounded coverage, top-notch customer reputation and steep discounts that can make premiums more affordable. See which companies made our list of best car insurance companies in San Diego.

Best for low-mileage drivers: Allstate Drivewise

Allstate

4
★★★★★

Finder score

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Allstate Drivewise offers one of the highest discounts possible for using telematics. Telematics programs track and score your driving in exchange for a personalized discount. Unlike other telematics-based insurers, you'll also get wide coverage and solid customer service when you choose Allstate.

Best overall: Progressive

Progressive

4
★★★★★

Finder score

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Progressive is a top choice by customers because of its well-rounded coverage and low rates compared to other national companies. It also stays on top of technology with an intuitive website, pricing tool, mobile app and Snapshot program that rewards your safe driving.

Best regional company: AAA of Southern California

AAA

4
★★★★★

Finder score

Read review

When you choose AAA, you get much more than auto insurance coverage, although it offers the coverage you need and then some. You also get access to its roadside service, giving peace of mind even if you're a passenger in someone else's car. Also, take advantage of other travel and shopping discounts to get the most out of your membership.

Best customer service and lowest rates: Wawanesa

Wawanesa Mutual

3.5
★★★★★

Finder score

Chances are that you'll hear about Wawanesa if you ask a local which company they'd recommend. It consistently ranks first for customer satisfaction in California by J.D. Power. And if your driving record is clean, your premium could cost significantly less than any other company you're considering.

How we chose these insurers

To find the best insurance companies in San Diego, our experts considered both national and regional companies. We looked for well-rounded companies offering wide coverage, high customer satisfaction and a variety of discount opportunities. We also considered each company’s customer ratings and reputation in the San Diego area.

State minimum car insurance requirements in San Diego

Keep a car insurance policy with at least liability insurance to stay legal in San Diego. However, since the legal requirements are some of the lowest in the US, think about extra coverage that suits your driving and finances.

  • Bodily injury liability coverage
    You need coverage of at least $15,000 for injuries to one person and $30,000 to cover injuries to multiple people in one accident. It pays for injuries when you’re at fault, as well as expenses if someone sues you.
  • Property damage liability coverage
    Go with a minimum of $5,000 for property damage, which kicks in if you damage someone else’s car or property like expensive cargo. Yet, most drivers need much higher protection than this.
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage
    You’ll be offered uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage for injuries or property damage, although you can sign a waiver if you don’t want it. It pays for your medical bills or car damage in the event that the at-fault driver can’t pay.

We recommend full coverage for San Diego drivers

Unless you have the funds to pay for your own car repairs, we recommend adding comprehensive and collision coverage to your car insurance. Any car owner has a chance of getting in an accident or experiencing damage after a storm. Since you can’t always control what happens on the road, make sure you’re protected in case you’re deemed at fault for an accident.

San Diego is the third-worst county for accidents in California

The California Highway Patrol’s annual collision report shows most California counties see under 4,000 accidents per year, including both injury and fatal accidents. Yet, San Diego more than triples that number only in accidents that lead to driver or passenger injury. It ranks third in the top five of the worst California counties for accidents overall.

RankCountyAccidents w/ injuries in 2017Fatal accidents in 2017
1Los Angeles62,574715
2Orange15,173197
3San Diego14,694222
4Riverside10,511283
5San Bernardino10,020308

San Diego stands near the front of California counties with the highest number of stolen rides. The county falls under Los Angeles, which saw 63,000 thefts in 2020, San Francisco with nearly 31,000 thefts and Riverside with 23,000 thefts, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

San Diego car thefts

202020192018
10,97110,96911,091

How to save on car insurance in San Diego

Give your insurance company a reason to lower your premiums when you improve your safety on the road. If nothing else, shopping around can go a long way toward paying less.

  • Get several quotes to find the best value. You’ll get wildly different rates based on the insurance company you choose. Checking with multiple companies ensures that you’re not overcharged.
  • Park in a garage or secured parking. Locking up your car reassures your insurance company that you won’t be making as many claims for car theft, vandalism or stolen belongings.
  • Install an antitheft device, like GPS tracking. GPS tracking gives you a better chance of recovering your vehicle if it gets stolen. It could also help you lower your premiums with your car insurance company.
  • Take a defensive driving course. Most insurers reward you with a discount that lasts several years after completing your course. That savings could be well worth the cost and time in this city known for high car insurance rates.

Compare cheap car insurance in California

1 - 7 of 7
Name Product Gap insurance Homeowner discount Telematics Has an app? Available 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.
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.
State Farm
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.
Geico
No
No
DriveEasy
Yes
All 50 states

Stack discounts up to 40% off already low premiums, with convenient mobile services like proof of insurance and claims.

Allstate
Yes
Yes
Drivewise
Yes
All 50 states
Your dedicated agent can help you find the best savings with multiple discounts and rewards programs.
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
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Bottom line

You may not need a lot of car insurance coverage to legally get around San Diego. But the best policies give you a suite of coverage options to boost your protection and a variety of discounts. To ensure you’re getting the best rate and coverage that suits your circumstances, compare car insurers.

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