How Much are Auto Insurance Quotes for College Students in San Jose?

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Wouldn't it be excellent if we could just tell you one specific company that has the cheapest coverage for college students? Unfortunately, it's just not that easy, as there are a whole slew of unknowns such as where you live in San Jose, the level of liability coverage you want, and if you want the added protection of full coverage. This article will cover these types of topics and will hopefully give the reader a solid foundation to find cheaper car insurance in California.

Deciding which company has the most affordable auto insurance rates for college students will involve a tad more effort than just comparing rates from one or two companies. Every car insurance company has a unique approach to determine premium rates, so to begin we'll rank the most competitive auto insurance companies in San Jose.

Lowest Insurance Price Quotes for College Students

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Cheapest California auto insurance companies
Rank Company Cost Per Year
1 USAA $1,121
2 Century National $1,190
3 Wawanesa $1,192
4 CSAA $1,222
5 Nationwide $1,226
6 21st Century $1,366
7 Grange $1,433
8 Allstate $1,497
9 Allied $1,541
10 Mercury $1,548
11 Progressive $1,558
12 GEICO $1,559
13 The Hartford $1,575
14 MetLife $1,606
15 Esurance $1,688
16 Unitrin $1,733
17 State Farm $1,750
18 Travelers $1,842
19 Bristol West $1,849
20 Farmers $2,006
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USAA quotes some of the best car insurance rates in San Jose at around $1,121 a year. Century National, Wawanesa, CSAA, and Nationwide are also some of the lowest-priced San Jose, CA car insurance companies.

In the above example, if you have coverage with Wawanesa and switched to USAA, you may see an annual premium reduction of around $71. Drivers with CSAA may save as much as $101 a year, and Nationwide customers might reduce prices by as much as $105 a year.

To find out how much you can save, click here to start your free quote or visit several of the following companies.

Remember that these prices are averaged for all drivers and vehicles and and are not calculated with a specific vehicle garaging location for college students. So the company that fits you best may not even be in the list above. That points out the importance of why you need to compare as many prices as possible using your own driver data and vehicle information.

For students in college, one of the more important criteria that aid in calculating the amount you pay for auto insurance is your address. Areas with increased crime or more people tend to have more expensive car insurance rates, whereas areas with less crime or weather claims have the benefit of cheaper car insurance.

The information below shows the most expensive places in California for college students to buy auto insurance in. San Jose ranks #18 with a yearly premium of $1,423 for coverage, which is about $119 monthly.

How much does car insurance cost in San Jose, CA?
Rank City Average Per Year
1 Los Angeles $2,146
2 Glendale $2,058
3 Oakland $1,738
4 San Francisco $1,711
5 Sacramento $1,703
6 Long Beach $1,610
7 San Bernardino $1,596
8 Stockton $1,588
9 Fontana $1,581
10 Santa Clarita $1,580
11 Garden Grove $1,554
12 Moreno Valley $1,551
13 Modesto $1,547
14 Riverside $1,542
15 Santa Ana $1,483
16 Fresno $1,472
17 Anaheim $1,430
18 San Jose $1,423
19 Bakersfield $1,381
20 San Diego $1,368
21 Huntington Beach $1,360
22 Fremont $1,348
23 Irvine $1,343
24 Chula Vista $1,311
25 Oxnard $1,304
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Rate information is approximated as specific San Jose zip code can affect premium rates noticeably.

The car, truck, or SUV driven is one of the biggest factors when shopping for economical auto insurance for college students. Vehicles with more horsepower, poor passenger safety features, or high incidents of liability claims will cost more to insure than safer models.

The next list shows coverage rates for some of the cheapest automobiles to insure in California.

Cheapest Vehicles to Insure in San Jose, CA
Vehicle Estimated Cost for Full Coverage
Honda CR-V LX 2WD $2,451
Honda Accord EX 4-Dr Sedan $2,457
Ford F-150 XL Regular Cab 2WD $2,508
Jeep Wrangler Sport 4WD 2-Dr $2,513
Ford Escape Limited 4WD $2,670
Toyota Prius $2,707
Dodge Grand Caravan CV $2,727
Ford Focus S 4-Dr Sedan $2,872
Chevrolet Impala LS $2,881
Honda Odyssey EX $2,872
Ford Edge SE AWD $2,882
Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 2WD $2,909
Toyota RAV4 Limited 4WD $2,917
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Prices based on single male driver age 20, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include safe-driver, and claim-free. Rate quotes do not factor in San Jose, CA location which can decrease or increase price quotes noticeably.

Looking at the data, we can expect models like the Honda CR-V, Honda Accord, and Ford F-150 are likely to be the most budget-friendly vehicles to insure for students in college. The price for an auto insurance policy will tend to be more expensive anyway just due to the fact that there is more liability exposure for college students, but generally speaking those makes and models will most likely have the lowest insurance prices compared to all other vehicles.

Tickets and at-fault accidents raise rates

The ideal way to score good auto insurance rates in San Jose for students in college is to be a safe driver and avoid accidents and keep your driving record clean. The diagram below highlights how speeding tickets and accident claims impact car insurance rates for different age groups of insureds. The rate quotes are based on a single female driver, full coverage, $100 deductibles, and no policy discounts are applied.

The data charted above shows the average cost of a car insurance policy per year with a clean driving record and no accidents is $2,394. Get written up for two speeding tickets and the average cost jumps to $3,222, an increase of $828 each year. Then throw in one accident along with the two speeding tickets and the 12-month cost of auto insurance for college students increases to an average of $4,051. That's an increase of $1,657, or $138 per month, just for not maintaining a clean driving record!

Full coverage rates compared to liability only

Paying less for auto insurance is important to most drivers, and one of the easiest ways to buy cheaper insurance for college students is to only buy liability coverage. The example below shows the difference between auto insurance costs with full coverage and liability only. Data assumes no claims, a clean driving record, $250 deductibles, marital status is single, and no policy discounts are applied.

If we average all the age groups together, physical damage insurance costs an additional $2,558 per year over and above liability coverage. Many drivers will wonder when is the right time to remove full coverage. There is no definitive rule for excluding comprehensive and collision coverage on your policy, but there is a general convention. If the yearly cost for physical damage coverage is more than 10% of replacement cost minus your deductible, then it might be time to consider dropping full coverage.

There are some conditions where buying only liability insurance is not advised. If you still owe money on your vehicle, you have to carry full coverage as part of the loan conditions. Also, if you cannot afford to purchase a different vehicle in case of an accident, you should not consider dropping full coverage.

Why you should be shopping around

California auto insurance rates are impacted by many things which can significantly increase or decrease the policy price. Simply getting older, buying higher coverage limits, or having a fender bender can trigger price changes that can now make some companies much cheaper than others. Also, car insurance companies modify rates as needed to reflect underwriting profits or losses. Significantly higher claims may result in more expensive premiums, while a better loss history may cause lower-priced San Jose car insurance rates.

For instance, the data below shows the company with the cheapest car insurance in San Jose, CA for a 35-year-old male driver with no accidents, a clean driving record, and good financial standing. If we estimate prices based on his current situation, USAA may offer the most affordable car insurance rates in San Jose at $1,266 annually. This is $385 less than the average rate paid by California drivers of $1,651. CSAA, Wawanesa, Century National, and Nationwide also make the list of the cheapest San Jose, CA auto insurance companies.

In the next rate comparison, we'll give the driver from above a claim surcharge, a lower credit rating, and a few blemishes on his driving record. Since every insurance provider has a unique formula to set policy rates, comparing prices most likely will result in a slightly different list of the cheapest companies as shown below.

Grange now has the cheapest car insurance in San Jose with Progressive, Allstate, Mercury, and GEICO also being competitive. This example demonstrates why it is important to compare lots of rates to find the most affordable car insurance rates for college students. Rates are influenced by many factors and can change substantially, so the best price the last time you compared rates may now cost much more than other companies.

How to find cheaper insurance for college students

The list below shows a few thrifty suggestions that can help San Jose drivers buy cheap car insurance.

The last tip is very significant, as we hit on in this piece. Rates can change significantly in a year, so drivers shouldn't be reluctant to buy a different policy if you find a cheaper price. Brand loyalty is great, but it's not recommended if that devotion results in you overpaying hundreds every year. Take a few minutes and compare prices to find cheaper insurance for college students in San Jose.