What Car Insurance is Cheapest for Inexperienced Drivers in San Jose?

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Determining which companies quote the lowest-priced auto insurance rates for inexperienced drivers calls for a bit more effort than just quoting one company's rates. Each insurance company has their own guidelines for determining rates, so let's take a look at the overall cheapest auto insurance companies in San Jose, CA.

It's important that you understand San Jose, CA auto insurance rates are impacted by many factors that control the price of coverage. Simply getting older, having a teen driver, or having a fender bender can cause premium changes that can now make some companies cheaper than before.

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Cheapest California car insurance ranked by price
Rank Company Cost Per Year
1 USAA $1,155
2 Wawanesa $1,157
3 Century National $1,214
4 CSAA $1,234
5 Nationwide $1,263
6 21st Century $1,338
7 Grange $1,433
8 Allstate $1,497
9 Mercury $1,548
10 Allied $1,556
11 Progressive $1,558
12 GEICO $1,559
13 MetLife $1,590
14 The Hartford $1,591
15 State Farm $1,733
16 Esurance $1,739
17 Unitrin $1,750
18 Bristol West $1,831
19 Travelers $1,860
20 Farmers $2,006
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USAA generally has some of the lowest car insurance rates in San Jose at around $1,155 each year. This is $496 less than the average rate paid by California drivers of $1,651. Wawanesa, Century National, CSAA, and Nationwide also make the cut as some of the cheaper San Jose, CA insurance companies.

As the example above demonstrates, if you currently buy coverage from Wawanesa and switched to USAA, you might achieve savings of around $2. California drivers with Century National may save as much as $59 a year, and CSAA policyholders might cut rates by $79 a year.

These premiums are averaged for all drivers and vehicles in California and and are not figured with an exact zip code location for inexperienced drivers. So the company that fits you best may not even be in the top 24 companies shown above. That emphasizes why you need to compare prices as often as possible using your own driver information and specific vehicle type.

For new drivers, one of the more important considerations that are looked at to help calculate the annual cost of car insurance is where you live. Areas with a lot of weather claims or more people tend to have higher rates, whereas areas with fewer weather claims and lower vehicle theft rates tend to receive cheaper rates.

The illustration below rates the highest-priced areas in California for inexperienced drivers to buy an auto insurance policy in. San Jose is ranked #20 with an annual premium of $1,395 for the average policy, which is approximately $116 per month.

How much does car insurance cost in San Jose, CA?
Rank City Average Per Year
1 Los Angeles $2,104
2 Glendale $2,079
3 Sacramento $1,703
4 San Francisco $1,693
5 Oakland $1,687
6 San Bernardino $1,644
7 Stockton $1,603
8 Long Beach $1,578
9 Riverside $1,542
10 Moreno Valley $1,536
11 Fontana $1,535
12 Santa Clarita $1,533
13 Modesto $1,532
14 Garden Grove $1,524
15 Fresno $1,517
16 Santa Ana $1,483
17 Anaheim $1,444
18 Fremont $1,403
19 Huntington Beach $1,402
20 San Jose $1,395
21 Bakersfield $1,394
22 San Diego $1,368
23 Irvine $1,330
24 Oxnard $1,318
25 Chula Vista $1,311
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Annual rates are approximated as zip code location can lower or raise prices noticeably.

Full coverage rates vs. liability-only in San Jose

Buying cheaper auto insurance is the goal of most vehicle owners, and one easy way to buy cheaper insurance for inexperienced drivers is to only pay for liability coverage. The example below visualizes the comparison of auto insurance costs with liability coverage only compared to full coverage. The premiums assume no violations or accidents, $500 deductibles, marital status is single, and no discounts are factored in.

If all age groups are averaged, full coverage on your policy costs an extra $2,273 per year more than insuring for liability only. That is a large expense which might make you wonder if paying for full coverage is a waste of money. There is no set guideline that is best for determining when to drop full coverage, but there is a general school of thought. If the yearly cost for physical damage coverage is about 10% or more of the replacement cost of your vehicle minus the policy deductible, then it may be the right time to buy liability only.

For example, let's pretend your vehicle's replacement cost is $9,000 and you have $1,000 physical damage deductibles. If your vehicle is totaled in an accident, you would only receive $8,000 after the deductible is paid. If it's costing you more than $800 annually for physical damage coverage, the it may be a good time to stop paying for full coverage.

There are some situations where eliminating full coverage is not recommended. If you still owe a portion of the original loan, you must maintain physical damage coverage in order to satisfy the requirements of the loan. Also, if your emergency fund is not enough to purchase a different vehicle in the even your car is totaled, you should not remove full coverage.

Picking the right auto insurance company can be challenging considering how many different companies sell coverage in California. The ranking information below could help you choose which car insurance companies you want to consider when comparing auto insurance rates for inexperienced drivers.

The rankings below include the largest companies in the United States, so companies without a large exposure are not included in the list. If you would like to check rates from many more California auto insurance companies, simply click here.

Top Auto Insurance Companies for Inexperienced Drivers in San Jose, CA
Company Value Customer Service Claims Customer Satisfaction A.M Best Rating Overall Score
USAA 98 100 100 94% A++ 98.6
American Family 98 89 100 86% A 95.4
AAA of Southern California 91 94 97 92% A+ 94.1
State Farm 88 93 96 90% A++ 92.4
The Hartford 94 92 90 89% A+ 91.7
AAA Insurance 88 89 95 91% A 91.2
GEICO 84 93 93 89% A++ 90.3
The General 89 91 89 88% A- 90
Titan Insurance 90 87 91 95% A+ 89.6
Progressive 84 91 93 87% A+ 89.5
Mercury Insurance 88 91 90 85% A+ 89.4
Allstate 85 90 92 88% A+ 89.3
Nationwide 87 88 84 90% A+ 88.7
Liberty Mutual 84 87 93 88% A 88.5
21st Century 85 86 87 88% A 86.7
Esurance 85 80 95 87% A+ 85.9
Safeco 85 85 85 86% A 85.8
Travelers 80 87 87 83% A++ 85.2
Farmers Insurance 78 87 88 79% A 84.3
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Data Source: Insure.com Best Car Insurance Companies

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San Jose, CA auto insurance rates are calculated based on many things that may substantially change your annual premium. Simply having another birthday, buying a different home, or having an accident can trigger price changes resulting in some companies being more affordable than others. And not only may your rating factors change, but companies change the rates they charge in California every year to help ensure profitability. A period of increased losses can cause rate increases, while a lower level of claims may cause cheaper San Jose car insurance rates.

For instance, the chart below compares the cheapest car insurance in San Jose, CA for a 45-year-old female driver with no accidents or violations, and great credit. If we compare prices based on her current risk factors, USAA quotes the most affordable car insurance rates in San Jose at $1,190 a year. This is $461 less than the average rate paid by California drivers of $1,651. Wawanesa, Century National, CSAA, and Nationwide are the remaining most affordable San Jose, CA auto insurance companies.

In the next rate comparison, we'll give the driver from above a chargeable accident, less-than-perfect credit, and an imperfect driving record. Due to the fact that each insurance company has their own formula to determining premium rates, analyzing rate quotes may now show a different set of the cheapest car insurance companies in San Jose as shown below.

Grange now has the best car insurance rate in San Jose, CA with Mercury, Progressive, Allstate, and GEICO now rounding out the top five. This example shows why San Jose drivers need to shop around when trying to get the most economical car insurance rates for inexperienced drivers. Rates can be altered by many risk factors and change dramatically, so the lowest-price company three years ago may now be one of the more expensive options.

If you have questions and prefer to have some advice when shopping for the best coverage for inexperienced drivers, the agents listed below can most likely answer your questions and help you decide which policy fits your needs best.

To find a San Jose insurance agency closest to you, click the button below the list.

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Ideas for finding low-cost auto insurance for inexperienced drivers

The list below details many thrifty ideas that can help California drivers locate cheaper coverage.

The last idea is particularly valuable, as was pointed out in this piece. Coverage prices adjust often, so don't be afraid to buy a different policy if you find a cheaper price.

Sticking with a specific company is fine, but it's not a good idea if it's costing you lots of money. In just a few minutes you could compare prices to find cheaper car insurance for inexperienced drivers in San Jose.