What Insurance is Cheapest for Safe Drivers in San Diego?

The words “affordable” and “insurance” really don’t belong together, in particular when trying to find the cheapest car insurance for safe drivers. To help control this cost, let’s familiarize you with a few of the factors that have a considerable impact on insurance premiums, and come up with some ways to take the bite out of the next policy you buy.

For good drivers, one of the more important considerations that determine car insurance rates is where you live. Areas with a lot of weather claims or more people tend to pay more, whereas more rural areas have the luxury of cheap car insurance rates.

The next table shows the most costly cities in California for safe drivers to buy auto insurance in. San Diego makes the list at #25 with an annual cost of $1,327 for coverage, which is about $111 monthly.

Car insurance prices in San Diego
Rank City Annual Premium
1 Glendale $2,142
2 Los Angeles $2,083
3 Oakland $1,755
4 San Francisco $1,693
5 Sacramento $1,669
6 San Bernardino $1,628
7 Stockton $1,588
8 Fontana $1,581
9 Long Beach $1,578
10 Santa Clarita $1,548
11 Modesto $1,547
12 Moreno Valley $1,536
13 Fresno $1,517
14 Garden Grove $1,508
15 Riverside $1,497
16 Anaheim $1,474
17 Santa Ana $1,439
18 San Jose $1,395
19 Fremont $1,389
20 Bakersfield $1,381
21 Huntington Beach $1,374
22 Irvine $1,371
23 Oxnard $1,358
24 Chula Vista $1,337
25 San Diego $1,327
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Annual rates are estimated as the vehicle garaging location can revise premium rates considerably.

The car, truck, or SUV that is being insured is a large consideration when shopping for the best cheap car insurance for safe drivers. Vehicles with higher performance characteristics, poor crash test ratings, or a history of substantial liability claims will cost more to insure than more modest models.

The data below outlines insurance rates for some of the most affordable vehicles to insure in California.

Cheapest Vehicles to Insure in San Diego, CA
Vehicle Make and Model Estimated Cost for Full Coverage
Ford Escape XLS 4WD $854
Ford F-150 XLT Super Cab 4WD $978
Ford Edge SEL 2WD $992
Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4WD $1,011
Hyundai Elantra Blue 4-Dr Sedan $1,045
Honda CR-V LX 2WD $1,047
Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4WD $1,083
Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 2WD $1,095
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4WD 4-Dr $1,120
Hyundai Sonata SE 4-Dr Sedan $1,137
Volkswagen Jetta S 2.5 Station Wagon $1,139
Chevrolet Equinox LT 2WD $1,156
GMC Sierra 2500HD SLE Regular Cab 2WD $1,162
GMC Sierra SLE Regular Cab 2WD $1,156
Ford F-250 XL Crew Cab 2WD $1,164
Nissan Altima 2.5 S 2-Dr Coupe $1,156
Toyota Prius $1,164
Chevrolet Malibu LT $1,179
Ford Focus SEL 4-Dr Sedan $1,196
Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD LT Crew Cab 2WD $1,209
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Data rating is based on single female driver age 30, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include claim-free, safe-driver, multi-vehicle, homeowner, and multi-policy. Estimates do not factor in specific location information which can influence auto insurance rates greatly.

Looking at the data, you can figure that makes and models like the Ford Escape, Ford F-150, and Ford Edge are most likely going to be some of the more affordable vehicles to insure for good drivers.

Deciphering which companies have the cheapest auto insurance rates for safe drivers takes more time than just quoting one company’s rates. Every auto insurer has a proprietary formula for filing rates in each state, so let’s examine the overall cheapest auto insurance companies in San Diego, CA.

It’s important to know that California auto insurance rates are impacted by many things which can significantly increase or decrease the cost of having a policy. Improving your credit score, marrying your spouse, or getting a few speeding tickets may generate price changes resulting in some companies being more affordable than before.

Best Insurance Companies for Safe Drivers

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Cheapest auto insurance in California ranked by cost per year
Rank Company Cost Per Year
1 USAA $1,155
2 Wawanesa $1,157
3 CSAA $1,222
4 Nationwide $1,226
5 Century National $1,226
6 21st Century $1,338
7 Grange $1,447
8 Progressive $1,496
9 GEICO $1,513
10 Mercury $1,548
11 Allstate $1,559
12 Allied $1,588
13 The Hartford $1,639
14 MetLife $1,654
15 Unitrin $1,699
16 Esurance $1,705
17 State Farm $1,750
18 Travelers $1,806
19 Bristol West $1,831
20 Farmers $2,006
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USAA normally has some of the best car insurance rates in San Diego at around $1,155 each year. This is $496 less than the average policy premium paid by California drivers of $1,651. Wawanesa, CSAA, Nationwide, and Century National would also be considered some of the cheaper San Diego, CA insurance companies.

As shown in the table above, if you are a policyholder with Nationwide and switched to USAA, you may realize yearly savings of upwards of $71. Insureds with Century National may save as much as $71 a year, and 21st Century policyholders might reduce rates by $183 a year.

These policy rates are averaged across all types of insureds and vehicles and are not factoring in a specific location for safe drivers. So the auto insurance company that fits you best may not even be in the list above. That point stresses why you need to quote rates from many companies using your own individual information.

How to find a good San Diego auto insurance company

Finding a high-quality car insurance company is hard considering how many companies sell insurance in San Diego. The ranking data in the lists below could help you analyze which auto insurers to look at when buying insurance for safe drivers.

These ratings only include major nationwide insurance companies, so companies that may only write in California are not factored into these rankings. To compare prices from the most competitive companies in California, click here.

Top 10 Major Auto Insurance Companies in San Diego Ranked by A.M. Best Rating

  1. USAA – A++
  2. Travelers – A++
  3. State Farm – A++
  4. GEICO – A++
  5. Esurance – A+
  6. Nationwide – A+
  7. Allstate – A+
  8. Mercury Insurance – A+
  9. Progressive – A+
  10. Titan Insurance – A+

Top 10 Major Auto Insurance Companies in San Diego Ranked by Customer Service

  1. AAA of Southern California
  2. GEICO
  3. State Farm
  4. The Hartford
  5. Mercury Insurance
  6. The General
  7. Progressive
  8. Allstate
  9. AAA Insurance
  10. American Family

How to get discounts on San Diego car insurance rates

Save on auto insurance for good drivers in San DiegoCar insurance companies that offer cheap quotes for safe drivers may also provide discounts that can reduce rates by 35% or more if you meet specific eligibility requirements. Large auto insurance companies and a selection of discounts are shown below.

The diagram below illustrates the difference between auto insurance rates with and without discounts applied to the policy rates. The prices are based on a male driver, no violations or claims, California state minimum liability limits, comp and collision included, and $1,000 deductibles.

The first bar for each age group shows the price with no discounts. The second shows the rates with marriage, claim-free, defensive driving course, accident-free, multiple policy, and passive restraint discounts applied. In this example, theaverage yearly reduction on auto insurance for safe drivers is 28% or $559.

Full coverage rates compared to liability-only

Paying a lower price for auto insurance is important to the majority of drivers, and one of the best ways to pay less for insurance for safe drivers is to only pay for liability coverage. The chart below compares insurance costs with full physical damage coverage and with liability coverage only. The prices are based on no accidents, no driving violations, $250 deductibles, single marital status, and no discounts are applied to the premium.

On average, physical damage coverage on your policy costs $2,558 per year over liability only. That brings up the question if buying full coverage is a waste of money. There is no definitive rule to eliminate full coverage on your policy, but there is a guideline you can consider. If the yearly cost of comp and collision coverage is more than around 10% of any settlement you would receive from your insurance company, then you might want to think about dropping full coverage.

For example, let’s pretend your vehicle’s settlement value is $8,500 and you have $1,000 policy deductibles. If your vehicle is destroyed, the most you would get paid by your company is $7,500 after the deductible is paid. If you are paying over $750 a year for full coverage, then it’s probably a good time to buy liability coverage only.

Low rates can quickly become overpriced

San Diego auto insurance rates are calculated based on many things that control the policy price. Simply getting older, buying a different vehicle, or getting caught speeding may generate price changes resulting in some rates now being cheaper than others.

In addition, insurers file new California car insurance rates without warning in order to be able to pay unexpected claims. Significantly higher losses can result in high rates, while profitable underwriting can produce more affordable San Diego car insurance rates.

To help illustrate this point, the data below shows the companies that have the cheapest car insurance in San Diego, CA for a 35-year-old female driver with no accidents or violations, and a good credit rating. Based on her personal profile, USAA might offer the best car insurance rates in San Diego at $1,199 a year. This is $452 less than the average rate paid by California drivers of $1,651. Wawanesa, Century National, Nationwide, and CSAA also make the list of the cheapest San Diego, CA auto insurance companies.

Let’s now give the driver in the first chart a chargeable accident, a little lower credit rating, and a stop sign violation. Since every insurance provider has a different process for determining rates, analyzing rates most likely will result in a different ranking of affordable companies as shown below.

Grange now has the best price on car insurance in San Diego, CA with Mercury, Progressive, GEICO, and Allied also having competitive pricing. This example proves why consumers need to take the time to do a thorough rate comparison when trying to get the most budget-friendly car insurance rates for safe drivers. Insurance prices can be determined by many factors and can change substantially, so the most economical company the last time you checked may now be quite expensive.