The best car insurance in San Jose, CA

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Rachael BrennanRachael BrennanSenior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance ExpertRachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.&Andrew HurstAndrew HurstSenior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance ExpertAndrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.
Expert reviewedExpert reviewedThis article has been reviewed by a licensed Policygenius expert to ensure that sources, statistics, and claims meet our standard for accurate and unbiased advice.Learn more about oureditorial review process.

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Ian Bloom, CFP®, RLP®Ian Bloom, CFP®, RLP®Certified Financial PlannerIan Bloom, CFP®, RLP®, is a certified financial planner and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius. Previously, he was a financial advisor at MetLife and MassMutual.

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The average cost of full coverage car insurance in San Jose is $1,808 per year, which is $29 less than the average cost of car insurance in California, which is $1,837. Car insurance rates in San Jose are a little lower than the state average, but there are still ways you can save even more money on your insurance.

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The best, most effective way to save money on your auto insurance is by comparing multiple quotes — we found that the cheapest companies for San Jose drivers are Wawanesa, GEICO, USAA, National General, and Mercury, but Policygenius can help you compare rates from multiple companies to find the coverage that meets your needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Wawanesa has the lowest average rate for full coverage in San Jose at $937 per year

  • The cheapest ZIP code in San Jose is 95124 at $1,610 per year

  • California’s state minimum liability requirements are $15,000 per person/$30,000 per person in bodily injury liability and $5,000 in property damage liability

Cheapest car insurance companies in San Jose, CA

Each insurance company has their own process for setting rates, so two different companies can offer the same coverage with vastly different prices. Because of this, comparing quotes from multiple companies can save you hundreds of dollars each year on your car insurance.

Company

Average cost

JD Power Rating

Wawanesa

$937

--

GEICO

$1,347

874

USAA

$1,476

890

National General Insurance

$1,550

838

Mercury Insurance

$1,612

830

Cheapest car insurance rates by ZIP code in San Jose, CA

Your ZIP code is one of the biggest factors insurance companies use to set your rates. Rates vary from one ZIP code to another based on a number of factors, including:

  • Population density

  • Number of accidents reported each year

  • How many traffic tickets are issued

  • Reported car thefts

  • Secure parking options

  • Amount of available street parking

The number of people in an area is a big factor when setting rates by ZIP code, which means San Jose residents are charged less than drivers in larger cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. Below are the average rates based on ZIP code in San Jose.

ZIP code

Average cost

95124

$1,610

95130

$1,650

95129

$1,664

95119

$1,676

95118

$1,681

95139

$1,696

95120

$1,697

95125

$1,720

95134

$1,729

95128

$1,739

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Choosing the right car insurance company in San Jose, CA

The right car insurance policy is the one that meets your needs, which is why our experts at Policygenius help you compare quotes from multiple companies. Seeing more than one or two options is the best way to find the right policy at the right price.

Car insurance rates for drivers with driving violations in San Jose, CA

Your driving record has a significant amount of information about you, including your identifying information (height, eye color, etc.) and your drivers license number. It also contains information about any driving violations you may have on your record, including:

  • Accidents

  • Tickets

  • Points

  • DUIs

  • Fines

  • Suspensions

  • Revocations

One of the best ways to keep your insurance costs low is to keep your driving record clean because having a car accident or a moving violation can increase your rates, sometimes significantly.

Violation

Wawanesa

GEICO

USAA

National General Insurance

Mercury Insurance

At-fault accident

$1,459

$2,476

$2,121

$2,346

$2,820

DUI

$1,703

$3,440

$4,349

$2,174

$2,685

Suspended license

$1,363

$2,454

$3,074

$2,229

$2,685

Open container

$1,703

$3,440

$3,271

$1,667

$2,685

Expired registration

$1,363

$2,219

$1,664

$1,667

$2,147

Driving without lights

$1,363

$2,219

$1,519

$1,667

$2,147

Running a red light

$1,363

$2,219

$1,664

$1,667

$2,147

Following too closely

$1,363

$2,219

$1,664

$1,667

$2,147

Hit and run

$1,703

$2,454

$3,480

$2,229

$2,685

Not-at-fault accident

$964

$1,372

$1,519

$1,593

$1,626

Passing a school bus

$1,363

$2,219

$2,235

$1,667

$2,147

Reckless driving

$1,703

$2,454

$2,617

$2,229

$2,685

Speeding

$1,363

$2,142

$1,664

$1,667

$2,147

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Cheapest car insurance for drivers with bad credit in San Jose, CA

Some states allow insurance companies to use your credit score to set your rates, which means having a low credit score can cost you more on your insurance. California, however, isn’t one of them. The state of California passed a law in 2003 that prevents insurance companies from using your credit score to help set your rate, which means that even if your credit score changes over time, your insurance won’t be impacted by it.

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Buying car insurance in San Jose, CA

Like most states, California requires drivers to carry some form of liability insurance, including:

  • Cash deposit of $35,000 with DMV

  • DMV-issued self-insurance certificate

  • Surety bond for $35,000 from a company licensed to do business in California

  • Motor vehicle liability insurance policy

Rather than leaving a large cash deposit or a bond with the state, most people choose to carry the state minimum levels of liability insurance, which are:

  • $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident for bodily injury liability

  • $5,000 for property damage liability

While carrying the minimum insurance levels in California is enough to meet the state’s legal requirements, it often isn’t enough to cover the amount of damage caused in an at-fault accident. Choosing the highest levels of liability insurance that you can afford is the best way to make sure you are financially protected in an accident. 

Also, drivers who can’t afford to repair or replace their car in the event of an accident should purchase comprehensive and collision insurance. Not only do these coverages protect you if you are at fault in an accident, they can also step in to pay for damages to your vehicle if another driver hits you but doesn’t have insurance or your car is damaged or stolen in a non-collision situation.

How to get cheap car insurance in San Jose, CA

There are a variety of discounts available to drivers in San Jose, including:

  • Safe driver discount

  • Accident free discount

  • Low mileage discount

  • Military discount

  • Good student discount

  • Bundling discount

  • Group/employer/professional discount

If you’ve taken advantage of these discounts and your rate still isn’t low enough, you may want to apply for California’s Low Cost Auto Insurance program.

Frequently asked questions

What is the cheapest car insurance in San Jose?

The cheapest car insurance company in San Jose is Wawanesa. Drivers may also get affordable coverage from GEICO or USAA — as long as they're affiliated with the military.

How much is insurance in San Jose?

The average cost of car insurance in San Jose is $151 per month or $1,808 per year for full coverage. This makes the average cost of coverage in San Jose cheaper than the statewide average.

How does the cost of insurance in San Jose compare to the rest of the Bay Area?

Compared to Oakland and San Francisco, the cost of car insurance in San Jose is more affordable.

What happens if you don't have car insurance in San Jose?

If you're caught driving without car insurance in San Jose, you could face fines and a suspended license. The state may also impound your car and you could have to pay a fine before you can drive again.

Methodology

Policygenius has analyzed car insurance rates provided by Quadrant Information Services for every ZIP code in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. For full coverage policies, the following coverage limits were used:

  • Bodily injury liability: $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident

  • Property damage liability: $50,000

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident

  • Comprehensive: $500 deductible

  • Collision: $500 deductible

In some cases, additional coverages were added where required by state or insurer.

Rates for overall average rate, rates by ZIP code, and cheapest companies determined using averages for single drivers ages 30, 35, and 45. Our sample vehicle was a 2017 Toyota Camry LE driven 10,000 miles/year.

Rates for driving violations and “Poor” credit determined using average rates for a single male 30-year-old driver with a credit score under 578.

Some carriers may be represented by affiliates or subsidiaries. Rates provided are a sample of costs. Your actual quotes may differ.

Authors

Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

Andrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.

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