Car Insurance in San Diego

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Here's what you need to know...
  • Car insurance laws are the same in San Diego as they are for the rest of California
  • Auto insurance companies that are licensed to operate in California can write and sell policies in San Diego
  • When buying auto insurance, it is important to shop around to locate the best deal

Like most California cities, San Diego’s freeways and surface streets are often congested with traffic. Morning and afternoon rush hours can be a nightmare for drivers.

A good online policy is essential if you drive in San Diego; it will help protect you from catastrophic financial losses in case of an accident.

San Diego is called “America’s Finest City,” and it lives up to that moniker in numerous ways including car insurance.

We can help you find car insurance with our FREE search. Compare quotes easily by entering your ZIP code above now!

Car Insurance Requirements in San Diego


Car insurance requirements are regulated by the state. San Diego automobile insurance requirements are the same as they are for the rest of California.

All California drivers must have the minimum amounts of insurance coverage or approved alternative methods of achieving financial responsibility.

California regulations mandate minimum coverage amounts for every driver in the state.

  • Bodily Injury – $15,000 for death or injury of any one person, and $30,000 for all persons in any one accident
  • Property Damage – $5,000 for any one accident

It is important to know the laws and legal requirements and to be in compliance with the regulations.

Failure to possess the proper amounts of auto insurance coverage may result in severe penalties.

Financial responsibility can be achieved by four methods:

  • Purchasing an automobile insurance policy
  • Depositing $35,000 cash with the Department of Motor Vehicles
  • A certificate of self-insurance issued by the DMV to people or companies with a fleet of 25 or more vehicles
  • A $35,000 surety bond obtained from an insurance carrier licensed in the state of California

All auto insurance companies that are licensed to operate in California, can write and sell policies in the city of San Diego.

Most of the large insurance carriers are licensed to do business in California.

The California Department of Insurance website has a list of companies operating in the state.

Should you buy more than the minimum?


Though California mandates certain auto insurance minimums, it is advisable for most people to consider buying policies with higher coverage amounts.

If you get in an accident, the minimum amounts may not fully protect you. If you get in an accident and it is determined to be your fault, you may be liable for the damages.

Purchasing a policy with higher limits that the minimum may cost you more money, but the higher level of protection is well worth the cost.

Though uninsured motorist coverage is not a state or city requirement, it is a good idea to include this when you purchase your policy.

San Diego has a high percentage of uninsured motorists on the highways; you cannot assume that the driver who slams into you will have insurance coverage.

It is advisable to get uninsured motorist coverage when you purchase your car insurance policy. Minimum levels of insurance often do not offer most people the protection they need.

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How to Buy Car Insurance in San Diego

Look for reviews and testimonials online, or ask friends, family members or co-workers about their experiences with insurance companies.

You don’t need to research them all, but a little patience and effort before you buy will help you save some money on your premiums and get you the right policy for your vehicle.

When considering the purchase of auto insurance, there are four ways you can buy:

  • From an agent of the insurance company
  • From an independent agent
  • Directly from an insurance company online or over the phone
  • From an online broker representing multiple insurance carriers

Car insurance agencies represent many different insurance companies and will help you find the best car insurance rates.

Working with an agency is the most common method of buying insurance.

Average Rates for Car Insurance in San Diego

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The average car insurance rates in the city of San Diego vary depending on a variety of factors.

The main factors used to determine insurance rates are:

  • Age
  • Driving record
  • Vehicle make and model
  • Location
  • Gender
  • Credit Score

Shopping and comparing saves money. However, don’t just shop for price, shop for service, too.

When you find the perfect balance between price and service, you’ll have the best auto insurance deal possible.

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