Car Insurance in San Jose

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Here's what you need to know...
  • San Jose has nearly one million residents and over 6,000 technology companies in the area
  • In San Jose, the mandatory liability car insurance must be enough to cover property damages or injuries from a car accident
  • Another alternative to purchasing San Jose car liability insurance is to obtain a $35,000 surety bond
  • The average car insurance cost for San Jose residents is nearly 20 percent higher than the average rate in California

For nearly one million residents of San Jose, California, driving is a daily necessity and saving on San Jose car insurance has become a hard thing to do.

More patents are held by San Jose residents than in any other American city. These advancements earned San Jose the title of Capital of Silicon Valley, with over 6,000 technology companies in the area.

With so many companies, there are a number of people driving to work and need to make sure they have the proper car insurance!

Just as technology will continue to advance, San Jose is expected to grow at a fast pace. This growth will also increase the need for residents to maintain adequate coverage. 

The medical expenses, property damage, and traffic violation fees can deplete cash flow. While traffic accidents are unpredictable, car insurance can protect drivers from the unexpected.

Having sufficient San Jose car insurance will give drivers added protection. Residents should shop around to find the best options for purchasing California coverage for car insurance.

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San Jose Car Insurance Laws and Requirements


The car insurance laws for San Jose car insurance changed in 2006 for the verification process of privately owned vehicles.

Under the Vehicle Financial Responsibility and Suspension Laws, California’s Department of Motor Vehicles must verify that any vehicle traveling on roadways and highways have liability car insurance.

The amount must be adequate enough to cover property damages or injuries from a car accident.

Regardless of fault, all drivers involved in an accident should have the mandatory San Jose car insurance coverage. The law also gives the DMV the authority to remove cars from the highways and roadways without car insurance.

California law requires insurance companies to report insurance information to the DMV electronically. The report must also include all vehicles that are for private use.

The insurance companies do not have to report commercial or business insurance information.

The electronic reporting system enables monitoring by the DMV of insurance coverage for policy cancellations or lapses. The DMV has the right to suspend vehicle registration.

The law also gives court personnel and law enforcement access to DMV records of San Jose car insurance.

The mandatory San Jose car insurance requirements include the following:

  • Proof of financial responsibility for cars parked or driven in San Jose.
  • Drivers must keep physical proof of financial responsibility in their cars at all times.
  • Drivers must show this proof upon request to law enforcement; to renew vehicle registration; and, when involved in a traffic accident.

California law has several options for drivers to demonstrate financial responsibility for driving on roadways and highways. Most drivers simply purchase liability coverage from a reputable insurance company.

Residents of San Jose can also obtain a self-insurance certificate by contacting the DMV office located in Sacramento.

Another alternative to purchasing San Jose car liability insurance is to obtain a $35,000 surety bond.

Liability coverage and other alternatives can provide protection for a driver against losses from accident-related expenses.

Residents of San Jose are not required to purchase car liability insurance if they are able to fulfill any of the alternatives.

However, to comply with California law, residents must purchase the minimum car insurance coverage:

  • $15,000 for injury or death of one person involved in a traffic accident
  • $30,000 for injury or death of more than one person involved in a traffic accident
  • $5,000 for property damages

For most drivers, it is possible to purchase more than the minimum coverage. In fact, some insurance experts suggest doing so to avoid out-of-pocket expenses not covered by an insurance policy.

Drivers can get the most for their money by shopping around. Comparing prices helps to find an insurance policy that meets state law requirements and fits a budget.

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National Companies Licensed to Sell San Jose Car Insurance

There are several national companies licensed to sell state car insurance in San Jose. Residents have the option of contacting the companies directly or choosing a local agent or insurance agency.

Some of the car insurance companies accessible to residents in California include:

Residents can also compare car insurance online. This allows for objective information in choosing the right policy, rather than talking to an individual company representative.

Local San Jose Car Insurance Agencies

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Drivers who opt for contacting a local San Jose car insurance agency can also research several agencies. Most car insurance agencies are independent brokers who represent several different companies.

Independent brokers will search for the most affordable rate for customers, regardless of the insurance company.

Some individual agents represent one insurance company, providing rates on products from that company.

Average Cost for San Jose Car Insurance

A variety of factors can influence the car insurance rate for San Jose residents. Insurance companies may look at:

  • The driver’s occupation
  • Vehicle mileage
  • The driver’s age
  • Policy limits

Quotes will also differ among insurance companies based on the same factors.

The average car insurance cost for San Jose car insurance is an approximate annual rate of $1,500. That cost is nearly 20 percent higher than the average rate in California. 

A young person could pay between $467 and $1,600 annually; a married couple might pay between $678 and $1,500 for the same minimum liability coverage.

Another option for residents is to purchase insurance through a low-cost auto insurance program. California instituted this program for low-income residents.

The coverage amounts include:

  • $10,000 for bodily injury or death of one person, per accident
  • $20,000 for bodily injury or death of more than one person, per accident
  • $3,000 for property damage

What Residents Need to Know About Driving in San Jose


Drivers are encouraged to practice safety at all times while on the road. However, even the safest driver is subject to having a car accident.

The expanding infrastructure provides plenty of time for drivers on the roadways and highways.

On average, drivers in San Jose spend 50 minutes driving to and from work daily. The more time spent driving increases the risk of having an accident.

In 2010, 7,798 traffic accidents were reported in San Jose.

There were 44 deaths and 3,627 injuries from those accidents. A total of 2,969 of the accidents resulted in property damage.

The fatality statistics are lower than 2008, where 102 people died in a car accident.

Save Money and Time by Comparing San Jose Car Insurance Quotes

Comparing San Jose car insurance quotes provides residents options from several different companies. Comparing quotes is the best way to receive the best rates and coverage.

Using online comparison sites can also save time. Quotes from the insurance companies come to the consumer, rather than the consumer contacting several different companies.

Residents can review policy coverage options at any time that is convenient for them. More than 100 insurance companies are licensed in California and residents can narrow this scope by selecting the ones most suitable for their needs.

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