California, meet Root.

Car insurance that’s fast and easy—all at your fingertips.

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California offers some of the country’s best natural sites, from beaches in San Diego to beautiful sunsets in San Jose.


The beauty in CA can come with some of the worst traffic (we’re looking at you, Los Angeles and San Francisco). Traffic is terrible, but car insurance doesn’t have to be. That’s why Root makes it quick and easy to get a quote and update your policy online or in our app.

It’s simple.

With Root, everything can be done online or through our mobile app. That means you’re in control.

  1. Get a free quote

  2. Customize and purchase your policy

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  1. Everything car insurance, all at your fingertips.

    Root makes it easy to customize your coverage online or in the app. Add what you want—leave off what you don’t. Make policy adjustments and immediately see how any changes will impact the price of your policy. We’ll make sure you have California’s required insurance coverage. When you want to make a change, just open the app or go online to easily modify your policy. No agents or broker fees. No hassle. See all coverages.

  2. Claims as painless as possible.

    Hey, accidents happen. And they can be confusing and tense. With Root, we uncomplicate the process. Access your insurance card and submit your claim in only 5 minutes—it can all be done through our app. Or you can call one of our Customer Service Representatives. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

State Requirements

What are the minimum car insurance requirements in California?


To legally operate a vehicle in California, drivers are required to be able to pay for damages and injuries that they cause in car accidents. There are several options to show proof of financial responsibility, including buying liability insurance. California requires insurance companies to provide electronic proof of insurance information to the DMV. The DMV uses this record to verify your proof of financial responsibility.

You’re required to show proof of insurance or financial responsibility if you’re stopped by a police officer or involved in a car accident, as well as your driver’s license and car registration. You will also need proof of insurance or financial responsibility when you register your car for the first time or renew a registration.

Since California accepts electronic proof of insurance, you’ll always have legal, hassle-free proof of coverage on hand through the Root app on your phone if you don’t have your printed insurance card with you.

Liability coverage

You are required to carry Liability coverage in California if you’re unable to show any other proof of financial responsibility. If you’re found driving without insurance or proof of financial responsibility, you could face penalties.

Liability coverage helps to pay for property damage or bodily injuries that occur from a car accident you cause. It does not cover harm to you or your family members (that’s what Medical Payments are for) or your vehicle (but Collision and Comprehensive coverages do). These additional car insurance coverages can be much cheaper than the serious expenses that can come with a major accident.

Minimum required Liability coverage in CA:

  • $15,000 Bodily Injury (for injury/death to one person)

  • $30,000 Bodily Injury (for injury/death to more than one person)

  • $5,000 Property Damage

Alternatives to car insurance

If you choose not to carry insurance, you’re required by California law to show proof of financial responsibility. Options to fulfill this requirement (other than liability insurance) include:

  • A $35,000 cash deposit with the CA DMV

  • A Certificate of Self-Insurance from the DMV

  • A surety bond of $35,000 from any company licensed to do business in California

What is SR-22 insurance?

You may be legally required to file an SR-22 form (also known as SR22 insurance) from your insurance provider if your license has been suspended (or is in danger of suspension) or revoked.

SR-22 requirements vary by type of offense and number of offenses, and they may be required for a specific period of time. An SR-22 is not insurance—it’s a certification filed by your insurance company stating that you will maintain the minimum Liability insurance for a predetermined amount of time. (Root does this for free.)

Failure to maintain your insurance policy with a current SR-22 will result in another suspension of your driver's license. Essentially, the insurance company notifies the DMV that you are no longer keeping your SR-22 current and the DMV penalizes you.

Earning the Safe Driver Discount

Good drivers can save big in California. You may qualify for a 20% discount on your policy if:

  1. You have been licensed to drive for the past 3 years.

  2. During the past 3 years you have not:

    1. Had more than 1 point on your driving record due to a violation(s).

    2. Taken traffic school because of a traffic violation more than once.

    3. Been the at-fault driver in an accident that resulted in injury or death.

What other coverages does Root offer?

  1. Collision

  2. Comprehensive (including glass coverage)

  3. Medical Payments

  4. Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD)

  5. Rental Car coverage

  6. Roadside Assistance

Average Cost

What is the average cost of car insurance in California?


The car insurance rates in the Golden State are the sixth highest in the nation. Drivers in California pay an average of $1,8461 per year for their auto policy, but many people pay much more.

1,846

Average cost of car insurance in California1

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References

  1. [1]Insure.com. Annual average rates were compiled in April 2019

Additional Sources

  1. California Department of Motor Vehicles (CA DMV)

  2. California Car Insurance (Not a government agency)