How Much are Auto Insurance Rates for Drivers with Bad Credit in San Francisco?

This would be a much quicker read if we could simply tell you the exact car insurance company that has the cheapest coverage in California. Unfortunately, it’s just not that easy, as there are a whole bunch of unknown factors such as if you want full coverage included, the number of miles you drive in a year, what physical damage coverage deductibles you want, and citations or tickets, that all impact the cost of your policy. In this article, we will cover the best ways to avoid high prices and will hopefully give you a good beginning to your quest for cheaper car insurance.

The vehicle model you are trying to insure is one of the main factors that determines if you can find cheap auto insurance for drivers with bad credit. Vehicles with more horsepower, poor passenger safety features, or high incidents of liability claims will cost more to insure than safer models. The table below outlines auto insurance rates for a number of the cheaper automobiles to insure in California.

Cheapest Vehicles to Insure in San Francisco, CA
Vehicle Make and Model Estimated Cost for Full Coverage
Toyota Prius $1,584
Honda CR-V LX 2WD $1,643
Chevrolet Impala LS $1,660
Ford Edge Limited 2WD $1,665
Toyota RAV4 Limited 4WD $1,692
Ford Escape XLT 2WD $1,755
Honda Accord EX-L 4-Dr Sedan $1,779
Nissan Altima 2.5 S 4-Dr Sedan $1,782
Honda Odyssey EX-L W/Rear Entertainment $1,792
Ford Fusion SE 4-Dr Sedan $1,815
Ford Explorer XLT 4WD $1,839
Ford F-150 FX2 Super Cab 2WD $1,845
Dodge Ram Quad Cab SLT 4WD $1,850
Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD LTZ Crew Cab Diesel 4WD $1,934
Hyundai Sonata Limited 4-Dr Sedan $1,940
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4WD 2-Dr $1,967
Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4WD $1,975
Ford Focus SES 4-Dr Sedan $2,007
Honda Civic DX 4-Dr Sedan $2,037
Toyota Corolla LE $2,043
Toyota Camry SE $2,050
Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 2WD $2,078
Volkswagen Jetta S 4-Dr Sedan $2,083
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Prices based on single female driver age 50, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include homeowner, multi-policy, claim-free, multi-vehicle, and safe-driver. Estimates do not factor in specific location information which can decrease or increase premiums noticeably.

Based upon the rates shown, we can infer that makes and models like the Toyota Prius, Honda CR-V, and Chevrolet Impala are likely to be the less-costly vehicles to insure for people with poor credit. The cost of auto insurance will tend to be more expensive anyway because of the fact that there is more claim risk for drivers with bad credit, but generally speaking those vehicles will probably have the cheapest auto insurance rates compared to all other vehicles.

Finding low-priced insurance is hard enough, and figuring out which company quotes the most affordable car insurance rates for drivers with bad credit will require a little more work. Each company has their own unique process to determine rates, so first let’s look at the rankings for the car insurance companies with the overall cheapest rates in California.

Find Cheaper Auto Insurance with Bad Credit

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Cheapest California auto insurance companies
Rank Company Cost Per Year
1 USAA $1,143
2 Century National $1,190
3 Wawanesa $1,192
4 Nationwide $1,213
5 CSAA $1,222
6 21st Century $1,325
7 Grange $1,447
8 GEICO $1,529
9 Allied $1,541
10 Mercury $1,548
11 Progressive $1,558
12 Allstate $1,559
13 The Hartford $1,623
14 MetLife $1,638
15 Esurance $1,688
16 Unitrin $1,733
17 State Farm $1,750
18 Bristol West $1,849
19 Travelers $1,860
20 Farmers $2,006
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USAA has some of the best car insurance rates in San Francisco at around $1,143 annually. This is $508 less than the average premium paid by California drivers of $1,651. Century National, Wawanesa, Nationwide, and CSAA also qualify as some of the cheaper San Francisco, CA car insurance companies.

In the above example, if you have coverage with Wawanesa and switched to USAA, you might achieve annual savings of about $49. Customers with Nationwide may save as much as $70 a year, and CSAA insureds might lower prices by up to $79 a year.

It’s important to note that these policy rates are averages across all types of drivers and the different vehicles they drive and do not factor in a specific location for drivers with bad credit. So the insurer that is most affordable for your situation may not even be in the top 24 companies shown above. That helps illustrate why you need to get quotes using your own driver data and vehicle information.

Selecting the best insurance provider can be a challenge considering how many different companies insure vehicles in San Francisco. The rank data shown next could help you pick which auto insurance companies to look at purchasing a policy from. These rankings are only made up of companies that insure vehicles nationwide, so companies without a large exposure are not factored into these rankings.

San Francisco, CA Car Insurance Company Rankings
Company Value Customer Service Claims Customer Satisfaction A.M Best Rating Overall Score
USAA 98 100 100 94% A++ 98.6
American Family 98 89 100 86% A 95.4
AAA of Southern California 91 94 97 92% A+ 94.1
State Farm 88 93 96 90% A++ 92.4
The Hartford 94 92 90 89% A+ 91.7
AAA Insurance 88 89 95 91% A 91.2
GEICO 84 93 93 89% A++ 90.3
The General 89 91 89 88% A- 90
Titan Insurance 90 87 91 95% A+ 89.6
Progressive 84 91 93 87% A+ 89.5
Mercury Insurance 88 91 90 85% A+ 89.4
Allstate 85 90 92 88% A+ 89.3
Nationwide 87 88 84 90% A+ 88.7
Liberty Mutual 84 87 93 88% A 88.5
21st Century 85 86 87 88% A 86.7
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Data Source: Best Car Insurance Companies

The diagram below shows how different deductible levels can impact premium costs when quoting cheap insurance for drivers with bad credit. The price estimates are based on a married female driver, comprehensive and collision coverage, and no other discounts are factored in.

The chart above illustrates that a 50-year-old driver could lower rates by $360 a year by changing from a $100 deductible up to a $500 deductible, or save $544 by choosing a $1,000 deductible. Young drivers, such as the 20-year-old example, can save $896 or even more by selecting a higher deductible. When using a larger deductible, it is necessary to have spare funds to allow you to pay the extra out-of-pocket expense. This is the primary disadvantage of choosing high deductibles.

Full coverage versus liability only rates

Reducing premiums for car insurance should be important to the majority of people, and one good way to pay less for insurance for drivers with bad credit is to only buy liability coverage. The chart below shows the comparison of yearly insurance costs with and without physical damage coverage, medical payments, and uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage. The data assumes no claims or violations, $250 deductibles, single status, and no other discounts are factored in.

If averaged out across all ages, comp and collision coverage costs $3,093 per year more than just insuring for liability. At some point, about every driver wonders if buying full coverage is a waste of money. There isn’t a written rule to delete physical damage insurance, but there is a general convention. If the yearly cost for physical damage coverage is 10% or more of any settlement you would receive from your insurance company, then it’s probably a good time to buy liability coverage only.

For example, let’s assume your vehicle’s replacement cost is $6,500 and you have $1,000 policy deductibles. If your vehicle is totaled in an accident, the most your company will settle for is $5,500 after paying your deductible. If you are currently paying more than $550 a year for physical damage coverage, then it might be time to consider dropping full coverage.