How Much are Auto Insurance Rates for College Students in Riverside?

You have most likely seen the ads from auto insurance companies like Nationwide, GEICO, and Allstate that promise enormous savings. So you just need to pick one at random, right?

It’s just not that easy, however, as there are a whole bunch of unknown factors like your credit score, what liability limits you need, if you currently have coverage, and what your desired deductibles are. We will try to teach you about the best ways to avoid high prices and also should give you a good beginning to your search for cheaper coverage.

One of the many things that are used to help calculate the cost of insurance is where you choose to live. Regions with larger populations or more claims will most likely have higher rates, whereas areas with less congestion have the benefit of cheaper car insurance.

The next table sorts the most expensive cities in California for college students in which to purchase auto insurance. Riverside is ranked #13 with a yearly cost of $1,527 for the average policy, which is about $127 each month.

Car insurance prices in Riverside
Rank City Annual Premium
1 Glendale $2,142
2 Los Angeles $2,104
3 Oakland $1,755
4 San Francisco $1,693
5 Sacramento $1,669
6 Long Beach $1,610
7 Stockton $1,588
8 Fontana $1,581
9 San Bernardino $1,580
10 Garden Grove $1,570
11 Moreno Valley $1,536
12 Santa Clarita $1,533
13 Riverside $1,527
14 Modesto $1,502
15 Santa Ana $1,497
16 Anaheim $1,488
17 Fresno $1,457
18 Fremont $1,403
19 Huntington Beach $1,402
20 San Jose $1,395
21 Bakersfield $1,394
22 Irvine $1,384
23 San Diego $1,381
24 Chula Vista $1,350
25 Oxnard $1,318
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Rate quotes are estimated as vehicle location can lower or raise coverage rates substantially.

The vehicle requiring insurance is one of the main factors that determines if you can find low-priced auto insurance for college students. Vehicles with average performance, good crash test ratings, or a track record of few liability claims will cost quite a bit less to insure than fast, unsafe models. The next table shows car insurance premiums for a handful of the cheapest vehicles to buy coverage for.

Cheapest Vehicles to Insure in Riverside, CA
Make, Model, and Trim Level Estimated Cost for Full Coverage
Ford Escape XLT 2WD $2,634
Honda CR-V LX 2WD $2,642
Hyundai Elantra GLS Touring Station Wagon $2,634
Jeep Wrangler Sport 4WD 2-Dr $2,698
Toyota Prius $2,909
Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 2WD $2,932
Ford F-150 XLT Super Cab 4WD $2,971
Chevrolet Impala LS $3,091
Toyota RAV4 Sport 4WD $3,130
Toyota Tacoma Double Cab TRD Sport Package 4WD $3,169
Dodge Grand Caravan Crew $3,176
Chevrolet Malibu LT $3,169
Ford F-350 XL Super Cab 2WD $3,207
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Data based on single male driver age 20, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and California minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include safe-driver, and claim-free. Rate quotes do not factor in garaging location in Riverside, CA which can influence insurance rates substantially.

Based upon these rates, cars like the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Elantra, Jeep Wrangler, and Toyota Prius are most likely to be a few of the more affordable vehicles to insure for students in college. The price for car insurance will tend to be more expensive anyway because there is more liability exposure for college students, but in general those vehicles will tend to have the lowest insurance prices compared to other types of vehicles.

Figuring out which company offers the most affordable auto insurance rates for college students involves more work in order to find the best policy. Every car insurance company has their own unique process for setting rates, so we need to take a look at the auto insurance companies with the overall best prices in Riverside, CA.

Best Cheap Insurance Rates for College Students

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Rankings for the cheapest California auto insurance companies
Rank Company Cost Per Year
1 USAA $1,109
2 Wawanesa $1,146
3 CSAA $1,186
4 Century National $1,214
5 Nationwide $1,250
6 21st Century $1,379
7 Grange $1,491
8 Mercury $1,503
9 Progressive $1,512
10 Allstate $1,513
11 GEICO $1,529
12 Allied $1,556
13 The Hartford $1,623
14 MetLife $1,638
15 Esurance $1,688
16 Unitrin $1,699
17 State Farm $1,699
18 Bristol West $1,849
19 Travelers $1,860
20 Farmers $2,006
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USAA may offer some of the most affordable car insurance rates in Riverside at around $1,109 a year. This is $542 less than the average policy premium paid by California drivers of $1,651. Wawanesa, CSAA, Century National, and Nationwide would also be considered some of the most economical Riverside, CA insurance companies.

In this example, if you are insured with Century National and switched to USAA, you might achieve savings of in the vicinity of $105. Customers with Nationwide may save as much as $141 a year, and 21st Century customers might lower prices by up to $270 a year.

Bear in mind that those policy rates are averaged across all insureds and vehicles and are not factoring in an exact location for college students. So the insurer that has the cheapest price for you may not even be in the list above. That points out the importance of why you need to quote rates from many companies using your own specific driver information and vehicle.

Insuring your vehicle with the right company is difficult considering how many choices drivers have in Riverside. The company information displayed below can help you choose which providers you want to consider to insure your vehicles. These rankings include companies that write coverage in many states, so companies with more of a regional focus are not factored into the list.

Top 10 Major Auto Insurers Overall in Riverside

  1. USAA
  2. American Family
  3. AAA of Southern California
  4. State Farm
  5. The Hartford
  6. AAA Insurance
  7. GEICO
  8. The General
  9. Titan Insurance
  10. Progressive

The diagram below shows how choosing a deductible can impact insurance costs when getting quotes for cheap insurance for college students. The data assumes a married male driver, full physical damage coverage, and no discounts are factored in.

The chart above illustrates that a 30-year-old driver could pocket $476 a year by changing from a $100 deductible to a $500 deductible, or save $718 by selecting a $1,000 deductible. Young drivers, like the age 20 example, could possibly save up to $1,434 annually by selecting a higher deductible. If you do raise deductibles, it’s a good idea to have plenty of money set aside to satisfy the extra out-of-pocket expense, which deters some people from using high deductibles.

Liability only or full coverage

Lowering the price of auto insurance should be important to the majority of vehicle owners, and a great way to reduce the cost of insurance for college students is to not buy full coverage. The diagram below visualizes the comparison of auto insurance costs with and without physical damage coverage, medical payments, and uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage. The information is based on no violations or claims, $100 deductibles, marital status is single, and no discounts are applied to the premium.

If averaged out across all ages, full coverage on your policy costs $3,385 per year over and above liability coverage. That is a significant amount which raises the question if full coverage is worth the money. There is no set rule for phasing out full coverage, but there is a general guideline. If the annual cost of having full coverage is about 10% or more of any settlement you would receive from your insurance company, then you may need to consider dropping full coverage.

For example, let’s assume your vehicle’s replacement cost is $7,500 and you have $1,000 full coverage deductibles. If your vehicle is totaled in an accident, the most your company will settle for is $6,500 after the deductible is paid. If you are paying more than $650 a year for comprehensive and collision coverage, then it could be time to drop full coverage.

Why you should be shopping around

California auto insurance rates are calculated based on many things that can increase the price you have to pay for coverage. Simply getting older, having a teenage driver, or getting a driving violation may generate price changes that may make certain companies more affordable than before. Additionally, companies change rates as needed to adjust for heavy claims or excess profits. Heavier than normal losses may cause higher prices, while a better loss history may result in more affordable Riverside car insurance rates.

To help illustrate this point, the data below shows the company with the cheapest car insurance in Riverside, CA for a 35-year-old male driver with a clean driving record, no accidents, and good financial standing. If we estimate prices based on his current risk factors, USAA quotes the most affordable car insurance rates in Riverside at $1,261 per year. This is $390 less than the average policy premium paid by California drivers of $1,651. Wawanesa, CSAA, Century National, and Nationwide are the remaining best Riverside, CA auto insurance companies.

In the next rate comparison, we’ll give the driver from the first rate comparison a chargeable claim, a lower credit score, and a couple of points charged on his driving record. Because each company has a different formula for determining prices, analyzing rates most likely will result in a slightly different list of the cheapest companies as shown below.

Grange now has the cheapest car insurance in Riverside, CA with Mercury, Allstate, Progressive, and GEICO also being competitive. This illustrates why California drivers need to perform an extensive rate comparison when trying to find the cheapest insurance quotes for college students. Auto insurance prices are calculated by many things and can change without notice, so the most economical option three years ago may now be one of the higher cost companies.