How to get the best deal on car insurance in Los Angeles
LA is known for being one of most congested traffic capitals in the country. With so many drivers, accidents and high crime rates, Los Angeles also has much higher car insurance rates than many other cities. So before you pick a car insurance policy in LA, do a little research first to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck in this high-traffic town.
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Compare car insurance in Los Angeles
Average car insurance costs in Los Angeles
Los Angeles has some of the highest car insurance rates in the state, with drivers paying on average $2,238 annually. The average annual cost of car insurance in the state of California is $1,968.
Why is car insurance so expensive in Los Angeles?
A few factors contribute to LA’s sky-high car insurance rates.
- High traffic congestion
- High auto accident rate
- High crime rate
Cheapest car insurance in Los Angeles
Although you’ll likely pay more for auto insurance in Los Angeles than in other parts of California, and many other parts of the country, you can still do a little research to make sure you’re getting the best rate possible. Compare the top 10 cheapest car insurance providers in Los Angeles.
|Company||Average annual rate||Read review|
How to get cheap car insurance in Los Angeles
- Drive a modest car. If cutting costs on your car insurance payment is important to you, that trusty Toyota Camry is going to score you better rates than a flashy sports car.
- Compare local companies with nationwide competitors. Take Wawanesa General, for example. This local company has some of the lowest car insurance rates available in LA, even compared to big-name competitors.
- Be a safe driver. Drivers with fewer accidents and traffic tickets will likely get a better rate than those with a not-so-perfect driving record.
- Equip your car with anti-theft devices. Since LA’s high crime rate pushes car insurance premiums higher, using anti-theft devices like steering wheel locks and even built-in car alarms could help you save.
- Be on the lookout for discounts. Lots of car insurance providers offer discounts when you bundle home and auto insurance together, or when you add more than one vehicle to your policy. Some Los Angeles employers may even offer deals on car insurance as a perk.
How can I get the California Good Driver Discount?
If you live in the state of California, you could save 20% on car insurance if you qualify for its state-mandated Good Driver Discount. To qualify, you’ll need to have:
- Had a license for at least three years
- No more than one point on your driving record in the past three years
- Not been found at fault for a car accident that caused a death or more than $1,000 in property damage over the past three years
Coverage costs in Los Angeles
If finding the lowest possible car insurance rates in Los Angeles is your goal, you can search for policies that offer only the state minimum requirements with no bells and whistles. But if you do find yourself in an accident or natural disaster, you could end up paying substantially more out of pocket if you go with a bare bones policy.
Jumping from a policy with just the state minimum requirements up to a low liability coverage policy that includes uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage could more than double your annual premium. However, the difference between low, medium and high liability coverage is only a few hundred dollars. Make your decision based on what you can afford, what kind of car you drive, your accident history and whether you have other family members on your policy.
|Coverage level||Average annual rate||Coverage details|
|State minimum coverage||$917|
Who pays more for car insurance, drivers in Los Angeles or San Francisco?
Los Angeles and San Francisco are two of the most congested cities in California, and they’re also home to some of the highest car insurance rates in the state. LA drivers will generally pay an average of $264 more per year than San Francisco drivers, but this can vary based on your ZIP code and address.
State minimum requirements in Los Angeles
To legally drive in California, you’ll need liability insurance that includes at least:
- Bodily injury liability. $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident
- Property damage liability. $5,000 per accident
You may see this written as 15/30/5 when shopping around for car insurance.
Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage protects you if you have an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance. California is an opt-out state, so insurance companies are required to offer you UIM insurance, and you must sign a waiver to opt out of carrying it.
What additional coverage should I get in Los Angeles?
Although these coverage options are optional in the state of California, you might want to add them to your policy if you have a regular commute in Los Angeles.
- Collision coverage. Because of the sheer number of vehicles that travel congested roadways throughout the city every day, the rate of auto accidents in Los Angeles is much higher than in many other parts of the country, and more than double the accident rate in any other city in SoCal. Collision coverage provides protection against the loss or damage of your vehicle in the event of an accident.
- Comprehensive coverage. Unfortunately, LA is known for its high crime rates, which are over 30% higher than in the rest of the state. You might want to add comprehensive coverage to your policy to cover loss or damage to your car in the event of theft, vandalism, fire, riot, earthquake and more.
What should I know about driving in Los Angeles?
Driving in Los Angeles is similar to driving in other parts of the state, except for the fact that there’s going to be significantly more traffic here than in rural areas. When driving through Los Angeles, keep these tips in mind.
- Don’t drive with your phone in your hand. A strict law was recently passed in California that bans drivers from holding their cellphones while driving for any reason, including using GPS. If you need to use your phone for navigation, mount it on your dashboard or in the lower right-hand or left-hand corner of your windshield. Make sure it doesn’t obstruct your view and only use one finger to swipe your screen.
- Motorcycle lane splitting is now legal, but there are some rules. You can now legally drive between lanes of slow-moving or standing traffic on a motorcycle, but only driving no more than 30 mph or 10 mph faster than moving traffic and never across double yellow lines.
- Keep your eyes peeled for delivery trucks in the mornings. If you’re driving downtown in morning traffic, you’ll quickly notice that the right-hand lane is pretty popular for delivery trucks. Before moving over and speeding up in the mysteriously clear right lane, look up a couple of blocks to see if there are any stopped trucks blocking the lane.
- Child seats must be rear-facing. Car seats must face the rear of the vehicle until a child is at least 2 years old, 40 inches tall or 40 pounds.
- Don’t toss cigarette butts out the window. Not only could you catch a fine for littering if caught, but you could also cause a fire on LA’s busy roadways.
Which cars are popular in Los Angeles?
You might think that flashy sports cars would be the most popular choices among LA residents, but the opposite is true. The majority of Los Angeles drivers go for fuel-efficient, eco-friendly, practical cars. Sure, you might also see a few Mercedes-Benz out on the road, but surveys show that the majority of LA’s luxury cars are leased, not owned.
If you’re driving around town, you’re likely to see a whole lot of these vehicles.
Car insurance in Los Angeles
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If you live in Los Angeles, you’re probably used to a higher cost of living for just about every expense, including car insurance. But the good news is that you can find reasonable rates with quality coverage if you do a little digging and can qualify for some discounts.
Start your search by comparing car insurance with your current policy and rate to see if you can find a better deal.