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Car insurance in Los Angeles

How to get the best deal on car insurance in Los Angeles

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With so many drivers, high accident and crime rates, Los Angeles drivers pay much higher car insurance rates than in many other popular California cities. It’s not the cheapest place to live, but that doesn’t mean you should settle for expensive car insurance. We have the best insurance picks that serve LA so you can confidently find a company that’s suitable for your lifestyle.

Average car insurance costs in Los Angeles by company

We pulled quotes from multiple insurance companies for several types of drivers to get average annual car insurance costs.

CompanyGood driverSingle driverTeen driverCouple
California Capital$3,664$4,712$3,325$2,719
Mercury insurance$4,724$6,258$9,078$3,760

Cheapest car insurance in Los Angeles

You might pay more for auto insurance in Los Angeles than in other parts of California or the US, but you can make sure you’re getting the best rate with a little research. Compare the top 10 cheapest car insurance providers in Los Angeles.

CompanyAverage annual rateRead review
USAA$1,411Get a quote Read review
Geico$1,586Get a quote Read review
California Capital$1,776
Mercury Insurance$1,975
Progressive$1,979Get a quote Read review

5 best car insurance companies for Los Angeles drivers

  1. Metromile: Best for low-mileage drivers
  2. Wawanesa: Best for safe drivers
  3. Geico: Best for low rates and minimum coverage
  4. Mercury: Best for high-risk drivers
  5. State Farm: Best for personalization

Best car insurance companies for Los Angeles drivers

Whether you need personalized coverage or an affordable premium, we have the best picks for Los Angeles drivers to consider.

Metromile is best for low-mileage drivers



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If you don't like the idea of paying a high premium for a car you barely drive, then this start-up insurance company could be for you. If you drive less than 8,000 to 12,000 miles a year, Metromile could be worth checking out.

Metromile charges you based on how many miles you drive, also called per-mile coverage, instead of basing your rates based on age, marital status, or other factors. If you need to take a road trip and drive over 250 miles, know that any miles over that mark are free.

Metromile includes free rental car reimbursement and free pet injury protection if you purchase full coverage. Claims can be filed online or over the phone, and they offer an intuitive driving app that can send you city-specific parking reminders to help you avoid tickets, which is great for drivers that frequent the city.

Metromile is an BBB accredited business with an A+ plus rating, which shows that they do their due diligence to resolve issues. They didn't earn any accolades with J.D. Power, but their Trustpilot ratings currently stand at 3.8 stars – higher than any other company on this list. For tech-savvy customers, their Apple app has 4.7 stars and a 4.1 star rating on the Google store.

Wawanesa is local and best for safe drivers

Wawanesa Mutual


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In some cases, shopping with a local insurance company can yield a good deal. Wawanesa's headquarters is in San Diego, California, and they only serve a handful of states. They're known for low rates, mainly because they prefer safe drivers. To qualify for its coverage, you need a valid license for three years, no more than one minor point or at-fault accident and/or no accident-related injury claims within three years, and no DUIs.

To get their safe driver discount, you need a nearly-clean record for the past 10 years. Wawanesa has other common discounts as well, such as a military discount and a discount for bundling multiple cars and/or policies. Along with standard coverage like minimum liability and full coverage, Wawanesa has some add-ons to consider like roadside assistance and rental car coverage.

For the last two years, Wawanesa has earned Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Auto Insurers in California in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. They also earned the No 1 position for customer satisfaction in all five categories in California. Wawanesa has a 2.6 star rating on Trustpilot, which isn't ideal but also isn't rare. Wawanesa is an accredited business with the BBB and carries an A+ rating, showing they do take time to resolve customer complaints and issues.

Geico is best for low rates and minimum coverage



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If you need basic coverage to meet California's minimum insurance requirements, then Geico may be the way to go. This popular insurer is known for low rates if you purchase basic coverage. Geico also has a cutting-edge app, a large discount menu and it offers extra perks like accident forgiveness.

California doesn't allow insurance companies to base your rates on gender, so if you're a single 35-year old man or woman, you could get rates as low as $40 a month, or $480 annually, for minimum coverage. If you're in your 40s you could see rates as low as $38 per month.

Plus, Geico offers a long list of discounts such as driver safety course discount, good student, federal employee, military, safe car, senior and much more. It also offers DriveEasy, which is Geico's telematics program, where your rates are based on your driving habits.

Geico has a 3.0 star rating on Trustpilot, which is considered average, but high compared to others on our best picks for LA drivers. The BBB gave Geico an A+ rating but isn't accredited. Considering both ratings, Gecio appears to do well in attempting to resolve customer complaints. If you want the Geico mobile app, it has a 4.8 star rating on both Apple and Google.

Mercury is best for high-risk drivers



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Mercury Insurance is a smaller insurer that serves 11 states, including California. They offer standard coverage, including collision, comprehensive, roadside assistance and more. If you're an SR-22 driver and you're struggling to find coverage, Mercury may be able to help.

However, rates for Mercury Insurance aren't the lowest we've seen. If you're a single 35-year old male with a clean driving record, you may have to pay around $768/mo. Mercury has some discounts to look into if you want a lower premium, including good driver, good student, telematics (RealDrive program) and bundling discounts.

Mercury has an A- rating (the third-highest rating) with the BBB and isn't accredited with them, which frankly isn't ideal since the BBB rates how well a business resolves complaints. Its app has a 4.4 rating on the Apple Store, and 4.2 stars on the Google app store. Mercury's customer ratings on Trustpilot are at 3.0 stars, which is higher than we typically see among insurance companies. If no other insurance is willing to work with you because of a risky driving record, Mercury may be worth looking into.

State Farm is best for personalization

State Farm


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Los Angeles has a large population of luxury and expensive car owners. If you have a pricey car or just need extra, personalized coverage, State Farm is worth looking into. With over 90 years in the business, State Farm is a safe bet for all types of drivers.

State Farm offers traditional and well-rounded coverage, and is one of the highest-rated companies in the country. Add-ons include rideshare coverage, car rental coverage, travel coverage and roadside assistance. State Farm has a large network, a highly-rated app and you can get free quotes online. Their discount list includes: away at school, good student, telematics, safe car and more. With State Farm's telematics program – Safe Drive and Save – you could save up to 30% on your monthly premiums.

State Farm's Trustpilot rating stands at 1.8 stars, which is low compared to other companies on our list. A low Trustpilot rating is usually the result of multiple customer complaints, which is common in the insurance industry. However, State Farm has the highest rating from AM Best, an A++, showing that it has funds to back your claims. They aren't rated or accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), however.

How we chose these insurers

We compared customer reviews, BBB ratings, discounts offered, telematic programs, mobile app ratings, known rates and coverage offered.

State minimum car insurance requirements in Los Angeles

In LA, California, drivers are required to carry 15/30/5 in minimum liability car insurance. Broken down, this means you must have:

  • $15,000 for bodily injuries to one person
  • $30,000 for injuries to two or more people per accident
  • $5,000 for property damage liability

If you have a car loan, then you’re required to carry full coverage by your lender, which includes collision and comprehensive coverage. If you aren’t financing, then California’s minimum requirements have to be met even if you own your vehicle outright.

Finder tip: We recommend full-coverage for LA drivers

Frequent drivers may want to consider full coverage. Los Angeles has a high theft rate, experiences severe weather such as wildfires, earthquakes and accident rates are high. To protect you, your vehicle, and your wallet, having collision and comprehensive coverage offers peace of mind.

How to get cheap car insurance in Los Angeles

For many states, it’s recommended that you raise your credit score to lower your insurance rates. However, California is one of the few states that doesn’t allow your credit to influence your insurance costs. This can be both good and bad, depending on your credit situation, but there are many other tips you can try to save money on car insurance in LA.

Saving money on car insurance starts with knowing what your insurance company considers a risk, and then minimizing those risks. This can mean taking a defensive driving course (which you may be able to do online) or having anti-theft features on your vehicle. You can also adjust your coverage to fit your needs, and opt-out of coverage that doesn’t fit your lifestyle.

Consider these tips:

  • Shop with local insurers
  • Reduce your mileage
  • Get multiple online quotes
  • Pay in full, when able
  • Consider telematics if you’re a safe driver
  • Check for discounts with paperless billing and e-statements
  • Look into the state’s Low-Cost Auto Insurance program for low-income households
  • Increase your deductible for a lower payment — just be sure you have enough funds to cover expenses after an accident

Bonus California discounts

  • Good driver. 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 an active license for three years, no more than one point on your driving record in the past three years, and 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.
  • Tax rebate. If you have an eco-friendly vehicle, then you may be able to qualify for California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project. The highest possible tax rebate is $7,000, but how much you’re eligible for depends on the car.

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

Los Angeles car theft stats

If your area has a high theft rate, it can raise your insurance rates – significantly, in some cases. Theft represents a risk for you and your insurance company. The city of Los Angeles has a high theft rate, as reported by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).

2018 LA theft rate2019 LA theft rate2020 LA theft rate
405.74 rate (53,929.00 thefts)374.13 rate (49,441.00 thefts)482.35 rate (63,235 thefts)

Car thefts dipped down a little bit from 2019 to 2018, but in 2020, rose back up to double the national average theft rate, which is 246, according to Statista. California as a whole ranked fourth for theft in 2020.

Accident stats in Los Angeles

Similar to theft rates, the rate of accidents (fatal and injury) impacts your insurance rates. If your zip code has many accidents each year, then an insurance company may raise your rates compared to a “safer” area.

The NICB reported in 2017 that the county of Los Angeles had over 60,000 fatal and injury accidents combined. Compared to other counties in California, these numbers are astronomical.

County# of fatal and injury car accidents
Los Angeles63,289

What options do I have with a risky record?

If you’re a driver with a few violations on record and don’t qualify for traditional insurance, you could look into the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan. The state will place you with an insurance company willing to offer you a policy. Consider looking into this plan only after exhausting your resources with traditional car insurance companies since this plan may not offer the best coverage or rates.

What should I know about driving in Los Angeles?

Los Angeles driving means significantly more traffic to navigate than in rural parts of California. When driving through the city, keep these tips in mind.

  • Don’t drive with your phone in hand. California has strict laws that ban drivers from holding their cellphones for any reason, including using a GPS. If you need your phone for navigation, mount it on your dashboard or in the corner of your windshield in a way that doesn’t block your view.
  • Motorcycle lane-splitting is legal, with a few rules. You can drive between lanes of slow-moving or standing traffic on a motorcycle. When doing so, you should drive no more than 10 mph faster than moving traffic or 30 mph total, and never across double yellow lines.
  • Don’t toss cigarette butts out the window. Not only could you catch a fine for littering, but you could also cause a fire. The fine for littering is around $200 in LA, and subsequent offences cost more.
  • You can register your vehicle through your local DMV office. Note that most vehicles will need a smog certificate to be registered, and most vehicles need to pass a smog inspection every two years.
  • In California, insurance companies are legally able to cancel your policy midterm. If you fail to make a payment, fail to register your vehicle, provide false information on your application, file a fraudulent claim or if your driver’s licence is revoked or suspended, your insurer could cancel your coverage.
  • If you get pulled over and don’t have proof of insurance, you could be hit with a fine of a couple hundred dollars and have your vehicle impounded. If you’re involved in an accident and don’t have insurance, your driving privileges will be suspended, even if you’re not a resident of California.

    Compare cheap car insurance in California

    Los Angeles drivers pay an average of $2,238 annually for car insurance, or $186.50 monthly. At $540 above California’s average annual premium, LA city sees some of the highest car insurance rates in the state. Filter car insurance companies by roadside assistance, discounts and more to get a quote.

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    Bottom line

    Los Angeles is a hub for culture, technology and entertainment. However, while glamorous, auto insurance is a necessity. The state of California requires 15/30/5 of minimum liability insurance to drive, but if you live in LA, you may want more coverage than that. Given the high rate of vehicle accidents and high theft rate, comprehensive and collision coverage could be money well spent.

    If you’re in need of auto coverage in Los Angeles, compare more car insurance and look for an insurer that suits your needs.

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