Los Angeles is infamous for its gridlocked, bumper-to-bumper traffic jams and iconic roadside landscapes. With so many drivers on the road, accidents are bound to occur, and that’s why maintaining proper auto insurance is not only essential, but it’s also required by California law.
In 2016, more than 87% of Los Angeles households owned a vehicle, with 1.62 vehicles per household on average.
Compared to the state of California and the remaining United States, car insurance rates in Los Angeles are higher than average. Although the average cost of auto insurance in the U.S. hovers around $1,569, Los Angeles insurance premium averages are quite higher at $2,510. California’s state average falls in-between at $1,748.
There are a range of factors that play into how much Los Angeles auto insurance will cost, including the location of your residence, your age and your credit rating. A few of LA’s most popular auto insurance carriers include Esurance, Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group, Ameriprise and Geico.
While shopping for auto insurance in Los Angeles, it’s essential to be aware of the state minimum coverage requirements. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, you must uphold the following liability coverages:
- $5,000 for property damage
- $15,000 for injury or death of one person per accident
- $30,000 for injury or death of 2 or more persons per accident
Evidence of up-to-date insurance coverage must be carried in the vehicle and available at all times. An auto insurance card can count as this evidence and must include the insurance company’s name and address, as well as the dates of coverage and your insurance policy number.
As you browse potential auto insurance policies in the Los Angeles area, think about the amount of coverage you’ll require based on your typical driving distances and time spent driving, the level of safety your neighborhood provides for your parked vehicle, your vehicle’s value, and your existing coverage.
Best car insurance companies in Los Angeles
Though Esurance tends to have higher than average insurance premium costs, it more than makes up for it in customer satisfaction. Rated as a top insurance carrier in California by J.D. Power, Esurance ranks among the best with a customer satisfaction score of 847 out of a possible 1,000 points. Esurance coverage includes damages caused by motor vehicle accidents, plus damages in the event of fires or vandalism. They also feature a variety of insurance discounts, and they’re financially backed by Allstate.
Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group
The Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group offers car insurance policies to drivers in Southern California only. Top customer benefits include being a financially-secure company that maintains AAA network connections. Drivers insured with this company may receive travel benefits through AAA and be eligible for roadside assistance when needed. J.D. Power reports that the company is better than most, with a customer satisfaction score of 834 out of 1,000.
Though this auto insurance carrier is not yet accredited by Consumer Affairs, J.D. Power ranks it as one of the best in the California region, with a customer satisfaction score of 830 out of 1,000, qualifying it as better than most. Customers enjoy Ameriprise’s quick and easy claims process, more affordable prices, and outstanding customer service.
Although Geico receives low marks for not offering discounts for hybrid or electric vehicles, the auto insurance giant scores higher when it comes to their competitive rates, quick claims process and easy-to-use online system. Among the California region, J.D. Power rates Geico as being better than most with a score of 825 out of 1,000.
Los Angeles driving facts
- Major highways & toll roads
- Los Angeles is home to several major highways, including the Pacific Coast Highway, Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard. Drivers can also utilize toll roads such as the I-10 Metro Express Lane and the I-110 Metro Express Lane.
- Carpool & high-occupancy vehicle lanes
- Because LA’s roadways are infamously congested, drivers are advised to take advantage of carpool lanes, which require 2-3+ occupants per vehicle.
- Though there are only 36 rainy days resulting in an average of 13 inches of rain per year in Los Angeles, bad weather still causes over 700,000 automobile accidents per year. Beyond wet roadways, LA drivers face risks for wildfires and earthquakes, though these events are sporadic.
- The city of Los Angeles features a range of parking options, from flat-rate garages to valet parking to both free and metered street parking.
- Look for free street parking in LA suburbs or on side streets in residential areas, but beware you may need a residence permit.
- Meter parking is available throughout the city. Most meters now accept credit card payments.
- Most hotels, restaurants and shopping centers offer valet parking service, which is a convenient option when you’re in a hurry or attending an event.
- Look for flat-rate parking garage and lot options near venues like the LA Convention Center.
Average cost of car insurance in Los Angeles
The cost of Los Angeles insurance can vary depending on a variety of driver-specific factors, including marital status and gender, age, recent accidents or traffic violations and the location in which you live.
- Marital status
- Your marital status can actually play a role in determining the cost of your Los Angeles insurance premium rate. Single and divorced drivers average car insurance premiums of $2,510, while married drivers pay slightly less with an average of $2,393 per year. Widowed drivers’ insurance costs fall in the middle, with an average annual premium costing $2,404.
- There’s only a very slight difference between the average Los Angeles auto insurance prices when comparing men and women. Female drivers in Los Angeles average yearly auto insurance costs of $2,517, just above the male driver average of $2,510.
- By far, the most significant factor that can attribute to higher premiums in Los Angeles is the age of the driver. Teenage drivers with Los Angeles insurance pay nearly three times as much as all other aged drivers. Teenagers pay an average of $9,287 per year on auto insurance. The annual premium price tag drops significantly per decade, with drivers in their 70s averaging annual insurance costs of $1,866.
- Almost as consequential on auto insurance premiums as age is the type of accidents or violations a driver has incurred in recent years. Drivers previously charged with DUI or reckless driving violations average paying $7,034 for Los Angeles insurance. Drivers who have received speeding tickets for traveling 16-20 miles per hour over the limit average paying $3,418 per year for car insurance.
- Geographic location
- Finally, your ZIP code can play a role in determining exactly how much you’ll pay per year for Los Angeles auto insurance. ZIP codes with the cheapest auto insurance include 90045, 90040, 90022, 90101 and 90103. ZIP codes with the most expensive auto insurance rates include 90006, 90057, 90005, 90010 and 90020. These discrepancies may be due to crime and theft rates, as well as the neighborhood’s rate of uninsured motorists.
Car insurance discounts in Los Angeles
- Multi-car/bundling discount
- If you have more than one vehicle or you’re interested in other policies like life insurance or renter’s insurance, ask your Los Angeles auto insurance carrier about a multi-car or bundling discount.
- Anti-theft discount
- Many auto insurance carriers offer insurance discounts in cities like Los Angeles when your vehicle has anti-theft devices to protect it from being broken into and burglarized. Though the savings may not be worth the price of installing new anti-theft devices, if your car is already equipped with alarms, steering wheel locks or window etchings, be sure to ask your insurance provider about potential discounts.
- Good driver discount
- If you haven’t been involved in a recent automobile accident or traffic violation, you could qualify for a good driver discount, depending on your auto insurance carrier.
- Low mileage discounts
- Motorists who drive 5,000-15,000 miles per year or less can typically qualify for a low-mileage discount. Since you’re on the road less often, your insurance premium could be less expensive.
Frequently asked questions
What is the cheapest car insurance in Los Angeles?
Though Los Angeles insurance rates can widely vary depending on a range of driver-specific factors, the most affordable auto insurance premiums tend to be offered by Ameriprise. They’re one of the best insurance providers for drivers operating on a tighter budget.
Must I still keep proof of auto insurance in my vehicle if my insurance provider is electronically reporting my information to the DMV?
Yes, you must always have evidence of current vehicle insurance coverage in your automobile at all times. This is essential in the event you are pulled over by a police officer or involved in a car accident.
What if I cannot afford liability insurance coverage in California?
Operating or even parking any vehicle requires auto insurance coverage in the state of California. Drivers of certain income levels can apply for the California Low-cost Automobile Insurance Program if they cannot afford traditional car insurance.