Los Angeles and its surrounding cities have the most expensive car insurance in California. But don’t fret. Even if you live in one of the most expensive ZIP codes for California car insurance, you can cut your rate by 50 percent or more in some cases just by shopping around, according to our rate analysis.
Drivers in Los Angeles ZIP code 90010 pay the highest average car insurance rate in California, $2,552 a year, according to a survey of rates from six major carriers for nearly all ZIP codes in the state. But the difference between the highest rate ($3,680) for that ZIP and the lowest ($1,523) is $2,157.
Why comparing car insurance quotes saves you money
No two car insurance companies will charge you the same amount even for identical coverage. That’s because insurers use different formulas to calculate what you pay. If you don't shop around to compare prices, you can't save. To see how other Los Angeles car insurance rates compare for three coverage levels and six age groups, use our average rates tool below.
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CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average auto insurance rates for a 2016 Honda Accord for nearly every ZIP code in the United States. We calculated rates using data for up to six large carriers (Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm).
Averages for the default result are based on insurance for a married 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/100 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $100,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage.
Averages for customized rates are based on drivers ages 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70 for the following coverage levels: state minimum liability, liability of 50/100/50 and 100/300/100 with $500 deductible on comprehensive and collision. These hypothetical drivers have clean records and good credit. Average rates are for comparative purposes.
Your own rate will depend on your personal factors and vehicle.
State Minimum: Required liability coverage to drive legally in your state; some states mandate additional coverage, such as personal injury protection, uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist.
Liability Only 50/100/50: $50,000 per person/$100,000 maximum per accident for bodily injury; $50,000 for property damage. Liability pays for injuries/damage you cause others.
Full Coverage 100/300/100: $100,000 per person/$300,000 maximum per accident for bodily injury; $100,000 for property damage; comprehensive and collision coverage with $500 deductible. Liability pays for injuries/damage you cause others. Comprehensive and collision pay for damage to your car.
Most expensive and least expensive ZIP codes for LA car insurance
The most expensive ZIP code in Los Angeles for car insurance is in the central part of the city, the Koreatown area. With 42,611 people per square mile, among the highest densities for the city and among the highest for the county, according to the L.A. Times, there are likely more accidents in this area due to the sheer amount of people living in this neighborhood.
On the other hand, the cheapest ZIP code for car insurance is 90045 in Westchester in the South Bay area of the city. The population density there is just 3,839 people per square mile, among the lowest densities for the city of Los Angeles.
10 most expensive ZIP codes for LA car insurance
Average annual rate
10 least expensive ZIP codes for LA car insurance
Average annual rate
Cheapest car insurance in Los Angeles
Los Angeles car insurance requirements
California state law requires the following minimum car insurance coverage:
Minimum bodily injury liability
Minimum property damage liability
If you need just enough insurance to get by, you’ll want to shop for the lowest liability limits your insurer offers. This will be the state minimum required to drive legally. In California, (written as 15/30/5) that means your liability car insurance would pay up to:
$15,000 for injuries you cause to others
$30,000 per accident
$5,000 for damage you cause to others' cars and property
To see rates for the cheapest auto insurance in LA, select state minimum from the rate tool above.
Cheap car insurance companies in Los Angeles
Geico offers the most affordable rates, based on our analysis. You'll see in the chart below how major insurers ranked on price for three different coverage levels for LA drivers.
*Rates were fielded by Quadrant Information Services from up to six major insurers in nearly every ZIP code in Los Angeles. Driver profile: male, age 40, married, clean record and good credit, driving 2016 Honda Accord.
Best car insurance in Los Angeles
The cheapest policy isn’t always the best. If you need enough car insurance coverage to make sure your home, savings and business are securely protected, you should buy liability insurance in the following amounts:
$100,000 to pay for others’ medical bills
$300,000 to pay for injuries to others in an accident you cause
$100,000 to pay for damage to others’ propert
You should also consider buying these optional coverages:
Comprehensive, which replaces stolen cars and covers damage to your car from floods, fire, hail, vandalism.
Collision, which pays for damage to your car from accidents.
Comprehensive insurance and collision coverage are not super expensive. In California, comprehensive costs $98 and collision costs $361 on average per year, according to the Insurance Information Institute. These two coverages, unlike liability insurance, come with a deductible. That’s the amount you pay before your insurance kicks in. Insurers usually offer deductibles of $1,000, $500 and $250. The higher the deductible is, the lower your rate will be.
The average rate for a year of minimum coverage in California for a male driver, age 40 with good credit and clean driving record is $491, according to our rate analysis. If you bumped up your liability coverage to 50/100/50, the average rate would increase by just $101 to $592. That’s less than $9 a month.
Driving in L.A.
Traffic in Los Angeles: The city and nearby areas came in second for the worst traffic in the country in a recent report by USA Today, which notes that drivers spend about 80 hours a year stuck in traffic.
Car crashes: Major accidents have resulted in an average of 230 deaths a year in recent years (2012-2014).
Commuting: The average commute in Los Angeles lasts 28.6 minutes.
High Occupancy Vehicle rules: The HOV lane, also known as the carpool or diamond lane, is designed to reduce traffic congestion and promote ride-sharing on freeways. In the Los Angeles area, only vehicles with at least two people, mass transit vehicles like buses, and motorcycles are allowed. The lanes are open 24/7.
Public transportation: The U.S. Census Bureau says that the majority of riders in Los Angeles who commute to work by public transportation are white (about 11 percent), Hispanic (about 71 percent) and black (about 9 percent). The bureau notes that commuting is the main reason people use mass transit.
Smog rules: All California residents must have their vehicles tested for emissions at a licensed smog testing center every two years to renew registration. Vehicles that are six years old or less are exempt from testing. New California residents must have an initial inspection for registration, even if they have a current smog certificate from their previous state.
Bad drives: There are many in this freeway-webbed city, but driving on the 10 or 110 freeways in or near the downtown area, especially during rush hour, can reduce life to a crawl.
The information was gathered from various sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, state transportation departments and city police departments.