It’s not surprising that the top five cities in California with the highest insurance rates are in the Los Angeles County region. Population density, traffic congestion, high rates of motor vehicle accidents with injuries, automobile theft, hit-and-runs and a high rate of uninsured and underinsured motorists all contribute to some of the highest auto insurance premiums in the nation. Conversely, the general rule is that the lower the population density, the lower insurance rates will be. That lower population density translates into fewer thefts, hit-and-runs and accidents with injuries. Those are the major perils that auto insurance companies worry about the most.
A wide variety of factors figure into the car insurance premium equation. Some of those include where you live, your age, gender and marital status, your years of driving experience and DMV record, your claim and credit history, the vehicle type and use and how many miles you drive annually. In descending order, here are the five most costly cities in California for car insurance rates:
- Glendale: Residents of this city located just north of Los Angeles pay an average of more than $2,600 annually in car insurance premiums. Glendale also has some of the highest auto theft rates in the state. Another factor to consider is that Glendale residents carry higher than average auto loan debt.
- Los Angeles: High population density, daily miles driven auto loan debt and crime rates make Los Angeles the second most expensive city in California to insure a car in. According to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), about 40% of all reported accidents in the county are hit-and-runs.
- Palmdale: Also located north of Los Angeles in the Antelope Valley, gasoline prices in Palmdale are among the highest in all of California. Like other cities in Los Angeles County, many Palmdale residents drive into Los Angeles every day for their jobs. Risk increases with miles driven.
- Ontario: Although located in San Bernardino County, residents of Ontario put high daily mileage on their vehicles by driving into Los Angeles County at least five days a week. Ontario residents pay an average of more than $2,000 per year on car insurance.
- Thousand Oaks: Two factors make Thousand Oaks the one of the costliest car insurance cities in California. Residents of Thousand Oaks grind out some of the highest daily miles traveled in the state. They also have some of the highest auto loan debt in the state. Gasoline prices in Thousand Oaks are among the highest in California too, and they’re not going to be going down in the foreseeable future.
A driver’s history, living in a less populated area with a low crime rate and fewer average daily miles driven appear to be the pivotal factors in lower auto insurance rates in California. In areas that are less densely populated, there are simply fewer accidents and thefts. In areas of high crime, there are more vehicle accidents, thefts and hit-and-runs. On that basis, notwithstanding a few exceptions like San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, the farther north that a city in California is, the lower car insurance will be for the owner of a car who is a resident of that city.