Advertisement

L.A. Auto Insurance Is Still Costliest in the State : Premiums: Orange County is the second highest, and an area that includes San Bernardino and Riverside is No. 3, a survey says.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Declaring that drivers in Los Angeles County are “getting badly ripped” off, Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi on Thursday released a survey that showed that automobile premiums for the county remain the highest in the state.

Insurance premiums for Orange County ranked second highest in the annual survey, followed by premiums for a region that includes San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

Garamendi, during a press conference in Los Angeles, cited high premiums as further proof that insurance reform is needed. He advocates a no-fault system that he says will eliminate costly litigation and result in lower premiums.

The no-fault system is opposed by the powerful California Trial Lawyers Assn., whose members stand to lose a big chunk of their income if lawsuits are curtailed. An attempt to enact a no-fault system was defeated in September in Sacramento, and prospects of getting new legislation approved soon are considered remote.

Advertisement

The survey shows that Los Angeles County drivers pay roughly twice as much for liability coverage as drivers in San Diego County. A 30-year-old driver with no traffic violations would pay an average of $934 for liability coverage in Los Angeles County, while the same person living in San Diego County would pay $452.

The same driver would pay an average of $630 in Orange County and $531 in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

The survey is based on premiums charged by the state’s 12 largest auto insurers. The Insurance Department based its rankings on liability premiums charged for six types of drivers, varying by age, marital status and driving record.

Insurance industry representatives criticized the survey, saying that it didn’t accurately reflect the comprehensive policies held by most drivers. Farmers Insurance Co., the company with the highest premiums in the survey, said its rates are more competitive when package policies that include collision damage and other features are compared.

Advertisement

“We’re the second-largest insurer in the state,” Farmers spokesman John Millen said. “People have shopped around, and they’ve chosen us.”

United Services Automobile Assn., which insures only former and current military officers and their dependents, offers the lowest premiums in most categories in the survey.

The survey also compared insurance premiums paid by residents in different parts of the county. As revealed in past surveys, people who live in the poorest parts of Los Angeles County pay the highest rates for liability coverage. The average premium paid by a 30-year-old driver with no traffic violations in South-Central Los Angeles is $1,405. The same person would pay $659 in affluent Palos Verdes.

The disparity is evident in other regions of the state, although it does not appear to be as great. A 30-year-old driver with no violations in affluent Irvine pays an average of $595 for liability insurance, compared to $678 in Westminster.

Auto Insurance Survey

Average premiums by region for the 12 largest auto insurers, using six examples.

1. Male/female, age 65, no violations, pleasure use, liability coverage.

2. Male/female, age 30, no violations, 12,000 miles annually, liability coverage.

Advertisement

3. Male/female, age 30, 1 speeding violation, 12,000 miles annually, liability coverage.

4. Male/female, age 30, 1 speeding ticket and 1 at-fault accident, 12,000 miles annually, liability coverage.

5. Male, age 18, no violations, principal operator licensed two years, 5,000 miles annually, liability coverage.

6: Husband/wife, ages 45/43, principal operators; son, age 17, occasional operator, no violations, two standard cars with full coverage.

State Farmer’s Allstate 20th Region Example Farm Group Group CSAA AAA Century

1 $529 $1,092 779 -- $720 $581 Angeles 2 736 1,492 1,014 -- 930 715 3 795 1,807 1,121 -- 1,255 715 4 1,215 2,652 1,931 -- 1,982 -- 5 2,299 3,861 1,967 -- 2,009 -- 6 5,284 7,416 4,541 -- 4,248 -- Orange 1 355 636 557 -- 562 361 County 2 495 881 703 -- 704 443 3 536 1,077 779 -- 938 443 4 821 1,590 1,354 -- 1,471 -- 5 1,592 2,395 1,506 -- 1,654 -- 6 3,580 4,443 3,200 -- 3,087 -- Riverside/ 1 313 527 469 -- 477 341 San Bernardino 2 437 716 594 -- 566 410 3 472 872 657 -- 742 410 4 724 1,286 1,122 -- 1,150 -- 5 1,408 1,907 1,164 -- 1,181 -- 6 3,492 4,280 2,896 -- 2,751 -- San 1 257 442 380 -- 428 269 Diego 2 359 612 469 -- 512 328 3 388 747 516 -- 668 328 4 594 1,103 882 -- 1,034 -- 5 1,179 1,646 928 -- 1,070 -- 6 3,053 3,240 2,452 -- 2,352 -- Central 1 220 421 363 370 474 261 California 2 307 583 447 420 577 313 (includes 3 332 708 489 420 761 313 Ventura County) 4 507 1,044 837 772 1,186 -- 5 997 1,557 884 1,114 1,224 -- 6 2,670 3,318 2,324 2,673 2,600 --

Mercury USAA Safeco California Region Example General Group Group Casualty GEICO Los 1 $851 $475 $601 $745 $1,041 Angeles 2 960 586 681 899 1,226 3 1,090 631 741 1,099 1,240 4 1,792 853 -- 2,152 2,649 5 1,892 1,873 -- 3,328 3,516 6 3,922 3,788 4,434 6,823 5,671 Orange 1 573 384 437 503 639 County 2 644 473 495 624 761 3 731 509 539 741 761 4 1,189 686 -- 1,450 1,681 5 1,342 1,440 -- 2,271 2,114 6 2,507 3,050 3,236 4,398 3,509 Riverside/ 1 520 313 310 446 487 San Bernardino 2 584 379 352 554 578 3 662 407 383 657 578 4 1,103 547 -- 1,292 1,281 5 1,175 1,197 -- 2,000 1,662 6 2,477 2,693 2,476 4,048 2,877 San 1 484 284 297 387 428 Diego 2 543 349 336 481 509 3 615 374 365 571 509 4 984 504 -- 1,121 1,120 5 1,085 1,100 -- 1,739 1,466 6 2,434 2,271 2,230 3,662 2,379 Central 1 404 263 276 311 410 California 2 450 323 312 386 489 (includes 3 511 347 340 460 489 Ventura County) 4 826 466 -- 900 1,082 5 891 1,017 -- 1,395 1,406 6 1,877 2,233 2,236 2,877 2,404

Example Fireman’s Region Fund Los 1 $954 Angeles 2 1,037 3 1,146 4 1,710 5 1,800 6 5,035 Orange 1 650 County 2 704 3 776 4 1,149 5 1,209 6 4,066 Riverside/ 1 586 San Bernardino 2 632 3 696 4 1,028 5 1,081 6 3,592 San 1 435 Diego 2 471 3 517 4 756 5 794 6 3,501 Central 1 482 California 2 522 (includes 3 573 Ventura County) 4 842 5 885 6 3,381

Advertisement

Policy limits for Examples 1-5 (in thousands): Bodily injury, 15/30; Property damage, 5; Medical payments, 2; UMBI, 15/30; UMPD, 3.6

Policy limits for Example 6 (in thousands): Bodily injury, 100/300; Property damage, 50; UMBI, 30/60; UMPD, 3.5; Comprehensive deductible, $100.00; Collision deductible, $200.00

Source: Department of Insurance


Advertisement