Orange County residents pay lower automobile insurance premiums than the average Californian, according to a recent study commissioned by the website InsuranceQuotes.
Average premiums in Orange County are 6 percent less than the state average, said Laura Adams, senior analyst for InsuranceQuotes. In contrast, drivers in Los Angeles County pay can expect to pay 18 percent more than the state average for auto insurance premiums.
The average cost of auto insurance was approximately $746 per vehicle in California, according to a January 2013 report from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which based its report on 2010 premium rates. The InsuranceQuotes study used that data to analyze the effect of ZIP codes in determining the cost of auto insurance premiums.
“Insurance companies look at three main factors when calculating rates,” Adams said. “A person’s driving safety record, years of driving experience and average miles driven per year.”
Additional factors such as vehicle type (and potential for theft or vandalism) and ZIP codes also may be considered. Adams noted that California does not allow auto insurance companies to use a driver’s credit history as a price factor. California is one of three states that ban this practice.
Although Orange County residents overall pay 6 percent less than the state average, rates can vary by city and ZIP codes. Residents of Anaheim and Santa Ana pay exactly the state average, Adams said.
Santa Ana, however, had some major premium price differences within the city. For example, Adams said, drivers living in the 92703 ZIP code pay 18 percent more than drivers living in the 92705 ZIP code.
Los Angeles County has a higher population and more traffic than Orange County, which accounts for the difference in average insurance rates between the neighboring counties.