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The "Farmers Insurance Newsalert" website is dedicated to providing the consumer and general public with detailed information concerning the Farmers Insurance Group, including fraud reports, consumer complaints, lawsuit's and other legal actions taken against this company. All information contained herein is for educational purposes only. Original sources are sited.

 

Tuesday, February 2, 1993
Home Edition
Section: Business
Page: D-2

L.A. Again Leads Auto Insurance Rate Survey;
Personal finance: The government study also finds wide disparities
between companies.

By: THOMAS S. MULLIGAN
TIMES STAFF WRITER



Los Angeles County continues to be by far the most expensive place in California to insure a car, with Orange County second, according to the state Insurance Department's annual price survey of California's 14 largest auto insurers.

The survey, released Monday, once again demonstrates that rates can vary by more than 100% from company to company for identical coverage in the same community. It also shows that a poor driving record can cause the cost of insurance to double.

Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi said the survey shows that auto insurance is generally "too expensive, unfair and arbitrary."

Garamendi didn't address the question on Monday, but insurance experts said Los Angeles and Orange counties are more expensive than other areas because of their relatively larger proportion of uninsured drivers and because their population density results in more accidents. Garamendi said his department is studying ways to revamp the auto insurance pricing system so that geography will play a smaller role in determining premiums, with such factors as driving record, number of miles driven and number of years experience getting greater emphasis. In the meantime, Garamendi continues to back no-fault insurance as a means of reducing auto insurance costs, in part by eliminating costly litigation.

For its survey, the department asked the insurers for premium quotes for each of eight California regions and for each of six hypothetical examples of coverage. The results showed huge company-to-company and region-to-region disparities.

In one of the hypothetical examples, a 30-year-old Los Angeles County motorist with a clean driving record would pay $674 a year for basic coverage from 20th Century Insurance Co. The same coverage from GEICO, however, would cost $1,449.

In Los Angeles County, a 30-year-old with a clean record would pay an average premium of $968. The same coverage would cost an average of $647 in Orange County, $535 in the San Bernadino/Riverside area and $440 in the central region that includes Ventura County. The lowest average price for such coverage is $416, in the largely rural Northern California region, according to the survey.

The statewide average annual premium for a 30-year-old with no violations is $556; with one accident and one traffic ticket, the price jumps to $1,198.

Of the insurers surveyed, 20th Century Insurance Co., Safeco Insurance Cos. and State Farm Insurance Group were found to have the lowest rates on average, Garamendi said, and GEICO, Farmers Insurance Group and Fireman's Fund Insurance Group had the highest rates. Farmers said in a statement that such price comparisons can be misleading and that the survey released Monday "focuses on examples which are not representative of the kind of auto insurance purchased by the majority of Farmers' customers, nor of California's consumers."

Farmers noted that four of the department's six examples involve the minimum coverage required by law, whereas most of its customers--and most motorists statewide--opt for more comprehensive coverage. Auto Insurance Survey

Average annual premiums for California's 12 largest auto insurers, using six examples.

1. Male/female, age 65, no violations, pleasure use, 7,500 annual miles, liability coverage.
2. Male/female, age 30, no violations, 12,000 annual miles, liability coverage.
3. Male/female, age 30, one speeding ticket and one at-fault accident, 12,000 annual miles, liability coverage.
4. Youthful male, age 19, 15,000 annual miles, liability coverage.
5. Single female, age 38, principal operator, no violations, licensed 22 years, 16,000 annual miles, 1991 Honda LX ....4-door.
6. Husband/wife, ages 45/43, principal operators, one speeding ticket each, 17-year-old son occasional operator, 1991 Toyota Camry & 1992 Dodge Caravan.

State Farmer's Allstate
Region Example Farm Group Group CSAA
Los Angeles 1 502 1,092 779 N/A
2 696 1,492 1,014 N/A
3 N/A N/A N/A N/A
4 N/A N/A N/A N/A
5 1,933 2,372 2,309 N/A
6 5,381 N/A 6,103 N/A
Orange County 1 335 636 557 N/A
2 467 881 703 N/A
3 N/A N/A N/A N/A
4 N/A N/A N/A N/A
5 1,341 1,410 1,633 N/A
6 3,748 N/A 4,355 N/A
Riverside/ 1 296 527 469 N/A
San Bernardino 2 412 726 590 N/A
3 N/A N/A N/A N/A
4 N/A N/A N/A N/A
5 1,319 1,370 1,540 N/A
6 3,661 N/A 4,024 N/A
San Diego 1 242 453 380 N/A
2 337 625 469 N/A
3 N/A N/A N/A N/A
4 N/A N/A N/A N/A
5 1,134 1,161 1,324 N/A
6 3,153 N/A 3,419 N/A
Central 1 206 421 363 359
California 2 286 593 447 406
(includes Ventura County) 3 N/A N/A N/A 747
4 N/A N/A N/A 1,084
5 1,020 1,095 1,242 1,246
6 2,801 N/A 3,218 3,193
20th
Region AAA Century
Los Angeles 720 540
884 674
1,918 N/A
2,266 N/A
1,908 1,558
5,220 N/A
Orange County 562 335
672 416
1,427 N/A
1,690 N/A
1,395 1,035
3,855 N/A
Riverside/ 477 316
San Bernardino 564 393
1,163 N/A
1,365 N/A
1,279 1,062
3,395 N/A
San Diego 428 253
492 308
1,005 N/A
1,187 N/A
1,112 813
2,964 N/A
Central 474 244
California 552 296
(includes Ventura County) 1,151 N/A
1,364 N/A
1,179 868
3,226 N/A
Mercury Safeco Calif. Hartford
Region Example General Group Casualty GEICO Fire
Los Angeles 1 851 581 609 1,041 711
2 855 658 804 1,449 1,182
3 1,633 N/A 1,689 4,006 1,793
4 2,071 1,498 4,647 4,190 3,581
5 2,141 1,668 2,112 2,537 3,232
6 4,280 4,543 7,009 10,069 9,316
Orange County 1 573 437 411 639 441
2 577 495 543 886 757
3 1,086 N/A 1,138 2,459 1,119
4 1,415 1,127 3,130 2,571 2,236
5 1,375 1,293 1,400 1,593 2,047
6 2,799 3,500 4,659 6,354 5,912
Riverside/ 1 520 310 345 487 382
San Bernardino 2 523 350 456 675 652
3 985 N/A 957 1,873 960
4 1,276 793 2,803 1,959 1,194
5 1,363 1,009 1,291 1,320 1,863
6 2,763 2,675 4,274 5,220 5,371
San Diego 1 484 297 295 428 351
2 488 336 389 593 596
3 918 N/A 820 1,644 877
4 1,177 761 2,226 1,720 1,752
5 1,290 991 1,081 1,135 1,712
6 2,604 2,616 3,536 4,505 4,933
Central 1 404 292 258 410 330
California 2 406 330 341 569 569
(includes 3 757 N/A 719 1,577 829
Ventura 4 964 747 1,931 1,644 1,653
County) 5 1,047 960 913 1,104 1,633
6 2,103 2,542 3,002 4,370 4,697
Region Fireman's Fund
Los Angeles 888
1,214
2,083
2,320
2,128
6,018
Orange County 606
821
1,395
1,552
1,802
5,316
Riverside/ 548
San Bernardino 740
1,255
1,395
1,592
4,680
San Diego 408
545
913
1,013
1,551
4,820
Central 451
California 606
(includes 1,019
Ventura 1,132
County) 1,527
4,638
N/A: Policy not available

Policy limits for Examples 1-4: Bodily injury, 15,000/30,000; property damage, 5,000; medical payments, 2,000; uninsured motorist/bodily injury, 15,000/30,000; uninsured motorist/property damage, 3,500 Policy limits for Examples 5-6: Bodily injury, 100,000/300,000; property damage, 50,000; medical payments, 5,000; uninsured motorist/bodily injury, 30,000/60,000; uninsured motorist/property damage 3,500; comprehensive deductible, $100; collision deductible, $200.

Source: State Department of Insurance


GRAPHIC-TABLE: Auto Insurance Survey

Type of Material: Includes List; Poll or Survey

Descriptors: INSURANCE INDUSTRY -- CALIFORNIA; AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE; INSURANCE RATES; STATISTICS; CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE

Copyright (c) 1993 Times Mirror Company

 

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