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Report: Glendale has the highest car insurance in California

Two cars collide on S. Brand Blvd. in Glendale, California on a Saturday night.
Two cars collide on S. Brand Blvd. in Glendale, California on a Saturday night.
Photo by Chris Yarzab via Flickr Creative Commons

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If you live in Glendale, your car insurance premiums are the highest in the state.

Single drivers in Glendale paid $1,823 in 2013, 62 percent over the average cost of annual premiums for basic liability car insurance in California, according to a study by ValuePenguin, a consumer finance website. The firm's study analyzed auto insurance rates in California in 2013.

Auto insurance is determined through a variety of factors that include years of driving experience, driving safety record and the location of where their car is garaged. That location is where Glendale's high costs come into play.

The city's residents pay more for car insurance because there are more accidents that result in bodily injury there, said Ting Pen, the study's author and a co-founder of ValuePenguin. The city also has a high number of accidents with uninsured or underinsured drivers, she said.

Pen's study analyzed car insurance across 270 zip codes and 52 companies, using information from the California Department of Insurance. After Glendale, the next four highest cities for car insurance were Los Angeles, Inglewood, Culver City, and Santa Monica. The cheapest city for car insurance was Calexico, the study said.

For single car insurance, the study assumed a driver used a 2012 Toyota Camry LE with 8,000 miles.

RELATED: L.A. drivers second most accident-prone in U.S., says Allstate

Drivers in L.A. pay more than those in S.F.

In the study, many Southern California cities like Glendale, Los Angeles and Inglewood, had higher car insurance premiums than Northern California cities. For example, San Francisco placed 20th out of 210 cities, when ranked by cities with the most expensive auto insurance rates. 

Insurance Information Network of California spokesman Pete Moraga said insurance agencies base their rates on risk. 

"In Southern California, because our cities are so congested, we have so much traffic. We have higher rates of auto theft, higher rates of accidents,"  Moraga said. "In Southern California's bigger cities, you're going to see higher rates for insurance."

How consumers can reduce their car insurance

There are ways consumers can try to reduce their auto insurance costs.

Pen said consumers should shop around. She said in her research, the cost can range by as much as three times between the cheapest and most expensive auto insurance rates.

She also encouraged drivers to look for discounts. Some include lower rates for married couples, for students who get good grades and for drivers who reduce the number of miles driven in their cars. And course, there's always the good driver discount -- which can apply when a person's DMV record is free of traffic violations or accidents.

Below is a chart of the top 20 cities ranked by the amount of money spent on annual basic liability auto insurance premiums. The information is from ValuePenguin's study.

City Single Driver Married Couple % increase vs. CA average
Glendale $1,823 $1,740 62%
Los Angeles $1,623 $1,546 44%
Inglewood $1,593 $1,512 41%
Culver City $1,556 $1,492 38%
Santa Monica $1,537 $1,445 36%
Burbank $1,481 $1,406 31%
Compton $1,476 $1,413 31%
Alhambra $1,469 $1,403 30%
Hawthorne $1,455 $1,382 29%
Monterey Park $1,415 $1,342 25%
Huntington Park $1,396 $1,352 24%
Gardena $1,402 $1,325 24%
Rosemead $1,395 $1,333 24%
Carson $1,376 $1,320 22%
Altadena $1,379 $1,303 22%
Bell $1,368 $1,317 21%
South Gate $1,367 $1,312 21%
Temple City $1,363 $1,288 20%
Pasadena $1,361 $1,282 20%
San Francisco $1,355 $1,274 20%
      Source: ValuePenguin