Another Auto Insurance Report for California

Another player has entered the ranks of organizations that deliver a report relating to auto insurance in California every year.

The “2014 California Car Insurance Landscape Report” released on Tuesday is the first of many regular reports to come from WalletHub, a website that enables people to conduct searched related to personal finance.

The report ranks the state’s most and least expensive counties and cities for insurance, average annual insurance premiums by gender, and the impacts of driving records, type of coverage and usage on premiums.

WalletHub touts itself as “The Social Network for Your Wallet.”

The site is owned by Evolution Finance, the parent company of the popular Card Hub site that allows users to compare credit card rates and deals.

WalletHub also issues reports in other financial areas, and enables searches under categories like loans, banking, cards, professional services, companies and insurance.

The group’s car insurance landscape report is starting with California, but the company expects to roll out similar reports for 10 other large states within the next year, according to Liana Arnold Communications Director for WalletHub.

“We found that California, since it is the most populous state, has the most information to offer,” Arnold said when asked why the online aggregator started with the Golden State.

There’s a growing number of similar sites offering similar information, like ValuePenguin, a consumer finance website, which came out with a study last month that showed Glendale residents paid 62 percent more than the average cost of annual premiums for basic liability car insurance in California.

WalletHub, which launched in August, enables users to read and write reviews. Users can have their own page, follow other members, and ask and answer questions, which Arnold said are vetted before being posted.

Users can also search auto insurance estimates through a search tool in which users put in basic information the make and model of their vehicle, its age and their ZIP code.

According to Arnold the search doesn’t yield paid results. Visitors can also

WalletHub also provides buttons and widgets so companies that get good reviews can share them. No fee is charged for consumers, and small businesses either get a low rate or aren’t charged, according to Arnold.

“Most of our financing comes from marketing to large financial institutions to use our reviewer services,” Arnold said.

WalletHub may branch out into issuing reports on life insurance and property/casualty insurance, according to Arnold.

She wouldn’t say how many users the site currently has, but said “we have thousands that sign up monthly.”

The insurance landscape report released on Tuesday shows Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacrament are the three most expensive counties – are 11 percent more above the state average for insurance. San Luis Obispo, Siskiyou and Santa Barbara are the least expensive, according to the report.

The top five cities with the most expensive premiums and the percent above the state average are: Glendale (43.99 percent); Los Angeles (41.31 percent); Inglewood (30.01 percent); Santa Monica (29.19 percent); Burbank (27.57 percent). The least expensive are: Santa Maria (-21.30 percent); Chico (-13.69 percent); Santa Barbara (-13.41 percent); Livermore (-12.74 percent); Redding (-12.40 percent).

The report used public filings on record with the California Department of Insurance and reviewed premium data for seven auto insurers, which represent 38 percent of the total California auto insurance market.

These insurers are: Allstate Insurance Co.; Geico General Insurance Co.; Mercury Casualty; State Farm Mutual; Progressive; SafeCo; and Farmers Insurance Exchange.

Pete Moraga, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Network of California, said the problem with such reports is they make it seem like insurance is “one size fits all,” and Moraga is often in the position of getting out IINC’s message to consumers that insurance premiums are based on risk.

“The whole question of risk varies very, very much,” Moraga said. “The best thing for consumers is to shop around. The more you know about insurance, the more you shop around and understand the cost and you can save a lot of money.”

courtesy of