It's not your imagination: Angelenos pay some of the highest car insurance rates in the nation, according to a new study conducted by Quadrant Information Services for

You could probably guess why. We live in a dense city with dense traffic. We buy nicer cars. We're the hit-and-run capital of America.

One expert, however, claims there's one more surprising factor here:


Eli Lehrer, president of the nonprofit policy research group The R Street Institute, says that states with heavy insurance regulation tend to have higher rates:

Places with more intense insurance rate regulations don't have lower rates in general. Metropolitan areas centered in Illinois — where there's no rate regulation — and Ohio — where there's very little — have lower average rates than those in California, where rates are regulated in great detail.

So having laws that limit the insurance companies' ability to rip us off causes them to rip us off? Call us a little skeptical.

Even Lehrer admits that Charlotte, North Carolina, enjoys the lowest rates on this list of 25 cities partly because it exists in a state with serious regulation.

L.A. was ranked in this study as the fourth most-expensive city for car insurance behind Miami (No. 3), New York (2) and Detroit (1).



Los Angeles has rates that are 25 percent above the national average, according to

Lehrer says you can blame our sheer size:

When you have more cars on the road, you have a greater likelihood of accidents and insurance claims. That's why you see really crowded cities like Los Angeles and New York near the top of the list …

Happy motoring.

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