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Best car insurance rates are in California

Some of the best car insurance rates in the country are in California, where rate increases have been well below the national average. In fact, a major car insurance company cut rates for California drivers this year by $219 million, an average of 8 percent per policy.

A key factor in California has been reducing insurer costs, savings which the insurers have passed on to consumers. Those who get the best car insurance rate are the safest drivers, which California's rate system incentivizes.

According to the Consumer Federation of America, California's passage of Proposition 103 has made it the best-regulated state in the country for consumers. Yet insurance industry profits remain high because of the state's strict driving laws.

The state received top marks across the board on a recent ranking of traffic safety laws conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in six key areas, including: DUI/DWI, young driver licensing, safety belt use, child restraint use, motorcycle helmet use and red light cameras.

Christopher J. Murphy, the state's director of the office of traffic safety, said seat belt use and child safety seat use was at an all-time high in 2008, while alcohol impaired and total traffic fatalities were projected to go down significantly.

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