REPOST: Where It Costs The Most — And Least — For Car Insurance

If you’re planning to buy a new car, you’ve probably already considered things such as styling, comfort, features and fuel economy. But you might be missing a big part of your vehicle’s total ownership if you haven’t considered auto insurance costs. This article from Forbes has the details.

If one were to believe the sheer volume of television commercials being broadcast to that end, we are a culture that’s obsessed with our car insurance rates. GEICO alone reportedly spent nearly $2 Billion last year telling a rapt nation it could save money in a manner of minutes by switching carriers.

And while most of us would rather leave money in our pockets than on the proverbial table, other than shopping our business among competing companies, fine-tuning our policies and choosing a vehicle that’s inherently cheaper to insure, there’s little we can usually do to alter the intractable factors that more profoundly affect our annual premiums.

These include one’s age, marital status, address, credit rating and driving record. Among them the one consideration that’s firmly within one’s control is where he or she lives. All else being equal, someone residing in a crowded and crime-ridden urban area can expect to pay considerably more for coverage than will a similar motorist with the same car in a quiet suburb of the same city.

According to, a Jeep Wrangler will cost a resident of Maine an average $694/year to insure, while the same driver residing in Michigan will have to shell out $2,027 for equivalent coverage. | Image Source:

“Your driving record and your car are the same no matter where you live,” says consumer analyst Penny Gusner. “But change your ZIP code just a couple of towns the wrong way and your rates can double.”
Even if you already live rather remotely, it’s possible to come out considerably ahead by simply moving across one or more state borders. According to, those living in Maine, Ohio and Idaho will, on average, pay a third less than the national average to insure a new car, while Michigan motorists face premiums that are 90 percent higher than the norm. The spread between the cheapest (Maine, at $805) and costliest state (Michigan, at $2,662) amounts to a whopping $9,285 over a typical five-year ownership period.
“Laws make a big difference. Each state makes its own rules, and some of them result in bigger or more frequent insurance claims,” Gusner explains, noting that widespread insurance fraud, high theft rates and a higher concentration of drivers in urban areas also contribute to how much residents in a given state will pay for coverage.

Here’s the list of 10 states identifies as offering the lowest average auto insurance rates:

Maine: $805
Ohio: $843
Idaho: $877
Iowa: $886
New Hampshire: $905
Wisconsin: $930
Vermont: $957
North Carolina: $986
Virginia: $1,008
New York: $1,013

And here’s the 10 states where motorists tend to endure the costliest car insurance premiums:

Michigan: $2,476
Montana: $1,886
District of Columbia: $1,799
Louisiana: $1,774
Florida: $1,742
West Virginia: $1,716
Connecticut: $1,690
Rhode Island: $1,656
California: $1,653
New Jersey: $1,595
Click here for the complete list of average car insurance rates for all 50 states.

The Fine Print: Data on premiums for the survey was compiled by Quadrant Information Services based on auto insurance rates for 2015 models from six large carriers – Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm – in 10 ZIP codes per state. State averages are based on quoted rates for the cheapest-to-insure versions of the 20 best-selling vehicles in the U.S. Estimates assume a single, 40-year-old male with a clean driving record and good credit who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. As they say, your rates will vary.

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Three auto insurance myths, debunked

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Purchasing auto insurance can be confusing, especially for first-time buyers. To compound matters, well-meaning friends and family members sometimes dispense outdated or untrue advice about car insurance.

In order to make purchasing auto insurance less daunting, and to avoid making costly insurance mistakes, it’s important to look at the facts.

The following are three common auto insurance myths and the truth behind them.

Myth #1. Red cars cost more to insure.

Some people say that red cars are more expensive to insure because their drivers are typically more aggressive on the road. However, there is no data to back this up and insurance providers agree. Insurance providers do not base the amount of their premiums on the color of a vehicle. What they do base car insurance rates on are the make, model, and type of vehicle, as well as its list price and the year it was made. Other factors insurance providers base their rates on are driving, claims, and credit history.

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Myth #2. Minimum coverage is all that’s needed.

Each state requires a minimum amount of insurance coverage from drivers. While this is better than no insurance at all, the bare minimum might not provide enough protection in the event of an accident. Many car accidents exceed the limits of minimum coverage. If this happens, the injured party can seek damages from the driver until the debt is paid.

Optional collision insurance covers damages from auto accidents, while comprehensive insurance covers damage not resulting from collisions, such as falling branches and vandalism, and replacement if the car is stolen.

Myth #3. Women get into more accidents, therefore they pay higher premiums.

Despite the negative stereotypes, women are statistically safer drivers than men. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, car crashes with male drivers were typically more severe than those involving female drivers, while the National Association of Insurance Commissioners reports that men are 10 percent less likely than women to wear seatbelts, increasing their risk for serious medical injuries that insurance providers will have to cover.

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As a result, insurance providers consider gender a factor in calculating the amount of premiums. The difference between the amount of premiums paid by male and female drivers will decrease as men age, however, and insurance providers also take into account driving record and claims history when deciding rates.

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