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Best and worst states for auto insurance premiums

If you've played bumper cars in midtown Manhattan, raced through the fumes of the New Jersey Turnpike or battled Beltway traffic around the nation's capital, you'd probably guess drivers in the crowded northeastern states pay the highest auto insurance premiums in the country.

You'd be right.

The top six states in average combined premiums paid all were in the traffic-choked northeast corridor, led by New Jersey, New York and Washington, D.C.

In those three, followed closely by Rhode Island and Massachusetts, drivers paid annual average premiums in excess of $1,000 -- almost double the average prices paid by motorists in Iowa, Maine and Idaho and about a third more than the national average.

The figures come from a study compiled by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), which says the term "combined premium" comprises liability, collision and comprehensive coverage. The figures are for 2001, the last year for which full figures are available.

New Jersey was the priciest auto insurance state in the country, with motorists shelling out an average $1,182.54. New York kept pace with an average of $1,161.27 followed by the District of Columbia at $1,156.23.

Iowa, which boasts an average of less than $600, was the least expensive, with Maine and Idaho only a few dollars more. The national average was $817.43, just about the same average price as New Mexico and Texas.

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The NAIC points out a number of factors affect the average expenditures. For example, says the NAIC, in states with robust economies more consumers are likely to purchase new vehicles that will be insured for higher amounts than older vehicles.

Here are the state-by-state rankings:

1
New Jersey
$1,182.54
2
New York
$1,161.27
3
D.C.
$1,156.23
4
Rhode Island
$1,027.03
5
Massachusetts
$1,013.46
6
Connecticut
$993.50
7
Alaska
$969.69
8
Louisiana
$967.21
9
Nevada
$965.96
10
Colorado
$935.10
11
Delaware
$929.84
12
Arizona
$914.26
13
Michigan
$871.98
14
Maryland
$853.04
15
Georgia
$848.21
16
West Virginia
$841.08
17
Washington
$836.24
18
Florida
$835.79
19
Texas
$820.24
20
New Mexico
$814.91
21
Hawaii
$811.12
22
Minnesota
$808.63
23
Pennsylvania
$807.90
24
California
$795.36
25
Mississippi
$784.37
26
Kentucky
$766.76
27
Oklahoma
$762.76
28
Arkansas
$749.19
29
Illinois
$745.57
30
South Carolina
$744.87
31
Utah
$739.19
32
Missouri
$737.15
33
Alabama
$733.79
34
New Hampshire
$729.70
35
Oregon
$725.11
36
Montana
$720.54
37
Tennessee
$706.80
38
Kansas
$700.24
39
Indiana
$698.18
40
Virginia
$688.49
41
Vermont
$682.75
42
Ohio
$682.67
43
Wyoming
$682.60
44
Nebraska
$667.99
45
North Carolina
$667.93
46
South Dakota
$648.16
47
North Dakota
$633.78
48
Wisconsin
$630.11
49
Idaho
$629.68
50
Maine
$621.28
51
Iowa
$596.44
 
Nationwide
$817.43
Reproduced with permission of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners

 

-- Posted: Sept. 23, 2003

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