City auto insurance costs more than rural insurance— sometimes auto insurance rates by zip code can vary by hundreds of dollars (if not more). If you feel like your insurance costs are eating too much into your budget, it’s worth your while to know why insurance companies sometimes charge more depending on where you live and what you can do about it.
Why your city matters
The cost of a car insurance premium varies based on a lot of factors. When calculating what a driver will pay, car insurance providers consider:
- Driving history
- Credit score
- Marital status
- State requirements
Additionally, providers will go even further than your state by also taking into account your zip code. This is because your city isn’t just unique geographically and aesthetically. It has a unique population, number of drivers, crash statistics, crime and claims filed each year.
Car insurance rates by city
Compare insurance by city by clicking some of the links below. As you’ll see, the average auto insurance rates by zip code can vary by quite a lot.
|Albuquerque (NM)||Flint (MI)||Las Vegas (NV)||Reno (NV)|
|Arlington (VA)||Fort Worth (TX)||Lincoln (NE)||Salem (OR)|
|Atlanta (GA)||Fresno (CA)||Los Angeles (CA)||San Antonio (TX)|
|Augusta (GA)||Gainesville (FL)||Memphis (TN)||San Jose (CA)|
|Austin (TX)||Grand Rapids (MI)||Miami (FL)||Springfield (IL)|
|Baltimore (MD)||Greenville (SC)||Midland (TX)||St. Louis (MO)|
|Colorado Springs (CO)||Houston (TX)||Nashville (TN)||Syracuse (NY)|
|Columbus (OH)||Huntsville (AL)||New Orleans (LA)||Tampa (FL)|
|Corpus Christi (TX)||Indianapolis (IN)||New York (NY)||Toledo (OH)|
|Denver (CO)||Jacksonville (FL)||Orlando (FL)||Tulsa (OK)|
|Detroit (MI)||Kansas City (KS)||Philadelphia (PA)|
|Eugene (OR)||Lansing (MI)||Phoenix (AZ)|
|Fayetteville (NC)||Laredo (TX)||Portland (OR)|
How to compare providers
When rate shopping, it’s important to compare the following:
- Compare discounts: Not every provider offers the same discounts, nor does every provider offer the same savings with each discount. For example, you may save a lot more by taking a defensive driving course with one provider than you will with another.
- Compare coverage options: Sometimes a provider may offer a special type of coverage you never even knew existed or knew you needed. Just installed a high end stereo system? Some providers will insure it. Often drive with your dog? Some companies offer medical coverage for your pets if you get into an accident while they’re in the car.
- Compare customer satisfaction ratings and online reviews: You don’t want a company that doesn’t know how to treat its customers right. If it’s a national company, you will most likely be able to read a J.D. Power review of it. You can also see common complaints against most companies on sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- Compare quotes: If you’re looking for the bottom line, don’t be afraid to speak with an agent. Ask how you can save money by taking advantage of discounts and changing your deductible. Once you’ve figured out the exact amount a company will charge you, do the same thing with another company until you find the lowest provider.
Lowering your car insurance premium
Many drivers simply accept their premium and assume it can’t be lowered. This is unfortunate because there are a variety of ways to save with most providers.
- Bundle: Bundling is perhaps the best way to save money with every provider. Considered a ‘customer loyalty’ discount, bundling is when you use the same provider for two or more policies. Most drivers who do this will insure multiple cars or their home through the same provider. Some companies, like Geico, may give savings up to 25% for sticking with them.
- Increase your deductible: Increasing your deductible is a valid strategy to save money each month, but comes with risks. You’ll pay less money each month, but will receive less of a payout in the event of an accident. Thankfully, providers offer various deductible options to suit most drivers’ needs and budgets.
- Drive an older car: New cars come with all of the latest enhancements, but they cost more to replace, which is why insurance companies charge drivers more to insure them. To save money, drive an older car with a high security rating. This way you’re still keeping you and your family safe, but aren’t paying as much to do so.
- Increase your credit score: If you’re on the threshold of getting into a new credit category, increasing your credit score will lower your premium. Consider this a long-term strategy, as there are a variety of ways to increase your credit score, but all of them require a bit of time.
- Move into a new zip code: This certainly isn’t the easiest option on this list, but if you have the luxury of being able to move, it may be worth your while. While getting quotes online, compare auto insurance rates by zip code. You may see a dramatic difference from one area to another.
Frequently asked questions
Why do car insurance rates vary by city?
Some cities have a higher frequency of claims and accidents, meaning an almost guaranteed financial expense for an insurance company. To compensate for this, they charge a different amount for car insurance by zip code.
Is it easy to switch providers?
Yes, it is, especially once you know which company you want to work with because it’s the research that may take up a bit of your time. To learn more, read Switch your car insurance in 9 easy steps.
Which company is the best car insurance company?
This depends largely on your own personal factors. Depending on your age, location, credit score, etc. your rate and the best company for you will vary. It also depends on what kind of coverage you’re looking for and what kind of discounts you’re hoping to take advantage of. To find the best car insurance company for you, compare rates, discounts and reviews.
What is the average cost of car insurance in the U.S.?
The average cost for full coverage is currently $1,674 a year. For minimum it is $565.
Here’s a look at the cheapest and most expensive states:
|Full Coverage||Minimum Coverage|
|Cheapest State||Maine: $965||Iowa: $252|
|Most Expensive State||Louisiana: $2,724||Florida: $1,101|
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