A number of factors impact your car insurance premium, including your driving history, age and vehicle type. However, one other variable that affects it perhaps more than any other, and that is where you live. Car insurance rates by state vary significantly, often by hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
In addition, your ZIP code also factors into your car insurance rate. Each ZIP code represents a different level of risk to both the driver and the insurer. Whether it’s because of accidents, thefts or vandalisms, certain areas are simply more dangerous than others, which is why there are such discrepancies between some states.
If you’re shopping for car insurance, you may wonder how much the average cost is in your state. We’ve laid out the average rates for car insurance by state below. Read them over so you have an idea of the typical costs you can expect for each area.
Auto insurance rates by state
When you buy car insurance, you need to know your state’s requirements. Insurance companies won’t let you purchase less than your state’s minimum liability, but it’s a good idea to know what your state expects of you. For many states, minimum liability isn’t enough should you get into a serious accident. When medical costs exceed what you’re covered for, you’ll have to pay any remaining amount out of pocket.
Below, you’ll find a table with the average rates in each state. The figures under the ‘Coverage’ section signify the amount of required coverage using this format—bodily injury liability coverage, per person/bodily injury liability coverage, per accident/property damage coverage. The number under the ‘Average Car Insurance Rate’ column is the average amount of money drivers in that state pay for their insurance on an annual basis.
Here are the average car insurance rates by state so you can get an idea of how much you might pay.
|State||Minimum coverage requirements||Average cost of minimum coverage||Average cost of full coverage|
When you look at the average auto insurance rates by state, remember that your price will vary based on factors like your age, driving history, location, vehicle and your eligibility for discounts. Don’t be surprised if you pay more or less than the average price. Instead, use these ranges to get an idea of how much is reasonable.
The most expensive states for car insurance
Compared to the national average of $1,738, Louisiana motorists pay $2,711 for full coverage insurance, the most expensive in the country. Several factors contribute to this, including the frequency of lawsuits for minor accidents, a high number of uninsured drivers, growing density of traffic and risk of accidents, expensive auto repair and increasing instances of severe weather.
The vulnerability to severe weather is one of the biggest contributors to Florida’s high car insurance cost. The state is faced with storms, hurricanes and floods every year, causing vehicular damage and increasing risks for insurance companies. Florida also has the highest number of uninsured motorists at 26.7 percent, in addition to low mandatory coverage limits. Compared to the national average, Florida pays about $800 more in car insurance.
The highest minimum coverage requirement in the country is the leading reason for Michigan’s expensive car insurance market. Besides the basic liability, bodily injury and property damage coverage, motorists in Michigan must also carry personal injury protection and medical payment coverage. The state also has a growing number of claim fraud, high population density and a large percentage of uninsured drivers.
The cheapest states for car insurance
As one of the least congested states in the U.S., Maine is considered a safer place to drive with a lower risk of accidents. It also has the lowest number of uninsured drivers at only 4.5 percent. All these factors combine to make Maine the cheapest state for auto insurance at only $782 annually for full coverage.
Low population density, fewer instances of car theft and a lower number of uninsured drivers make Vermont one of the least expensive states for car insurance at $975 a year. More rural areas mean less traffic and little risk of accidents and an overall safer place to drive.
People over the age of 65 make up the largest section of drivers in Idaho, the prime reason behind the cheap auto insurance rates. Several cities are less populated than others and have shorter commute times, reducing the risk for road accidents.
Another factor impacting your car insurance rate is the type of state you live in. Some states are considered no-fault states, while others are at-fault states, or tort states. Below is a list of the 12 no-fault states:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
In a no-fault state, your car insurance covers your vehicle’s damage and your medical payments after an accident, regardless of who caused the crash. In at-fault states, the driver responsible for the crash compensates the other driver for their losses. That’s the purpose of liability insurance. Since drivers in a no-fault state are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP), an additional coverage to any basic car insurance policy, the expenses increase significantly.
How where you live affects your car insurance rate
Do you live in a region prone to storms and floods? Does your city have a high number of vehicle thefts? Does your state require a higher minimum coverage? In all of these cases, be prepared to pay more for car insurance. Urban areas with dense traffic and longer commute times increase the chances for road accidents and are considered risky by insurance companies, leading to a high premium.
Other factors considered in your car insurance rate
Where you live isn’t the only factor that goes into determining your auto insurance rates. Other factors include your:
- Credit score
- Driving record
- Marital status
- Car’s make and model
- State’s liability requirements
- Yearly mileage
- Claims history
Frequently asked questions
What is a tort state?
A tort state is the opposite of a no-fault state. In a tort state, only the driver considered at-fault is responsible for paying for medical coverage. This means with each accident, someone must always be found responsible for the cause of the accident.
Is car insurance required in my state?
Most states require some form of car insurance. Though some states don’t technically require it, every state requires you have enough in assets to cover the minimum liability requirements.
Most people aren’t willing to give up their house over a car accident and choose instead to purchase car insurance.
Is ZIP code-based insurance legal?
Yes, and when you think about it, it makes sense. If an insurance company knows that it is likely you will file a claim in the near future, that means you represent a higher degree of risk.
However, California has a law that prohibits insurance companies from using ZIP codes as the main factor in determining premiums. They may still use it as a factor, but it can’t be the one that carries the most weight.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our sample drivers own a 2018 Honda Accord, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.