Car insurance rates by state for 2021
A number of factors impact your car insurance premium, including your driving history, age and vehicle type. However, one other variable that affects it quite significantly is where you live. Car insurance rates by state vary significantly, often by hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Each state approaches auto insurance laws differently, and these differing laws affect the cost of car insurance. Bankrate gathered average premiums from Quadrant Information Services and researched the insurance requirements for each state to serve as a starting point in your insurance shopping journey.
Car insurance rates by state
Being aware of your state’s insurance laws can help you understand how claims will be handled. While you may find it helpful to know your state’s minimum car insurance limits, rest assured knowing that you do not need to commit these levels to memory. You will not be able to purchase a car insurance policy with limits lower than the state minimum.
The table below lists the average rates in each state for both minimum coverage and full coverage. Each state’s minimum liability limits are listed as three numbers separated by a slash. These numbers represent the minimum amount of liability coverage for bodily injury per person/bodily injury liability per accident/property damage per accident.
|State||Minimum liability coverage requirements (in thousands)||Average annual cost of minimum coverage||Average annual cost of full coverage|
The minimum coverages listed in the table above are for bodily injury and property damage liability. Some states have additional requirements, including uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
When you look at auto insurance quotes, remember that your price will vary based on factors like your age, driving history, location, vehicle and your eligibility for discounts. Because of this, you may pay more or less than the average price. These ranges could be used to get an idea of how much you might pay for coverage, depending on how much you need. For example, full coverage, which includes collision and comprehensive coverage, is generally more expensive than purchasing minimum coverage insurance. While full coverage helps pay for damage to your vehicle caused by accidents or other objects, you may still want to customize your policy with auto insurance endorsements. Because of this, you may opt for additional coverages and pay more than the state average.
Most expensive states for car insurance
Compared to the national annual average of $1,674, Louisiana motorists pay $2,724 for full coverage insurance, making the state the most expensive for auto insurance in the country. Several factors contribute to this, including the frequency of lawsuits for accidents, a relatively 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 faces storms, hurricanes and floods every year, causing vehicular damage and increasing risks for insurance companies. Florida also has the highest number of uninsured motorists in the country, at 20.4%, in addition to low mandatory coverage limits. Compared to the national average, Floridians pay about $700 more for full coverage car insurance.
With the second-highest average cost of minimum coverage in the nation and the third-highest average cost of full coverage, New York drivers pay more for car insurance, on average, than the average U.S. driver. The state’s high insurance rates are largely due to the high number of fraudulent insurance claims made each year, in addition to its over 11 million registered vehicles, causing traffic to be dense with a higher likelihood of collision.
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 one of the lowest numbers of uninsured drivers at only 4.9%. These factors combine to make Maine the cheapest state for auto insurance on average, at only $965 annually for full coverage.
Despite having a large driving population and increasing likelihood of motor vehicle accidents and injury, Ohio is actually the second-cheapest state for full coverage on average. The lower cost of coverage may in part be due to Ohio’s mix of rural and suburban roads, helping to break up what may otherwise be a heavy concentration of traffic, which can lead to more road risk. Ohio drivers pay an average of $1,034 annually for full coverage.
Nearly 40% of drivers in Idaho are between the ages of 30 and 54, for which rates are usually lower on average compared to younger and older age groups. This could be a driving factor in the state’s lower-than-average rates. Additionally, 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, each party files a claim with their own car insurance to help cover their minor medical expenses after an accident, regardless of who caused the crash. Drivers in a no-fault state are typically required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) to help cover these medical costs. No-fault states can still determine liability after an accident and the responsible party would be liable for property damage and medical expenses that exceed a certain threshold, depending on the state. In at-fault states, the driver responsible for the crash compensates the other driver for their losses, including bodily injury and property damage, and the not-at-fault driver is not required to file their medical expenses with their own insurer.
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 is not the only factor that goes into determining your auto insurance rates. Other factors may include your:
- Credit score
- Driving record
- Marital status
- Car’s make and model
- State’s liability requirements
- Yearly mileage
- Claims history
Each car insurance company weighs these factors differently when setting rates. Some companies may weigh your driving record more heavily than others, for example. This is why shopping around often offers you the best chance at finding affordable car insurance.
Additionally, not each rating factor is used in all states. Some states specifically prohibit the consideration of age, gender or credit score as rating factors for insurance. For example, credit is not allowed to be used when rating insurance policies in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan or Washington.
Frequently asked questions
What is a tort state?
A tort state is a state that follows “at-fault” insurance laws. In a tort state, the driver considered at fault for a crash is responsible for paying for the damages they caused and the not-at-fault driver does not have to file a claim with their insurer. Some no-fault states, like Kentucky, also have tort options that limit or allow parties to file lawsuits for their medical expenses.
Is car insurance required in my state?
Most states require some form of car insurance. Though some states do not technically require it, every state requires you have enough in assets to cover the minimum liability requirements. However, because having expensive assets — like a house — is likely not an ideal tradeoff in covering a claim, insurance experts generally recommend purchasing car insurance to keep yourself financially protected.
Is ZIP code-based insurance legal?
Yes, in most states, your ZIP code can be used to rate your auto insurance policy. Some areas could be more susceptible to weather damage, vehicle thefts or collisions, which will then contribute to higher car insurance premiums. However, California and Michigan have laws that prohibit insurance companies from using ZIP codes as the main factor in determining premiums. Companies may still use your ZIP code as a factor, but it cannot be the one that carries the most weight.
Does no-fault insurance include property damage?
No. While no-fault states require that each involved party has PIP to help pay for their medical expenses, the same does not apply for property damage. Instead, property damage would still work at an at-fault level where the at-fault driver’s insurance is responsible for covering the property damage caused.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 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 2019 Toyota Camry, 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.