As any driver knows, a whole host of variables can affect how much you pay to insure a car on the road. Getting older? The most dangerous drivers are younger than 25, the safest between 50 and 65. Statistically safer drivers, women tend to pay less. Accidents and tickets within a recent number of years will drive up your premiums. A poor credit rating can drive up your premium, and an expensive car certainly will.
But then there’s one variable a driver sadly can’t do much to change and that’s geography. Here are the ten states in which it’s most expensive to insure a motor vehicle (Criteria was average policy costs across all states):
- District of Columbia - Perhaps due to its #2 spot on the list of worst traffic gridlocks, residents of our nation’s capital can expect to pay an average of $1,176 in insurance premiums each year.
- New Jersey – In the Garden State, an annual premium of $1,135 is typical.
- Louisiana – Bayou State drivers spend around $1,102 each year.
- New York – If you want to enjoy that Sunday drive in the city, insuring your automobile in New York can cost you an average of $1,047 annually.
- Florida – At first glance, one might think the large retiree population in Florida might drive down insurance averages. Not so: Florida residents pay an average $1,046 each year.
- Rhode Island – Residents of the smallest state pay on average $1,033 in insurance premiums each year.
- Delaware – Living in Delaware comes with pride in residing in the first state to ratify the Constitution. Driving in Delaware comes with an average insurance expenditure of $1,022.
- Nevada - For the short drive to Vegas, drivers in Nevada offer up $1,011 annually to keep their vehicles on the road.
- Massachusetts – Massachusetts residents pay an average of $996 per year.
- Connecticut – The Nutmeg State trails in on our list at #10 with an average annual amount of $988 spent on auto insurance.
Wondering how far away these states are from the middle? The average annual expenditure in the United States is $810.
So, why the high premiums in these states? It could be any number of reasons. For instance, in states with a healthy economy, drivers tend to buy newer cars. New car owners are more likely to pay an extra premium to cover for physical damages, driving up average cost. You’ll also notice that high premium states tend to be more urban states. More drivers means more traffic which leads to more accidents, which then translates into more risk for the insurance company and higher premiums for premium paying drivers. Other factors affecting premiums include theft rates, and varying liability requirements from state to state.
Remember, some things affect your premiums regardless of where you live. To make sure you’re getting the best bargain, check your credit report to make sure it’s accurate, and consider installing an anti-theft tracking device. Depending on the discount offered by your insurer, it might pay for itself, and give the added benefit of peace of mind. Call your insurer to see if there are any discounts they offer that you qualify for but are not taking advantage of. And finally, make sure you do your homework and shop around. Compare auto quotes online to make sure you’re paying bottom dollar for top dollar coverage.
Published or updated March 15, 2012.