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 overall.
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.
However, there’s one variable a driver can’t do much to change: geography.
Here are the ten states in which it’s most expensive to insure a motor vehicle (numbers are based on average policy costs across all states):
- Michigan – I was actually surprised to find this state at the top of the list, with residents shelling out an average of $2,551 in premiums each year.
- West Virginia – In the Mountain State, an annual premium of $2,518 is typical.
- Georgia – Hold on to your peaches! If you live in Georgia, you should expect to spend around $2,201 each year.
- Washington, D.C. – Our nation’s capital has been a steady presence in the top 5 of these “most expensive to insure” lists over the years, and it doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon. If you’re driving past Pennsylvania Avenue, expect to pay an average of $2,127 annually.
- Rhode Island – Residents of the smallest state pay, on average, $2,020 each year.
- Montana – Big Sky State, big premiums. Residents of this beautiful state pay an average of $2,013 a year in insurance premiums.
- Louisiana – Sure, you’ve got the best jambalaya around, but you’ve also got some hefty auto insurance bills. Louisiana’s average? $1,971.
- California – This state ranks #1 in population but (luckily) only #8 in insurance premiums. Drivers in California shell out $1,962 annually to keep their vehicles on the road.
- New Jersey – Garden State residents pay an average of $1,905 per year.
- Florida – At first glance, one might think the large retiree population in Florida might drive down insurance averages. Nope, not so: Florida residents pay an average $1,830 each year.
Wondering how far these states’ premiums are from the middle of the road (pun intended)? The average annual auto insurance premium in the United States is $907.
So, why the higher costs 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. This then translates to 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.
Learn More: 25 Factors That Impact Auto Insurance Premiums
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. Plus, it will give you the added benefit of peace of mind. Some of them (like this one on Amazon) are even less than $35.
Call your insurer to see if there are any discounts offered. There may be some for which you qualify, but are not yet taking advantage of.
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.