Average Cost of Car Insurance

Average Car Insurance Cost

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The Average Car Insurance Rates by City

Each state sets the standards of insurance sold within its borders, setting the state minimums and the rules of inclusion (who can be covered) and exclusion (who can be prevented from getting certain policies). In addition, each insurance company has the ability to set prices within those guidelines that can take into account certain factors that can increase the rate of insurance from one city to another. So, for instance, if you know that New Jersey has one of the highest insurance rates in the nation you will be prepared, but you might be shocked to know that insurance rates in one county can be several hundred dollars more than in the next county over.

The Most Expensive States for Auto Insurance

Most of the cities with high insurance rates will come from the states where prices are higher than the national average. These include:

average car insurance rates by city

  • New Jersey
  • Louisiana
  • New York
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Delaware
  • Rhode Island
  • Alaska
  • Also included on this list, the District of Colombia.

The Least Expensive States

While there might be some cities in these states that might qualify as higher than others, it is safe to assume that they are not on the top ten list. These states are:

  • Hawaii
  • South Dakota
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Arkansas
  • Vermont
  • North Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • Ohio

What Drives Insurance Rates Up in Each City?

There are several factors that can increase the insurance rate in each city. These can include:

  • Crime rates: crimes like auto theft and dui can directly impact a city’s insurance rate
  • The number of young male drivers
  • The number of overall drivers
  • Economic status
  • The number of people per square mile. The more people that live in a confined area, the higher the likelihood of an accident

The Top Five Cities for DUI Convictions

Driving under the influence, also called by other names in various parts of the country is very costly to the insurance industry, costing billions in claims and other costs every year. In addition, it is dangerous to share the road with someone who has been drinking. Drunk drivers account for over one third of all traffic related fatalities, killing thousands of people each year. These are the five cities with the most DUI convictions on the record:

  • San Diego, California
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • San Francisco, California

DUI convictions are costly for a number of reasons, including the cost of prosecution, the fines, possible jail time, loss of license and more. It will also impact your insurance which may already be very high simply because of the city you are living in.

Where is Insurance the Highest, By City?

On average, the cities where insurance is the highest are urban with high populations. These are the top twelve with their annual insurance rates and trends:

  • Newark, New Jersey $2749, up nearly ten percent from the previous year
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, $2423, down nearly eleven percent
  • Wilmington, Delaware, $2391, down four percent
  • Baltimore, Maryland, $2329, up just over six percent
  • Providence, Rhode Island $2249 down nearly nine percent
  • Louisville, Kentucky $2102 up just over five percent.
  • Jacksonville, Florida, $2074, up nearly one percent
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania $2071, down nearly ten percent
  • Bridgeport, Connecticut, $2042, down just over two percent
  • Detroit, Michigan $1998, down nearly six percent
  • Las Vegas, Nevada $1946 down nearly eleven percent

Auto Theft: Another Factor in Raising Insurance Rates

In addition to DUI, auto theft can make a city’s insurance rate much higher. These are the ten cities with the highest rate of auto theft:

  • Modesto, California
  • Laredo, Texas
  • Yakima, Washington
  • San Diego/Carlsbad/San Marcos, California area
  • Bakersfield, California
  • Stockton, California
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • San Francisco/Oakland/Freemont, California area
  • Fresno, California

These are the top ten with the lowest rate of auto theft:

  • Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • New York, New York
  • Austin, Texas
  • Arlington, Texas
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • San Jose, California
  • Wichita, Kansas
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Jacksonville, Florida

Las Vegas, Nevada: An Example of Insurance Disparity

The national average insurance cost is higher than the state of Nevada’s average cost but considerably lower than that of the city of Las Vegas. In fact, the city of Las Vegas pays, on average, over seven hundred dollars more in insurance than the state average. The reason for that is simple: it is Vegas! Some reasons that the insurance in Las Vegas is so much higher than both the state and the national average:

  • The population of Vegas is over fifty percent males. Insurance rates for males are higher because they are involved in the majority of auto accidents, causing over eighty one percent in Las Vegas alone.
  • Of the top ten metro areas with increased risk of auto theft, Las Vegas was ranked number one.
  • The city had more than two hundred fatalities, nearly seventy of which were alcohol related. Over forty percent of all accidents in the city are caused by a legally impaired driver.
  • The daytime population change in the city is a + 11,117, meaning that in addition to the residents of the city, more than eleven thousand additional people come for work or recreation.

What if you are Driving to a College in Another City?

For some people, buying car insurance is a simple but expensive matter. They live in one city and that is just the end of it. For others, especially college students, there are some options. For instance, if a student lives in the dorms at their school which is in a different city, it might be cheaper to buy insurance based on that city rather than the city their parents live in even if the policy would be based on the higher rate because of the student’s age. This is a perfect example of why comparison shopping is so vitally important and should be done, looking at every possible option.