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States With the Priciest Car Insurance

State of Pay

Most people know that getting a ticket or buying a flashy convertible will likely net them a higher car insurance premium, but did you know that your place of residency could be costing you as well? A recent report released by Insure.com calculated the average annual insurance premium in each state and discovered that a locale’s laws, geography and infrastructure can heavily influence a resident’s monthly auto insurance payments.

To conduct its study, Insure.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services, which monitors insurance rates, to calculate the average premiums on a policy for a 40-year-old single male driver who commutes 12 miles to work. The sample policy had limits of $100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. The policy also included uninsured motorist coverage.

Insure.com discovered that there was a $1,546 difference between the state with the highest average annual insurance premium and the state with the lowest. Amy Danise, managing editor of the website, said that while multiple factors can contribute to higher policy rates, it generally comes down to claims.

“States that don’t have to pay expensive or numerous claims are going to have lower rates,” Danise says.  She also points out that if you live in a state that has a large number of uninsured motorists, your premium is going to be high. “People who do have insurance end up making the claim, even if they didn’t cause the accident. There’s more people crashing, but a smaller pool of people paying the insurance companies.”

Read on to find out if your place of residence is costing you extra in car insurance.

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10th Least Expensive: Utah


Average Annual Premium: $1,272

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9th Least Expensive: Virginia


Average Annual Premium: $1,237

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8th Least Expensive: Iowa


Average Annual Premium:  $1,179

Photo Credit:  Jewell Willet

7th Least Expensive: North Carolina

Average Annual Premium: $1,154

Photo Credit: Mike Mariano

6th Least Expensive: Ohio


Average Annual Premium: $1,152

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5th Least Expensive: Tennessee


Average Annual Premium: $1,146

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4th Least Expensive: Wisconsin


Average Annual Premium: $1,128

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3rd Least Expensive: Maine


Average Annual Premium: $1,126

Photo Credit: Woody’s World 1778

2nd Least Expensive: South Carolina


Average Annual Premium: $1,095

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Least Expensive: Vermont

Average Annual Premium: $995

A cold winter may not seem to carry too many benefits – especially when considering how particularly brutal this last one has been – but it definitely plays a large part in why Vermont’s premiums are so low.  According to Danise, the bad weather keeps people indoors, which leads to a  lower level of traffic congestion on Vermont’s roads, meaning fewer accidents and therefore fewer claims.

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10th Most Expensive: Maryland


Average Annual Premium: $1,807

Photo Credit: Mike Mariano

9th Most Expensive: Arkansas


Average Annual Premium: $1,836

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8th Most Expensive: New Mexico


Average Annual Premium: $1,896

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8th Most Expensive: Mississippi

Average Annual Premium: $1,896

Mississippi is actually tied with New Mexico in terms of the rankings.

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6th Most Expensive: California


Average Annual Premium: $1,991

Photo Credit: Marcin Wichary

5th Most Expensive: Washington, D.C.


Average Annual Premium: $2,146

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4th Most Expensive: Montana

Average Annual Premium: $2,190

Photo Credit:  Woodys World 1778

3rd Most Expensive: Oklahoma



Average Annual Premium: $2,197Photo Credit:   cjc4454

2nd Most Expensive: Louisiana

Average Annual Premium: $2,453

Louisiana, which held the top spot in last year’s rankings, can blame its higher insurance premiums on how its judicial system is structured. Danise explains that under state laws, lawsuits that seek less than $50,000 in damages are heard by an elective judge, rather than by a jury.

“These judges tend to favor the little guy,” she says, since they are the ones responsible for the judge’s re-election. Danise adds that personal injury lawyers in Louisiana are hip to this and tailor their cases to seek $49,000 in damages, “just below the threshold.”

This leads to a lot of expensive claims being paid out by insurance companies.

Photo Credit:  Woodys World 1778

Most Expensive: Michigan

Average Annual Premium: $2,541

According to Danise, Michigan has always been high on Insure.com’s list (last year it was second), but the fact that it’s the only state that guarantees unlimited personal injury protection payments by law finally nudged it to the top.

“Insurance companies in Michigan pay a giant amount of money in personal injury claims,” Danise says, meaning they have to charge a higher premium to all.

Photo Credit:  Richard Masoner

The Most Expensive Cars to Insure

Your place of residency isn’t the only factor that drives what you pay to insure your vehicle.  Find out what 2011 car models specifically present the best (and worst) insurance deals in this MainStreet roundup!

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