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CarInsurance.com ‘Nosy Neighbor’ Tool Exposes Auto Insurance Rates by ZIP Code

June 5, 2012 (Foster City, CA) -- The cheapest place in America to insure a car is rural Arizona, a new study from CarInsurance.com finds. The most expensive is the Detroit metro area – with a $3,483 difference in average annual premiums between the two.

CarInsurance.com’s new “Nosy Neighbor Car Insurance Tool” tool provides average auto insurance rates for every ZIP code in the U.S., allowing drivers to explore comparative rates within their own town or across the country. The map format allows users to spot areas where drivers are receiving painful car insurance bills.

According to CarInsurance.com, the 10 least expensive towns to insure a car are:

1. Bullhead City, Ariz.; $730;                     

On the Colorado River, opposite the casino destination of Laughlin, Nev.

2. Chloride, Ariz.; $731;               

The oldest continuously inhabited mining town in Arizona.

3. Oatman, Ariz.; $731;

Clark Gable and Carole Lombard honeymooned here, on old U.S. Route 66.

4. Pine Point, Maine; $733;

Lighthouses, lobster pounds and beaches.

5. West Scarborough, Maine; $733

Woodsy area of Scarborough, split by the Nonesuch River.

6. Lake Havasu City, Ariz.;$734;

Reassembled London Bridge is Arizona’s second-largest tourist attraction.

7. Cumberland Foreside, Maine  $735

Portland suburb. “Foreside” means it’s on the beach.

8. Amity, Maine; $736;

Moose country. 2011 population: 186

9. Ashland, Maine; $736;

Crossroads of the Maine North Woods.

10. Blaine, Maine; $736;

Named for then-Speaker of the House James G. Blaine.


The most expensive towns to insure a car are:

10. Springfield Gardens, N.Y.; $3,213;

Just north of J.F.K. International Airport.

9. St. Albans, N.Y.;$3,233;

Once home to Count Basie and Lena Horne.

8. Allison, Texas; $3,385;

Atop a gas field known as the world’s largest producer of helium.

7. Bronx, N.Y.; $3,443;

Home of the Yankees and the Bronx Zoo.

6. Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.; $3,504;

Tony suburb just east of Detroit.

5. Detroit; $3,709;

Known at its height as the Paris of the West.

4. Brooklyn, N.Y.; $3,819;

The most populous of the five New York boroughs.

3. Fort Hamilton, N.Y.; $3,947;

In the shadow of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

2. Hamtramck, Mich: $3,953;

Along with No. 1 Highland Park, surrounded by Detroit.

1. Highland Park, Mich.; $4,214;

Home of the first Ford assembly line.

Large ranges in car insurance rates cannot be explained by merely comparing urban areas to rural areas.

“Metro Detroit and rural Arizona are a world apart. What’s really astounding is the difference between ZIP codes that are almost next door to each other,” said Des Toups, managing editor of CarInsurance.com.

Within a city, differences in accident and theft claims bring dramatic rate changes from ZIP code to ZIP code. The “Nosy Neighbor” tool underlines the effects of those differences.  Within the 24 square miles of the island of Manhattan, for example, the same driver in the same car could pay as little as $1,772 or as much as $2,847.

Consider these big swings within city limits for the same driver in the same car:

  • Detroit: From ZIP code 48240 to 48227, premiums rise by $2,365 (106 percent).
  • Los Angeles: From ZIP code 90045 to 90005, premiums rise by $789 (47 percent).
  • New Orleans: From ZIP code 70124 to 70117, premiums rise by $872 (33 percent)

With the “Nosy Neighbor” tool, consumers now have an easy way to see how their address is affecting their auto insurance.

“Territorial rating,” as the practice is known, is used to produce a base insurance rate that is the starting point for anyone seeking insurance coverage (except in states that limit its use). Insurance companies evaluate their own experiences with claims and group ZIP codes into risk categories.

If your base rate is high, any flaw in your driving record, claims history or credit is magnified, Toups said. “Every carrier has its own base rate and does its own math,” Toups says. “That’s why it’s so important to do a car insurance rate comparison.”


CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average auto insurance rates for a 2012 Honda Accord for every ZIP code in the United States. We calculated rates using data for six large carriers (Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm).

Averages are based on insurance for a single 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($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. This hypothetical driver has a clean record and good credit. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage. Average rates are for comparative purposes. Your own rate will depend on your personal factors and vehicle.

Read the full article about insurance rates by ZIP code at http://www.carinsurance.com/Articles/car-insurance-rate-comparison.aspx.

About CarInsurance.com

CarInsurance.com has been offering drivers expert advice about car insurance and how to shop for it since 2003. Using a combination of industry expertise and information drawn from thousands of online quotes delivered without obligation each month, CarInsurance.com is a source for unbiased answers and data about what consumers should expect from an insurance policy. The site lets consumers compare multiple car insurance quotes online and purchase a policy online in minutes. CarInsurance.com is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: QNST), one of the largest Internet marketing and media companies in the world. QuinStreet is committed to providing consumers and businesses with the information they need to research, find and select the products, services and brands that best meet their needs. The company is a leader in visitor-friendly marketing practices. For more information, please visit QuinStreet.com.


Press contact:
Andrew Heilman