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States where you save the most and least on car insurance

Happy driver in car with piggybank

Where you live influences how much you pay – and can save – on car insurance.

Drivers in states with the highest average savings can save $2,000 to $3,000 on their car insurance cost just by comparing rates and opting for the lowest one, according to CarInsurance.com's analysis of average car insurance savings in every state.

But even in states where the savings are much lower, you can still avoid overpaying by $350 to $600 -- a 40% to 70% savings.

That's because the difference in price for the same policy can vary significantly from one insurance company to the next. 

Many factors are reviewed by car insurance companies when setting rates, but your location is chief among those considerations. Insurers assign ZIP codes different levels of risk, based on the number and severity, or cost, of car insurance claims within the area.  Insurers take into account the frequency of thefts, collisions and vandalism to gauge the likelihood of such incidents happening to drivers within the ZIP code. This is used as the base rate from which insurers calculate your premium. Other pricing factors, such as your driving record, type of car you drive and your age are then added into the calculation. Every car insurance company uses its own base rate and formula, which is why rates can vary so much, and why it's important to comparison shop.

CarInsurance.com analyzed rates for a 2016 Honda Accord with full coverage to identify the savings drivers can expect from shopping around. Rates were fielded from up to six major insurers for nearly every ZIP code in each state. The average savings is the dollar difference between the highest and lowest rates received from insurers, on average, for each state’s ZIP codes.

1. Michigan -- highest average savings

Michigan

Average $ savings: $3,012

Average highest rate:  $4,025

Average lowest rate: $1,013

Average % savings: 297%

Average annual rate: $2,490

2. Pennsylvania -- second highest average savings

Pennsylvania

Average $ savings:  $2,497

Average highest rate:  $3,183

Average lowest rate:  $686

Average % savings:  364%

Average annual rate: $1,532

3. District of Columbia -- third highest average savings

DC

Average $ savings: $2,180

Average highest rate:$2,876

Average lowest rate: $696 

Average % savings: 313% 

Average annual rate: $1,722

4. Wisconsin -- fourth highest average savings

Wisconsin road

Average $ savings: $2,111 

Average highest rate: $2,743

Average lowest rate: $632 

Average % savings: 334% 

Average annual rate: $1,327 

5. Kentucky -- fifth highest average savings

Kentucky

Average $ savings:  $2,014

Average highest rate: $2,894

Average lowest rate: $880 

Average % savings:  229%

Average annual rate: $1,771

1. Alaska -- lowest average savings

Alaska city

Average $ savings:  $353

Average highest rate: $1,305

Average lowest rate: $952  

Average % savings: 37% 

Average annual rate: $1,114

2. Virginia -- second lowest average savings

Virginia cityscape

Average $ savings: $450

Average highest rate: $1,192

Average lowest rate: $742

Average % savings: 61%

Average rate:$979

3. South Carolina -- third lowest average savings

SC

Average $ savings: $498 

Average highest rate: $1,528

Average lowest rate: $1,030 

Average % savings: 48% 

Average annual rate: $1,263

4. Washington -- fourth lowest average savings

Washington cityscape

 

Average $ savings: $504

Average highest rate: $1,498

Average lowest rate: $994

Average % savings: 51%

Average annual rate: $1,197

5. Minnesota -- fifth lowest average savings

MN

 

Average $ savings:  $618

Average highest rate:  $1,517

Average lowest rate:  $899

Average % savings:  69%

Average annual rate: $1,200

Saving on car insurance no matter where you live

Happy saver

Regardless of where you live, you can save on car insurance by shopping around and comparing rates. You should compare car insurance rates upon renewal of your policy, but also if you move, buy a car, get married or divorced, have an accident or add or drop a driver from your policy.

Here are more tips for saving on car insurance:

  • Check for discounts you may qualify for
  • Maintain good credit
  • Buy a car with a strong safety rating
  • Raise your deductible if you have an older car or few assets
  • Don’t buy comprehensive and collision if you have an older car 

To get a customized rate for your age group, gender and preferred coverage level, use our average car insurance rates by ZIP code tool.

Methodology:

CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average auto insurance rates for a 2016 Honda Accord for nearly every ZIP code in the United States. We calculated rates using data for up to six large carriers (Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm). Averages are based on insurance for a married 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/100 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $100,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage.

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