- Average car insurance rates by state
- Which states have the most expensive car insurance rates?
- Which states have the cheapest car insurance rates?
- How do car insurance rates vary from state to state?
- Why have car insurance premiums gone up?
- Common questions about state-specific car insurance laws
- How do you save the most money on car insurance?
Every state has its own car insurance laws, and that’s one reason why car insurance rates vary dramatically. Another reason is that your location is chief among the factors car insurance companies use when setting rates.
Auto insurers assign different risk levels to ZIP codes based on the frequency of thefts, collisions and vandalism to gauge the likelihood of such incidents in an area. 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, how much coverage you want and your age are added into the equation.
- Ohio, Maine and Idaho are the cheapest states for car insurance coverage, on average.
- Florida, Louisiana and Delaware have the most expensive average car insurance rates in the U.S.
- Stolen cars, fraudulent injury claims, no-fault laws and vandalism are some factors that can drive rates higher in your state.
Average car insurance rates by state
Carinsurance.com gathered car insurance premium data from every state so you can see how much you can expect to pay, on average, for automobile insurance in 2022. The editors included data on which states offer the cheapest car insurance rates, on average, and which states charge the most expensive car insurance rates, on average.
The national average annual cost for a full-coverage policy is $1,682 per year in 2022, but laws in your state and your driving profile and vehicle profile can cause rates to vary.
The data methodology is based on a 40-year-old male driver with a clean record (no recent moving violations/tickets) who needs full coverage, has a good insurance score and drives about 12 miles to work.
The editors’ findings might surprise you. Some of the states with the lowest average annual car insurance premium rates are states where the cost of living, on average, is higher. And some of the smallest and least-populated states in the nation rank among the 10 states with the highest average annual car insurance premium rates.
Which states have the most expensive car insurance rates?
Based on our research, here’s the ranking of states where average annual car insurance rates are the costliest:
- Florida: $2,560
- Louisiana: $2,546
- Delaware: $2,137
- Michigan: $2,133
- California: $2,115
- Kentucky: $2,105
- Missouri: $2,104
- Nevada: $2,023
- New York: $2,020
- Nebraska: $2,018
Other areas with high car insurance rates include Colorado, New Jersey, South Carolina, Texas and Washington, D.C.
Drilling down deeper reveals that the states where policyholders will actually pay the highest possible rates (not the average), although you will pay lower, on average, for a policy in these states:
- Michigan: $16,397
- New York: $15,851
- Missouri: $10,332
- Illinois: $10,121
- Nebraska: $8,922
Geoff Cudd, a Philadelphia-based consumer advocate and owner of FindTheBestCarPrice.com, says these rankings don’t surprise him.
Mark Friedlander, director of corporate communications for the Insurance Information Institute in St. Johns, Florida, agrees.
“Florida drivers pay the highest average premiums in the United States due to a variety of factors,” he says. “These include the impact of severe weather on roadways, heavy traffic patterns on interstates generated by residents and millions of annual visitors, congested roadways in major metro areas, a state’s no-fault insurance law … and the fact that Florida has one of the highest uninsured motorist rates in the United States – 20.4%.”
Which states have the cheapest car insurance rates?
By contrast, here are the states where you can anticipate paying the least for car insurance premiums, on average, in 2022:
- Ohio: $1,023
- Maine: $1,116
- Idaho: $1,121
- Vermont: $1,158
- Oregon: $1,244
- Indiana: $1,256
- Hawaii: $1,306
- New Hampshire: $1,307
- Virginia: $1,321
- Iowa: $1,321
Rounding out the top 15 cheapest states are Alaska, North Carolina, Washington, Tennessee and North Dakota.
You can find the very cheapest automobile insurance policies (lowest overall, not the lowest average) in these states, although you will pay more, on average:
- New York: $468
- Massachusetts: $495
- Wisconsin: $505
- Ohio: $516
- Indiana: $521
Cudd agrees: “Some of these states have generally milder weather than others, and many have rural areas. That generally means less chance of accidents and weather-related claims, which means car insurance companies will have to spend less money.”
How do car insurance rates vary from state to state?
Each state has different insurance requirements that drivers must maintain to be considered legal on the road, which is why some states may cost more for insurance than others. Some states require personal injury protection or medical payment coverage, but others don’t.
“For example, South Carolina requires drivers to have uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury protection and property damage as a minimum requirement on their auto insurance policy, whereas many states offer that coverage but don’t require it,” she says. “That additional coverage has a price associated with it and will increase your total premium.”
Where you live is a crucial factor in calculating the cost of what you will fork over for car insurance and the cost of living in your state can impact insurance prices.
“On average, drivers in more sparsely-populated states such as Idaho and North Dakota are going to pay much less for coverage than drivers in more populous states such as California, Florida and New York,” Friedlander says.
“But it goes beyond just the state you live in. Insurers determine rates by the city you live in and even your specific ZIP code. Traffic volume, accident frequency and severity, as well as theft and vandalism data, vary in every city throughout every state.”
In other words, you could live in a large metro like Los Angeles or Chicago and pay significantly different rates based on what ZIP code you live in within that city. But in general, city drivers pay much more for auto insurance than motorists in rural locations within the same state.
“If you live in an area with a high crime rate, a large number of accidents and large payouts, insurance prices will be higher there,” McKenzie says. “If you live in a state with busy, expensive cities where gas prices and rent costs are high … car insurance prices will be high as well.”
- Alaska (AK)
- Alabama (AL)
- Arizona (AZ)
- Arkansas (AR)
- California (CA)
- Colorado (CO)
- Connecticut (CT)
- Washington D.C. (DC)
- Delaware (DE)
- Florida (FL)
- Georgia (GA)
- Hawaii (HI)
- Idaho (ID)
- Illinois (IL)
- Indiana (IN)
- Iowa (IA)
- Kansas (KS)
- Kentucky (KY)
- Louisiana (LA)
- Maine (ME)
- Maryland (MD)
- Massachusetts (MA)
- Michigan (MI)
- Minnesota (MN)
- Mississippi (MS)
- Missouri (MO)
- Montana (MT)
- Nebraska (NE)
- Nevada (NV)
- New Hampshire (NH)
- New Mexico (NM)
- New York (NY)
- New Jersey (NJ)
- North Carolina (NC)
- North Dakota (ND)
- Ohio (OH)
- Oklahoma (OK)
- Oregon (OR)
- Pennsylvania (PA)
- Rhode Island (RI)
- South Carolina (SC)
- South Dakota (SD)
- Tennessee (TN)
- Texas (TX)
- Utah (UT)
- Vermont (VT)
- Virginia (VA)
- Washington (WA)
- West Virginia (WV)
- Wisconsin (WI)
- Wyoming (WY)
Why have car insurance premiums gone up?
“Personal auto insurance premium rates have returned to pre-pandemic levels across the United States. But several issues may continue to put upward pressure on consumer costs of car insurance,” Friedlander says.
“At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, auto insurers – anticipating fewer accidents amid the economic lockdown – gave back approximately $14 billion to policyholders in the form of cash refunds and account credits.”
However, while vehicle miles traveled, or VMT, declined and accident frequency initially dropped during the first half of 2020, frequency and severity quickly started increasing again. Traffic fatalities also rose following decades of consistent declines. These increased deaths on the road have caused auto insurance rates to climb.
“With more drivers on the road, higher inflation, and replacement part costs continuing to escalate, this loss trend in the insurance industry is expected to continue, leading to rate increases from national and regional insurers during the second half of 2022,” Friedlander says.
According to a 2022 report, “Overview of Motor Vehicle Crashes in 2020” published by the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2020 was a record year for car crashes despite the pandemic.
“There were 38,824 people killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes on U.S. roadways during 2020. This is the largest number of fatalities since 2007. It also represents a 6.8% increase from 36,355 fatalities in 2019 – 2,469 more people killed in traffic crashes in 2020,” the report says.
Common questions about state-specific car insurance laws
Here are a few questions people typically have about state-specific laws regarding auto insurance.
What is a tort state?: Most states use the tort system, which means that if you’re found at fault for an accident, you (or your insurer) will pay the medical expenses and property damage to the other party.
What is a no-fault state?: Under the no-fault system, car insurance companies pay for certain damages (typically bodily injuries), regardless of who was at fault.
No pay, no play states: In states with “no pay, no play” laws, driving without insurance is even riskier than in other states. Uninsured drivers in these states are not compensated for any damage, even in accidents that are not their fault.
How do you save the most money on car insurance?
Even if you live in one of the most expensive states in the country for average auto insurance rates, there are best practices you can follow to shave costs off your premiums.
Here’s what the experts recommend:
- Shop around for coverage carefully: “Get quotes from different types of insurance companies, and don’t shop by price alone. Ask friends, neighbors, and relatives for their recommendations,” Friedlander says.
- Compare insurance costs prior to purchasing a car: “Before you commit to buying a new or used vehicle, check into its insurance costs,” Friedlander says.
- Increase your deductible: By upping your deductible from $250 to $500, you could reduce your collision and comprehensive coverage cost by up to 30%, for example.
- Lower coverage on older cars: Consider dropping collision and/or comprehensive coverages on older vehicles – paying for this coverage may not be cost-effective if your vehicle is worth less than 10 times the premium.
- Bundle your home and auto insurance: By purchasing two or more types of insurance products from the same carrier, you can save on each policy.
- Maintain good credit: “Establishing a solid credit history can cut your auto insurance costs, as most insurers use credit information to price policies,” Friedlander says.
Resources & Methodology
U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Overview of Motor Vehicle Crashes in 2020.” Accessed June 2022.
CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services in 2022 to compile auto insurance coverage data by ZIP code for 2022 vehicles and a 40-year-old with a clean driving record (no recent moving violations/tickets) with full coverage insurance, a good insurance score and a 12-mile commute.
–Michelle Megna contributed to this story.