Every state has its own car insurance laws, and that’s one reason why car insurance rates by state vary dramatically. Another reason is that your location is one of the top factors car insurance companies use when setting rates.
Auto insurers assign 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, the 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.
- 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 can drive rates up in your state.
Average car insurance rates by state
Carinsurance.com gathered car insurance premium data from every state for nearly every ZIP, 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 by state, on average, and which states have 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 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.
See the table below for the cheapest, average and most expensive car insurance rates by state.
What are the highest car insurance rates by state?
Based on our research, here’s the ranking of states where average annual car insurance rates are the most expensive:
- 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
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?
By contrast, here are the cheapest states for car insurance 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
“States that have the lowest overall car insurance premiums on average may have lower populations, which result in fewer car accidents and less money paid out by insurance companies, resulting in cheaper insurance premiums,” says Lauren McKenzie, an insurance broker at A Plus Insurance.
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.”
Why 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.”
Cost of living and risk affect car insurance rates by state
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 your zip code within that city. But city drivers generally 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.”
See the table below for the car insurance rates by state at different coverage levels.
- Alaska (AK)
- Alabama (AL)
- Arizona (AZ)
- Arkansas (AR)
- California (CA)
- Colorado (CO)
- Connecticut (CT)
- 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)
- Washington D.C. (DC)
- West Virginia (WV)
- Wisconsin (WI)
- Wyoming (WY)
Tort states vs. no-fault states
State laws vary when it comes to who pays for damages. In general, car insurance is more expensive in no-fault states because no-fault law states that you do not need to prove who was at fault to receive compensation from your insurance company. On the other hand, if you cause an accident in a tort state, your insurance company will be on the hook for any damage/injuries you’ve caused.
FAQ: Car insurance rates by state
Will car insurance rates in my state increase in 2023?
Car insurance costs have increased because of car repairs and inflation, pushing up prices for insurers and car insurance customers.
“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.
How will my car insurance change if I move to a new state?
If you’re moving to a new state, you must inform your insurance company immediately. State minimum insurance requirements vary by state and your location does affect insurance rates. Check out this calculator to see how much your car insurance costs will increase or decrease when you move. And remember, the weather, crime rate and other factors also come into play for rate calculations.
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.