According to an annual comparison of car insurance premiums by state, Insure.com has determined the states with the least expensive insurance, and has calculated the national average car insurance premium across all states and the District of Columbia.
To create its list of states with the least expensive car insurance, Insure.com -- which provides advice, tools and quote processes for consumers seeking insurance information -- obtained insurance rates for 750 different makes, models and trim levels from six major car insurance carriers, including Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm. Compiled in December 2012, the rates are based on the following parameters:
- 40-year-old male, single
- Clean driving record
- Good credit
- 12-mile daily commute
- Collision and comprehensive policy with uninsured motorist coverage
- $100,000 injury liability limit for one person
- $300,000 injury liability limit for all people
- $50,000 property damage limit
- $500 policy deductible
Insure.com points out that a number of factors can impact car insurance rates negatively in some areas, including state insurance system regulations, the number of insurance companies competing for business, driving conditions, and the number of uninsured motorists in the state.
Based on the criteria above, the U.S. national average car insurance premium is $1,510. The most expensive state in which to insure a car, according to the data, is Louisiana, where the annual average premium is $2,699. Louisiana is followed by Michigan ($2,520), Georgia ($2,155), Oklahoma ($2,074) and Washington D.C. ($2,006).
Insure.com claims that one reason for high car insurance premiums in Louisiana is that drivers involved in accidents file more bodily injury claims than in other states, and also file comprehensive claims at a higher rate. In Louisiana, lawsuits involving claims under $50,000 are heard by elected judges rather than juries, and elected judges might be more likely to side with the insured rather than the insurer.
The least expensive insurance for cars is found in Maine, where the annual average premium is $934. Rounding out the list of the five most affordable states in which to insure a car are Iowa ($1,028), North Carolina ($1,085), Ohio ($1,106) and New Hampshire ($1,112).
In an interview with Insure.com, Sheila Sawyer, president of the Maine Insurance Agent's Association, explains that her state has inexpensive car insurance because there is little city driving, Maine residents learn to drive in all types of weather and the state has tight restrictions on teenage drivers, who must complete a three-step graduated licensing program.