How much you’ll pay for car insurance can depend on a variety of factors, including your age, driving record, credit score and how you use your car.
Location also matters. According to a 2013 report, the national average for car insurance is $1,510 a year. The data is based on insurance rates of more than 750 2013-model vehicles, and the quotes are for a single 40-year-old man with “a clean driving record and good credit who commutes 12 miles to work daily.”
Those numbers were gathered from 10 ZIP codes in each state and the District of Columbia from insurers Allstate, Farmers, Geico, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm, and the 10 states with the highest insurance rates are geographically diverse.
While you can control the personal factors that go into determining insurance rates and discounts, like safe driving and a solid credit history, there’s not much that can be done about state-based rates. State regulations affect rates; If you live somewhere with a lot of uninsured or underinsured drivers, insurance will cost more. States that have had recent severe weather, which can lead to an increase in insurance claims, also tend to have higher rates.
The Most Expensive States for Car Insurance
Eleven states had average insurance rates above $1,700 for 2013 model cars, and Louisiana car insurance is the priciest. (The average insurance rate in Connecticut is $2 cheaper than in Kentucky, No. 10 on the list of most expensive rates.)
The rankings are based purely on dollar volume and do not factor in differences among states in income or cost of living.
10. Kentucky — $1,725
9. Rhode Island — $1,735
8. West Virginia — $1,816
7. California — $1,819
6. Montana — $1,914
5. District of Columbia — $2,006
4. Oklahoma — $2,074
3. Georgia — $2,155
2. Michigan — $2,520
1. Louisiana — $2,699
While many determining factors of car insurance costs are beyond your control, one thing you can do to get discounts and better rates is build and maintain healthy credit scores.
There are dozens of ways to strengthen your credit profile, like paying down debt, making timely bill payments and using a small portion of available credit. It’s also a good idea to monitor your credit reports to spot any weaknesses (or inaccuracies). There are also free tools, like Credit.com’s Credit Report Card, that give insight into the makeup of your credit profile and areas for improvement.
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