The best and worst states for car insurance

March 19, 2013 12:00 AM

It's no secret that car insurance premiums can vary depending on a number of different factors. Age, driving record and the type of vehicle can all impact premiums, but location can as well. In fact, the state you live in may also affect how much you pay, and the discrepancies between certain locations around the U.S. are significant. 

Recently, ranked the most and least expensive states for car insurance based on rates for 2013. Some states stood apart from the pack - for both good and bad reasons - which provides some insight as to the ins and outs of the insurance industry. 

The most expensive states
Louisiana has the unfortunate honor of landing the top spot as the state with the most expensive car insurance. On average, drivers there have a higher rate of comprehensive claims, both for personal injury and auto repair - some of which stems from natural disasters as well as accidents on the road. 

"A high portion of Louisiana drivers who are in accidents file bodily injury claims," Amy Danise, editorial director of, told The Detroit Bureau. "Also, car accident lawsuits for less than $50,000 go before elected judges rather than juries, and the elected judges are seen as siding with consumers more than the insurance companies." 

Not far behind Louisiana was Michigan, which earned its spot thanks to a guarantee of unlimited, lifetime personal injury protection, reports. Most other states cap the protection at a certain price point, which helps limit the cost of coverage. These two areas are well ahead of Georgia's premiums, which are the next closest - not exactly what savvy drivers are looking for. 

The most affordable states
If drivers are looking for cheap auto insurance, Maine is the place to be. According to AutoBlog, residents pay about $1,765 less per year than their counterparts in Louisiana and on average are charged less than $1,000. A lower population and lack of major cities means most residents stick to rural driving and are accustomed to driving in all kinds of weather. The use of a statewide graduated licensing program has reduced the number of crashes that involve younger drivers, which also helps decrease rates. 

Other states with low premiums include similarly rural areas like Iowa, Idaho, Vermont and New Hampshire. However, more populated states, such as North Carolina, Ohio, Indiana and Washington also had more affordable rates. 

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