D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has appeared on legaladvice.com, themanifest.com, and vice.com.

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Oct 7, 2020

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Car Insurance by Location

Did you know that where you live can mean a significant difference in price when it comes to car insurance? The difference in cost – for the same coverage – can be downright shocking (and seem quite unfair).

In fact, some addresses in the U.S. have more than a $8,141 annual price difference in car insurance between them.

You read that right. Many drivers with identical backgrounds, driving records, credit scores, and personal profiles are required to pay hundreds to thousands more a month just for having different U.S. addresses. And, when you dig deeper, the differences are even more alarming. Here’s an actual dollar amount example with real-life data:

On average, drivers in Richmond, Virginia are paying $2,219 a year for State Farm car insurance, while drivers in Detroit, Michigan are paying an average of $27,412 a year for auto coverage from the same company — That’s over $2,000 more a month!

Essentially the extra cost for car insurance in Michigan is enough to cover the monthly cost of buying a brand new BMW (which may not be worth no matter how helpful BMW has been in some cities solving parking problems).

There are many factors that go into determining car insurance rates. Some of those price factors, such as driving record, credit score, etc., drivers can work to improve and, in turn, lower their rates. But one of the biggest factors determining car insurance rates is the geographical location of the driver and the chosen provider. And, aside from moving, drivers can’t do anything about it.

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Comparing Car Insurance Costs in the U.S.

Curious which states are home to the least and most expensive car insurance in the country? Check out the chart below for just a taste of what you’ll find in every one of our state and city car insurance guides:

Most Expensive StatesAnnual Rates
Rhode Island$5,003
New Jersey$5,515
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In February of 2019, State Farm released a statement that they would be lowering their car insurance rates by 3.5 percent in Michigan. A price deduction will certainly help, but it won’t be even close to enough to break Michigan free from being the most expensive state for car insurance.

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Drivers across Michigan are paying nearly double the cost for car insurance than drivers in the rest of the country, and they are sick of it.

In the ABC news clip below you’ll see a local mom explain how it’s becoming impossible to afford car insurance on top of all the other bills drivers are facing – especially college students.

Drivers in the ten states with the cheapest car insurance are paying an average of $200 a month, which is much more reasonable.

Please Note: The rates you see in the above and below charts are actual average car insurance costs across the U.S.

These are insurance policies real people are buying and include high-risk drivers like teens that require more expensive car insurance coverage. Accident and claim-free drivers will often be able to pay less than the state or city average.

Least Expensive StatesAnnual Rates
West Virginia$2,595
New Hampshire$3,152
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In our comprehensive guides, you will find rates for specific zip codes based on age, gender, driving record, city, and more.

Why do some states have more expensive car insurance?

There are hundreds of reasons why car insurance rates vary from state to state, but here are some of the biggest location statuses that raise rates statewide:

Any number of things from the list above could be going on where you live and cause auto insurance providers to raise their rates.

Unfortunately, each one of those factors make every driver in that area – yes, even the safest ones – much more expensive to insure.

For more location-specific crime rates, hours lost to traffic, population totals, and more, click here to jump to our in-depth state guides.

Prices Vary (Greatly) within each State, too

The big spikes in prices don’t end at the state level. When comparing car insurance rates by zip code within each state, you’ll discover some eye-opening results.

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For example, drivers in Brookside, New Jersey are paying $3,160 for their annual car insurance from Progressive, while drivers in Newark, New Jersey are paying over double that: $6,630 a year.

Yes, living in the same state but a different zip code – even only about 20 miles away – can mean paying $290 more a month for car insurance.

Why do nearby cities have such different car insurance rates?

The same reasons car insurance rates vary drastically at the state level – number of drivers, higher crime rates, traffic congestion, more car crashes, etc. – also apply at the city level and cause rates to vary greatly from one zip code to another—even two zip codes that are in the same city.

The below news report discusses how even in a small state like Rhode Island, the cost difference for car insurance between two cities is much higher than what would be expected. The study found that drivers in Providence were paying $1,064 more a year for their car insurance than drivers living only about 30 miles away in Newport.

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Traffic & Insurance Laws Also Vary by Location

In the auto insurance world, the thing that consumers (typically) care the most about have different words – premiums, rates, quotes – that all center around one question:

“What is it going to cost me?”

Don’t worry, our guides will give you tons of rates (what actual drivers in specific zip codes are paying) so you know exactly what to expect from the top providers in your area.

However, the laws that govern the roads and insurance providers where you live are just as important as the coverage price point—in some cases more important.

In addition to detailed rates broken down by area and driver profile, our state and city guides will give you all the must-know driver facts including the following:

We even uncover juicy reports on some of the most popular insurance providers: their financial scores, customer complaints, loss ratio – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg, folks.

For our state guides, click on your state in the map above and for our city guides click here.

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City News and Complete Guides

As important as it is for you to be in the know when it comes to car insurance prices, traffic stats, and driving laws, you should also stay current in top news that affect the roads where you and your loved ones drive each day.

Below you will find links to news, rankings, and comparison articles that relate to many U.S. cities. These are both interesting and informative. Although our feature articles about American cities are entertaining, their main purpose is for keeping our readers educated and safe on the roads.

In addition to city news articles, we will be delivering complete insurance guides for the most populated areas across the country.

Our team of insurance experts are currently gathering highly sought after exact-dollar average car insurance rates by age, gender, driving record, and provider plus hard to find area-specific laws and insurance facts in top American cities.

Laws and rates by city are often not clear or openly provided to the public, but they are important facts every city resident deserves to know. We are working diligently to bring our readers hundreds of facts and required costs for owning a car and driving in your city.

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