Affordable Auto Insurance: What’s Everyone Else Paying?

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All drivers want affordable auto insurance, but the average price drivers pay for insurance yearly varies greatly from state to state because of factors such as the stability of the economy and the state’s population size. Check out the following information to find out how much insured drivers in your state are paying compared to other states.

According to Insurance Information Institute (www.iii.org), the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) calculates average auto insurance expenditures per state by assuming that all insured vehicles have liability insurance, but not necessarily comprehensive or collision coverage. The average auto insurance expenditure, therefore, measures the price consumers actually pay for insurance on each vehicle rather than equaling the sum of liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage together. This is because most policyholders do not usually carry all three types of coverage. NAIC data also shows that 77 percent of insured drivers buy comprehensive coverage in addition to liability insurance. And only 72 percent purchase collision coverage.

In a September 2007 NAIC report, New Jersey held the record for the highest average auto insurance expenditure per year at $1,184. Following closely behind were the District of Columbia at $1,182, New York at $1,122, Massachusetts at $1,113 and Louisiana at $1,076. North Dakota is the least expensive state for auto insurance at $554 per year, and Iowa followed closely behind at only $555.

The price insured drivers pay is affected by the type of coverage purchased, as well as other factors. People who live in states where the economy is healthy are much more likely to buy new cars than people who live in an unhealthy economy. Since the coverage drivers select for new cars differs and can be more costly than coverage for an older car, these states often have relatively higher average auto insurance expenditures per year. Urban population, traffic density, and per capita income also significantly impact the price of auto coverage. Highly urban states with high traffic density and higher wages and prices will usually possess the highest auto insurance expenditures per year.

In an NAIC chart comparing average annual auto insurance expenditures by state (http://www.iii.org/media/facts/statsbyissue/auto), Texas drivers in 2005 paid an average of $845. So, the average cost of Texas auto insurance ranked at number 17. Arizona auto insurance cost about $926 per year in 2005, down from $931 in 2004, keeping Arizona ranked number 14 both years among the rest of the states. In California, insured drivers paid an average of $847 in 2004 and $845 in 2005. This ranks California auto insurance as the 18th most expensive coverage in the United States in 2005. In Florida, ranked sixth in 2004 and 2005, insured drivers paid an average of $1,062 in 2004 and $1,063 in 2005. North Carolina is one of the least expensive states for auto insurance coverage, ranking at number 47 in 2004, with an average cost of $597. However, in 2005, the average auto insurance cost increased to $602.

Finding affordable auto insurance is so important to most drivers, but depending where you live, prices will vary. How do auto insurance rates in your state compare with the rest?

Ryan Patterson is president of US Insurance Online based in Austin, TX. He graduated in 2000 from the University of Texas with a combined business and computer science degree, and started the company in May of 2005 with fellow entrepreneur Jim Waltrip. The recently re-launched site is designed to provide insurance shopping help and free insurance quotes. If you want help finding affordable auto insurance, visit www.USInsuranceOnline.com

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