Hawaii's car insurance rates are the third-most affordable in the nation, according to research released Monday by CarInsuranceQuotes.com.
Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Hawaii ranked No. 3, with a median car insurance costs of $1,244 per year, or 1.634 percent of household income.
Michigan, with its automaking heritage, was found to have the most expensive auto insurance. Residents there paid 8.003 percent of household income for car coverage.
The research divided the median cost for car insurance by the median household income to arrive at the rankings.
Hawaii's good ranking "is the result of several factors," said state of Hawaii Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito. "One is a reduction in accidents and their severity. ... It also can be attributed to motor vehicle insurance reforms that took place in the 1990s," which led to the highly competitive motor vehicle insurance market in Hawaii.
Ito cited solid work by the Insurance Division's Rate and Policy Analysis Branch, which analyzes rate and policy filings by insurance companies to ensure compliance with state law.
"The latest data ... from the NAIC, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, indicates that in 2006 the average premium in Hawaii was $960, and in 2009 it dropped to $901," Ito said.
Ito encourages consumers to shop around and compare rates and discounts, given the highly competitive local market.
Motor vehicle coverage rate comparisons, updated each year, can be found on the division's website at hawaii.gov/dcca/ins. The website said the price for the same annual insurance coverage on Oahu for a driver of a 2010 Honda Accord with a clean driving record ranged from $1,082 to $196 as of November last year.
CarInsuranceQuotes.com said it took median income data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2010 American Community Survey, while its median insurance rate data was collected through quotes received by CarInsuranceQuotes.com. users. The insurance data includes information from a range of demographics, from single drivers to multicar families, to households with teen drivers, according to a spokesman. The median insurance cost was from June 2012.
All rankings and more details can be found at www.carinsurancequotes.com/car_insurance-costs.
Credit: Erika Engle