The average American pays
It's not just your state. It's also your ZIP code. Urban dwellers generally pay more for insurance than rural residents, with premiums sometimes tripling when you move from the farm to the city.
A resident of
The same move would cost the average
"I think a good number of folks --though certainly still not all -- know that car insurance costs vary by state," said
The Zebra examined more than 61 million rates across the country for its 2019 State of the Auto Insurance Report and shared some of its data with GateHouse Media.
The numbers reveal vast disparities, with rates tending to be higher the closer you get to an area with high crime rates or increased chance of getting into an accident. Major cities also tend to create more wear and tear on a vehicle, as stop-and-go traffic leads to brake and engine problems over time.
"Rates vary based on how long you've been driving, your driving history, things like that," said
In fact, the six priciest ZIP codes in
Talanian said there are plenty of ways for drivers to get lower rates, such as bundling home and auto coverage, reducing their overall mileage and taking advantage of multi-car discounts. But no matter what, a new address will almost certainly mean a new rate, for better or worse.
"If a family was to move away from the city, they'd see big drops, but a lot of times you might see younger drivers who want to move to
"You expect certain cost-of-living increases when you move closer to the city, but for some it can be pretty big sticker shock," Derry said. "It might keep some people away from the area, or even flat-out prevent them from moving. It might be the difference between taking that new job, or not."
And it can be harder than you think to predict what those rate changes will be. Connolly said you can get a good sense if you're moving across state lines, because car insurance is regulated at the state level.
"For example, in
homework before you move can go a long way, Connolly said.
"Since car insurance varies so much by location, you really have to re-quote in each area," she said. "You can do that before you move so you have a better idea of your options."
Some feel the pinch more than others
Although rates have climbed since 2011, their bite out of the American budget remains about the same.
Families still spend an average of 1.5 percent of their annual household income after taxes on auto insurance, according to data from the
Anything over 2 percent is considered unaffordable in minority and low-income neighborhoods, according to the
The report found 18.6 million people living in more than 800 such neighborhoods across
Comparatively, 18 percent of Massachusetts ZIP codes are listed as minority and low-income according to the FIO, but in none of these neighborhoods do residents pay more than 2 percent of their annual household income after taxes on auto insurance.
Lowest rates, highest limits
They also have the fewest uninsured motorists per capita at 4.5 percent. And they live in one of the least auto-populated states with fewer than 1 million registered vehicles on the road, according to
"We have some of the lowest rates, yet some of the highest limits," said
Bernier credited several factors for reducing
Compare that to
"When I was single in my 20s and living in
Now, he said, he pays about
"When it was just my wife and I, we were paying a little over
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