Most and least expensive states for car insurance

Auto insurance agency Flickr user The TruthAbout

(MoneyWatch) It seems like Hurricane Katrina and the BP (BP) oil spill should be enough troubles for one state. But if you live in Louisiana, you also pay the highest auto insurance rates in the country.

According to a just-released study by the website Insure.com, the $2,536 average cost to insure a car in Louisiana is nearly three times the $889 average in Maine, the lowest-cost state.

Factors that push up rates include a large number of uninsured drivers, state insurance laws, how many insurers compete in the state and whether recent natural disasters have pushed up claims. "Many of these problems are outside the control of drivers," says Amy Danise, editorial director of Insure.com. "But even if you live in an expensive state, you can hold down your insurance costs by keeping your driving record as clean as possible and selecting a car that is cheap to insure."

After Louisiana, Oklahoma ($2,047) and Michigan ($2,013) are the next most expensive states. High levels of insurance awards to accident victims are major factors in Louisiana and Michigan, according to Insure.com. In Oklahoma, in addition to many uninsured drivers, recent claims for tornado damage have pushed up rates.

Least expensive states

In Maine (average cost $889), relatively light traffic, a low crime rate and competitive rates among insurance companies contribute to low costs. Similar factors, plus a low rate of uninsured drivers keep costs down in second-least expensive Iowa ($985). Wisconsin ($987) also has a low crime rate and competition among companies and has a relatively low level of auto-related lawsuits.

To see how your state ranks, check the list below. These are averages. Your own rates will be affected by exactly where you live, how many miles you drive annually and your credit score.

1. Louisiana: $2,536

2. Oklahoma: $2,047

3. Michigan: $2,013

4. West Virginia: $2,002

5. Washington, D.C.: $1,866

6. Montana: $1,856

7. Rhode Island: $1,830

8. Wyoming: $1,732

9. California: $1,709

10. Georgia: $1,694

11. Connecticut: $1,665

12. Texas: $1,661

13. Florida: $1,654

14. Delaware: $1,652

15. New Jersey: $1,608

16. Pennsylvania: $1,598

17. Hawaii: $1,594

18. Kentucky: $1,572

19. Mississippi: $1,502

20. Missouri: $1,455

21. Alaska: $1,431

22. North Dakota: $1,426

23. New York: $1,431

24. Kansas: $1,410

25. Massachusetts: $1,378

26. Maryland: $1,372

27. Alabama: $1,345

28. Arkansas: $1,334

29. Colorado: $1,322

30. Utah: $1,315

31. Washington: $1,305

32. South Dakota: $1,303

33. Indiana: $1,301

34. Virginia: $1,297

35. New Mexico: $1,274

36. Minnesota: $1,264

37. Nebraska: $1,244

38. Oregon: $1,241

39. Tennessee: $1,228

40. Nevada: $1,223

41. Illinois: $1,192

42. Arizona: $1,176

43. New Hampshire: $1,133

44. South Carolina: $1,108

45. Ohio: $1,099

46. Vermont: $1,063

47. North Carolina: $1,022

48. Idaho: $1,011

49. Wisconsin: $987

50. Iowa: $985

51. Maine: $889

Image courtesy of Flickr user The TruthAbout.

  • Jerry Edgerton On Twitter»

    View all articles by Jerry Edgerton on CBS MoneyWatch»
    Jerry Edgerton, author of Car Shopping Made Easy, has been covering the car beat since Detroit companies dominated the U.S. market. The former car columnist for Money magazine and Washington correspondent for Business Week, Edgerton specializes in finding the best deals on wheels and offering advice on making your car last.

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.