Detroit's fiscal woes are well known, as the city tries to recover from bankruptcy. But Detroit drivers have another financial burden: They pay the highest auto insurance rates in the country.
At the opposite end of a ranking of 25 major cities, Charlotte, North Carolina, boasted the lowest insurance costs in a study by InsuranceQuotes.com. Detroit drivers pay 165 percent more than the national average, or about $2,112 in annual auto insurance premiums. Charlotte motorists pay 43 percent less than the national average of $797, or $454 annually.
Detroit's high rates involve state law as well as local conditions. "One of the main reasons why car insurance is so expensive in the Detroit area is because Michigan is the only state where car insurance includes unlimited personal injury protection," said Laura Adams, senior analyst for InsuranceQuotes.com.
Difficult economic conditions presumably play a part in the second factor pushing up rates -- a high percentage of uninsured drivers in Detroit, as many as 50 percent by some estimates. "That unfortunately raises rates for those who do have car insurance," explained Adams.
Detroit's auto insurance bills topped even those of the New York City area, where drivers pay 36 percent over the national average, or $1,084 a year. Then comes Miami (plus 34 percent, $1,068), Los Angeles (plus 25 percent, $996) and Atlanta (plus 17 percent, $932).
The next-lowest insurance costs after Charlotte are in Cleveland (minus 31 percent, $549), Pittsburgh (minus 24 percent, $606), St. Louis (minus 18 percent, $653) and Chicago (minus 16 percent, $660).
Here's where you can find the full list from InsuranceQuotes.com.