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The 10 Cheapest States for Car Insurance in 2022

Buying a new or new-to-you car is one of the most important financial decisions that a person can make in their life. However, spending tens of thousands of dollars for a hunk of metal on wheels is just the beginning of what can oftentimes be a lengthy – and costly – ownership experience.

Car insurance is one of the most expensive recurring costs related to owning a vehicle. In most places, it's required by law. You hope to never have to use it, but when you do, you're far better off than if you were uninsured. Those who shop for insurance for the first time may be aghast at the prices. The truth is, there is a multitude of factors that go into the cost and rates of insurance. Some are under your control, or specific to you: your age, gender, driving record, level of coverage, credit rating, and what kind of car you drive. Other factors, such as state insurance coverage regulations and stipulations from lenders and leasing companies, are out of your control.

Another huge factor that goes into how much you'll pay is where you live. Insurance rates vary state-by-state, and sometimes by thousands of dollars. In U.S. News & World Report’s most recent study of car insurance rates, the most expensive state's average representative rate is about three times the amount in the least expensive state.

Rates can even change drastically between neighboring states. In the cradle of United States auto manufacturing, Michigan, the average annual representative rate is $2,130. Go south to Indiana or Ohio, and the annual study rates drop to $1,068 and $886, respectively. We’ll explain the reasons for these differences later in this guide.

Our comprehensive analysis of auto insurance rates reveals that Maine has the lowest representative prices spanning the wide variety of customer profiles included in our study. On average, our profiles in Maine pay $865 per year for coverage.

According to our study, the five most expensive states to insure a car are Michigan, Florida, Louisiana, New York and Washington, D.C. Keep in mind that rates can vary significantly within each state, as the zip code where the insured vehicle or policyholder resides is a large deciding factor.  

  1. Maine: $865

  2. New Hampshire: $870

  3. Ohio: $886

  4. Virginia: $991

  5. Wisconsin: $998

  6. Idaho: $1,010

  7. North Carolina: $1,018

  8. Vermont: $1,063

  9. Indiana: $1,068

  10. Iowa: $1,071

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There are many reasons why some states (and areas within states) have higher or lower auto insurance premiums than others. Legal requirements, traffic congestion, economic conditions, weather, and competition are some of the top factors that lead to different rates.

Legal Requirements

Different states require different levels of insurance coverage, with a couple not requiring it at all. Varying coverage requirements lead to higher or lower premiums in those states. Michigan, for example, has the highest rates in the country, according to our analysis, mainly because it requires unlimited medical benefits to cover crash injuries. 

Traffic Congestion

In general, consumers in urban areas can expect to pay higher insurance rates than those in rural areas, as increased congestion leads to higher crash rates. Urban areas are also more prone to car break-ins, theft, and vandalism. Because of these factors, states with lower population densities see cheaper insurance rates. Within states, car insurance customers in rural zip codes can expect to see significantly lower prices than those in urban areas.

Economic Conditions

States (and areas within states) with a high rate of poverty, low wages, or high unemployment can expect to have higher insurance rates than more prosperous areas. Not only is crime typically higher in depressed areas, but more drivers are likely to be uninsured or underinsured. If someone can’t afford to buy insurance or simply decides not to but drives anyway, the cost burden of their accidents is borne by insured drivers.

Weather

Drivers in states that have a history of severe weather are likely to have higher car insurance premiums than those in milder climates. States like Louisiana, for example, that frequently experience both minor and major flooding, plus the effects of hurricanes, see the costs of those disasters reflected in their insurance rates. In Michigan, it's the cost from winter weather and its impact on roads that causes vehicle damage and contributes to high insurance costs. In the central U.S., hail damage leads to higher premiums for comprehensive auto insurance policies.

States with milder weather can see lower rates, as the chance of damaging weather and destructive road conditions are smaller.

Competition

Car insurance customers in states where there is lots of competition among car insurers are in a great position to see lower annual average car insurance rates than those in areas where only a few firms are competing. Not all insurance companies do business in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

As we outlined above, much of the cost of your car insurance premium is in your hands. Some of the best ways to get the cheapest rate are by having a good driving record, a solid credit score, and picking the right coverages and deductibles. However, insurance shoppers who live in these states have a built-in advantage to scoring cheaper insurance.

10) Iowa

The average commute is much cheaper in Iowa than in most other states. Iowa residents travel shorter distances between home and work than most Americans, and they’re rewarded with below-average car insurance rates, as well. According to our study, the average annual cost of car insurance in Iowa is $1,071. That’s a savings of several hundred dollars compared to the national average.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Iowa

COMPANY

AVERAGE RATE

USAA

$776

Nationwide

$922

State Farm

$1,008

Iowa Farm Bureau Group

$1,013

Travelers

$1,022

Statewide Average

$1,071

Progressive

$1,101

American Family

$1,127

Geico

$1,158

Farmers

$1,227

Allstate

$1,360

9) Indiana

Professional race car drivers who visit Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indy 500 each Memorial Day weekend may not be able to take advantage of low car insurance rates. For most other Hoosiers, there's good news: your state has the ninth-lowest car insurance representative premiums in the country. Our study shows Indiana residents pay an average of $1,068 per year, which is about $250 less than the national average study rate.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Indiana

COMPANY

AVERAGE RATE

USAA

$580

Geico

$723

State Farm

$830

Progressive

$831

Travelers

$1,064

Statewide Average

$1,068

American Family

$1,206

Indiana Farm Bureau

$1,281

Nationwide

$1,303

Farmers

$1,357

Allstate

$1,503

8) Vermont

Vermont has the second-lowest population of all the U.S. states, and its population density is midpack for the country. With an objectively small number of people driving around, it's little surprise that the state fares well for cheap car insurance. In our analysis, we found an average representative rate of $1,063 for Vermont drivers. That’s $285 less than the national average.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Vermont

COMPANY

AVERAGE RATE

USAA

$612

Concord

$746

Geico

$870

Nationwide

$934

Co-Operative Insurance

$960

Vermont Mutual

$981

Statewide Average

$1,063

State Farm

$1,076

Allstate

$1,459

Progressive

$1,927

7) North Carolina

With a population of 10.6 million in 2020, North Carolina is fertile ground for car insurance companies. However, drivers in this state enjoy rates that are well below the national average, according to our study. The statewide average is $1,018, a savings of about $300 compared to the national average.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in North Carolina

COMPANY

AVERAGE RATE

Geico

$673

North Carolina Farm Bureau

$850

Nationwide

$855

Erie Insurance

$857

State Farm

$963

Statewide Average

$1,018

Progressive

$1,216

Allstate

$1,710

6) Idaho

Idaho produces nearly one-third of the United States' total potato crop, keeping French fry fanatics and chip connoisseurs satiated. Residents of the Gem State can also enjoy some of the cheapest insurance premiums in the country, according to our research. Our study shows Idaho residents pay an annual average of $1,010 for car insurance, which is about $310 less than the national average.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Idaho

COMPANY

AVERAGE RATE

USAA

$507

State Farm

$807

Travelers

$943

Geico

$944

Progressive

$963

Farmers

$971

Statewide Average

$1,010

Nationwide

$1,064

American Family

$1,104

Allstate

$1,385

Farm Bureau Group

$1,409

5) Wisconsin

Wisconsin is America's Dairyland, but the state isn't famous for cheese alone. You can also count beer, brats, the Badgers, and a top-5 finish in our study of the least-expensive states for car insurance. Based on our analysis of auto insurance rates, Wisconsin drivers pay an average representative premium of $998 per year, saving about $323 compared to the national average.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Wisconsin

COMPANY

AVERAGE RATE

Geico

$535

USAA

$561

State Farm

$764

Progressive

$824

Nationwide

$960

Erie Insurance

$989

Statewide Average

$998

American Family

$1,080

Travelers

$1,116

Farmers Insurance

$1,442

Allstate 

$1,706

4) Virginia

The car insurance industry is highly competitive, with more than 300 licensed providers, and heavily regulated by the state government. That's why drivers in Virginia can save a lot of money compared to other states. Drivers in Virginia will save about $330 per year compared to the national average, as determined by our study.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Virginia

COMPANY

AVERAGE RATE

USAA

$696

State Farm

$834

Erie Insurance

$901

Progressive

$915

Travelers

$974

Statewide Average

$991

Geico

$1,032

Nationwide

$1,066

Allstate

$1,508

3) Ohio

Toledo, Ohio is famous in the automotive industry as the headquarters of and main production center for Jeep and its adventurous vehicles. Ohio is also the sole production center of the Acura NSX supercar. And did you know that seven U.S. Presidents were born in the Buckeye State? Our study shows that Ohio has the third-lowest average car insurance rates in the country. On average, Ohio residents pay $886, which is $435 below the national average according to our analysis.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Ohio

COMPANY

AVERAGE RATE

USAA

$618

Geico

$753

Nationwide

$763

Erie Insurance

$793

State Farm

$839

American Family

$863

Statewide Average

$886

Travelers

$890

Progressive

$1,001

Farmers Insurance

$1,022

Allstate

$1,314

2) New Hampshire

Unlike most other states in the country, it's not mandatory to have car insurance if you live in New Hampshire. You are, however, still liable for damages you cause in an accident. It's a good idea to carry coverage because the financial losses and potential legal problems you might face could be substantial.

In our most recent study of nationwide auto insurance premiums, New Hampshire offers the second-lowest representative costs available, on average. This state has an average annual premium of $870, which is about $450 lower than the national average for the same group of drivers.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in New Hampshire

COMPANY

AVERAGE RATE

USAA

$523

Concord Group

$650

Progressive

$752

State Farm

$777

Geico

$813

Statewide Average

$870

Nationwide

$965

Amica Mutual

$1,083

Allstate

$1,397

1) Maine

Maine has beautiful, rocky coastlines and bountiful harvests of seafood, including world-class clams and lobster. It also has the lowest average auto insurance rates in the country, according to our study. The average annual car insurance representative premium in Maine is $865, which is $456 lower than the national average. That's also about a third of the cost of the average study rate in the most expensive state in our analysis, Michigan.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Maine

COMPANY

AVERAGE RATE

USAA

$516

Concord General Mutual

$583

Geico

$605

Travelers

$761

State Farm

$762

Statewide Average

$865

Progressive

$906

MMG Insurance

$957

Allstate

$1,197

Farmers

$1,495

Realistically speaking, you shouldn't pack up and move to a new state on a whim simply to save some money on car insurance. However, if you're already planning on moving due to other factors, it's good to expect to know what to pay once you get there. As you look specifically for where to live, keep in mind that prices can vary considerably within a state. Some factors include whether you're in an urban or rural area, and the loss history insurance companies face in different zip codes.

Many other factors that go into the costs of car insurance are a result of your choices and behavior behind the wheel. Choosing the right coverages, appropriate deductibles, and the best insurance company can save you huge amounts of cash each year while ensuring you’re fully covered if something goes wrong. Be sure to reevaluate your selections regularly or in the event of a major change, such as getting a new vehicle, adding a new driver, or a change in job that may require you to do a lot more (or a lot less) driving.

The most responsible drivers also have the most to gain when it comes to saving money on insurance. Avoiding speeding tickets and at-fault accidents, as well as paying your bills on time, will protect your driving record and credit rating. In most states, auto insurance companies can look at your credit history when determining premiums.

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How We Found the Cheapest States for Car Insurance

At U.S. News, we’re all about helping people make life’s important decisions. Our college rankings, launched in 1983, set the standard in educational rankings. Our rankings in other fields, like healthcare, government, and the automotive sphere, help people and thought leaders make choices that make lives better. Now we’re continuing to empower you with the information you need to make the right choices for your life with our Cheapest Car Insurance Rankings. 

Our Study Rates

For this study, U.S. News worked with Quadrant Information Services to analyze a report of insurance rates in all 50 states from the nine largest national car insurance companies, though not every company operates in every state. Quadrant obtained publicly available rate data that car insurers file with state regulators. Our study rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150, with annual mileage ranging from 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations of certain driver archetypes. 

To get the study rates shown here, we computed the mean rate for male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60 who drive 15,000 miles per year and have medium coverage, good credit, and a clean driving record. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only and should not be considered “average” rates available by individual insurers. Because car insurance rates are based on individual factors, your car insurance rates will differ from the rates shown here.


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