How Where You Live Affects Your Auto Insurance Rates

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Just like in real estate, location especially matters when renewing your insurance plans. If you’ve ever had to update your car insurance because of a move, you likely noticed a change in your monthly premium.

The way location affects car insurance is not as simple as avoiding the country’s deadliest cities for drivers. To keep from being surprised by rising insurance rates, continue reading to find out what changes to look for in your town that could make you pay more for auto coverage.

What factors influence your auto insurance rates?

Driving is a risky activity, but many drivers go years without receiving a ticket or being involved in an accident by practicing safe driving. It is expected that drivers with a clean record are given the lowest insurance quotes possible, but elements outside of a driver’s control are just as influential. 

Finding quotes for insurance coverage is a lot like adding and subtracting weights on a balance scale. A list of elements that are in little to no control of a driver is: 

       Age: Unlike dating apps, you can’t lie about your age to insurance companies. Drivers under 25 and over 65 tend to have higher premiums due to inexperience and decreasing physical abilities. 

       Gender and sex: This topic is somewhat taboo because most insurers ask for gender when data for comparing male and female drivers is done by sex. 

For all drivers, insurers are likely to formulate insurance quotes based on an insuree’s license despite the way any initial forms have been filled. Because males tend to display riskier behavior behind the wheel, they tend to experience higher insurance rates. 

       Credit score: Although you have some control, in most cases, a driver will always need insurance, making building a credit score before applying not always an option. When applying, insurers will pull a credit report, but you can request new rates from your insurer as your score improves. 

       State regulations: States have different requirements for driving insurance minimums that influence base prices for premiums. Only two states (New Hampshire and Virginia) don’t require car insurance, but drivers are always held responsible for their driving and vehicles they operate or cause damage to. 

       Where you park: Accidents can happen even when you’re not driving, which is why insurers consider what’s called your garaging address. Having covered private parking makes your vehicle less likely to be damaged or stolen. 

For insurers, this means that having to cover damages due to weather, vandalism, or theft is at a lower risk. Those who live in cities usually utilize street parking, increasing their likelihood of filing a claim as opposed to drivers with private parking. 

       ZIP code: In addition to what state you’re in, the ZIP codes of where you travel matters as well. If you live or work in cities with heavy traffic or experience high crime rates, your premium will increase due to the environment being considered high-risk.

What is the average rate for car insurance?

The national average annual cost of car insurance is upwards of $1,400. Going by the average, most drivers with fair credit and driving records should expect to receive insurance quotes around $120 for a monthly premium. 

Whether you pay more or less than the national average is mostly dependent on external factors like the ones listed above. Although not every aspect that affects auto insurance quotes is within your control, knowing how your location influences yours may help you negotiate a cheaper auto insurance rate. 

Why Your Address Affects Auto Insurance

If you’re looking for ways to conduct a quick move that save time and money, you should research the locational details before applying for new coverage. The most prominent factors in determining whether a location will raise a premium depend on these four things: 

       Traffic flow: Living in a big city comes with price tags just about everywhere. Being in a heavily populated city provides more chances for drivers to get into accidents, making every other driver around you an additional liability.

       Commuting mileage: Working in closer proximity to where you live reduces your likelihood of getting into an accident. The shorter your daily commute, the lower your monthly premium can be.

       Harsh weather conditions: Those who reside in states with harsh weather conditions tend to have higher base premiums than those who live in areas with less dramatic seasonal changes. Experiencing harsh weather conditions such as frequent rain, tornadoes, hurricanes, or snowstorms affects a driver’s abilities and can threaten a vehicle’s condition.

       Local crime rates: Crime rates don’t always reflect the city’s size, which gets reflected in insurance rates. If your zip code experiences high levels of auto theft, vandalism, or hit-and-runs, your quotes are likely to be high despite your city’s population size.

What states pay the highest for auto insurance?

If your mind is racing as to what cities do or don’t check these boxes, you’re not alone. Hopefully, that list hasn’t discouraged you from any plans to move, but the states that continuously have the highest rates include: 

       Florida: $2,587

       New York: $2,498

       Louisiana: $2,351

       Michigan: $2,105

       Texas: $2,050

       Rhode Island: $2,066 

Where there’s high market competition between insurers and insufficient data for unregistered drivers, annual premiums tend to be cheaper. The states with the lowest annual auto insurance rates include: 

       Maine: $831

       New Hampshire: $985

       Ohio: $998

       Wisconsin: $1,049

       Idaho: $1,055

       Iowa: $1,122

How You Can Get the Best Auto Insurance Rates

Finding the best moving company should be at the top of your moving concerns, not needing new coverage. Doing your research can help you negotiate the best plan and keep you from paying for coverage you don’t need. 

State regulations are designed to target the issues experienced in the area, but it can be frustrating to know that you’re paying more than someone else for the same service. 

Every location has its pros and cons, but a few steps you can take to help you get the most affordable rates are: 

       Pick a car with high safety ratings.

       Practice safe driving habits.

       Improve your credit score.

       Take an advanced driving course.

       Don’t take the first offer.

       Pay annually instead of monthly. 

Insurance agents take time for each applicant to weigh all the personal and external variables that contribute to setting an insurance quote. By taking into consideration what can benefit both you and the insurer, you will find new coverage faster, easier, and more helpful in fitting your needs.

Danielle Beck-Hunter writes and researches about auto insurance for the insurance comparison site, She is passionate about helping people understand their options and save money on their auto insurance.