There are plenty of reasons to like Louisiana, but auto insurance isn't one of them. According to a new study from Insure.com, Louisianans pay nearly three times as much for car insurance as drivers in some states.
To compile its rankings, Insure.com got insurance quotes on over 750 different vehicle models from 10 ZIP codes in each state, plus the District of Columbia. And it went through that process with six major insurers: Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive, and State Farm. All told, that's roughly 2.3 million individual quotes.
The website then averaged each state's 45,000-plus quotes to determine the statewide rate and, thus, national rankings.
Just to ensure (no pun intended) fair comparisons, rates were calculated for "a single, 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. The hypothetical driver has a clean record and good credit. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage."
When all the calculations had been completed, Louisiana found itself in the unenviable #1 spot, with an average annual rate of $2,699.
According to Insure.com, a number of costly factors helped push Louisiana over the top, including:
- Bodily injury claims, which Louisianans are more prone to file than folks in other states;
- Natural disaster claims;
- Lawyers, which Louisiana claimants are prone to hire;
- Elected judges, who decide cases under $50,000 and who may be "more likely to side with local people than insurance companies".
Just a few steps behind, Michigan is nipping at Louisiana's heels, with an average annual rate of $2,520. The sky-high cost is due in part to the fact that Michigan "guarantees unlimited, lifetime personal injury protection (PIP) benefits for treatment of injuries from a car accident". Over time, that has resulted in some very hefty payouts from insurers.
Here's a rundown of the five most expensive locales for auto insurance:
1. Louisiana - $2,699
2. Michigan - $2,520
3. Georgia - $2,155
4. Oklahoma - $2,074
5. Washington, D.C. - $2,006
At the other end of the scale, we find Maine, with an average annual rate of just $934. That could be attributable to the state's largely rural population, but more likely, it's because of Maine's heavily regulated graduated licensing program for young drivers.
For comparison's sake, the five least-expensive states for insurance are:
47. New Hampshire - $1,112
48. Ohio - $1,106
48. North Carolina - $1,085
50. Iowa - $1,028
51. Maine - $934
In this particular study, the national average was $1,510.