The cheapest and most expensive car insurance across the US

Relaxed requirements and low-risk drivers translate into fewer accidents and lower premiums.

Updated

Fact checked
couple driving a car in the city

Your city’s weather, traffic, cost of living and accident rates all affect the condition of the roads you drive, which sways your premium higher or lower. If you’re wondering about the cheapest statewide insurance, you’ll find it in open-aired Ohio. But towering rates more consistently land in nearby Michigan, where state requirements mean drivers pay through the roof.

Monthly car insurance costs by state

Death is an inescapable part of life. In the US, the average person can expect to reach their 78th birthday, according to 2017 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most common causes of death are heart disease and cancer — with accidents rounding out the top three.

We’ve gathered the odds of dying in accidents and other circumstances. Some of these statistics may surprise you.

Cheapest states for car insurance

These states with cheaper insurance have a running theme of rural areas, low coverage requirements and low underinsured driver rates.

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Ohio

Ohio’s average monthly premium is $83, making it the cheapest in the nation. Low costs may be due to the state’s at-fault laws, which don’t require coverage outside of liability. The lower liability limits required also help drivers stay legal with less coverage.

South Dakota

In the Mount Rushmore State, expect to pay around $88 a month for car insurance. That low cost may be attributed to its less populated cities and low underinsured driver rate, decreasing the risk of an accident considerably.

Connecticut

Connecticut drivers pay an average monthly premium of $92, despite the state requiring extra coverage. It likely keeps premiums low because of strict penalties for driving without insurance, which lead to fewer underinsured drivers. The state also sets its liability limits at 20/40/10, which is lower than many states.

Delaware

The average monthly car insurance premium in the Diamond State is $92, possibly due to the state’s low population and unusually low liability maximums of 15/30/10. Delaware requires PIP coverage, however.

Iowa

Iowa also keeps its average premium at $92 a month. This at-fault state doesn’t require insurance at all if drivers prove financial responsibility, but it also has a low underinsured driver rate.

Nebraska

The Cornhusker State’s average premium too is some $92 per month — which makes sense, given its low underinsured driver rate. Plus, with a population of just under 2 million compared to Georgia’s 10 million and Florida’s 20, you’re less likely to run into anyone on the road. Or experience traffic congestion at all.

Most expensive states for car insurance

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Michigan

This state always ranks first for the highest average monthly premium, which is $183. That’s because the state requires drivers to have both personal injury protection and personal property protection with high maximums. Michigan also has an influx of underinsured drivers with 21% not meeting legal requirements.

Florida

The state’s average premium stands at $150 a month, even though Florida has some of the lowest liability maximums in the nation. On the other hand, the state has a high underinsured driver rate and also requires personal injury protection coverage.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s average monthly premium is $150. That cost may be because it requires liability as well as uninsured/underinsured coverage for bodily injuries and property damage.

California

The Golden State’s above-average premium is about $142 a month. Reasons for that high cost might include its large population, huge cities, high rates of underinsured drivers as well as the state’s high cost of living.

Alaska

Alaska’s average monthly insurance premium is $130. The state’s no-fault laws and high liability requirements may explain the above-average rate. However, remote areas that don’t require car registration may not need insurance at all.

Cheapest cities for car insurance

The homes of the lowest premiums nestle mostly in tea-sippin’ Southern towns, but even Idaho’s B-Town could conjure up lazy images of porch swings in Mayberry. The small-town ties to a low premium are probably due to fewer cars on the road, meaning fewer accidents.

Boise, Idaho

This city’s low average premium of $49.16 a month are supported by its more desolate roads, compared with other cities. Plus, it’s in a state where even first offenses of drunk driving come with heavy consequences.

Greensboro, North Carolina

Combine rural roads and low underinsured driver rates, and you get Greensboro’s average premium of $62.50 a month.

Birmingham, Alabama

This large Alabaman city attracts leisurely tourists along with residents who enjoy the city’s low cost of Southern living. That atmosphere could mean fewer zippy drivers and lower repair costs, providing the city with a low average premium of $67.16.

Charlotte, North Carolina

It’s the state’s most populated city, and yet Charlotte’s average car insurance premium stops at $67.83. That rate could reflect fewer accidents in the area along with a low cost of living, which may keep car accident costs down around town.

Mobile, Alabama

This rural city comes with open roads free from city traffic and driving dangers. That translates into fewer car accidents and the city’s low $71.33 average premium.

Most expensive cities for car insurance

When steering clear of an expensive premium, you’ll want to avoid major cities with high congestion that leads to more accidents more often.

Detroit, Michigan

This heavily populated city offers the worst average premium: $392.83 a month. The reason? Steep insurance requirements and its location in a state with the highest premiums.

Brooklyn, New York

Drivers on this New York City borough’s roads number into the millions. Combine that with high costs for car repairs, and you’ve got a whopping average premium of $353.25 monthly.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The City of Brotherly Love can’t love its high car insurance premiums — around $316.08 a month. It’s got a million drivers on the road and requires higher coverage if drivers choose no-fault insurance.

New Orleans, Louisiana

You’re at a high risk for natural disasters in the Big Easy, the city sitting under sea level and within hurricane territory. Drivers can expect to budget some $252.08 a month for car insurance.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Residents of this desert city pay a high average car insurance premium of $245.58 a month, possibly due to having more accidents and tourist traffic compared with other cities.

Why are car insurance rates different in every state?

The average premium nationwide stands at $108.33 a month, but yours may vary widely depending on where you live. Location is one of the biggest factors that determine why your car insurance might be expensive.

Here’s why premiums differ between states, cities and even ZIP code:

Accident risk

Your area might trend toward more accidents, putting you at higher risk, even if you’re a safe driver.
Insurance requirements

Some states require extra coverage or higher limits than others. For example, Michigan requires personal injury protection with unlimited medical coverage, skyrocketing rates in the state.
Cost of living

Areas with a high cost of living could translate into higher repair costs or medical expenses — part of the reason California is more expensive than Kentucky.
High-risk drivers

An influx of underinsured or young drivers can make road safety uncertain.
Inclement weather

Are hurricanes, hail or flooding common where you live? That could mean higher prices for comprehensive coverage.
Traffic conditions

Congested cities can be riskier than roads in the free-flowing countryside.

Bottom line

Fewer drivers on the road can mean a lower chance of accidents. But many factors drive a high or low premium, such as weather, insurance laws and underinsured drivers on the road.

No matter where you live, the best car insurance policy combines the coverage, benefits and value that fits your lifestyle and budget.

Methodology: How we got these rates

The Finder team compared rates from all 50 states and the top cities across the US with quotes from hundreds of insurers using our quoting tool.

For media inquiries:

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Allan Givens
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Nicole Gallina
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