No matter which state they live in, Americans are required to purchase auto insurance if they want to drive. But that doesn't stop people from complaining about how much it costs. The market-savvy drivers shop around for the lowest premiums, keep their driving records as clean as possible, and look for ways to be eligible for policy discounts.
Still, many people in the U.S. may wonder: How much am I paying in auto insurance as compared to drivers in other states?
Rankings by State
To answer this question, let's look at the results of a study carried out by Quadrant Information Services. The organization looked at auto insurance premiums charged by six major insurers in 10 zip codes per state for more than 900 different vehicle models. These results were averaged into a single figure that was used to rank each state.
The figures are based on a 40-year old male, unmarried driver who has a 12-mile daily workday commute. The annual premium is priced for a policy with a $500 deductible and limits of $100,000 for one person's injury liability, $300,000 for all incurred injuries per incident, and $50,000 for property damage per accident -- and uninsured motorist coverage is included.
Why are they so different?
The variance by state depends on many different factors, but one of the most common is the number of uninsured drivers in that state. For instance, almost 1 out of every 4 drivers are uninsured in Oklahoma, while that figure drops to less than 1 in 20 in Maine.
Louisiana and Michigan's rates are also affected by state laws pertaining to auto insurance. In Louisiana, claim amounts must exceed $50,000 before their cases are heard before a jury trial, and elected judges (who are thought to be pro-plaintiff) decide cases involving lower amounts. And in Michigan, premiums are driven up by the state's no-fault insurance system, which pays uncapped lifetime medical benefits for auto accident victims injured in a crash.
Unless U.S. laws change to allow auto insurance competition across state lines, drivers cannot avoid paying higher or lower premiums based on their state of residence.
Your best bet? Check online for cheap car insurance and keep as much money in your wallet as possible.
Tags: safe auto, safeauto, insurance rates
Auto insurance is something we’re all required to buy. But it doesn't have to be expensive, and you don't need to face ever-rising premiums. Here's how to get the lowest possible rates. It might be hard work, but it will be worth the cheaper insurance.
1. Start with yourself. Take a defensive driving course and work on being the best driver you can be. The safer you are, the less of a risk you are and the lower your premiums will be.
2. Find out how much a car will cost to insure before you buy it. Run it through a few website calculators or call directly for quotes. Get several quotes: Each insurer calculates each risk differently, and you'll likely find different results.
3. Buy a car that's not popular with thieves, noted for its safety ratings, and cheap to repair. All of these are factors that can raise or lower your insurance. The safer a car is, the cheaper it is to fix; and the less likely it is to be stolen, the lower your premium will be.
4. Go for the safety options. Cars with better airbags, crumple zones, restraints and so on are cars that have lower premiums, since they're less likely to injure the driver or passengers.
5. Also spring for the anti-theft options. A GPS tracer or more complicated lock system will lower the odds of your car being stolen and save you serious money on premiums.
6. Drive as little as possible. The less time you're on the road, the less likely you are to get in a wreck; and if you limit your driving enough, you may qualify for a discount. If you don't need to drive somewhere, don't: Walk or bike there instead. You also save money on gas and improve your health.
7. Look carefully at what insurance you already have before signing off on personal injury coverage. For example, if you already have life insurance, health insurance, and disability insurance, it's likely that you won't need anything more than the minimum for personal injury. But be sure to speak with your insurer -- all your insurers -- before blithely signing up for the minimum; there may be factors you're not aware of.
8. Similarly, look carefully at other extras before buying any policy. For example, roadside assistance may make sense for you if you don't already have it... but it might be a perk you find on your credit cards or you may already have AAA. Getting a tow under your insurance may raise your premiums, so look elsewhere.
9. Remember this formula if you drive an older car: add together the cost of comprehensive and collision insurance for it. Multiply that by 10. If that comes out to more than the car is worth, you need to reduce your insurance.
10. Ask about discounts. There are dozens of discounts out there, ranging from discounts for drivers over 50 to safe driver discounts to discounts for limiting your mileage.
11. Adjust your deductible. A high deductible means you'll pay less up front in premiums. Just be careful: Nobody plans to get into an accident. Make sure you can afford any deductible you sign up for.
12. Look at fees before going with installments. It may save you some money in administrative fees to simply pay your entire bill up front.
Tags: safauto, safe auto, lower your insurance rates, lower insurance cost
We're really excited to have Norm McDonald as SafeAuto's new spokesman. As we've detailed before, he's had a long and highly-respected career as a comedian, and he's been making a string of hilarious commercials for us. There’s another plus for all of us, too: he answers questions from you, our customers. So far we've gotten insights into Norm's favorite comedies:
And who he'd play golf with:
But we'd like to get Norm answering more questions from you, our customers. Get on our Twitter feed (@SafeAuto) or visit our Facebook and start asking Norm questions. You can even post questions here and we'll pass them on to Norm. We can't guarantee that Norm will answer every one: He is a very busy guy and we've got him doing a lot of ads for us. But he'll be sitting down and taking the time to answer a few questions, and you never know when he'll be answering yours.
Of course, there's no way for him to answer questions if he doesn't have any, so get tweeting and Facebooking and give him some material! If you need some inspiration, we've got a whole bunch of rhetorical questions he could answer... but likely won't.
- What's your advice for talking your way out of a speeding ticket?
- If your advice doesn't work, what's your advice for speaking to the judge in traffic court?
- If your advice gets us stuck on a chain gang, can we get an apology?
- Which member of the SafeAuto MMA fight team do you think you can take in a fight?
- Would you be willing to actually fight them?
- Would you be willing to actually fight them if we took up a collection for any possible medical expenses?
- Would you be willing to recruit Bob Saget and make it a tag-team match?
- What if we explicitly banned Saget from saying "Good Night, Michelle" whenever somebody gets knocked out, would that help?
- Would you be willing to race Johnny Sauter?
- OK, how about racing the SafeAuto fight team?
- Will you be writing any one-liners for the SafeAuto fight team when they knock someone out?
- What's the best car to take someone out on a date in?
- What's the best car you've ever driven?
Yes, some of these are facetious: We certainly wouldn't want Norm to imperil his warm relationship with our fight team for our own (or your) amusement.
But we are serious about your questions! We'll have Norm answering them on a regular basis from now on, and the more questions we have, the more fun it will be. In the meantime, swing by SafeAuto's YouTube channel to check out Norm's ads, interviews, and his Street Smarts series, wherein he explains gas prices, proper etiquette while pumping fuel, and other tips you'll need to survive owning a car in the modern world.
Tags: safauto, safe auto, norm mcdonald
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There are many bad drivers out there on the road. Play It Safe with helpful tips, articles, videos, and of course, examples of what not to do. Brought to you by SafeAuto Insurance Company.