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Car insurance rates by state

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com

Article Highlights

There are many different factors that impact your car insurance rate; one of the most important factors is the state you live in. The average cost of full coverage car insurance in the U.S. is $1,555, which breaks down to $130 per month.

However, you might pay more or less than the national average depending on your location. If you’re shopping for car insurance, knowing the average cost in your state is a good way to determine how much you can expect to spend.

Where you live impacts auto insurance rates

If you’ve ever purchased car insurance in more than one state, you know just how significantly the rates can vary. And it’s not just the state that impacts the cost of car insurance. Your specific zip code can also increase or decrease the amount of money you spend on coverage.

Why do car insurance rates fluctuate so much? Ultimately, it’s because drivers face certain risks based on where they live. The riskier the location, the more insurance companies charge for insurance. Risks include everything from the number of uninsured drivers in a state, to the crime rate in a certain neighborhood.

What are the cheapest states for car insurance?

Everyone hopes they live in a state with cheap car insurance. Check to see if you live in the top 10 cheapest states for full coverage insurance:

  1. Maine
  2. Ohio
  3. Wisconsin
  4. Idaho
  5. Iowa
  6. Vermont
  7. Virginia
  8. New Hampshire
  9. Indiana
  10. North Dakota

In the U.S., the average cost among the top 10 least expensive states is about 30% lower than the national average. This means that car insurance in the 10 cheapest states is significantly more affordable, especially for people with a good driving history.

There are a few reasons why these states offer the least expensive car insurance. A few states—Maine, Vermont and North Dakota—have very few uninsured drivers, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Additionally, many of these states are located in regions that are not prone to severe weather, like hurricanes, which can easily damage a vehicle.

Top 10 cheapest states for auto insurance

StateFull coverage average premiumState minimum liability only
Maine$831$312
Ohio$998$320
Wisconsin$1,049$330
Idaho$1,055$337
Iowa$1,122$274
Vermont$1,123$314
Virginia$1,136$398
New Hampshire$1,137$427
Indiana$1,187$372
North Dakota$1,211$349

Quadrant data services, 2020

Maine

Maine offers the cheapest car insurance in the country, in large part because it has the fewest number of uninsured drivers. The III reports that just 4.5% of drivers in Maine don’t have car insurance. 

Ohio

Car insurance in Ohio is cheap because the state has a huge insurance industry—much larger than many other states. In fact, the state ranks 6th for insurance employment in the nation. Having so many providers means that the average cost of car insurance is lower than it would be in a more competitive state.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin is largely rural, which means there are fewer drivers on the road, creating less risk overall. This has a positive effect on the cost of insurance. Surprisingly, Wisconsin does have a high number of uninsured drivers—about 14.3%—which is the 15th highest state in the country.

Idaho

Idaho is another rural state, with a pretty low uninsured driver rate of 8.2%. Although some parts of Idaho experience winter blizzards, the state doesn’t deal with much extreme weather year-round. These factors contribute to a lower cost of car insurance.

Iowa

We’re starting to see a trend with the midwestern states, and Iowa is no exception. Iowa does get hit with tornadoes during certain months, but other than that, the weather risks in the state are pretty low. The uninsured driver rate is 8.7%, which helps to keep insurance costs low as well.  

Vermont

Besides Maine, Vermont is the most rural state in the country. It’s also ranked in the top five states with the fewest number of uninsured drivers, according to the III.

Virginia

Virginia is a highly populated state with millions of licensed drivers. But because the state generally doesn’t deal with natural disasters and other inclimate weather, the car insurance costs are low.

New Hampshire

Car insurance isn’t legally required in New Hampshire, but drivers who do purchase insurance can get a good rate. The rates are low partly in an attempt to incentivize drivers to get insurance and to prevent price from being a deterrent. 

Indiana

Indiana is another rural state with a relatively low population density. There are almost 180 insurance companies in Indiana, so due to the competitive market, car insurance costs are low.

North Dakota

North Dakota is ranked seventh for the least number of uninsured drivers. As we’ve seen with other states, North Dakota is very rural. Fargo, the most populated city, has less than 125,000 people. Lower population means insurance companies assume less risk, and can charge less for insurance.

Top 5 cheapest states for state minimum coverage

Now that we’ve reviewed the cheapest states for full coverage car insurance, take a look below at the cheapest states for minimum coverage insurance. When reviewing these rates, keep in mind that the U.S. national average for minimum liability car insurance is $545 per year.

StateFull coverage average premiumState minimum liability only
Wyoming$1,335$264
Iowa$1,122$274
Maine$831$312
South Dakota$1,597$314
Vermont$1,123$314

Quadrant data services, 2020

What are the most expensive states for car insurance?

Unfortunately, car insurance isn’t cheap in every state. In fact, auto coverage can be extremely expensive depending on where you live. Here are the top 10 most expensive states for car insurance:

  1. Florida
  2. New York
  3. Louisiana
  4. Michigan
  5. Rhode Island
  6. California
  7. Texas
  8. Missouri
  9. Nevada
  10. Kentucky

Again, let’s compare the average price of car insurance in these states to the U.S. national average. The average American driver pays $1,555 for full coverage insurance, which means the rate among the top 10 most expensive states is about 37% higher than the national average— a significant increase.

37%

higher than the national average

So what makes these states so expensive for car insurance? For one, many of these states are located in areas with extreme weather. Texas, Louisiana and Florida in particular get hit with severe hurricanes and flooding which can cause car damage. Additionally, Florida and Michigan fall within the top four states with the highest number of uninsured drivers.

Top 10 most expensive states for auto insurance

StateFull coverage average premiumState minimum liability only
Florida$2,587$948
New York$2,498$1,295
Louisiana$2,351$765
Michigan$2,105$1,219
Rhode Island$2,066$790
California$1,974$611
Texas$1,974$708
Missouri$1,955$688
Nevada$1,903$836
Kentucky$1,850$738

Quadrant data services, 2020

Florida

Florida is the most expensive state for car insurance for two primary reasons. First, hurricanes and flooding are common, which can make comprehensive auto insurance claims more likely. The state also has the highest number of uninsured drivers, at 26.7%.

New York

New York is a no-fault state, which automatically increases the price of car insurance. No-fault insurance fraud is also increasingly common in the state, which has caused insurance rates to skyrocket.

Louisiana

Like Florida, Louisiana deals with extreme weather, which makes it more costly to insure vehicles. Louisiana also has a fairly high number of uninsured drivers—about 13%—which equates to more expensive car insurance rates.

Michigan

Michigan is a no-fault state, so drivers automatically pay more for their car insurance because they must carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Additionally, Michigan requires drivers to purchase unlimited lifetime medical benefits, which offers great coverage, but isn’t cheap.

Rhode Island

The reason why Rhode Islanders pay so much for car insurance might surprise you—it’s because the state has very high auto body costs. As of 2016, the average cost of repair parts and labor in the state was $405.83. That puts Rhode Island in the top four most expensive states for car repairs.

California

California is a huge state, with a large number of drivers. There are millions of drivers on the road at any given time, usually in dense, city areas, which means the risk for accidents is high. As a result, insurance companies charge more to offset the high volume of claims.

Texas

Similar to California, Texas is home to millions of drivers. In cities with a high population density, like Houston or Dallas, car accidents are more likely to happen. The higher the risk for accidents, the more money insurance companies charge. The state is also subject to higher risk of hurricanes, flooding, and hail.

Missouri

Roughly 14% of Missouri drivers don’t have insurance, which means the cost of insurance is high in the state. Additionally, Missouri has a fairly high rate of fatal traffic accidents.

Nevada

Three-quarters of Nevada’s population lives in Clark County, which is home to Las Vegas. Due to the high population density, car insurance in the state is very expensive.

Kentucky 

When it comes to uninsured drivers, Kentucky falls somewhere in the middle. But since Kentucky is a no-fault state, drivers are required to carry and pay for PIP insurance. This results in costlier premiums.

Top 5 most expensive states for state minimum coverage

In the table below, we’ve highlighted the top five most expensive states for minimum coverage car insurance. For comparison, the national average cost of minimum coverage insurance is $545 per year.

StateFull coverage average premiumState minimum liability only
New York$2,498$1,295
Michigan$2,105$1,219
Florida$2,587$948
New Jersey$1,763$912
Maryland$1,787$858

Quadrant data services, 2020

Car insurance when moving to a different state

If you’re moving to a new state, one of the first things you should do is update your insurance. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Car insurance laws

Car insurance laws are different in every state. So even if you’re making a short move, say from Massachusetts to Rhode Island, the amount of car insurance you need will change. For example, Massachusetts’ minimum coverage is 20/40/5, whereas Rhode Island’s minimum coverage is 25/50/25.

In that case, you would need to increase your coverage limit after you move. If you keep the minimum required coverage in Massachusetts when you start driving in Rhode Island, you’re technically breaking the law and can get fined for driving without enough insurance.

How to change car insurance when moving out of state

If you’re moving out of state, you have two options for car insurance. You can either call your insurance company and ask to get a new policy written in your new state, or switch providers. Remember that even if you stay with your existing provider, your rate may increase.

Shopping around for a new provider can help keep the cost low. If you decide to switch, here’s what to do:

  • Collect the information you’ll need to switch providers, including your license, insurance history, annual mileage, and the names of other drivers who will be on your policy.
  • Research providers in your new state, and pay attention to coverage options, discounts and customer service reviews.
  • Get quotes from a few different companies to compare rates.

How to update your registration

Vehicle registrations are processed through the department of motor vehicles (DMV) in your state. You can either go online or visit the DMV in person to update your registration after you move. You are usually required to present your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and vehicle title. Once the information is verified, you’ll receive new registration documents and license plates.

Average car insurance rates by state

StateFull CoverageState Minimum Liability
Alabama$1,513$435
Alaska$1,388$467
Arizona$1,517$482
Arkansas$1,749$458
California$1,974$611
Colorado$1,720$510
Connecticut$1,782$790
Delaware$1,730$839
District of Columbia$1,675$678
Florida$2,587$948
Georgia$1,746$640
Hawaii$1,234$354
Idaho$1,055$337
Illinois$1,400$462
Indiana$1,187$372
Iowa$1,122$274
Kansas$1,567$468
Kentucky$1,850$738
Louisiana$2,351$765
Maine$831$312
Maryland$1,787$858
Massachussets$1,399$478
Michigan$2,105$1,219
Minnesota$1,622$625
Mississippi$1,719$482
Missouri$1,955$688
Montana$1,365$316
Nebraska$1,329$389
Nevada$1,903$836
New Hampshire$1,137$427
New Jersey$1,763$912
New Mexico$1,374$370
New York$2,498$1,295
North Carolina$1,378$444
North Dakota$1,211$349
Ohio$998$320
Oklahoma$1,741$445
Oregon$1,281$578
Pennsylvania$1,372$374
Rhode Island$2,066$790
South Carolina$1,568$537
South Dakota$1,597$314
Tennessee$1,281$358
Texas$1,974$708
Utah$1,301$536
Vermont$1,123$314
Virginia$1,136$398
Washington$1,305$408
West Virginia$1,631$518
Wisconsin$1,049$330
Wyoming$1,335$264

The takeaway

  • Car insurance rates vary significantly between states
  • Factors like weather risks, uninsured drivers, and minimum coverage amounts can all impact the statewide average cost of car insurance
  • If you’re moving states, be prepared for your car insurance requirements (and your rate) to change

Car insurance is legally required in almost every state, so it’s an unavoidable cost. Some drivers are lucky enough to live in a state with cheap car insurance, while others have to pay thousands of dollars a year. Knowing the average cost of car insurance per state is helpful for a few reasons, but it’s especially important if you’re planning to move states. Keep in mind that car insurance laws vary, so you might have to purchase more coverage when you move. 

Methodology

Coverage utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze quoted rates from thousands of zip codes in all 50 states, using the top 15 insurance carriers to determine the average auto insurance premiums. Quoted rates are based on the profile of a 30 year old male and female with clean driving records and good credit. Both drivers insure a new, financed 2018 Toyota Camry, and commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually. Full coverage rates include the following coverage details:

  • $100k bodily injury liability coverage per person
  • $300k bodily injury liability coverage per accident
  • $100k property damage liability coverage per accident
  • $500 collision coverage deductible
  • $500 comprehensive coverage deductible

State minimum rates include each state’s minimum coverage requirements.

These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes will be different.

Elizabeth Rivelli

Elizabeth is an insurance writer for coverage.com, where she covers insurance providers and reviews policies to help consumers find comprehensive and affordable coverage for every area of their life. She has more than three years of writing experience for top online insurance and finance publications.

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