“The car you drive matters, of course,” said Insure.com consumer analyst Penny Gusner. “But where you live usually matters more.” Last year's best-selling car, the Toyota Camry LE, costs an average of $1,363 nationwide to insure for Insure.com's sample driver, a 40-year-old homeowner with a clean record. But that same driver would pay as little as $843 in Maine and as much as $2,662 in Michigan.
Here are five least-expensive states, ranked on the average cost to insure 2015 editions of the 20 best-selling vehicles, and how they compare with the national average:
1. Maine: $805, 39% less than the national average of $1,311
2. Ohio: $843, 36% less
3. Idaho: $877, 33% less
4. Iowa: $886, 32% less
5. New Hampshire: $905, 31% less
Here are the five most-expensive states and how they compare with the national average:
47. Florida: $1,742, 33% more than the national average
48. Louisiana: $1,774, 35% more
49. District of Columbia: $1,799, 37% more
50. Montana: $1,886, 44% more
51. Michigan: $2,476, 89% more
What accounts for dramatic differences from state to state, even for the same driver in the same car?
“Laws make a big difference. Each state makes its own rules, and some of them result in bigger or more frequent insurance claims,” Gusner said. Other factors that influence rates can include high theft rates, widespread fraud and a higher concentration of drivers in urban areas, Gusner said. Those also mean rates change not just from state to state but from ZIP code to ZIP code.
“Your driving record and your car are the same no matter where you live,” she noted, “but change your ZIP code just a couple of towns the wrong way and your rates can double.”