These are the most expensive states for auto insurance

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These are the most expensive states for auto insurance
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Feel like your car insurance rates are sky high? You could be living in one of the most expensive states for auto insurance!

Fortunately, even if your state ranks high on this list, you can still use some Clark Smart wisdom to shop the marketplace and find the lowest rates in your area.

Read more: Thieves are using laptop computers to steal cars

Car insurance rates by state

Where you live can have a big impact on your premium. A recent Consumer Federation of America study finds many auto insurers are setting rates not based on driving record, but on your street address and neighborhood you live in. To see the full study done by the CFA, click here.

Other off-beat factors insurers may look at that could influence your premium are credit score, your homeownership status (owner vs. renter), and even your education level and job title!

So which state’s residents suffer with the highest premiums? This list, provided by Insure.com, pulls together quotes for all 50 states plus Washington D.C.

The hypothetical quotes were developed by surveying Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm in 10 ZIP codes per state for the cheapest-to-insure 2016 model-year versions of America’s 20 best-selling vehicles. Then those quotes were averaged together to create one master quote for each state.

The rates below, which are for illustrative purposes only, are based on full coverage for a single, 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day. Policy limits are 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) with a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage.

Actual rates will vary in each state.

1     Michigan  – $2738
2     Montana  – $2297
3     New Jersey – $1905
4     Louisiana – $1842
5     Oklahoma – $1778
6     Washington D.C. – $1773
7     California – $1752
8     Florida – $1654
9     Maryland – $1610
10     Rhode Island – $1608

11     Delaware – $1607
12     Georgia – $1559
13     Texas – $1510
14     West Virginia – $1456
15     Wyoming – $1421
16     Colorado – $1393
17     Connecticut – $1367
18     South Carolina – $1353
19     Arkansas – $1345
20     Alabama – $1337

21     Massachusetts – $1325
22     Pennsylvania – $1305
23     Kentucky – $1295
24     New Mexico – $1277
25     Mississippi – $1277
26     Oregon – $1267
27     Minnesota – $1257
28     Nevada – $1221
29     North Dakota – $1200
30     Nebraska – $1188

31     Arizona – $1188
32     South Dakota – $1168
33     Washington – $1168
34     Tennessee – $1145
35     Kansas – $1135
36     Indiana – $1113
37     Alaska – $1078
38     Utah – $1061
39     Missouri – $1056
40     New York – $1050

41     Hawaii – $1049
42     Illinois – $1035
43     Virginia – $1020
44     Iowa – $989
45     North Carolina – $987
46     Vermont – $942
47     New Hampshire – $941
48     Idaho – $935
49     Wisconsin – $912
50     Ohio – $900
51     Maine – $808

These are the most expensive states for auto insurance

How to shop for car insurance

If you’re stuck in a state that charges an arm and a leg for auto insurance, it’s in your best interst to look at shopping around for quotes? Here’s how to start the process…

Begin by identifying solid companies

Clark has long talked about the merits of Amica Mutual and USAA. But those aren’t the only two companies you should look at. Consider buying a one-time subscription to Consumer Reports and checking their latest list of the best auto insurance companies to find others that should make it onto your shortlist.

Get your quotes

Once you have a list of candidates, you’ll want to start getting quotes. This typically takes around 15 minutes on the phone. Have your most recent policy in front of you in case any questions come up about the make and model of your vehicle(s).

Working with an insurance broker is another option. He or she will get multiple quotes for you and you’ll have access to all the insurers they do business with. It’s an easy one-stop shop that lets you still have the flexibility of comparison pricing.

Compare quotes

Once you get the quotes back, it’s time to compare them. Each quote should be based on the same amount of coverage so you can do an apples-to-apples comparison. What if a poorly ranked company offers you a great quote? Clark says to avoid them! While the premium might be tempting, you want to be sure your insurer is there for you when the chips are down.

Know when to drop comprehensive and collision

The general rule is when the cost of comp and collision exceeds 10% of your old vehicle’s value, that’s the time to dump it and just have liability coverage. You can determine your vehicle’s value at Edmunds.com, KBB.com or NADA.com.

So let’s take a simple example. Say your vehicle is worth $4,000. If you’re paying anything more than $400 annually (that’s 10% of $4,000) for comp and collision, it no longer makes any financial sense. One notable exception to this rule: If there’s no way you could financially cover the loss of your vehicle, forget the math and keep paying for comp and collision.

Be prepared to take a higher deductible

You should always opt for a $1,000 deductible for the best savings on your policy. At that level, you’ll pay a lower premium and won’t be tempted to file any small piddling claims.

Read more: How to develop an independent value for your vehicle after an accident

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo has co-written several books with Clark Howard, including the #1 New York Times bestseller "Living Large in Lean Times."
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